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How Long Do Pool Pumps Last? An Expert Weighs In

Pool pumps are sturdy, durable machines that are built to last a long time. However, even the best pool pumps that are given the most meticulous care will eventually wear out.

So, how long can you expect a pool pump to last?

Pool pumps last between 8 to 12 years, depending on the make, model, and how well you take care of them. Make sure your pool pump doesn’t run with air in the system, and don’t forget to fix any leaks as quickly as possible. You can usually repair a pool pump without replacing the whole unit.

In this article, I’ll discuss when you should replace your pool pump, how to know if it’s time to get a new one, and if your pump is worth fixing. Let’s get started!

When Should I Replace My Pool Pump?

You should replace your pool pump when the motor overheats or when the shaft or bearings need to be replaced.

Broken bearings and shafts typically ruin the rest of the motor, which means you should get a new one. However, you can replace the motor instead of the whole pump if you want to save money.

Proper maintenance will help your pump last as long as possible. Make sure you clean the baskets, lubricate the seals, and never run the pump with air in the plumbing.

You can open the air relief valve on the filter to remove excess air bubbles.

Does it always seem like your pump is overheating?

If so, this could be a sign that it’s time to replace it.

Keep in mind that the aforementioned 8 to 12-year lifespan refers to the motor.

Your pump consists of a motor, pump housing, impeller, capacitor, and a few seals.

You’ll likely have to replace the seals, impeller, and capacitor within four to five years.

Another situation in which you should replace your pool pump is if you have a single-speed model. Single-speed pool pumps are loud, inefficient, and break a lot.

I recommend upgrading to a variable-speed pump.

The Pentair Superflo Variable Speed Pump is a 1.5HP pump that lets you program its speed and schedule. These pumps use the same footprint as most other Pentair pumps, so they’re a plug-and-play replacement.

You’ll save plenty of money on your utility bills, not to mention how much quieter the Superflo is compared to most 1.5HP pumps.

How Do You Know When Your Pool Pump Is Going Bad?

You know when your pool pump is going bad if it always overheats, makes grinding noises, or if the motor doesn’t work.

You can replace the seals, gaskets, lids, and other components without getting a new motor. However, pump motors cost almost as much as a full pump, so you might consider replacing the pump.

Here’s a handful of signs your pool pump is going bad:

  • If your pool pump can’t hold a strong suction, it might need to be replaced. Old, worn pool pumps can’t hold a strong suction. This issue occurs when the motor fails and can’t provide the power that it used to. Make sure you unclog the pump basket, skimmer basket, and filter to fix the suction.
  • Pumps that constantly make loud noises like grinding, humming, and screeching should be replaced. These sounds typically come from stripped, corroded bearings. Unfortunately, broken motor bearings are usually too difficult to replace, not to mention the fact that they immediately damage the rest of the pump.
  • The pump might be going bad if every capacitor you attach to it fails. A pump capacitor acts as a battery. It starts the motor, but the motor might pull too much power or not supply enough power if it’s damaged. You shouldn’t have to replace the capacitor more than once every four or five years.
  • Failing pool pumps overheat, trip the breaker, and turn off randomly. These are all signs of a motor that needs to be replaced. The motor causes an amp overload that trips the breaker, grinds the bearings, and destroys the motor windings. You should be able to touch the motor without burning your hand.
  • The pump is on its way out if the windings or shaft are damaged. Pump motor windings and shafts can be replaced, but they typically need professional repairs. These fixes cost almost as much as getting a new motor. Furthermore, scorched windings and a bent shaft can ruin the motor, so you might as well replace the whole thing.

As you can see, these damages are cause for concern. You shouldn’t use a damaged pool pump because it could cause sparks, smoke, and fires.

Furthermore, it could trip the breaker until it causes permanent electrical problems to the bus bar.

Read on if you want to know if your pump is worth repairing.

Is It Worth Fixing a Pool Pump?

It’s worth fixing a pool pump if the motor is in good condition. You can replace all of the other pump parts relatively inexpensively.

However, I suggest replacing the whole pump if you have a single-speed motor. Variable-speed pumps are budget-friendly, energy-efficient, and programmable. These pumps also come with warranties between three to five years.

It’s worth fixing a pool pump if you only have to replace the following parts:

  • Capacitor
  • Impeller
  • Shaft seal
  • Pump housing assembly
  • Lid
  • O-rings
  • Gaskets
  • Unions

It’s not worth repairing the pump if it has these issues:

  • Single-speed pump (it should be replaced with a modern variable-speed pump)
  • Broken motor (replacing the motor costs almost as much as replacing the whole pump)

If your pump makes a clicking noise, it could be that you chose the wrong motor. An up-rated motor should be replaced with an up-rated motor, and a full-rated motor should be replaced with a full-rated motor.

This is one of the few situations where it makes more sense to replace the motor rather than get a brand-new pump.

Pro-tip: Some pool companies offer extended warranties of up to five years on their equipment if you get them professionally installed. DIY installations often void the warranty or cut it down to a standard two-year warranty.