Is your pool pump rattling all the time? If it is, you already know how annoying the sound is — but you should know that it can be a sign of a serious problem.
I highly suggest taking immediate action to prevent the rattling from worsening or harming other pieces of pool equipment.
Your pool pump is likely making rattling noises because of one of these causes:
- The impeller is loose.
- There are broken parts in the pump.
- There’s debris in the skimmer basket or pump basket.
- Your pump and filter might be uneven.
Throughout this article, I’ll discuss the four primary reasons your pump is rattling, what you can do to fix it, and why it should be dealt with ASAP. I’ll also show you how to determine whether the rattling has damaged other pool parts.
1. The Impeller Is Loose
Your pump’s impeller pulls water into the plumbing. A loose impeller will rattle and knock against the pump housing and motor.
The impeller typically loosens from long-term usage, harsh chemicals, and incorrect installations. An impeller might also get loose if the retaining screw corrodes.
How To Fix
You can tighten the impeller with these steps:
- Turn off the pump to ensure the impeller doesn’t rotate.
- Remove the retaining screws between the pump housing and motor to reveal the impeller.
- Use a screwdriver to tighten the center impeller screw and a strap wrench to hold it in place.
- Connect the pump housing to the motor with the retaining screws.
- Prime the pump.
2. There Are Broken Parts in the Pump
Broken pump parts can cause leaks, air bubbles, and rattling noises.
These parts get trapped in the impeller and pump basket, and loose screws, valve flaps, chipped baskets, and other parts can rattle in the pump.
In some cases, these components get trapped in the impeller and overheat the motor. They could also let water into the motor and fry the machinery.
How To Fix
Broken pump parts need to be removed and replaced. Consider these suggestions:
- Replace your skimmer basket or pump basket if they chip or deteriorate.
- Get new pump unions if they’re cracked or damaged.
- Install a new impeller if you notice any damage in the impeller since a small chip can make a world of difference.
- Tighten all of the loose screws, then replace any stripped screws that rattle.
- Get a new weir gate (the gate in front of the skimmer basket) if it’s jammed, cracked, or chipped.
It’s best to avoid epoxies when repairing swimming pool equipment. The high PSI is much too powerful for most adhesives, so I recommend replacing the part rather than gluing it.
In fact, using epoxy sometimes worsens the problem because the internal pressure releases along the crack, shattering the plumbing or pump part.
3. There’s Debris in the Skimmer Basket or Pump Basket
Your pool pump basket and skimmer basket trap all sorts of debris. Everything from hair to sticks lodges their way into these baskets.
The pump pulls the water and swirls the debris around, causing the unwanted rattling noise.
The good news is that fixing a clogged basket is one of the easiest and quickest pool maintenance procedures.
How To Fix
All you have to do is remove the debris from the basket.
I suggest dumping your skimmer and pump baskets at least two times weekly. However, you might have to empty them more often if a lot of debris gets into the pool, especially during spring and autumn.
4. Your Pump and Filter Might Be Uneven
If your pool pump and filter are uneven, they’ll vibrate against the ground.
Your pool pump’s motor naturally vibrates, but it shouldn’t shake and move the plumbing.
Look under the pump and other pool equipment to see if there’s a gap. You could also use a leveler tool to check if the ground beneath the equipment is even.
How To Fix
To level your pool pump and filter, try one of these three options:
- Place thin rubber pads beneath the unlevel equipment.
- Install a manufacturer-recommended leveling pad beneath the pump.
- Higher a professional to level the concrete pad under the pump and filter if you have an in-ground pool with PVC plumbing.
Leveling your pool equipment pad will improve its performance because it won’t rattle and damage the pump, filter, heater, or plumbing.
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: