Pool Heaven's Pool School
Pool Pump Repair
One of the most common repairs with swimming pools is the pool pump repair. You can expect to replace your pool pump motor every 5 to 10 years. Like pool heaters, innovation has added some new bells and whistles to pool pumps which also need repair and add to expense. The good news is that you can also expect energy savings thanks to innovation.
Variable speed pumps are going to be the norm soon especially for pool/spa combos where you need higher horsepower for jet action and do not have an isolated spa jet pump. Most swimming pools or spas do not need more than a 3/4 horsepower pump unless there is solar heating, a very long or uphill plumbing run between your skimmer and pump, or spa jet demand from your filter pump. Laws and regulations are changing to make these variable speed pumps the norm for all pool/spa filter pumps.
We will discuss additional expense/repair needs for variable speed pumps below, but let’s look at common pool pump repair. Some common symptoms of need for pool pump repair are loud, whining pumps when running, visible leaks or water sitting underneath pool pump, low filter pressure, or no action.
ONLY STATE LICENSED POOL REPAIR CONTRACTORS SHOULD ATTEMPT ANY POOL PUMP REPAIR OR POOL EQUIPMENT REPAIRS!!
LOUD WHINING FROM POOL PUMP
Is your pool pump screeching and loud? This usually means that your motor bearings are bad. This pool pump repair usually involves replacing your pool pump motor. Pool pump motors have a lifespan of around 5 to 10 years and your pool pump may still work fine even with this screeching sound. It is an annoyance and this loud motor can disturb your neighbors.
Sometimes the noise will decrease and increase depending on weather conditions. This annoyance is more common during rain or wet conditions especially in the winter. We will replace the motor, shaft seal, gaskets, and any other degraded parts inside the pump with a pool motor replacement job.
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MOTOR REPLACEMENT CAN LEAD TO PUMP REPLACEMENT
The motor is the round, metal tube like portion at the back of the pool pump (#26). The motor has a shaft connected to an impeller which spins inside a diffuser that propels water in and out of the pump. Once opened up, we will inspect the the pump housing, diffuser, impeller, and other parts that may need repair or replacement. Some pumps have issues during the reconstruction which is why we usually warn our customers that they may need a new pump if the pool pump has issues after the motor replacement.
Reconstruction issues include leaking, improper fitting, and old age. Pool pump components form and move through their every day use and the metal threading and plastic connections can decompose, crack, or just not maintain enough integrity to gain a water tight connection. Certain pumps are more prone to these issues and we try to warn our customers about these complications before opening the pool pump. Sometimes we may recommend pool pump replacement rather than pool motor replacement if our customers have certain pumps or the pool pump is old.
We also try to consider costs of the pool pump repair with parts and uncertainty in addition to current energy inefficiency. For instance, old metal pumps have hard to find parts and require special tools and more labor. This plus major energy inefficiency makes us replace these pumps rather than attempt any repair. The savings in energy efficiency outweigh any savings in the repair. This goes for all pumps and we always consider that some of the pool pump parts like the seal plate, volute, and pot can be very expensive and your money would be better spent on a new pump with more longevity. Our rule of thumb comes from putting ourselves in the customer’s position. Which option is better financially over the long run?
POOL PUMP LEAKING OR SITTING WATER UNDERNEATH
Another obvious sign of pool pump repair need is visible leaking or water underneath pool pump. This can be bad gaskets, cracking, shaft seal, seal plate, or just old age. This pool pump repair requires opening up the pool pump if sound enough and replacing all necessary parts. We usually call these type of pool pump repairs rebuilding the pump and we never know how many parts will need replacement until we open it up. We also consider the age of the motor, because it may be a good time to replace the motor as well.
Visible leaking or water pooling around the pool pump could also be from the plumbing of the suction and/or return pump nipples. These threaded pipes may just need tightening or replumbing, but over time they do lose their water tight connection from all the work that the pool pump does. The pool pump is the heart of your pool system and exudes a lot of force which will eventually stress plumbing and/or parts.
LACK OF WATER MOVEMENT COULD SIGNAL NEED FOR POOL PUMP REPAIR
Sometime the pool pump sounds like it is on, but water is not moving. This could be a couple of things like a broken or blocked impeller or an internal diffusion problem. Check your filter pressure gauge to confirm lack of pressure if you think this is your problem. If you have lower than normal filter pressure, your pool pump impeller may be blocked or something may be wrong internally. We will inspect and confirm that your pool pump impeller is unobstructed, clean, and moving before we open up and inspect pump internals.
LIGHT HUMMING OR NO ACTION COULD MEAN POOL PUMP REPAIR NEEDED
If your pump is not coming on at all or making a slight humming sound, your motor may have died. We will then check to make sure that the motor is getting adequate electricity voltage and confirm if motor is bad or something wrong with the electricity feed.
VARIABLE SPEED POOL PUMP REPAIR OR REPLACEMENT
Variable speed pumps are more expensive to buy, install, and repair, so this needs to be noted. There are more parts that may need pool pump repair and sometimes electronics are involved in addition to more expensive parts and motors. Like pool heaters which you can read about on our pool heater page, innovation comes at a cost. We are going through the learning curve with this innovation.
Variable speed pool pumps have the same repairs as listed above, but a few more parts which can be costly. The variable speed pool pump motor costs roughly twice as much as a single speed motor. In addition, variable speed pool pumps have a motor speed drive which is around the same price as the variable speed pool pump motor.
Longevity of these variable speed pool pumps and their components is still being discovered, but the energy savings can be dramatic especially when replacing pool pumps with 1.5 hp or over. We have heard of customers saving anywhere from $20 per month to $100 or more depending on the size of the old pool pump.
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