Pool pumps often produce a constant flowing noise, but they shouldn’t whine or scream. These noises are often caused by mechanical issues, including loose parts and overheating.
If your pump is whining, you need to take immediate action, as it could cause irreversible damage to the motor and other parts. You can save as much of the pump as possible by making repairs as soon as possible.
If your pool pump is making a loud whining noise, these are the possible causes:
- Bad motor bearings
- Bent motor shaft
- Cold weather issues
- Loose screws
In this article, I’ll discuss the causes and solutions to your pump’s strange whining noises. If the damage isn’t fixable, I’ll also talk about why you should consider replacing the entire pump instead of trying to get new bearings or a new motor shaft.
1. Bad Motor Bearings
Every pool pump motor has bearings that help rotate the shaft. If the bearings are worn or corroded, they’ll hiss and grind.
Hissing bearings are some of the first signs that the motor needs to be replaced. They can quickly ruin other parts of the pump and lead to overheating.
How To Fix
Replace the pump’s motor with this process:
- Turn off the power to prevent shocks.
- Remove the retaining screws between the pump housing and motor.
- Disconnect the impeller with a screwdriver.
- Remove the wires from the motor, then attach them to the new motor in the correct locations.
- Connect the impeller to the new motor.
- Connect the new motor to the pump housing with the aforementioned retaining screws.
- Prime the pump.
2. Bent Motor Shaft
A bent motor shaft can stop your pool pump from working, cause a whining sound, and fail to rotate the impeller.
Severely bent motor shafts can cavitate the impeller, which invites air bubbles into the plumbing. Running the pump with air bubbles can worsen the bearings and overheat the motor windings.
How To Fix
Unfortunately, most bent motor shafts call for one of these two options:
- Replace the pump using the step-by-step instructions listed above.
- Contact the manufacturer to send the pump via mail and have them replace it under warranty (if applicable).
Bent motor shafts often ruin the windings, bearings, and other internal components. If the shaft is bent, you’ll almost always have to replace the whole motor.
3. Cold Weather Issues
Cold weather freezes your pool’s plumbing and equipment. The freezing temperatures will undoubtedly lock the bearings and motor shaft if the pump isn’t used enough.
Unfortunately, many pool owners think they don’t have to run the pump during the winter because algae is less likely to form. This common mistake leads to long-term equipment damage.
How To Fix
You should turn on your pump during the warmest part of the day. This process will keep the bearings warm enough to prevent them from freezing during operation.
Your bearings get warm after about 30 minutes of rotating, but this process quickly corrodes them. It’s always better to wait until the pump is in direct sunlight during the cold months.
Another way to keep the plumbing warm and prevent frigid water from entering the pump is to use pipe insulation. My favorite insulation is Papillon Foam Insulation Tape, which provides ⅛” of insulation, preventing the water from freezing and keeping the pipes uniform. You can choose between a 33′ or 66′ roll of tape to insulate your pool’s plumbing.
4. Loose Screws
Your pool pump has screws on the capacitor plate, bearing cover, mounting bracket, and other locations.
Loose internal and external pump screws will cause a rattling, whining noise. If any of these screws loosen or fall into the motor, you’ll hear whining noises.
They’ll also whine if they’re rusty or stripped because of the metal-on-metal friction.
How To Fix
There are three solutions to this problem:
- Tighten all of the screws.
- Replace all of the stripped screws.
- Turn off the pump, open the motor, and remove any screws that fell out of their drill holes.
Rusty, old pumps deal with loose screws quite often. The drill holes corrode from salt (found in the chlorine), water, and pool chemicals.
You can purchase a new capacitor cover plate and pump housing, but the motor needs to be replaced if any other drill holes rust or corrode too noticeably.
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: