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Pool Pump Making Clicking Noise? Here’s Why (+ How To Fix)

Pump clicking noises can be worrisome, especially if you recently got a new motor. Most clicking noises are due to electrical issues that can quickly be solved, but some issues are more complicated.

Failure to fix this uncommon sound will eventually result in a blown capacitor, a damaged impeller, and a faulty pump motor. You need to fix the problem quickly before it causes irreversible damage and forces you to replace the entire pump.

Your pool pump is making clicking noises due to one of these causes:

  1. Not enough voltage
  2. Impeller cavitation
  3. Debris in the pump
  4. Incorrect motor type

In this post, you’ll learn how to fix the clicking noises on your swimming pool pump and how to determine whether you need to get a new motor. I’ll also explain how to prevent these noises once you fix the problem.

1. Not Enough Voltage

A lack of proper voltage will make your pump’s motor click and tick. In some cases, your pool pump won’t even start.

This issue often happens when your pump has wiring issues, such as loose, damaged, or exposed wires between the pump and the timer or circuit breaker.

Your pump might not even work at all after a few minutes of clicking.

How To Fix

If your pump isn’t getting enough voltage, try these solutions:

  • Make sure all of the wires are secured by tightening the wire nodes on the pump, timer, and circuit breaker.
  • Check if the motor is a 220v or 110v, then ensure it’s the same as the circuit breaker.
  • Replace the capacitor if it hums and doesn’t supply adequate voltage.

2. Impeller Cavitation

An impeller cavitates when there’s not enough water in the system. Too much air will apply excessive pressure to the impeller, creating small divots.

These divots click and bring air into the plumbing, worsening the problem. Fortunately, yu=ou can save the impeller if it’s not too corroded, loose, or damaged.

How To Fix

To prevent impeller cavitation, use O-ring lube on all of the gaskets and prime your pump with these steps:

  1. Turn off the circuit breaker going to the pool pump.
  2. Remove the pump lid and fill the basket with a garden hose or bucket until the water is above the suction inlet.
  3. Seal the pump lid, then turn on the breaker and activate the pump.
  4. Open the air relief valve on top of the filter while the pump is running until the water comes out to remove excess air in the plumbing.

If you need lubricant, my favorite is Hayward Multilube, which can be used on all of the gaskets and O-rings in your pool pump, heater, salt cell, and filter.

3. Debris in the Pump

Debris in the pump will cause a wide range of sounds, including clicking noises. These sounds are often confused with electrical and mechanical issues.

Here’s a list of what they could be:

  • Sticks and rocks in the pump basket
  • Loose screws
  • A loose impeller
  • Broken or chipped baskets

How To Fix

Here’s how you can get rid of the debris in the pool pump:

  • Empty the pump basket two to three times weekly.
  • Tighten the unions and screws annually (including the screws on the impeller and capacitor cover plate).
  • Remove the debris from the impeller by turning off the pump, removing the basket, and digging out the debris by hand or with a screwdriver.
  • Replace the skimmer basket or pump basket if you notice chips, cracks, and other signs of damage.

4. Incorrect Motor Type

If you have a pool pump that usually has a full-rated motor and you downgraded to an up-rated motor, the capacitor or governor might make a clicking sound.

These noises occur because there’s no compatibility. The motor won’t rotate the impeller after a while, so the clicking noise could spell the end of your pump’s motor.

You can find out more about your motor’s clicking noise in this helpful Inyo Pool video:

How To Fix

Keep these suggestions in mind when you get a new motor for your pool pump:

  • Only use the same rating as your current motor. For example, replace a full-rated motor with a full-rated motor and an up-rated motor with an up-rated motor. Mixing the motor type, voltage, and horsepower can ruin your pool pump.
  • Check if the voltage is the same on the new pump. If you have a 220v pump, you can’t replace it with a 110v pump (and vice versa). Getting the wrong pump voltage can cause clicking sounds or trip the breaker.

Pool Pump Noise Troubleshooting Resources

If your pump is making any other noises, my other pool pump noise troubleshooting articles may be able to help: