How Do You Troubleshoot Swimming Pool Pumps?

To troubleshoot a swimming pool pump, check the pump baskets and filters for cleanliness, check the pump for leaks, and listen to the engine. Having foam or debris floating on the pool is an obvious sign that the pump is not working, but there are several possible causes.

  1. Check the filters and pump baskets for clogs

    Clear out any debris in the pump baskets around your pool, and look at the filter on the pool pump if no water is moving or the pump is off. Clean or replace the filter (depending on the degree of wear), and put the empty baskets back into their openings. Look at the pump impeller to see if debris has gathered there, and clear away any leaves or other items that have gathered.

  2. Check the timer and listen to the motor

    Make sure that the timer on the pump is set to switch the motor on. Listen to the motor when it starts running; while some clicking is normal, humming can indicate a faulty capacitor, which requires professional service.

  3. Look for leaks

    Check the side of the pump marked "Pressure" for water dripping or pooling on the ground. Follow the instructions in your owner's manual to open that side of the pump, and check the O-ring on the impeller housing for wear, replacing if necessary. Call in a professional if you see a pipe slipping out of the pump. Check the motor for an air leak if the motor is running but water does not move, as the motor may suck in air. Spray shaving cream on the suction side fittings and joints while the motor is running, and watch for the foam starting to change shape if the system sucks it in. Follow the owner's manual to replace the joint or fitting that has sprung the leak.