why is the canister and hoses empty? Is this your first time using the canister? If not, you should only have to prime really only once. They have the shut off valve connected to the one end of the hoses to avoid having to do it again. Also make sure the filter has 1/2 to 3/4 full of water when you start it up. When you clean the canister, at least what i used to do, is leave the hoses hang and take the filter out. Fill it back up after cleaning and plug it in. Filter should do the rest.