Troubleshooting Common Pool Pump Problems

A pool may be your pride and joy and a private oasis in your backyard, but it needs regular care and maintenance.

The pump is the heart of your pool system and has a large number of moving parts. It does a great job of moving water but sometimes it may not function as it should. Try to identify any issues as soon as they become apparent. Don’t let that pool pump give you the hump!

Here’s a handy guide to help you identify common pool pump problems.

Pool pump noises

They say silence is golden and that applies to your pool pump. It’s not a good sign if it makes a noise. Different noises indicate potential problems. A rattling noise suggests your pool pump is running dry because water has fallen below the halfway skimmer faceplate. A squealing or screeching noise could mean worn pump bearings, and humming may point to debris build-up.

Taking in air

Bubbles spell trouble. If you spot air bubbles in your pool then it’s a sign that air is being sucked into the line on the suction side of your pump. Leaks in this area will affect pump performance and usually occur in the mechanical seal or the valves and fittings on the suction side.

Check where the pipe enters the pump and the union between the valves and investigate for cracks and loose fittings that may cause the leak.

Trouble with the zero - the o-ring

A rubber o-ring seals the joint between the upper filter head and the lower body of the filter and is usually lubricated. It prevents water from escaping into the filter connections and entering the mechanism. No surprises why it’s called an o-ring – it’s because of the shape.

If you experience a leak, a decrease in filter pressure and a drop in water levels, your o-ring could be cracked or broken. If it’s worn, it may give off a smell similar to a burning tyre.

Pool pump lid

Ensure your pump lid is tight. It’s an access point to the inside of your pump. For the pump to work effectively, the lid must provide an airtight seal. If it’s not on correctly, it will suck in air, meaning the pump won’t prime.

Skimmer blockage

With any issues with your pool pump, you should also check your skimmer. Pool skimmers are built into the side of the pool and contain skimmer baskets preventing debris from entering your pump and filter. 

The pool pump draws the water into the skimmer and the buckets to prevent larger objects from getting to the pump or filter and causing a blockage. If these skimmer baskets get full of leaves, grass and dirt, suction and water flow will be affected.

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