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What's wrong with my swimming pool pump?

A swimming pool pump does the vital job of keeping the water clean and safe, but what if yours begins to malfunction? Here are some of the most common swimming pool pump problems and what you can do should they occur.

The pump doesn’t move water

If your pump is not pulling water then you should check the skimmer, pump baskets and filter. Debris can build up and impede the flow of water, so it’s important to check and clear these components as part of a regular maintenance routine. The pump impeller may also become clogged and should be inspected periodically.

Your pump may not move water if there is an air leak in the suction line. If air is present then the pump will suck that before it pulls water.

The pump is leaking

Some components within pumps perish over time, such as impeller housing ‘o’ rings, shaft seals and thread sealants. Water can enter through the smallest of gaps, so even a tiny split in a seal will cause leakage. Regularly check seals and replace those that are becoming worn before they split.

The pump is noisy

A rattling sound indicates that a pump may not be seated properly on its base. This excessive vibration can be harmful to components such as the shaft and bearings, so make sure your pump is level and securely positioned.

Excessive pump noise may also be caused by cavitation. This occurs when the pump is starved of water and the impeller rotates too quickly. This beats the air molecules out of the water, resulting in a rumbling or cracking noise. Oversized pumps are susceptible to cavitation, but it could also be down to a blocked filter or impeller.

Bearing wear is inevitable in rotating machinery, and although proper lubrication and alignment can extend bearing life, eventually they will fail. Excessive motor noise commonly points to bearing wear or failure, and as a swimming pool pump repair provider we at Gibbons have decades of experience replacing failed bearings.

The motor doesn’t start or cuts out

Always be certain that there’s power getting to the motor, and if so then listen for humming or clicking noises. If the motor hums but won’t start then the capacitor may have failed.

A motor that starts but cuts out shortly afterwards is probably overheating, which may be because the motor is incorrectly sized for the pump it is driving. Additionally, fans and vents can become clogged with dirt, leaves and other debris, so keep vents clear and make certain the motor is adequately ventilated.

The motor/pump is drawing air

Air leaks in pumps originate before the impeller and cause air to be sucked in. Common reasons for this fault include:

  • A poorly-fitted pump lid or pump lid ‘o’ ring
  • Insufficient thread sealant where the pipe enters the pump
  • A break in the plumbing
  • A valve stem leak on a suction valve
  • A loose drain plug

Locate an air leak by spreading shaving foam over the suction side joints and fittings while the pump is running. The pump will attempt to suck the foam into the pipe due to it having less resistance or mass thaen the water. The layer of foam will dimple as it gets sucked into the system, revealing where the leak is and which part should be repaired or replaced. 

If your swimming pool pump has developed a fault, then give the experts at Gibbons a call. We do anything from routine servicing to major overhauls, carried out by highly-skilled, experienced engineers. If your pump’s beyond repair, we also stock a wide range of HydroPro Orange swimming pool pumps off the shelf for next-day UK delivery.

Give us a call on 01621 868138 or email for more information about our comprehensive swimming pool pump services.

Pumps & Controls

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