9 Troubleshooting Tips For Your Pool Pump Not Working

Pool pump malfunctions rarely occur if the pump is installed correctly. But it can still happen that the pump sucks in some air or, in the worst case, does not circulate the water at all.

If the pool pump does not work anymore, the pressure may be too high, or the impeller is clogged. Often, the cause of poor performance is a clogged impeller. In the worst case, the ball bearing is destroyed, or the pump housing is broken.

If there is a problem with the pump, it is important to act quickly to avoid cloudy pool water and bigger damages. In this post, you will find troubleshooting tips for your pool pump.

# 1 Pool pump is too weak

A common problem that beginners have with pool pumps is that the pump sucks too weakly and that the filtration of the water is accordingly poor.

This could possibly if one of the following error causes.

  • Too high pressure: A high pressure – which can be read on the pressure meter on the filter housing – causes the pump to suck too weakly. In this case, it is sufficient to backwash the pool filter once until the pressure decreases.
  • Clogged impeller: If the pressure is normal and the pump still has poor performance, the impeller may be blocked by leaves or needles. The leaves and needles between the pre-filter and the impeller can often be easily pulled out.
  • Dirty impeller: If the first two methods do not help normalize the performance of the pool pump, then the channels of the impeller must be cleaned.

But maybe your pool pump is too weak for your pool and needs to be replaced accordingly?

You can read in my blog article how to find the right pool pump for the pool and check the compatibility of the current pump. Just click on the link.

Tip: If the suction power of the pool vacuum is too weak, it may be due to a weak pump. You can try to close the floor drain – if there is one – beforehand and thus increase the suction power.

# 2 The pool pump is leaking

If leaks can be seen at the connection between the pool and the pump, this is usually because the screw connection is bad. Check the screw connections and tighten them a little if possible.

But if the pool pump itself is leaking, then the groove is likely clogged with needles or leaves.

Sometimes it is enough to remove the foreign dirt (needles or leaves) from the groove so that the pump works properly again.

The groove is not clogged, and your pool pump still has a leak?

Sometimes the seal on the pre-filter deforms if it does not fit properly. In this case, you can try to turn the rubber around the seal of the pre-filter.

However, if the seal between the motor housing of the pool pump leaks, the seal must be replaced entirely.

# 3 Pool pump hums loudly and clacks

If the pool pump is more than 5 years old, it can start to hum, clack or whine.

This is bad: Ball-bearing damage is probably the reason, and the pump needs to be overhauled.

Depending on the model, a repair may be worthwhile, or a new purchase may be necessary.

Check out my blog post – linked above – to compare the best pumps for the pool. If you don’t want to search long, the following pool pump is recommended.

However, I recommend that you rule out all other errors before buying a new pump and use the internal search function on my site to obtain further information on pool technology.

# 4 Pump beats and sucks intermittently

A reduced suction line – which is smaller than the suction port of the pool pump – causes the pump to suck intermittently and become loud.

The problem can be minimized by opening the floor connection a little to continuously flow the water. The disadvantage is that the suction power of the pool vacuum decreases.

For a better suction performance of the pool vacuum, the suction line should be replaced accordingly and adapted to the suction port of the pool pump.

Alternatively, you can clean the floor without the hydraulic pool vacuum and use a battery vacuum cleaner.

Tip: If the pool vacuum cleaner does not suck properly, then the source of the error does not necessarily have to be with the pool pump. You can find more tips on troubleshooting the pool vacuum in my other blog article.

# 5 The pool pump doesn’t draw water and draws in air

If the pool pump does not draw water and only sucks, air may be a leaky screw connection. Try to tighten the screws with light pressure to fix the problem.

Another cause of the error can be a worn cover seal – an indication of this are visible air bubbles when the pool pump is operating.

The problem can also be caused by water loss in the pool or incorrectly positioned suction lines when installing the pump.

In the worst case, the pool pump housing cracked because you didn’t use Teflon tape during installation.

Always use Teflon tape to seal the pool pump and avoid tapes made of hemp!

Tightening the intake manifold too tightly can also cause the housing to crack. That is why you should always work with light pressure and later tighten the screw connection moderately if necessary.

# 6 Pool pump switches off continuously

If the pool pump switches itself off all the time and a normal operation is not possible, then this is often due to the electrical system.

First, check whether the fuses have at least 5.5 A and are sufficiently high.

The thermal switch may interrupt the running behavior of the pool pump if it has overheated – a properly installed pump will be warm but never too hot.

The high heat development can indicate bearing damage. This happens correspondingly often when the pump is 5 years or older.

In the worst case, the motor is defective, and the pool pump must be replaced.

Tip: You can find out how you can keep your pool clean in the meantime without a pump in the blog under the link.

# 7 The pump won’t start

If the pool pump does not start, then you have to proceed as follows:

  1. Take a phase tester and check whether there is a voltage on the pump and the fuse box – if in doubt, please let a specialist check the voltage.
  2. If both are negative, the fuses and cable contacts must be checked.

If there is voltage and the pump still does not want to start, either the shaft is blocked, or the capacitor is defective.

The capacitor could also be replaced after removing the pump from the system as a beginner. The repair is at your own risk and with no liability whatsoever.

Tip: The capacitor should have the same capacity as the existing capacitor.

# 8 Pool pump stall and runs dry

The pool pump runs dry if the water level falls below the skimmer.

In this case, the pool must first be refilled with sufficient water before filling the pump basket and then attempting a restart – this is important so that no air is sucked in.

If the attempt to restart fails and the pump threatens to run dry again, the problem may be a leak in the pipe system.

If the line to the skimmer is broken, it must be replaced by a flexible pipe.

#9 Pool pump motor burned out

If your pool pump burned out, it might be because of a defective motor or because of the circuit breaker tripping.

Pool pump motors have been known to burn out from time to time, leading to a pool pump replacement.

Pool pumps are usually driven by a large electric motor with a set life span of about 2-3 years under regular use.

If your pool pump burned out due to a motor defect, you will need to replace the entire pool pump.

If your pool pump burned out because it tripped a circuit breaker, then there is a good chance that the plug’s prongs have been pinched or something else has happened to cause too much current draw on one circuit.

Pool pumps usually have a circuit breaker dedicated to them, but if the prongs have been pinched, this can cause a bit of resistance and result in an overload.

The best way to minimize the risk is to use a ground fault interrupter with your pool pump or move it to another circuit that does not have a GFI on it.

A ground fault interrupter can be installed to prevent overloads and overheat issues.

Tips for handling the pool pump

The correct handling of pool technology, especially the pool pump, needs to be learned.

That’s why you can find more helpful tips that came to my mind.

4 signs of an impending pump failure

A faulty pool pump does not necessarily have to be replaced immediately. In most cases, the damage can be repaired in just a few simple steps.

But some errors are an indication that the pump is no longer running and, in the worst-case suffers a total defect.

If the pump frequently struggles with the following problems, purchasing a new one will soon be necessary.

  • Loud clicking: The camp is probably over if the pump hums and clicks. In this case, you should look around for a replacement pump in good time.
  • Constantly low pressure: If the skimmer and the pump basket are clean and the pressure on the filter is constantly low, this indicates that the impeller is worn.
  • Leak in the pump housing: A leak in the pump housing can often be remedied by replacing the seal on the motor shaft. If the pump continues to leak frequently, this is a sign of natural wear and tear.
  • Air is constantly being sucked in: Have you replaced all the seals, and the pump is still sucking in air? Then a component may be bent, or the pump housing may have cracked.

If you are sure that the pool pump needs to be replaced, don’t wait too long.

The pool water can turn green and cloudy overnight during the high season if the pool pump run times are too short.

As always, you can find more on this topic in the blog under the link.

How to test a pool pump capacitor?

It helps to know how to check if your capacitor works or not working in your pump.

There are two types of capacitors C1 and C2.

C1 capacitors have two sets of terminals or connectors on them.

If the capacitor has only one set of terminals or connectors, it is a C2 capacitor – C2 capacitors are a little difficult to test.

But how do you test a pool pump capacitor if it works?

First, you need to take off all the wires from the capacitor and place them away safely.

  1. First, take off the red wire of your capacitor. Now connect it to the green terminal on your new capacitor.
  2. Now take off the black wire from your old pool pump capacitor and place it into the blue terminal of the new pool pump capacitor.
  3. Now check if both are correctly connected. There should be no sparking seen between them. If you do not see any sparking, then it means that your capacitor works.

Like I said: If the capacitor is a C2 type, there are three sets of terminals A, B, and C.

  1. You need to connect the red wire of your old pump capacitor with the terminal marked A or B.
  2. Now connect the black wire of your old pump capacitor with the terminal marked as C. Now all three terminals are connected.
  3. If you see sparking between A and B or A and C, then it means that your capacitor is faulty.
  4. Whereas if you do not see any sparking at all, it means that your pump works fine.

Tip: Never connect your capacitor with the help of a screwdriver. You need to use a good quality insulated wire nut for connecting two wires securely.

If your pump capacitor fails, you can buy a new one from your local store or online.

Find replacement parts for the pool pump

Over time, the pool pump malfunctions and problems that you can fix even as a beginner.

However, test devices such as a phase tester and spare parts are necessary.

You can buy cheap spare parts such as seals, fuses, or a capacitor from online retailers.

You can often buy spare parts from other manufacturers.

This becomes problematic with pumps from no-name brands, as these are only sold somewhere abroad by a third-party manufacturer.

That is why it is worth buying a pool pump from well-known manufacturers.

How is the pool pump overwintered?

If the pool is shut down entirely in winter, the filter system and the pool pump must be stored accordingly.

  1. Empty the filter system and the pool pump to avoid ice formation.
  2. After emptying, the pump is disinfected and cleaned to prevent bacteria and germs from forming.
  3. Then let the pump dry in a shady place – no direct sunlight.
  4. Store the pump in a dry place until the pool is over for winter.

It is best to place a building protection mat or another soft surface such as a yoga mat under the pump and not stow anything over it.

Tip: You can learn more about the pool pump in my other blog post. I listed there the most common questions.

If you have any further questions about the pool pump, you can write to me directly on social channels such as Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest at @contactswimfool.

Note: In the article, you will find possible causes of errors and possible solutions. Please understand that I am not responsible for any damage to the equipment. The repair is done at your own risk and to exclude any liability on my part.

I wish you good luck repairing your pool pump!

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Hi. I'm Max Berg. I've been in the pool industry since 2015 and have always felt drawn to water. I'm the author behind swimfool.com, where I share my years of experience in pool maintenance and give helpful tips on keeping a swimming pool or hot tub clean. My tips reduce the costs of water treatment and protect the environment.

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