Top 7 Pool Pump Trouble Shooting Tips from a Professional Manufacturer

Written by Catherine Zhou

As a pool pump manufacturer with nearly 10 years experience, we have encountered a variety of questions from distributors or end users regarding why their pump don’t work properly, all of those questions has been fixed based on our effort to work out the solutions. In this blog post, I will introduce top 7 common pool pump problems that people met in using pool pumps and the solution on how to fix them. Hope this blog will help more users to fix the pool pump trouble and operate their pumps more easily and smoothly.

Problem 1: Pool Pump Motor will not start

Possibility 1: Wrong wiring

Solution: Check the wiring of your pump, rewire it if necessary. Please read the instructions carefully and follow it strictly.

Possibility 2: Loose electrical connection

Solution: Check all the circuit connection points and make sure all the points are well connected.

Possibility 3: Switches or relays not closed

Solution: Closed the swtiches and relays properly.

Possibility 4: Tripped circuit breakers or GFCI’s

Solution: Check to see if there’s electricity leakage on any point, if so, repair it and then restart the breaker.

Possibility 5: Fuse is open

Solution: Change a new fuse with the proper ampere & voltage.

Possibility 6: No power supply or improper power supply

Solution: Make sure power is on and the voltage ranges in 90%–110% of the rated voltage.

Possibility 7: Broken timer

Solution: If pump connects to a timer, make sure it works

Possibility 8: Trapped motor

Solution: Open the motor back cover and rotate the shaft manually to see if it is clogged. Usually clogged impeller or trapped rotator can lead to trapped motor, check both of them to determine the final problem.

Problem 2: Pool Pump Motor shuts off

Possibility 1: Overload or overheat protection is activated

Solution: Allow the motor to cool down and restart it after 30 minutes. If problem still exists, check if the amperage reading is over the rated current when pump is working. If so, check if there’s any blockage on the impeller or strainer basket, clean it up and restart the motor.

Possibility 2: Motor capacitors are damaged

Solution: Change new capacitors with the proper voltage & capacitance ratings.

Possibility 3: Wrong wiring size or extension cords

Solution: Replace the current wires or cords with sufficient sized ones.

Possibility 4: Low voltage

Solution: This could happen in some area where the voltage supply is not stable. If possible, use a voltage regulator to provide more stable voltage for the motor.

Possibility 5: Motor overheating due to damage in violent transportation. This could happen when the pump is source online and delivered by express.

Solution: Open the motor back cover and check if any part is deformed or not. If so, change new parts and restart the motor. If it can not be repaired, change the whole motor.

Problem 3: Pool Pump Motor hums but can not start.

Possibility 1: Centrifugal switch stuck in OPEN position

Solution: Use a small stick or other objects to move the switch to CLOSED position.

Possibility 2: Trapped impeller or motor shaft

Solution: Motor shaft can be rotated manually to check if it is trapped. Usually impeller is the main reason to cause this problem, open the motor back cover and check if impeller is OK or not.

Problem 4: Pump can not prime

Possibility 1: Pump hasn’t been primed properly

Solution: Make sure pump strainer housing is filled with water. Check to see if strainer cover is sealed properly without air leakage.

Possibility 2: Blockage in the piping system

Solution: Check if there’s any blockage on the inlet and outlet of the pump, clean it up if necessary. Make sure all necessary valves are in open position and the water can circulation freely.

Possibility 3: Air leaks in the piping system

Solution: Check all the joints and make sure they are tightened.

Problem 5: Low water flow

Possibility 1: The filter screen or suction pipe is blocked or restricted

Solution: Remove all the sucked object and make sure water can go through the plumbing system smoothly.

Possibility 2: Pipe not big enough for more water to go through

Solution: Usually 1.5” pipe allows a maximum flow of 45GPM, 2.0” allows a maximum flow of 80GPM and 2.5” allows a maximum flow of 110GPM. Make sure the pipe size you used is proper to the pump rated flow.

Possibility 3: Filter pressure too high due to dirty filter media

Solution: If pump connects to a sand filter, backwash the sand filter; If pump connects to a cartridge filter, replace the cartridge.

Possibility 4: Leakage from the pump lid or connectors/fittings

Solution: If air leaks in suction pipe, pump will rumble constantly. Tighten the pump lid or fittings, if any of them is damaged, replace immediately.

Possibility 5: Abnormal Suction line or discharge line

Solution: If the suction line is longer than 25 ft, or has more than 4 elbows, it will significantly reduce the flow. Also check if there’s any kink on the discharge line which could also lead to low flow rate.

Possibility 6: Leak at any joint

Solution: Please refer to possibility 3 in problem 3.

Possibility 7: Low pool water level

Solution: If the pool water level is lower than half of the skimmer opening, it will cause low flow rate. Fill up the pool to proper water level and check if the problem persists.

Problem 6: Pump is noisy

Possibility 1: If you hear grinding noise, it might be caused by an object caught in the impeller

Solution: Turn off the power and check if there’s any object caught in impeller. Remove it and restart the pump.

Possibility 2: If you hear humming noise, it might be caused by low voltage

Solution: Please refer to possibility 4 in problem 2.

Possibility 3: Worn out bearings

Solution: Bearings are important to the motor, once they are damaged, the whole motor will be noisy. The only solution is to replace the motor.

Possibility 4: Worn out impeller or voluteSolution: Once impeller or volute is worn out, it will cause water to leak from the pump and make noise. The only solution is to replace the impeller or volute.

Possibility 5: Pump base vibration

Solution: Check if the base is installed properly and all the bolts are tightened. Also make sure there’s no object blocking the pump, which could lead to vibration.

Possibility 6: Foreign matters in the pump, especially around the impeller

Solution: Try to remove the foreign matters from the pump.

Problem 7: Pool Pump is leaking

Possibility 1: Water leaks from where the motor connects to the wet side.

Solution: This usually indicate the shaft seal fails. Replace it immediately.

Possibility 2: Water leaks from pump housing.

Solution: Open the pump housing to see if the O-ring is in good condition, move it to the correctly place or replace it if necessary.

Possibility 3: Water leaks from pump lid.

Solution: Open the pump lid and check condition of the O-ring, if it is not sit well in the right place, take it off and reassemble it. If it is broken, replace it immediately.

Above 7 problems are those been met most frequently by the users, I hope they can help you when your pump doesn’t work well.

In addition, proper maintenance of the pool pump can void most of these problems. Regularly maintenance is necessary.

We hope you find these tips useful. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us. We’re always happy to help!

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