How to Repair a Pool Pump

pool pump repair

The complete guide to Pool Pump Repair

The pool pump keep the water in a pool clean, hygenic and warm. When a pool pump malfunctions; depending on the problem, you can either fix it yourself or you will need to get an expert to assist you. According to the majority of manufacturers, the lifespan of the average pool pump is 8-10 years. The internet is a great resource tool, and there are plenty of instructional videos to assist you in the repair process. Here are some common pool pump problems and how you can fix them.

Defective Bearings or Stock-Up

Bearings are susceptible to corrosion, vibration and shock , when you start hearing an abnormal sound coming from the motor, its time to get some new bearings. You will need to replace both of them, the front and the back even if only one of them is causing the problem. What you will find is that after replacing one bearing, the second one will break down shortly after, so you might as well sort them out at the same time. Bearings go through more stress than any other part of the motor, which is why they typically break down first.

Dehydrated Pump

Pumps need enough water to run properly, this is referred to as priming. Some models prime themselves, while others need to be primed manually. When the motor is run without any water, it causes the shaft to over speed which eventually leads to it slowing down. To prevent the system from getting even more damaged, turn the motor off or it will overheat and the windings will burn out.

Stock-up Impeller

Impellers get clogged up easily, this is especially true when the water being pumped contains large pieces of debris that could pass through the filter or the strainer accidentally. Sand filters rarely go through this problem. It is also possible that the diffuser bolts, nits and the impeller washer get warn out or become loose and this clogs the system. Large pieces of debris can also clog up the system.

Short Circuit

A short circuit happens when fluid gets trapped inside the windings of the motor. Water can slip through the cracks when it rains heavily.

Overheated Motor

A motor will become overloaded when the grid-current suddenly surges up,  the ampere reading increases, bad bearings or dehydration causes the motor to overspeed. When the bearings are bad, it can cause the stator to rotate and become unbalanced. This causes the windings to become overheated which then burns the coils.

Pump Assembly Unmatched

One of the mistakes that pool owners make is to mismatch the pump assembly. You can avoid unmatched parts by making sure that the drive assembly has the same power as its counterparts. The other part of the motor that must also match are the flanges, the gasket needs to fit and there shouldn’t be any leakages. The flanges bolt holes should also match; if not, the gap will cause the pressure to drop. This pressure drop will keep the pump running which will increase your electricity bill.

How to Fix These Problems

The above problems are pretty common and you can usually fix them yourself by doing the following:


•           Take off the timer box cover start the pump by switching the lever to the “on” or the “manual” position.

•           Take a look at the pump and see if there is a leak where the pipe is connected. Use adjustable pliers and a pipe wrench to tighten the connection. You can do this by fixing the wrench onto the flats on one side of the pipe connection, this will serve as a backup and then use the pliers to tighten the fitting.

There is an attachment between the motor and the basket housing, check to see if there is any water leaking in this area. If you find a leak, turn the motor off at the control box. You will also need to turn the electrical supply off at the breaker panel.

If the pump is not powering up, the breaker might have tripped, have a look to rule out this possibility. Most pool pumps have got two breakers, the one that’s directly connected to the pool pump, and the one that is connected to the sub-panel.

If there is nothing wrong with the breakers, your next step will be to check the timer.

Your next step will be to check to see whether the motor has been plugged in. You will be shocked at how many people make this simple mistake.

O-ring Or Motor Gasket

Turn the outlet and inlet valves off at the pipes for filter system and the pump. This will stop the water in the pipes from flowing back up during the repair.

Unscrew the bolts at the motor mount using a socket and racket or an open-end wrench. Remove the basket housing from the motor by taking off the bolts at the connection. Put the bolts to one side. Don’t lift the motor upwards but pull it away from the housing. Lifting it upwards can break the internal impeller.

Take off the o-ring or gasket at the housing of the rim. Smear some automotive grease around the rim. Measure the holes together so that they are aligned and then push the gasket into place.

Smear some grease along the end of the motor shaft in the middle of the impeller. Put the motor back into position at the rim of the housing and screw the bolts that you put to one side earlier into position. You can screw the motor-mount bolt in using your hands.

Fasten the bolts at the rim, to make sure that the new gasket is not compressed out of shape, you will need to do this in equal increments. Securely tighten the mount bolts.

Open the outlet and inlet valves for the filter system. Switch the electricity supply on at the breaker panel. At the timer box, switch on the motor.

Leave the pump to run for several minutes and pay attention to where the new o-ring or gasket has been connected. Turn the pump off and tighten the bolts. Put the timer control on “automatic” to stop any leaks or drips.

Additional Information

There are also other processes you can follow in order to troubleshoot the problem with your pool pump. For example, if you are having problems with your pump not priming, you need to think about why it won’t prime. There is a possibility that the system has got leaky pipes so you will need to look for leaks. If you can’t find a leak, the problem might be with seal and you will need to replace it.

The good news is that pool pump problems are not that complicated, the average person can fix an issue as long as they are aware of what the problem is. You can purchase the required pool pump parts from your local pool supply store. However, you are more likely to find the cheapest prices if you source the parts on the internet.


If the pump keeps leaking, you will need to contact a professional to take a look at the filter system and the pump.

You might need to replace the O-rim at the rim where the filter basket lid is attached.

You can prevent leaks by maintaining the pump on a regular basis. You can get a maintenance manual at a pool supply store or you can purchase one online.


Before you start working on an electrical motor, make sure you have turned off the electrical supply.