With the hot summer days upon us, many people open up their pools to enjoy the warm weather. However, if your pool pump isn’t working, it can put a damper on your plans.

You rely on your pool pump to circulate the water in your pool, keeping it clean and clear. So, it can be a real problem when your pool pump isn’t coming on.

There are a few things that you can check if your pool pump isn’t turning on. In this article, we’ll walk you through some troubleshooting tips to help you get your pool pump up and running again. Let’s get started.

What Causes a Pool Pump To Go Bad?

Like any machinery, your pool pump can go bad over time. There are several reasons why a pool pump might stop working, including:

  • Dirty Filter: Using your pool’s filter will become clogged with dirt and debris. This can cause reduced water flow, leading to your pump working harder than usual and eventually burning out.
  • Corroded Impeller: An impeller is the part of the pump that moves water through the system. Over time, it can become corroded, which can cause it to seize up and stop working.
  • Worn-Out Bearings: Your pool pump’s bearings help keep the impeller moving smoothly. With frequent use, they can wear out, causing the impeller to bind up and stop working.
  • Too Much Air: Too much air in your pool pump can cause it to overheat and shut down. This is usually due to a pump’s housing or seal problem.
  • Blockage: Using your pool’s piping can become clogged with dirt and debris. This can restrict water flow and cause your pump to overheat and shut down.

Common Pool Pump Problems And Fixes

Your pool pump is a workhorse that keeps your pool clean and circulating. Here are some common pool pump problems that may develop over time and their solutions.

1. Problem: Loud Noises Coming From Your Pool Pump

If your pool pump starts making loud or strange noises, it could be a sign that something is wrong. You should check the strainer basket to see if it needs to be cleaned. If the basket is full of debris, it can cause the pump to work harder than it needs to, leading to noise.

Solution

Clean out the skimmer basket and ensure nothing is blocking the impeller. You may also need to lubricate the pump bearings if they make a humming noise. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to see what type of lubricant to use.

2. Problem: Your Pool Pump Won’t Start

If a pool pump doesn’t turn on or keeps shutting off shortly after being turned on, it is likely experiencing an electrical issue. This could be due to loose connections, a faulty capacitor, or overloading voltage. Another possibility is that the pool pump motor is jammed. Fortunately, all of these problems typically have fairly straightforward solutions.

Solution 

For starters, take a close look to figure out exactly the problem.

  • First, check if any fuses have blown in the breaker box.
  • If that’s not it, see if any connections are loose. Also, check for frayed or broken power cords.
  • An overloaded circuit could cause motor overload and result in shutdown after startup. Check that the voltage is not too high.
  • If the pump’s motor appears to be the issue, it may be jammed. Try manually turning it to see if that does the trick.
  • Check the capacitors if the initial problem is that the pump isn’t cranking. There should be one or two capacitors; in some cases, there is also a governor on the shaft end. Check if the capacitors are bad and if the governor is closed.
  • If the problem doesn’t seem to be electrical, but none of the parts are moving, then the motor might be jammed with debris. You can tell by checking if the motor shaft rotates. If it’s not jammed, then new bearings might be needed.
  • New pool pump motors are needed if the old one is completely shot.

3. Problem: The Pump Runs But No Pumping

In some cases, the problem may be that the pump is turning, but no water is flowing through it. This can be caused by several things, including a blockage in the intake hose, a dirty or clogged filter, or a faulty clogged impeller. Air in the pump can also cause this problem.

Solution

To fix it, you will need to check the intake hose and filter for blockages and clean or replace them if necessary. Ensure there is no air in the pump by bleeding the line. 

O-rings are responsible for forming a seal between two surfaces and are commonly used in plumbing. If your o-ring is damaged, it may need to be replaced to prevent leaks. To check if your o-ring needs to be replaced, remove it from the surface and inspect it for any damage. You must purchase a new one from a hardware store if it is damaged.

The pump impeller is responsible for moving water through the pump. To clean the impeller, remove it from the pump and rinse it with water. You may also need a brush to remove debris stuck to the impeller. Once the impeller is clean, you can reinstall it, and the pump should start working properly again. If the problem persists, you may need to prime the pump.

4. Problem: Leaking Pump

Leaking pumps are one of the most common issues pool owners face. A pump can leak a few different ways, but the most common is a pressure-side leak. A bad o-ring often causes this leak in the impeller pump housing, a bad shaft seal, or a bad thread sealant.

O-rings can become dried out or damaged, which can cause them to leak. The shaft can also be cracked over time, which will cause them to leak. Thread sealants can also break down over time, which can cause leaks.

Solution

Leaks can be fixed by replacing the o-ring or the washer. It is very cheap and can be easily replaced by anyone, even if you’re not particularly handy. Once you’ve replaced the o-ring or washer, reattach the handle and turn on the water to test for leaks. If the leak is gone, then great. If not, then you may need to replace the entire valve stem.

5. Problem: Pool Pump Sucks In Air

The pool pump is supposed to be completely airtight. This is what keeps the pump primed and sucking water properly. However, it becomes a problem when the pool pump starts sucking in the air.

There are several reasons why this might happen, including a bad thread sealant, crack in the pump, an air leak in the suction line, or a plumbing issue on the suction side of the pump. One way to test for this is by using shaving cream.

To do this test, evenly spread shaving cream over the areas where you think the pump might be leaking, including the pump lid O-ring. If there is a leak under the shaving cream, one area of foam starts to pit as it gets sucked in. This will show you where the leak is.

Solution

Fixing the problem will depend on what is causing the air leak. You can try tightening the loose pump lid or replacing the O-ring if it’s a bad thread sealant. If there is a crack in the pump, you’ll need to replace the pump. For an air leak in the suction line, you can try replacing the suction line or tightening any loose fittings. And if there is a plumbing issue on the suction side of the pump, you’ll need to repair or replace that part of the plumbing.

How To Tell If Pool Pump Is Going Bad?

Some signs that your pool pump is going bad are:

  • Constant Leaking: Leaks in the plumbing or the pump itself are a sign that the pool pump is going bad. If you notice a significant decrease in water level, it could be due to a leak in the pump.
  • Loud Noises: Loud pool pump sounds signal something is wrong. The bearings may go bad, or something could be caught in the impeller.
  • Decreased Water Flow: If you notice that the water flow from your pool pump has decreased, it could be a sign that the impeller is worn out or that something is blocking the intake.
  • Losing Prime: If your pool pump loses its prime, there is a leak in the system. This can be caused by several things, including a faulty gasket or a cracked casing.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to have your pool pump serviced by a professional. Waiting too long to fix a problem with your pool pump can result in serious damage to your pool and expensive repairs.

FAQs

How Do I Restart My Pool Pump?

If your pool pump doesn’t seem to be turning on, you can check a few things to see if it needs to be restarted. First, check the power source to ensure the pump is plugged in and receiving power. Next, check the breaker box to see if the circuit breaker for the pool pump has been tripped. If it has, simply reset the breaker and try turning on the pool pump again.

If the pool pump still doesn’t seem to be working, there may be an issue with the timer or controller. Consult your owner’s manual for troubleshooting tips specific to your pool pump model.

How Long Do Pool Pumps Last?

Pool pumps typically last between 8 and 12 years, but this can vary depending on the quality of the pump and how often it is used. To extend your pool pump’s life, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance and care.

What Are Some Signs That My Pool Pump Needs to be Replaced?

If your pool pump isn’t working as well as it used to, or if it seems to be making strange noises, it may be time to replace it. Consult your owner’s manual or a qualified pool technician to diagnose the problem and recommend the best course of action.

How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Pool Pump?

The cost of replacing a pool pump will vary depending on the size and type of pump you need. Consult a qualified pool technician to get an estimate for the replacement pump that best fits your needs. Generally, you can expect to pay between $500 and $1,000 for a new pool pump.

How Do I Maintain My Pool Pump?

To keep your pool pump working properly, following maintenance and care instructions is important. This may include regularly cleaning the dirty pool filter and pump basket and checking the impeller for wear and tear. Also, you should winterize your pool pump according to the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent damage from freezing temperatures.

Conclusion

Having a pool pump that doesn’t turn on can be frustrating. But with a little troubleshooting, you can usually get to the bottom of the problem and have your pump up and running again in no time.

With any luck, one of the above troubleshooting tips will have solved your pool pump issue, and it will be up and running again in no time. However, if you still have problems, it may be time to call a professional. Trying to fix a pool pump yourself can result in further damage if you are not experienced, so it is always best to err on the side of caution.

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Last Updated: July 28, 2022 / Categories: Outdoor & Garden, Pool & Spa / 9.6 min read / Tags: , /

About the Author: Brian Stilts

Brian Stilts

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