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Pool Pump Problems? Here’s How to Fix Them

Pool pump problems can be frustrating and can disrupt your pool maintenance routine. A malfunctioning pool pump can lead to poor water circulation, inefficient filtration, and even damage to the pump itself. However, many common pool pump problems can be easily fixed with some basic troubleshooting and maintenance. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore some of the most common pool pump problems and provide step-by-step instructions on how to fix them. By following these tips, you can ensure that your pool pump operates smoothly and keeps your pool clean and clear.

1. Pool Pump Not Turning On

One of the most common pool pump problems is when it fails to turn on. If your pool pump is not starting, there are a few potential causes to consider:

  • Check the power supply: Ensure that the pump is properly connected to a power source and that the circuit breaker has not tripped. If the power supply is the issue, reset the breaker or replace any blown fuses.
  • Inspect the motor: Examine the motor for any signs of damage or wear. If the motor is faulty, it may need to be repaired or replaced.
  • Test the capacitor: The capacitor is a small cylindrical device that helps start the motor. If the capacitor is defective, the motor may not start. Use a multimeter to test the capacitor’s continuity and replace it if necessary.

By checking these potential causes, you can identify and resolve the issue preventing your pool pump from turning on.

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2. Pool Pump Not Priming

If your pool pump is running but not priming, meaning it is not pulling water from the pool, there are a few steps you can take to address the problem:

  • Check the water level: Ensure that the water level in the pool is above the skimmer intake. If the water level is too low, the pump may not be able to prime properly.
  • Inspect the skimmer basket and pump basket: Remove any debris or obstructions from the skimmer basket and pump basket. Clogs in these areas can prevent the pump from priming.
  • Check the impeller: The impeller is a rotating component that helps draw water into the pump. If the impeller is clogged or damaged, it may prevent the pump from priming. Remove the pump cover and inspect the impeller for any debris or damage.

By addressing these potential issues, you can ensure that your pool pump is able to prime and effectively circulate water.

3. Pool Pump Not Filtering Properly

If your pool pump is running, but you notice that the water is not being filtered effectively, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can take:

  • Check the filter pressure: High filter pressure can indicate a clogged or dirty filter. Backwash or clean the filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions to restore proper filtration.
  • Inspect the filter media: If you have a sand or DE (diatomaceous earth) filter, check the media for any signs of clogging or deterioration. Replace the media if necessary.
  • Check the pump impeller: A clogged or damaged impeller can reduce the pump’s ability to push water through the filter. Inspect the impeller and clean or replace it if needed.
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By addressing these potential issues, you can ensure that your pool pump is effectively filtering the water and keeping it clean.

4. Pool Pump Making Unusual Noises

If your pool pump is making strange noises, such as grinding, squealing, or rattling, it may indicate a problem that needs attention. Here are some possible causes and solutions:

  • Check for debris: Foreign objects, such as leaves or small rocks, can get stuck in the pump impeller or motor, causing unusual noises. Inspect the pump and remove any debris.
  • Inspect the bearings: Worn-out or damaged bearings can cause grinding or squealing noises. If the bearings are the issue, they may need to be lubricated or replaced.
  • Examine the motor: A loose or misaligned motor can create rattling noises. Ensure that the motor is securely fastened and aligned properly.

By addressing these potential causes, you can eliminate the unusual noises and prevent further damage to your pool pump.

5. Pool Pump Overheating

If your pool pump is overheating, it can lead to motor failure and other serious issues. Here are some steps to take if your pump is overheating:

  • Check the motor ventilation: Ensure that the motor has proper ventilation and is not obstructed by debris or objects. Clean any obstructions and ensure that the motor has adequate airflow.
  • Inspect the impeller: A clogged or damaged impeller can cause the motor to work harder and overheat. Clean or replace the impeller if necessary.
  • Check the voltage: High or low voltage can cause the motor to overheat. Use a multimeter to measure the voltage and ensure that it is within the manufacturer’s recommended range.
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By addressing these potential causes, you can prevent your pool pump from overheating and extend its lifespan.


Pool pump problems can be frustrating, but with some basic troubleshooting and maintenance, many issues can be resolved. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can fix common pool pump problems such as failure to turn on, priming issues, inadequate filtration, unusual noises, and overheating. Regular maintenance and prompt attention to any issues can help keep your pool pump running smoothly and ensure that your pool stays clean and clear. Remember to consult the manufacturer’s instructions and seek professional assistance if needed. With proper care, your pool pump will provide years of reliable service.

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