How To Tell If Your Pool Pump Is Bad

Welcome back, ePoolSupply supporters!  In today’s blog, I want to teach you how to tell if your pool pump is bad. The pump is a vital circulatory system that keeps your pool healthy and fresh. Your pool pump keeps the water flowing so it can pass through the filter, a heater, a chlorinator, or any other components that treat the pool water.  

If you’re thinking about replacing a part of your pool pump, make sure the entire pump is still in good condition. Open up the housing where your pump is located and make sure everything looks normal. You shouldn’t see any dry or cracked housing around the edges. There should be no rust, discoloration, or leaks. This is a great way to rule out replacing the entire pump, so take your time inspecting every aspect of the device. Check cables and lines to make sure they’re not frayed at the end. The bolts should be secure and free of debris. If you see something wrong with your pool pump such as cracked housing, leaking fluid, or rusted bolts, you’ll probably have to replace the entire pump. If you’ve been having problems with your pool, getting a new pump will give you some peace of mind that everything is working as it should. You can also get a warranty for your pump in case anything goes wrong going forward.

Signs It’s Time To Replace Your Pool Pump 

Age - Most well-maintained pool pumps have an average lifespan of 8-15 years, over time the parts wear down. This will also depend on the type of pump and frequency of use. If your pump is more than five years old and is becoming increasingly problematic, you are likely to spend a considerable amount of money repairing it. When the unit is getting old, this is a telltale sign that you need to have it replaced. 

Noise - Any noises that are out of character are an early warning sign that you might need a swimming pool pump replacement. Clogged pool filter pumps will be unable to draw in enough water, something that can cause them to vibrate excessively, producing a rumbling sound. Also, grinding and screeching sounds usually means that the unit needs new bearings. 

Power Trip - If you haven’t added any new items to the circuit recently and your pump is tripping the circuit when it kicks on, you may have a problem. This surge in power is usually a sign of a much larger electrical issue. Often it means that your motor is on its last legs and you will soon need a full swimming pool pump replacement.  It is important to find out whether you are overloading the circuit and determine if your pump is the problem.

The Pump Keeps Shutting Off - If your pump motor seems to shut down after only a short time, it could mean it is becoming overheated, insufficient supply of power, clogged vents, or a damaged capacitor. If your pump is working correctly, the motor should run smoothly at all times. This is one problem that needs to be checked out and fixed as soon as it is noticed. It’s easy to notice when the pump is shutting off unexpectedly. But a proper diagnosis does require some disassembly and an inspection by a trained professional.

Loss of Suction - Pool pumps are designed to draw in water and run it through a filter before pumping it back into the pool, clear of debris. Loss of suction will negatively affect the ability of your pump to do its job efficiently. It may be necessary to replace the pool pump if the low suction is due to a serious problem. 

How To Tell If A Pool Pump Motor Is Bad

Motors are fairly straightforward. They’re either running or they’re not. The best way to make sure your motor is in good shape is to use your ears. Keep the pump housing open, so you can listen closely to what’s happening with the motor. You might want to wait until some of the other sounds in your neighborhood settle down for the evening. When it’s quiet, listen for the following sounds: 

  • Grinding - bearings are worn down 
  • Screeching - bearings need to be replaced 
  • Humming - capacitor has failed
  • Pops and Clicks - electrical failure 
  • No sound at all - the motor is dead 

How To Tell If A Pool Pump Capacitor Is Bad

Each day, when you turn on your pool pump, the pool pump run capacitor is at play. When yours starts to go faulty, it can affect the pool pump and even prevent it from turning on or starting. Some pumps only have a start capacitor whilst others have both a start and a run capacitor. The average pool pump capacitor measures three to four inches and is cylindrical and long. You can generally find your pool pump capacitor(s) on the pool pump, at the side or top of the pump. The capacitor will be a bump or hump that’s held in place with plastic housing. Four ways to determine if your pool pump capacitor has failed: 

  • Listen -  a faint buzzing sound or a quiet hum coming from your pool pump then that’s a sign that your capacitor has failed
  • Smell - a burnt electrical smell then you have a busted capacitor
  • Age - an average lifespan of 5,000 starts or 10-15 years if you are only using your pump once a day
  • Look - starting to expand like a balloon, then it’s time to replace it
  • How To Tell If A Pool Pump Impeller Is Clogged

    A pump impeller sits behind the pump basket in the part of the pool pump called the Volute (aka Impeller Housing). The pump basket is in place to prevent small debris from entering the volute and possibly clogging the impeller. Even with the pump basket in place, very small debris can pass through the pump basket, and clog the impeller. There are five ways to be able to tell if your pump impeller is clogged:

    • The pump is making cavitation noises – loud, low grinding noise.
    • The filter pressure is about half of what it normally reads.
    • The pump basket doesn’t fill up with water (as seen through a clear lid).
    • The water in the pump is slowly moving, or swirling.
    • The water flow is diminished or lower than normal.

    If you are still not sure if your pool pump went bad, please contact your local pool professional to come out and take a look for you. If you are still having questions about your pool pump please take a look at the links below to learn more. Please feel free to call us and we direct you in the right direction. 

    If you are looking for a new pump we recommend Pentair's brand new pump the IntelliFlo3 3.0HP. Please click on the link to learn more about the pump and please feel free to get in contact with us if you have any questions. 

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