Troubleshooting Above Ground Pool Pump Troubles

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  • Intermediate

An above-ground pool pump is typically easy to operate and work on. Many home pool systems utilize these pumps. If something isn't working right with the pump there are several things you can check before you replace it or hire a professional.

Noisy Pumps

An above-ground pool pump is going to be noisier than other models. Since the motor has a fan to cool the mechanics, some noise should be expected. If the pump is abnormally loud there may be a problem. First, check to see if the noise is simply normal vibrations from the pump's operations. Placing a piece of carpet remnant under the pump, or a rubber mat may be enough to quiet the operation. If this doesn't solve the problem, check the bearings. High concentrations of chemicals in the pool can create corrosion to the bearings. If this is the case it's a good idea to have a professional replace the bearings and change the seal.

Bubbles in Pool

Bubbles in the pool can be caused by the pool pump. If the water level in the pool is too low the pump will mix more air in with the water. This will create bubbles. A leak in the piping underground, or a loose joint, can also cause this. Termites and carpenter ants are common problems with flexible pool piping. You can buy special dye kits at any pool supply retailer to locate leaks and holes in piping.

Pump Isn't Priming

A pump that won't prime can also be a concern. There are several reasons this could happen. Check first to ensure there is not a suction leak in the strainer housing. A leak at a joint can also cause a loss of suction. Clogged piping can be another reason the pump won't prime. It's not uncommon to find small debris stuck in the impeller, so check that as well.

The Pump is Turning On and Off

If you notice the pump is cutting on and off every few seconds, chances are the voltage is incorrect. Most pumps will require either a 115 of 230v outlet. If this is happening you need to turn the pump off immediately and call an electrician to correct the problem.

Pump is Overheating

There can be several reasons for an above ground pool pump to run hot. Insufficient power is the most common culprit. This can happen in areas where power is drained from the local power grid during prime hours. If you are experiencing a heatwave, contact your power company to see if this could be an issue. Usually restarting the pump when the temperature has cooled will resolve this problem. If the pump suffers from an overload, the motor will cut off to avoid damage. It should reset itself if this is the problem once the surge has passed.

Pump Won't Run at All

If you can't get the pump to start at all, check the power. You may need to check the breaker it's attached to as well. Some systems will use a timer, and the pump may not come on if the timer isn't set properly or is malfunctioning.