Noisy Pool Pump Motor (Part One)

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Image from West Wood Pools

When it comes to pool efficiency, it should be a seamless and noiseless process, but the pump motor can cause a raucous if improperly installed or maintained. If you notice any noise from the pump motor, it could be a sign of improver function, and it could be on its way to burning out. But there's no need to panic, since there are a number of things you can do.

Where to Start

The problem may be as simple as fixing the base of the system. The mechanics of the pump and filter will vibrate if sitting on an uneven foundation. Having a much firmer base could solve the problem. If you find the problem is not that simple, it could be the inner mechanics, but this can also be an easy process. If you notice any moisture at the base, you could have a seal breech. If this is the problem, you'll need to replace the pump seal and gaskets replaced, and maybe the motor as well. If dealing with a motor below 2 HP, you may want to consider replacing it entirely; however, replacing the motor can be expensive, so be sure to take into a pool repair shop to have it tested.

Another simple problem is air escaping into the filtration. This can happen if the water can fall to the level as the faceplate. The air can interfere with the vacuuming mechanism of the pump, putting more stress on the pump itself. This can be remedied by simply adding more water to the pool.

Digging Deeper

Check the skimmer and pump basket to make sure there are no foreign objects stuck inside. When it comes to debris, the motor has to work twice as hard to suck water from the pool and push it back out to the pool, much in the same way as the clogged arteries of a heart.

If you need to dig deeper, open the impeller, but unplug the pump and turn off the filter first. Open the lid and pull out the basket so you can reach down the tube for any debris down into the impeller. Feel the impeller to see if there is anything clogging the system.


Clogged Impeller. Photo from Mike the Pool Man

If all is clear, you may want to adjust the impeller, since it may be loose, or it may need to be replaced altogether.

If it is not the pump basket or impeller, it may be a more complex problem, which requires the replacement of bearings, but this is a technical procedure that could require the help of a technician if you are not familiar with doing it on your own. But, if you think you're up to the task, you can do it on your own.

Stay tuned for my next piece on replacing the motor.

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