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5 of the most common swimming pool pump problems

As a crucial element of keeping the water clean and safe, a swimming pool pump does a great job. When everything’s running swimmingly, you may not give your pool pump a second thought. However, ignore the device at your peril as a pump failure could leave your pool redundant.

These are five of the most common swimming pool pump problems you should look out for and how you can deal with them.

1. The pump is leaking

Components such as impeller housing ‘o’ rings, thread sealants and shaft seals deteriorate over time, leading to leaks. Because water finds its way through the tiniest of gaps even a small seal split will cause a leak. Regularly check and replace seals for peace of mind.

2. The pump is making a loud noise.

A rattling pump indicates that the unit is not seated properly on its base. Make sure that the pump is well positioned and if the problem persists try seating it on a rubber mat to stop the noise.

Cavitation is a problem that occurs when the pump runs without water. The pump impeller rotates too quickly and beats the air molecules out of the water, creating a banging noise. Check for a clogged filter or impeller and make certain that the pump is suitable sized.

Bearing wear is unavoidable and will occur on any well-used pool pump. A swimming pool pump repair expert such as Gibbons can replace failed bearings.

3. The pump won’t move water

If your pump doesn’t pull water then check the skimmer, pump baskets and filter for a build-up of debris.

The pump impeller is also prone to clogging occasionally, so it’s worth examining this.

Another reason could be an air leak in the suction line. Air has less mass than water, so if air is present then the pump will suck that before it pulls water.

4. The motor doesn’t start or turns off

Ensure there’s power getting to the motor before delving deeper. Once you’ve confirmed this, listen for a humming or clicking sound coming from the motor. If the motor hums without starting then there may be a capacitor issue.

A motor that starts but turns itself off shortly may be overheating, which can happen when the motor is not matched to the pump it is driving. Overheating can also indicate a problem with the fan or that the vent has become blocked with dirt, leaves and other debris. Keep vents clear and ensure there’s enough space around the motor for optimal performance.

5. The motor/pump sucks air in

Large air leaks in pool pumps create problems with circulation and lead to difficulty keeping the pump primed.

Air leaks originate before the impeller and causes include:

  • Poorly-sealed threads where the pipe enters the pump
  • Leaking valve stem on a suction valve
  • A break in the plumbing
  • A poor-fitting pump lid or pump lid ‘o’ ring
  • A loose drain plug.

Test for air leaks 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 than the water.

If air is leaking you’ll start to see the layer of foam dimple as it gets sucked into the system, revealing which part needs to be repaired or replaced. 

If your swimming pool pump has developed a fault then here at Gibbons we can do anything from routine servicing to major overhauls, all carried out by highly-skilled, experienced engineers.

Or if you think it’s time for a replacement, we also stock a wide range of quiet-running HydroPro swimming pool pumps off the shelf for next-day UK delivery.

Give us a call on 01621 868 138 or email info@gibbonsgroup.co.uk for more information.

Pumps & Controls

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