Troubleshooting: Common Pool Pump Problems

An indoor pump.

A pool pump creates pressure within the pool, which, in turn, forces the water through the filter. The water then gets purified. It removes dirt, debris, and foreign materials from the pool, filters the water, and pumps back clean water.

Occasionally, pool pumps unexpectedly cease working or stop to function as required. As a result, the pool water develops turbidity, stinks, and gets a soapy texture. Read on to troubleshoot the most common problems of pool pumps.


Sometimes your pool pump motor is noisy when in operation. In most cases, the noise is due to pump vibration. Check carefully whether any screws of the pump motor base are loose. If anything is loose, screw it tightly. If there is a gap between the pump and its base, fill that gap by sliding in rubber pads or mats to stop the vibration. Occasionally, when fewer amounts of water enter the pump, it sucks in more water. Consequently, it spins faster and, thereby, creates a lot of noise. In such cases, the noise goes away automatically without much effort.

Pump Is Not Working

The underlying cause of most cases of dysfunctional pumps is a loose connection. Other causes include a blown fuse of the motor power board, voltage fluctuations, and the absence of electricity supply. If you are wet, dry your self thoroughly and wear rubber slippers while attempting to fix such problems. Using a voltmeter, check all power supply sources and try to find out the exact source of trouble. If the wiring, power supplies, and power points are fully functional, then you may need to resort to professional help.

Pump Is Not Pulling Water

An outdoor pool.

In case your pump is not pulling enough water, check whether anything is stuck in the skimmer and pump basket. Over a period of time, mud gets deposited on these components. Water flow is affected and the pump stops pulling water. Another reason that causes the pump to stop pulling water is the jamming of the impellers. These components get jammed with entangled strings or dirt that restricts movement. Pry open the pump and remove any debris.

Motor Is Sucking Air

Pool pumps are supposed to be airtight and are made that way. Sometimes, though, small air bubbles find their way into the pump basket. This can be easily observed if your pump has a glass lid. However, water flow stops when the pump sucks in more air than it can handle. This is mostly due to a minor leakage in one of the gaskets or valve. One way to determine if this is case is to spread shaving foam on the entire pump and observe where the foam is being sucked from. Once the leakage point has been located, determine the amount of damage. In extreme cases, simply replace the part or use some waterproof adhesive to seal the leak.