Pool Pump Not Working: #3 Is The Likeliest Cause

a pool pump indoor

Pool pumps are the devices that we use to help circulate the water in the pool. The pool pump is a very important part of the pool’s sanitation system simply because it will allow you to filter the pool properly. Depending on how big it is and how long you let it run, it can process thousands of gallons of water.

Although the pool pump is not enough to make sure that the pool is clean on its own, it has to keep on running especially when used in commercial swimming pools to help support the other pool sanitation efforts. In residential pools, it can be made to run for 4-8 hours depending on how heavy the pool use is.

If the pool pump is not working properly, the pool water will not be filtered and the water will turn cloudy. The chemicals used for cleaning the pool will also not be circulated properly, allowing microorganisms and even algae to easily thrive in the stagnant water.

#1 Pump Housing Issues

pump housing

The pump housing is very susceptible to dry rot and cracks simply because it is the part of the pool pump that is exposed to sunlight and other elements. If you have not been cleaning it properly, this part of the pump can easily turn brittle and it can also expose the other parts of the pump.

The pump housing or the pump hull is actually quite expensive and when it gets cracked, replacement might be your only option. What’s more, if you do not replace it on time, other parts of the pump can get broken. If this happens, you can easily end up having to buy an entire new pump.

#2 A Broken Strainer Lid

pump trainer lid

The strainer lid is where you will first try to check so you will know if the pump is working or not. With continued use, the lid can have cracks that can cause air leaks and this can easily make the pumping process run slower. If the lid has cracks or is broken, you need to replace it right away.

#3 The Pump Impeller

pump impeller

As soon as you notice that the pump is no longer pulling water, you should try to check the pump impeller. The impeller is connected to the motor and this is what moves the water. In most cases, the pump is working properly but the impeller is clogged. It is also what makes the pump lose prime.

This typically happens during spring when the pump has to filter a lot of debris and contaminants from the environment or due to continued use of the pool. You should also consider the fact that the impeller does all of the hard work. If this gets broken, you will have low water pressure and hear rattling noises.

#4 The Motor

pump motor

Although the motor is the most important part of the pump, this part will rarely get broken especially if you bought a quality pump. In most cases, this pump will get broken after 3 – 5 years of use. This part of the pump however, can get easily damaged if it is exposed to sunlight or rain, and if it is overly used.

The best way to know if the motor is broken is when you hear nothing when the pump is turned on. This might mean that the motor is burned out. If you hear a loud hum from the motor, it might mean that its capacitor has failed. If you hear a screech or a grinding noise, it might be because of rust.

Also, if the motor is running, but will suddenly turn itself off, it might be because the motor is overheating. Sudden drops of power can cause the motor to overheat. Keep in mind that it needs a lot of wattage as well as steady and constant supply of it so that it will continue to work properly.

#5 Leaks In The Pump

leak pump

If you think that the pump is not pulling water properly, it might be because there are leaks. Leaks in the suction line for example, will allow the pump to suction air instead of water from the pool. If the pump is leaking water instead, it might be a problem in the lint pot that is supposed to be in positive pressure.

Other causes for leaks can be broken impeller housing, a bad sealant or a bad seal; it can also be caused by problems on the plumbing discharge pipe. If there are problems in the o-ring, in the sealants or seals, you might have to take the pump apart and have each of them replaced with a new one.

These are meant to make the pump watertight and you will know that there are problems with it if you start seeing wet cement on the pump pad. If the water starts dripping from the motor vent, if you have loud bearings and a rusty motor housing, you need to change the shaft seal before the motor gets wet.

If on the other hand, you see a leak on the seal plate or the housing seam, it might be the housing gasket that has been broken. If there are large air bubbles in the strainer basket or if there is a low water pressure, the lid gasket might be the one that needs to be replaced.

The diffuser gasket is also another part that can cause leaks if it gets broken. If it gets worn out or damaged, it will hinder the motor from getting primed and it will lessen its pulling power. Without the help of the gasket, the diffuser cannot do its job of supporting or increasing the strength of the impeller.


pool pump

If the pool pump is no longer working, you need to check how long the pump has been running. If it has been running for more than 5 years then there is a huge chance that it might be the motor that is broken. You should also know if the pump has been regularly cleaned or if it has been maintained properly.

If the unit is still a couple of years old and if you sense that the motor is running but the pump is not pulling water, then you should try to check the impeller. In most cases, the impeller is just clogged and it needs a bit of cleaning. If it is broken, you should opt to look for a replacement.

If the impeller is working properly, then you should consider looking for leaks. If water is leaking out of the unit, you need to repair the seals and gaskets right away or risk the motor’s electrical parts to come into contact with water. Aside from water leaks, you should also try to look for possible air leaks.

If leaks are found away from the water, it can allow the air to get inside the pump. Since air is less dense than water, the pump can easily pull in more air and less water. You should also protect the motor hull from the elements so that it will not get easily cracked.

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