Troubleshooter: Pool Pump Problems

Your pump is one of the main components of your swimming pool. It makes sure your pool water passes through the filtration system, which means it’s directly responsible for ensuring your pool water remains fresh and enticing every day.

If your swimming pool looks scummy, it’s possible your pool pump is malfunctioning. Given its importance as the heart of your pool circulation system, you’ll want to ensure any problems are checked out and sorted out as soon as possible.


When troubleshooting a pool pump, it’s important you understand the main issues that can be associated with pump problems. For instance, your pump might be:

  • Pulling water
  • Making noise
  • Sucking air
  • Turning on and off after heating
  • Leaking
  • Losing power
  • Not priming fully
  • Humming

Here are some of the most common pool pump problems alongside a range of possible solutions.

The pump is not pulling water

A primed pump stimulates a constant flow of water. It sends it through the filtration system and makes sure your pool water maintains clarity and cleanliness.

So if your pump isn’t pulling water, you need to check that the skimmer and pump baskets aren’t clogged and restricting water flow. The pool filter should also be empty and clean.

If they’re clean and you’re still having problems, open up the pump to see whether the impeller connected to the motor is clogged. This may need cleaning as well.

Check out this handy video below to see what problems could be preventing your pool pump from priming.


The pump loses power

For your pump to work, you need to have the motor functioning at all times. If it doesn’t work, or turns off after a while, there are a multitude of possible causes.

First check your power supply and breaker. Make sure your timer is scheduled to turn the pump on and then listen for humming or clicking.

If you hear humming, your pump capacitor (something like the battery) could be the issue and may need replacing.

Alternatively if your pump keeps switching off, it could be overheating – especially if it’s one of those sweltering summer days when the whole neighbourhood has their air con turned on. This is a particularly troublesome issue for older, single-speed pumps. Try running your pump at night instead.

Otherwise, you could have a vent blockage or motor fan failure. Check that there is no build-up of dirt and leaves over your vents.

The pumps sucks air

The pump might also be problematic if it is sucking in air. A functioning pool pump is airtight, though you often get small air leaks. These are fine – it’s when you have a massive leak that there’s a problem.

A big air leak can cause your circulation system troubles or prevent your pump from priming. You can typically tell if your pump is drawing air, because you’ll notice air bubbles coming out of your pool returns.

Check all your pipes for poor thread sealant, a leaky valve stem, or a break in the plumbing. These may need replacing.

It can be tricky to where exactly the leak is but here’s a handy trip – and this is not a joke.

Shaving cream.

Spread shaving cream over the suction side joints and fittings. Make sure the pump motor is on. Your shaving cream will start to be sucked in wherever the leak is – and that’s the part that will need repairs or replacing.

The pumps leaks water

Pump leaks generally signify that there will be a component of your pump needing replacing. This could be the impeller housing oring, a shaft seal, a thread sealant, or a pipe.

To avoid such problems, you need to make sure that when a new motor is installed, a whole seal kit is installed as well.  This should include a seal plate, a pump seal, a gasket and a diffuser. This will help ensure you don’t overhaul the pump if leaks occur.

Need more help?

The pool pump is perhaps the most important components of your pool – your pool can’t work effectively without it. So it’s important it’s up to scratch so it’s as efficient as possible.

If you’ve tried to identify the problem – or have identified it but can’t rectify it – don’t worry. That’s what we’re here for. Our experts from AOL Pool Shop understand everything there is to know about pool parts and services.

At the AOL Pool Shop, you can get all the parts you need to replace a worn piece of your pool pump. We also supply a top range of the latest pool pumps on the market, should yours needs replacing.

But we offer even more than that. Get in touch with us and one of our pool experts will gladly visit your home to perform any pool service or maintenance you require.

Comments are closed.