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5 swimming pool pump problems and how to avoid them

If you’re lucky enough to have a swimming pool then you’ll know that a pool pump is a pretty important piece of equipment! Helping to keep the water clean and safe, the pool pump does a great job. But if yours isn’t working as it should be, it can be tricky to know what to do. Here are five common swimming pool pump problems and how to deal with them.

1. The pump leaks water

Pumps contain certain components that, by their nature, deteriorate over time, leading to leaks. The causes of leaks include impeller housing ‘o’ rings, shaft seals, thread sealants and shrunken threads on the discharge pipe. Water will find its way through the tiniest of gaps, so even a minor split in a seal will result in a leak. Have seals regularly checked and replaced for peace of mind.

2. The pump makes a loud noise.

If your pump rattles then it may not be seated properly on its base. Ensure your pump is well positioned and consider placing it on a piece of rubber mat to help stop the noise.

Another cause of excessive pump noise is cavitation, which occurs when the pump is starved of water. The noise is created because the pump impeller rotates too quickly and starts to beat the air molecules out of the water. This is often down to an oversized pump, but if this isn’t the case then check for a clogged filter or impeller.

Worn bearings are a common cause of excessive motor noise, and will occur on any well-used pool pump. A swimming pool pump repair expert such as Gibbons will be able to replace failed bearings.

3. The pump doesn’t move water

If your pump is not pulling water then the first things to check are the skimmer, pump baskets and filter. Debris that’s built up could be impeding the flow of water, so it’s important to keep these clear as part of a regular maintenance routine.

It’s also worth checking the pump impeller (this is the part connected to the motor that moves the water), which can clog occasionally.

Another reason for your pump not pulling is if an air leak has developed in the suction line. Because air has less mass than water, if air is present then the pump will suck that before it sucks water.

4. The motor will not start or turns off

It may seem obvious, but it’s always worth checking that there’s power getting to the motor before delving deeper. If there is power then listen for the motor humming or clicking. If the motor hums without starting then there could be a capacitor fault.

A motor that starts but turns itself off shortly afterwards is likely overheating. This often happens when the motor is not matched to the pump it is driving. Overheating may also occur when there’s a problem with the fan or the vent has become blocked with dirt, leaves and other debris. Keep vents clear and make sure there’s enough space around the motor for optimal performance.

5. The motor/pump is sucking in air

While pool pumps are supposed to be air tight, small leaks do occur. Large air leaks create problems with circulation and lead to difficulty keeping the pump primed.

Air leaks originate before the impeller and common causes include:

  • Inadequate thread sealant where the pipe enters the pump
  • A leaky valve stem on a suction valve
  • A break in the plumbing
  • An ill-fitting pump lid or pump lid ‘o’ ring
  • A loose drain plug.

You can test for an air leak by spreading shaving foam over the suction side joints and fittings while the pump is running. The pump will try to suck the foam into the pipe because it has less resistance or mass thaen the water. Where air leaks you’ll start to see the layer of foam dimple as it gets sucked into the system, revealing where the leak is and which part needs to be repaired or replaced. 

If you’re having trouble with your swimming pool pump, then here at Gibbons we can do anything from routine servicing to major overhauls, all carried out by highly-skilled, experienced engineers. If you think it’s time for a replacement, we also stock a wide range of HydroPro swimming pool pumps off the shelf for next-day UK delivery.

Give us a call on 01621 868138 or email info@gibbonsgroup.co.uk for more information.

Pumps & Controls

Comments

  • Date: 3 July 2017 adrian smith
    Thanks for your informative blog , Pool Pump Problem is very major problem there is a lots of reason for the pump problem, we should care properly of pump and do maintenance in a weekly or monthly basis. Many service provider offers their services in residential and commercial area. I also found service provider Rancho Cucamonga Pool and Spa repair, they have an experienced person to repair pool and spa also give tips for the maintenance of Pool and Spa.

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