Want to know why many pool owners invest in pool pump repair and pool pump maintenance? That’s because your swimming pool pump is considered the heart and soul of your pool system. Your pool pump is responsible for proper pool water circulation which can be a problem, if and when, it breaks down. Without proper pool water circulation, the pool water can be stagnant and other functions your pool pump has to offer, such as heating and cleaning, can be significantly affected.

But isn’t pool pump repair expensive? Well, depending on how you look at it, asking a professional to carry out swimming pool pump repair and maintenance services can spell the difference between a simple maintenance appointment or a major undertaking. Pool professionals, like us, at Central OC Pools, are backed by licensed technicians who are adept in servicing various types of pool pumps of different makes and models.

Today, we’ll look into some of the things you can do on your own to diagnose and address some of the more common issues your pool pump might face before you call a pool professional.

1. Air in Pump Basket

Swimming pool pumps are designed and engineered to operate free of air which allows the pump to create the necessary vacuum. Unwanted air usually develops in the pump basket and could easily be spotted if you’re using a pool pump that has a clear lid made to observe these issues. One of the most common reasons for getting air in your pump basket is a loose inlet fitting. Your inlet fitting can shrink in size because it’s exposed to too much heat or your contractor might have installed the inlet fitting without a sealant. Other things like too low of a water level or if the skimmer weir has been stuck in the “up” position, or if the pump basket is not properly secured. Either way, any of these things can cause air to develop in the pump basket and cause a slew of issues like the reduction of the pool pump’s filtering efficiency, preventing the pool pump from catching prime, and even allow dangerous air to build up in the pool filter.

Here’s what you can do if you suspect there’s air in the pump basket.

  • Replace the pump inlet fitting if it loose.
  • Add water to your pool if the water level is too low.
  • Check the skimmer weir as being stuck in the “up” position can block the water and cause it to drain and take in air.
  • Secure the pump basket lid and lubricate the O-ring with Teflon lube.
  • Check the drain plugs for missing O-rings and Teflon tapes.

2. Noisy Pump Motor

It’s not normal for your pool pump motor to produce too much noise. You’ll know it because you would have observed the sound your pool pump makes before it makes excessive noise. POol pumps will usually have a humming sound as opposed to a screeching noise and is an obvious indication that there is something wrong.

Here are a few things you might want to check.

  • Damaged bearings.
  • Cavitation.
  • Tension and traction.

Your pool pump will have bearings that are usually located at the front and at the back of the motor shaft. Like most moving parts, these bearings are subject to wear and tear. The front and rear bearings will have to be replaced as they cannot be re-packed or re-lubricated. While replacing things inside the motor usually requires the assistance of a professional, you can replace it on your own. With the user manual on your side you can find out how to remove and replace the bearings and identify the bearing size. You will usually find a three or four-digit number stamped on the bearing indicating its size.

If you’re not sure whether it’s the bearing or not, take the motor off the pump and power it on. If the problem is with the bearings, the motor will continue to screech even when disconnected from the wet end of the pool pump.

If your pool pump continues to make (growling) noise, you might be faced with cavitation. Cavitation happens when there are rapid changes in water pressure which causes the formation of small vapor-filled cavities in areas where the water pressure is relatively low. It’s also caused by starving the pool pump of water. In other cases, cavitation is also caused by a clogged impeller or too powerful a pump for your plumbing set. Check the pump for any obstructions that may block the water from getting sucked into the pump.

Tension and traction can also cause the motor to make unnecessary noise. This happens when the components of the pool pump hit each other. The impeller can become loose and hit the impeller housing causing the noise which won’t take long for the impeller to break or the fan to wear out.

3. Pump Motor Hums But Does Not Start

In some cases, your pool pump will make the right humming noise but will fail to start. It usually happens at the beginning of the pool season when it’s the first time you start the motor after a long break. Pool professionals often call it a frozen motor, this is when rust might have had the time to develop between the stator and the rotor inside your pool pump’s motor. The rust freezes the motor and inhibits it from movement resulting in the low hum but the failure to start.

It can also be caused by a low voltage which causes the motor to hum but not start. Pool pumps equipped with newer motors are wired with 220 volts and anywhere under that will only cause the motor to hum.

Lastly, the impeller may be clogged by debris that it prevents the motor shaft from moving. In some rare cases, the impeller can accumulate a large number of dirt and debris that it literally stops the shaft from making any movement.

Here’s what you can do should you find yourself in any of these situations.

First, if you have a clogged impeller, cut the power off your pool pump and manually spin the motor shaft. Dirt and debris trapped in the impeller are usually small and any obstruction they make can be removed by forcing the shaft to move. If in any case it doesn’t, simply remove the motor from the pump and clean the impeller.

Next, if you’re faced with a frozen motor, check the pool pump housing and look for an open volute that allows you visual access to the shaft. If your pool pump does not have any, access the shaft via the rear of the motor. Place a wrench on the shaft so you can move it back and forth. Loosen the shaft to dislodge any rust buildup which will then allow the motor to start.

Lastly, for low voltage, simply connect the pool pump on an outlet with the right power output.

4. Pool Pump Motor Cycling

When you pool pump powers on and then shuts itself off, this is something what we call a cycling pool pump motor. One of the common reasons it may encounter this problem is because the pool pump is overheating. The average temperature that pool pump motors operate in is around over 140 degrees making them somewhat hot to the touch. Anything above that can cause the motor to overheat and cause the motor to shut itself off. Make sure that the motor has adequate ventilation as it can easily cause overheating. If possible, dust off any debris to give the motor some room to breathe.

5. Pool Pump Motor Not Powering

You may also be faced with a pool pump motor that does not start at all and this issue can be caused by a lot of things.

First, check if the wires of the pool pump connected to the outlet are in proper condition. Any damage might cause electrical issues. Next, check for any infestation. Should ants or bees make nests on your pool pump, make sure to clean it. Lastly, check if there is power. It could be that the outlet is dead and that the source of the problem is the wall outlet.

Other than that, you might need to contact a pool professional and schedule a pool pump repair. When you decide to send in a professional, make sure to contact us, at Central OC Pools. We’re backed by a team of expert professionals with years of practical experience under their belt. Our technicians are licences, bonded, and insured, so you need not worry about their workmanship and the guarantee that they can fix your pool pump. Other pool pros are quick to advise replacement but our team will help you diagnose the problem and find the best solution without breaking the bank. Should we advise you to replace your pool pump, rest assured that we have your best interest in mind. We’re proud to be one of the best the industry has to offer, we are Central OC Pools.

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