Common Pool Pump Issues and How To Fix Them

The Pool Pump is Making a Loud Screeching Noise or Sounds Like it’s Full of Rocks

Screeching or gargling noise can be frustrating for pool owners and surrounding neighbors. If your pool pump sounds like it’s running with rocks inside the pump basket, it might be starved for water. This can be attributed to a couple of different things. First, check your suction lines. If too many of them are closed off, the pump will struggle to get water and become noisy. Next, check your skimmers. If they are clogged, remove any debris and re-assemble. If all else fails, your pump could be too powerful for your pool. If this is the case, you’ll want to downgrade to a pump with less power to avoid future problems.

If your pool pump is causing a screeching noise, it could be caused by worn bearings. You can change the bearings, but many pool owners opt to switch out the older motor for a new one.

The Pool Pump is Leaking Water

In most cases, a leak underneath a pool pump is caused by a pressure-side leak. This is easily combated by inspecting the impeller housing o-ring, and shaft seal and replacing any worn, cracked o-rings or seals. Before taking apart your pool pump, we recommend purchasing a go-kit. It is relatively inexpensive and will have all the necessary parts to replace your worn o-rings and seals.

The Pool Pump Basket Does Not Fill with Water

If your pump basket does not fill with water, you’ll have to prime the pump. The good news is it’s pretty straightforward, just follow the steps below:

  1. Disconnect any power to the pump and move the diverter valve so that the main drain side is turned off.
  2. Relieve any existing pressure by turning the air relief valve counterclockwise on your pool filter until the pressure reads zero on the pool filter gauge.
  3. Remove the pump lid and clean any debris from the pump basket, then fill it with water using a garden hose. Once done, replace the pump lid and set the pool return to open on the diverter valve so water can return to the pool.
  4. Turn the power back on and check to see that the water flow has returned to the strainer box.
  5. Wait until the water starts to come out of the relief valve, then close it. After about 1 minute, water should be flowing freely inside the strainer box (top of the pump).
  6. If water is not flowing freely in the strainer box, return to step one and repeat.
  7. Switch the diverter valve back to halfway between the skimmer and the main drain. If the pump is still not primed, check the impeller for debris and filter pressure for anything 10 psi above the clean reading for your pool filter.

The Pool Pump is Making a Humming Noise and will not Start

If your pool pump will not start and you hear a humming noise, check your impeller for any debris. If debris starts to build, it can block the impeller and disable the pool pump. To check the impeller, turn the power off to the pump and remove the screws in the middle of the pump body. Once the screws have been removed, pull the assembly out of the housing and remove the gasket away from the impeller, remove any debris, and re-assemble.

The Pool Pump is Sucking in Air

To operate properly, pool pumps must be airtight. If there is a leak, the pool pump will suck in the air and become problematic. The first thing you’ll want to check is the pump lid. If not on properly, the pump will suck in air and the pump will not be able to prime. If that does not solve the problem you’ll want to check where the pipe enters the pump, the valve stem on any of the suction valves, the plumbing on the suction side of the pump (before the impeller), o-rings, and gaskets. Look for cracks, leaks, and loose or old fittings and replace or repair if needed. If you still can’t find a leak, spray some shaving cream onto the areas listed above. The leak will draw the shaving cream in and leave a dimple.

The Pool Pump Motor is not Working or Turning Off While Running

If your pump is not starting, you’ll want to check a couple of things. First, check to see if the pump is getting power, and check your timer to make sure the pump is on. If the pump is on and you are hearing a humming noise, it could be a bad capacitor. The capacitor is what starts the pump by giving it a jolt of electricity. No jolt, no start. You can replace the capacitor, but it is best done by a professional. The capacitor can still store power so be careful if replacing it. If your pump is old, consider replacing the motor instead.

If your pump does turn on but loses power, it could be overheating. Try running the pump during the night to avoid overheating. If this does not work, check the bottom vents of the motor to make sure there is nothing inhibiting the fan. If the problem persists, you’ll have to replace the pool motor or pool pump.

The Flow Rate of the Pool Pump is Low

If the flow rate of the pump has dropped, you will want to make sure there is nothing blocking the flow of the pump or filter. Check your filter gauge first. If you are above 10psi over the clean reading specified by the manufacturer, you’ll want to clean the filter to reduce the pressure and reset the flow back to the pool pump.

Next, check your pump basket and impeller for debris that would be blocking water flow. To remove the impeller, turn the power off to the pump and remove the screws in the middle of the pump body. Once the screws have been removed, pull the assembly out of the housing and remove the gasket away from the impeller, remove any debris, and re-assemble.