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Troubleshooting Common Problems With a Malfunctioning Pool Pump

A pool pump should last for many years before it needs repair or replacement, but once that pump does start to malfunction, you want to get it fixed as soon as possible. This is because the pump is what pulls water through the pool's filter and helps to circulate chlorine and other chemicals, so a broken pump means that the pool water is not being cleaned as it should. Not only is this unhygienic for swimmers, but this can also mean algae and other build-up along the pool's walls. If your home's pool pump is malfunctioning, note a few common problems that might be the culprit.

Humming motor

If the pool pump is not working, note if you can hear the motor actually humming. If so, this often means that the motor itself is getting power, but is not starting as it should. Usually this is a problem with the capacitor, which is like a battery that gives the motor a quick jolt of power when it starts. This jolt gets the motor spinning, so that it starts to actually pump water. A technician who repairs pool pumps can usually replace the capacitor without having to replace the pump itself.

Loud noises

If the pump is making loud noises, first note the type of noise. A rattling, as if rocks are being tossed around inside the pump, often means that the base of the pump has come loose. You may need to replace the connectors that secure the pump to the pad under it. If the sound is a very loud squealing, this often means that the bearings in the motor are worn and need replacing. These bearings reduce friction in the motor, but they do suffer lots of wear and tear and need frequent replacing.

Slow moving water

If your pump has been working fine for some time, but you suddenly notice that the water seems to be going through the filter too slowly, this can mean a clogged filter or pump basket. If there was a recent storm or other reason for your pool to have more debris than usual, the filter and basket may have become clogged unexpectedly. Air in the lines to the pump can also slow down the pull of water, and this is usually caused by damage to the outside hose leading to the pump. You can visually inspect this hose, or spray it with a bit of shaving foam and see if the foam gets pulled into the hose. If so, the hose needs replacing and the pump needs to be bled.