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Pool Pump Troubleshooting: The Complete Guide

Your pool pump is the most important part of owning a swimming pool. None of the chemicals, filters, heaters, or anything else will work without a fully functioning pump. Faulty pool pumps can overheat, make loud noises, and cause electrical problems. It’s essential to find the cause and solution to fix the pump as quickly as you can.

When troubleshooting a pool pump, you might come across these issues:

  • Pump trips the breaker
  • Priming failures
  • A lack of pressure
  • Air bubbles in the pump
  • The pump won’t turn on
  • Loss of pressure
  • Loud noises in the pump
  • Impeller cavitation
  • Timer failures
  • Weakened pump seals
  • Overheated motors
  • Random shut-offs
  • Failure to turn off
  • Pool pump leaks

Throughout this guide, I’ll cover all of the potential causes and solutions for various pool pump issues. Your pool pump will likely experience mechanical, plumbing, and electrical problems, so it’s important to know what to look out for.

Pool Pump Keeps Tripping Breaker

Pool pumps can cause electrical issues and trip GFCI outlets and circuit breakers. These electrical issues are often caused by overloading the amperage. If your pump keeps tripping the breaker, it’s best to turn off the breaker and look for the cause of the electrical problems.

So, what can cause a pump to trip the breaker?

  • An overheated pump motor
  • Water in the motor
  • Grinding motor bearings
  • A new motor that requires too many volts, watts, or amps
  • An old, malfunctioning circuit breaker

How to Fix

Follow this process to fix the breaker:

  1. Test it with a multimeter to see if it’s getting enough power.
  2. If it’s getting enough power, switch out the wires between the pump to the circuit breaker.
  3. If it’s not getting enough power, check if the rest of the breakers have power.
  4. Replace the circuit breaker with a like-for-like breaker.
  5. Turn on the breaker and test the pump.

Keep in mind that clogs and loose wires can trip the breaker. Check these issues after replacing it.

Watch this YouTube video to learn more about replacing a pool pump breaker:

Pool Pump Won’t Prime

If your pool pump won’t prime, none of the debris will make its way into the filter. A lack of filtration and failure to dissolve the chemicals will make your pool a dangerous environment. Old pumps often fail to prime due to old motors that can’t produce enough power. However, there are many reasons a new pool pump won’t circulate the water.

For example, a clogged skimmer basket, pump basket, or filter limits the pump’s ability to move the water. Air bubbles in the system also prevent pumps from priming because they can’t achieve a complete seal. A lack of priming will overheat the pump and eventually ruin the motor.

How to Fix

Your pool pump likely won’t prime because there’s air or a clog in the filter. Clean the filter, then follow these instructions to prime the pump and remove the air in the system:

  1. Turn off the pool pump.
  2. Open the lid and fill the pump basket with hose water until it’s above the inlet.
  3. Close the pump lid.
  4. Open the air relief valve on top of the filter while the pump is running.
  5. Close the air relief valve once the water comes out of it (this is a sign that there’s no more air in the plumbing)

You have to prime the pump every time you clean the filter, open the plumbing, or take the pump apart.

Pool Pump Won’t Build Pressure

Pool pumps that won’t build enough pressure often cause cavitation, leaks, and motor problems. If you think your pump doesn’t have adequate pressure, check the filter’s PSI gauge. Your filter should always have a PSI between 10 to 15. If it’s too high or too low, there’s a good chance there’s a pressure problem.

Pool pump pressure issues are often caused by plumbing leaks and gasket leaks. These gaps allow air into the system, preventing the water from pressurizing in the pump. The impeller will overwork itself, which overheating the motor’s bearings.

How to Fix

If your pump won’t build pressure, open the air relief valve to get as much of the air out of the plumbing as possible. There should be a tiny bubble in the pump lid, but it shouldn’t go below the suction-side union. Look for leaks and tighten all of the unions, lids, screws, and plugs in all of the equipment.

Unfortunately, you might have to replace the motor if these suggestions don’t work. A lack of pressure could be due to a faulty motor that can’t provide as much pressure as it used to. Check the pressure gauge on top of the filter. If it has less than 10 PSI, the motor isn’t creating enough suction to circulate the swimming pool.

Pool Pump Keeps Getting Air into It

Does it seem like your pump keeps getting air in the lines? Pool pumps last a long time, but air bubbles can drastically shorten their longevity. These air bubbles can destroy the impeller and many other internal components.

Here’s a list of reasons air keeps getting into the pump:

  • Leaky gaskets, seals, and O-rings
  • Cracked plumbing
  • Poor priming
  • Water below the skimmer basket or highest inlet
  • Loose unions and fittings
  • Open valves leading to broken pool solar panels
  • Open bubbler valves pushing air into the pool
  • Impeller cavitation (more on this later in the article)

How to Fix

Here are the three steps you need to take to fix the leaks in the plumbing:

  1. Use O-ring lubricant on all of the gaskets and O-rings in the whole equipment pad. The LubeTube Pool Gasket Lubricant comes with enough solution to treat all of the gaskets and O-rings in all of your pool equipment multiple times. Place a small amount of the lubricant on each of the O-rings twice a year to prevent dryness and cracks.
  2. Tighten each of the unions and replace any of them that are cracked. Every pump union is unique to the manufacturer’s make and model. Make sure you ask the company for the correct unions, or you’ll end up with leaks, misalignments, and O-rings that don’t fit the provided unions.
  3. Fill the pool above the highest inlet. If air gets into the skimmer basket, it’ll undoubtedly get into the pump. Evaporation and leaks can reduce the pool’s level below the skimmer in less than a week, especially during summer.

Pool Pump Won’t Turn On

If your pool pump won’t turn on, there’s likely an electrical problem. Faulty wiring, loose circuit breakers, and a failed motor capacitor can prevent the pump from turning on. The timer could also be broken, which means it needs to be manually operated.

Mechanical issues that stop a pump from working include:

  • A jammed impeller
  • Closed inlet or outlet valves
  • Plumbing blockages
  • Clogged skimmer basket or pump basket

All of these problems will stop the impeller from spinning, which means the pump won’t circulate the water.

How to Fix

You can fix each of the listed problems with these tips:

  • Turn off the pump and remove the debris from the impeller with a screwdriver.
  • Open all of the valves to prevent the sensors from tripping the pump’s capacitor.
  • Remove the debris from the pump basket, skimmer basket, and each of the unions.
  • Use an auger to flush out the debris in the PVC pipes.

Pool Pump Keeps Losing Pressure

Your pool pump loses pressure when there’s air in the system or when one of the valves is closed or narrowed. Your pump has diverter valves, check valves, and many other directional valves. If any of them is broken, narrowed, or turned in the wrong direction, your pump will inevitably slow down.

A pump that loses pressure could also be due to a lower setting on a variable-speed pump. VSPs have multiple settings. The installation technician might’ve put it at a slower speed during specific hours of the day. Check the pump’s timer and speed settings to know if you need to ramp up the RPMs.

How to Fix

The best way to treat a pump that keeps lowering the pressure is to unclog the filter and make sure there aren’t any air leaks. Most pool pump issues are related because they work like a domino effect. Air bubbles in the plumbing can cause overheating, loud noises, and a failure to turn on.

If you have a variable-speed pump, ramp up the RPMs and keep an eye on the filter’s pressure gauge. The gauge should stay between 10 PSI to 20 PSI for the best pressure. Tighten each of the unions on all of the equipment, too.

Pool Pump Making Loud Noises

Is your pool pump making louder noises than usual? Grinding, hissing, screeching, humming, and rattling are all signs that the pool pump might be going out. Clicking and humming are typically associated with the capacitor or an upgraded motor, whereas the remaining sounds can be caused by jams, clogs, broken parts, and leaks.

If your pump makes loud noises, turn it off immediately. These sounds often lead to overheating, sparking, and potential fires. They could also trip the breaker or damage the motor beyond repair. Fixing a loud pump often costs much less than replacing the whole pump.

How to Fix

Fix your pump’s loud noises with these tricks:

  • Remove the debris from the pump’s impeller to get rid of the jam.
  • Replacing the capacitor if the motor hums.
  • Get a new motor if it ticks, clicks, or grinds.
  • Bolt the pump to the ground to limit vibrations.
  • Replace the impeller if it won’t move when the pump is on.

Pool Pump Keeps Cavitating

Impeller cavitation is caused by excessive amounts of pressure in the pipes. This issue often happens when the plumbing is too narrow or there’s too much movement. The impeller makes a ton of steam from the friction. Air bubbles form from the steam and fill the plumbing with air, which overheats the pump.

Cavitation is quite rare because it requires a lot of plumbing mistakes. Most pool technicians should know what pipe sizes they need when installing the pump and other equipment. However, your pump can cavitate if it’s too big for the plumbing. Reducing the pump’s pressure is a great place to start, but there are a couple of other things you should try.

How to Fix

Pump cavitation requires very specific instructions. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Lower the pump’s speed if you have a variable-speed pump.
  2. Downgrade the motor to the size recommended by a local pool technician.
  3. Increase the plumbing size (2.5” PVC handles the pressure much better than 1.5” PVC, especially with large pump motors).
  4. Get a new impeller if the old one has poles, cracks, or chips (cavitation often damages the impeller).

When you’re done fixing the source of the cavitation, it’s important to open the air relief valve while the pump is running to get rid of the remaining air in the plumbing.

Pool Pump Timer Not Working

Pump timers come built into the pump or as an external Intermatic timer. These timers tell your pump when to start and stop, whereas some of them adjust the pump’s speed. If your pool timer isn’t working, it should be tended to as quickly as possible. A broken timer prevents the pump from running unless you turn it on manually.

Pump timers break from long-term usage. There’s no workaround other than replacing the timer. Built-in pump timers last as long as the interface, which could be over a decade. Most manual or external timers last between eight to ten years, though some people have had the same timer for a couple of decades.

How to Fix

If your built-in pump timer doesn’t work, ask the manufacturer for an interface replacement. The timer usually lasts as long as the interface, which likely means the buttons and other settings won’t work. I suggest checking if your pool pump is within the warranty period before paying for the replacement parts.

On the other hand, an external timer should be replaced with these steps:

  1. Turn off the circuit breaker.
  2. Remove the mounting screws and wires from the defective timer, then remove the timer.
  3. Place the new timer in the timer box and attach the wires and mounting screws.
  4. Put the ON and OFF timer tags on the timer’s clock, then turn on the clock and circuit breaker.

The Intermatic T104 Electromechanical Timer is my external pool timer of choice. It comes with the aforementioned timer tags and works with virtually any swimming pool pump. You can adjust the time of day, ON and OFF settings, and more. There’s even a manual override that you can turn off if you want to activate the pump off of the schedule.

Pool Pump Won’t Seal

If your pump doesn’t seal, it’ll leak. It’s time to check the following seals, gaskets, and O-rings for water drips:

  • Pump impeller seal
  • Lid O-ring
  • Pump housing gasket
  • Union O-rings
  • Drain O-ring (for pumps with bottom drains)

Look for tears, cracks, excessive dryness, and warped gaskets. All of these issues can make the pump leak and prevent it from sealing. Unlubricated seals are some of the most common pool equipment problems.

How to Fix

Most pumps have sealing issues if the O-rings and gaskets don’t have enough lubricant. Try the previously mentioned LubeTube Pool Lubricant for the top results. Using vaseline will swell and crack your pump’s O-rings, rendering them ineffective. Furthermore, having the wrong O-ring size (i.e., choosing a generic O-ring instead of the company’s part number) will prevent it from sealing.

Check out this helpful YouTube video to seal your pump’s O-rings:

Pool Pump Keeps Overheating

An overheated pump is a sign that it’s already too far gone. The least you’ll have to do is replace the motor or capacitor. Overheating shows something electrical was damaged. These issues stem from loose wires, moisture in the motor, an overloaded pump, cavitation, and more. You should be able to put your hand above to motor without feeling too much heat.

Overheated motors are often accompanied by humming, hissing, and grinding. If you hear any of these noises or notice the motor is hot to the touch, turn off the pump. Contact a local technician to diagnose the problem if you don’t know why the pump is acting up. Many old pumps overheat, but a brand-new one shouldn’t have heating issues for up to a decade.

How to Fix

Treat your overheated pool pump with these recommendations:

  • Remove clogs and jams in the baskets and impeller.
  • Don’t run the pump longer than 24 hours at a time.
  • Open the air relief valve to get the air out of the pump and filter.
  • Replace the motor if it keeps overheating after trying all of these solutions.

Pool Pump Keeps Shutting Off

Pool pumps often automatically shut off when there’s an electrical issue. A tripped breaker or GFCI outlet will immediately turn off the pump. You might also notice the timer is broken, which turns off the pump randomly. Some modern pool pumps have automatic shutoff features to protect the motor from long-term damage.

Make sure your pump is set on the correct circuit breaker. It might be tied into the incorrect outlet, which overloads the amperage and turns off the pump. Below, I’ll show you what you need to do to fix this rare pump issue.

How to Fix

Try these quick fixes:

  • Tighten the wires to prevent them from tripping the breaker.
  • Replace the capacitor if it doesn’t show any electricity with a multimeter.
  • Get a new timer if there’s no power going to the clock’s wires with a multimeter.
  • Remove all of the clogs and jams in the plumbing and equipment to stop the sensors from tripping.
  • Check your pump’s timer to know if it has the correct ON and OFF schedules.

Pool Pump Won’t Turn Off

Pool pumps rarely have issues turning off. In fact, it’s almost always due to user error. Here’s why your pump won’t turn off:

  • The timer is programmed to run at a specific time.
  • Automation settings can keep the pump on 24/7.
  • There aren’t any tags or switches on the external timer.
  • Your pump is wired to a light switch.
  • The installation technician programmed the small motor to run around the clock.

How to Fix

Almost all of these issues are caused by a faulty timer or incorrect timer installation. Make sure the timer has ON and OFF switches. If it doesn’t, grab a set of timer tags and place them on the external timer to ensure the pump turns off properly. You could also program your pump’s built-in timer if it has one.

If your pump is wired to a light switch, I highly suggest wiring it to a timer. Try the previously mentioned Intermatic timer for the best results. You can use the light switch as an ON/OFF switch to activate and deactivate the pump, though.

Pool Pump Keeps Leaking

Pool pumps leak for all sorts of reasons. It’s the most common issue people have with swimming pool equipment.

So, where do pumps leak?

  • The pump seal between the motor and impeller
  • Any of the gaskets, seals, and O-rings
  • Loose unions and fittings
  • A loose pump lid
  • The pump housing is broken or cracked

How to Fix

A leaky pump should be fixed as quickly as possible to keep air out of the system. Lubricate and replace the O-rings, gaskets, and seals if necessary. Unfortunately, a cracked pump housing calls for a full replacement. You shouldn’t use adhesives or epoxies on a pump housing because they won’t work.

Remember to tighten each of the unions and replace them if they’re chipped or cracked. Underground plumbing leaks need to be fixed by a professional to prevent your warranty from being voided. Unprofessional plumbing replacements can ruin your home insurance policies, too.

Your pool pump is the most important part of owning a swimming pool. None of the chemicals, filters, heaters, or anything else will work without a fully functioning pump. Faulty pool pumps can overheat, make loud noises, and cause electrical problems. It’s essential to find the cause and solution to fix the pump as quickly as you can.

When troubleshooting a pool pump, you might come across these issues:

  • Pump trips the breaker
  • Priming failures
  • A lack of pressure
  • Air bubbles in the pump
  • The pump won’t turn on
  • Loss of pressure
  • Loud noises in the pump
  • Impeller cavitation
  • Timer failures
  • Weakened pump seals
  • Overheated motors
  • Random shut-offs
  • Failure to turn off
  • Pool pump leaks

Throughout this guide, I’ll cover all of the potential causes and solutions for various pool pump issues. Your pool pump will likely experience mechanical, plumbing, and electrical problems, so it’s important to know what to look out for.

Pool Pump Keeps Tripping Breaker

Pool pumps can cause electrical issues and trip GFCI outlets and circuit breakers. These electrical issues are often caused by overloading the amperage. If your pump keeps tripping the breaker, it’s best to turn off the breaker and look for the cause of the electrical problems.

So, what can cause a pump to trip the breaker?

  • An overheated pump motor
  • Water in the motor
  • Grinding motor bearings
  • A new motor that requires too many volts, watts, or amps
  • An old, malfunctioning circuit breaker

How to Fix

Follow this process to fix the breaker:

  1. Test it with a multimeter to see if it’s getting enough power.
  2. If it’s getting enough power, switch out the wires between the pump to the circuit breaker.
  3. If it’s not getting enough power, check if the rest of the breakers have power.
  4. Replace the circuit breaker with a like-for-like breaker.
  5. Turn on the breaker and test the pump.

Keep in mind that clogs and loose wires can trip the breaker. Check these issues after replacing it.

Watch this YouTube video to learn more about replacing a pool pump breaker:

Pool Pump Won’t Prime

If your pool pump won’t prime, none of the debris will make its way into the filter. A lack of filtration and failure to dissolve the chemicals will make your pool a dangerous environment. Old pumps often fail to prime due to old motors that can’t produce enough power. However, there are many reasons a new pool pump won’t circulate the water.

For example, a clogged skimmer basket, pump basket, or filter limits the pump’s ability to move the water. Air bubbles in the system also prevent pumps from priming because they can’t achieve a complete seal. A lack of priming will overheat the pump and eventually ruin the motor.

How to Fix

Your pool pump likely won’t prime because there’s air or a clog in the filter. Clean the filter, then follow these instructions to prime the pump and remove the air in the system:

  1. Turn off the pool pump.
  2. Open the lid and fill the pump basket with hose water until it’s above the inlet.
  3. Close the pump lid.
  4. Open the air relief valve on top of the filter while the pump is running.
  5. Close the air relief valve once the water comes out of it (this is a sign that there’s no more air in the plumbing)

You have to prime the pump every time you clean the filter, open the plumbing, or take the pump apart.

Pool Pump Won’t Build Pressure

Pool pumps that won’t build enough pressure often cause cavitation, leaks, and motor problems. If you think your pump doesn’t have adequate pressure, check the filter’s PSI gauge. Your filter should always have a PSI between 10 to 15. If it’s too high or too low, there’s a good chance there’s a pressure problem.

Pool pump pressure issues are often caused by plumbing leaks and gasket leaks. These gaps allow air into the system, preventing the water from pressurizing in the pump. The impeller will overwork itself, which overheating the motor’s bearings.

How to Fix

If your pump won’t build pressure, open the air relief valve to get as much of the air out of the plumbing as possible. There should be a tiny bubble in the pump lid, but it shouldn’t go below the suction-side union. Look for leaks and tighten all of the unions, lids, screws, and plugs in all of the equipment.

Unfortunately, you might have to replace the motor if these suggestions don’t work. A lack of pressure could be due to a faulty motor that can’t provide as much pressure as it used to. Check the pressure gauge on top of the filter. If it has less than 10 PSI, the motor isn’t creating enough suction to circulate the swimming pool.

Pool Pump Keeps Getting Air into It

Does it seem like your pump keeps getting air in the lines? Pool pumps last a long time, but air bubbles can drastically shorten their longevity. These air bubbles can destroy the impeller and many other internal components.

Here’s a list of reasons air keeps getting into the pump:

  • Leaky gaskets, seals, and O-rings
  • Cracked plumbing
  • Poor priming
  • Water below the skimmer basket or highest inlet
  • Loose unions and fittings
  • Open valves leading to broken pool solar panels
  • Open bubbler valves pushing air into the pool
  • Impeller cavitation (more on this later in the article)

How to Fix

Here are the three steps you need to take to fix the leaks in the plumbing:

  1. Use O-ring lubricant on all of the gaskets and O-rings in the whole equipment pad. The LubeTube Pool Gasket Lubricant comes with enough solution to treat all of the gaskets and O-rings in all of your pool equipment multiple times. Place a small amount of the lubricant on each of the O-rings twice a year to prevent dryness and cracks.
  2. Tighten each of the unions and replace any of them that are cracked. Every pump union is unique to the manufacturer’s make and model. Make sure you ask the company for the correct unions, or you’ll end up with leaks, misalignments, and O-rings that don’t fit the provided unions.
  3. Fill the pool above the highest inlet. If air gets into the skimmer basket, it’ll undoubtedly get into the pump. Evaporation and leaks can reduce the pool’s level below the skimmer in less than a week, especially during summer.

Pool Pump Won’t Turn On

If your pool pump won’t turn on, there’s likely an electrical problem. Faulty wiring, loose circuit breakers, and a failed motor capacitor can prevent the pump from turning on. The timer could also be broken, which means it needs to be manually operated.

Mechanical issues that stop a pump from working include:

  • A jammed impeller
  • Closed inlet or outlet valves
  • Plumbing blockages
  • Clogged skimmer basket or pump basket

All of these problems will stop the impeller from spinning, which means the pump won’t circulate the water.

How to Fix

You can fix each of the listed problems with these tips:

  • Turn off the pump and remove the debris from the impeller with a screwdriver.
  • Open all of the valves to prevent the sensors from tripping the pump’s capacitor.
  • Remove the debris from the pump basket, skimmer basket, and each of the unions.
  • Use an auger to flush out the debris in the PVC pipes.

Pool Pump Keeps Losing Pressure

Your pool pump loses pressure when there’s air in the system or when one of the valves is closed or narrowed. Your pump has diverter valves, check valves, and many other directional valves. If any of them is broken, narrowed, or turned in the wrong direction, your pump will inevitably slow down.

A pump that loses pressure could also be due to a lower setting on a variable-speed pump. VSPs have multiple settings. The installation technician might’ve put it at a slower speed during specific hours of the day. Check the pump’s timer and speed settings to know if you need to ramp up the RPMs.

How to Fix

The best way to treat a pump that keeps lowering the pressure is to unclog the filter and make sure there aren’t any air leaks. Most pool pump issues are related because they work like a domino effect. Air bubbles in the plumbing can cause overheating, loud noises, and a failure to turn on.

If you have a variable-speed pump, ramp up the RPMs and keep an eye on the filter’s pressure gauge. The gauge should stay between 10 PSI to 20 PSI for the best pressure. Tighten each of the unions on all of the equipment, too.

Pool Pump Making Loud Noises

Is your pool pump making louder noises than usual? Grinding, hissing, screeching, humming, and rattling are all signs that the pool pump might be going out. Clicking and humming are typically associated with the capacitor or an upgraded motor, whereas the remaining sounds can be caused by jams, clogs, broken parts, and leaks.

If your pump makes loud noises, turn it off immediately. These sounds often lead to overheating, sparking, and potential fires. They could also trip the breaker or damage the motor beyond repair. Fixing a loud pump often costs much less than replacing the whole pump.

How to Fix

Fix your pump’s loud noises with these tricks:

  • Remove the debris from the pump’s impeller to get rid of the jam.
  • Replacing the capacitor if the motor hums.
  • Get a new motor if it ticks, clicks, or grinds.
  • Bolt the pump to the ground to limit vibrations.
  • Replace the impeller if it won’t move when the pump is on.

Pool Pump Keeps Cavitating

Impeller cavitation is caused by excessive amounts of pressure in the pipes. This issue often happens when the plumbing is too narrow or there’s too much movement. The impeller makes a ton of steam from the friction. Air bubbles form from the steam and fill the plumbing with air, which overheats the pump.

Cavitation is quite rare because it requires a lot of plumbing mistakes. Most pool technicians should know what pipe sizes they need when installing the pump and other equipment. However, your pump can cavitate if it’s too big for the plumbing. Reducing the pump’s pressure is a great place to start, but there are a couple of other things you should try.

How to Fix

Pump cavitation requires very specific instructions. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Lower the pump’s speed if you have a variable-speed pump.
  2. Downgrade the motor to the size recommended by a local pool technician.
  3. Increase the plumbing size (2.5” PVC handles the pressure much better than 1.5” PVC, especially with large pump motors).
  4. Get a new impeller if the old one has poles, cracks, or chips (cavitation often damages the impeller).

When you’re done fixing the source of the cavitation, it’s important to open the air relief valve while the pump is running to get rid of the remaining air in the plumbing.

Pool Pump Timer Not Working

Pump timers come built into the pump or as an external Intermatic timer. These timers tell your pump when to start and stop, whereas some of them adjust the pump’s speed. If your pool timer isn’t working, it should be tended to as quickly as possible. A broken timer prevents the pump from running unless you turn it on manually.

Pump timers break from long-term usage. There’s no workaround other than replacing the timer. Built-in pump timers last as long as the interface, which could be over a decade. Most manual or external timers last between eight to ten years, though some people have had the same timer for a couple of decades.

How to Fix

If your built-in pump timer doesn’t work, ask the manufacturer for an interface replacement. The timer usually lasts as long as the interface, which likely means the buttons and other settings won’t work. I suggest checking if your pool pump is within the warranty period before paying for the replacement parts.

On the other hand, an external timer should be replaced with these steps:

  1. Turn off the circuit breaker.
  2. Remove the mounting screws and wires from the defective timer, then remove the timer.
  3. Place the new timer in the timer box and attach the wires and mounting screws.
  4. Put the ON and OFF timer tags on the timer’s clock, then turn on the clock and circuit breaker.

The Intermatic T104 Electromechanical Timer is my external pool timer of choice. It comes with the aforementioned timer tags and works with virtually any swimming pool pump. You can adjust the time of day, ON and OFF settings, and more. There’s even a manual override that you can turn off if you want to activate the pump off of the schedule.

Pool Pump Won’t Seal

If your pump doesn’t seal, it’ll leak. It’s time to check the following seals, gaskets, and O-rings for water drips:

  • Pump impeller seal
  • Lid O-ring
  • Pump housing gasket
  • Union O-rings
  • Drain O-ring (for pumps with bottom drains)

Look for tears, cracks, excessive dryness, and warped gaskets. All of these issues can make the pump leak and prevent it from sealing. Unlubricated seals are some of the most common pool equipment problems.

How to Fix

Most pumps have sealing issues if the O-rings and gaskets don’t have enough lubricant. Try the previously mentioned LubeTube Pool Lubricant for the top results. Using vaseline will swell and crack your pump’s O-rings, rendering them ineffective. Furthermore, having the wrong O-ring size (i.e., choosing a generic O-ring instead of the company’s part number) will prevent it from sealing.

Check out this helpful YouTube video to seal your pump’s O-rings:

Pool Pump Keeps Overheating

An overheated pump is a sign that it’s already too far gone. The least you’ll have to do is replace the motor or capacitor. Overheating shows something electrical was damaged. These issues stem from loose wires, moisture in the motor, an overloaded pump, cavitation, and more. You should be able to put your hand above to motor without feeling too much heat.

Overheated motors are often accompanied by humming, hissing, and grinding. If you hear any of these noises or notice the motor is hot to the touch, turn off the pump. Contact a local technician to diagnose the problem if you don’t know why the pump is acting up. Many old pumps overheat, but a brand-new one shouldn’t have heating issues for up to a decade.

How to Fix

Treat your overheated pool pump with these recommendations:

  • Remove clogs and jams in the baskets and impeller.
  • Don’t run the pump longer than 24 hours at a time.
  • Open the air relief valve to get the air out of the pump and filter.
  • Replace the motor if it keeps overheating after trying all of these solutions.

Pool Pump Keeps Shutting Off

Pool pumps often automatically shut off when there’s an electrical issue. A tripped breaker or GFCI outlet will immediately turn off the pump. You might also notice the timer is broken, which turns off the pump randomly. Some modern pool pumps have automatic shutoff features to protect the motor from long-term damage.

Make sure your pump is set on the correct circuit breaker. It might be tied into the incorrect outlet, which overloads the amperage and turns off the pump. Below, I’ll show you what you need to do to fix this rare pump issue.

How to Fix

Try these quick fixes:

  • Tighten the wires to prevent them from tripping the breaker.
  • Replace the capacitor if it doesn’t show any electricity with a multimeter.
  • Get a new timer if there’s no power going to the clock’s wires with a multimeter.
  • Remove all of the clogs and jams in the plumbing and equipment to stop the sensors from tripping.
  • Check your pump’s timer to know if it has the correct ON and OFF schedules.

Pool Pump Won’t Turn Off

Pool pumps rarely have issues turning off. In fact, it’s almost always due to user error. Here’s why your pump won’t turn off:

  • The timer is programmed to run at a specific time.
  • Automation settings can keep the pump on 24/7.
  • There aren’t any tags or switches on the external timer.
  • Your pump is wired to a light switch.
  • The installation technician programmed the small motor to run around the clock.

How to Fix

Almost all of these issues are caused by a faulty timer or incorrect timer installation. Make sure the timer has ON and OFF switches. If it doesn’t, grab a set of timer tags and place them on the external timer to ensure the pump turns off properly. You could also program your pump’s built-in timer if it has one.

If your pump is wired to a light switch, I highly suggest wiring it to a timer. Try the previously mentioned Intermatic timer for the best results. You can use the light switch as an ON/OFF switch to activate and deactivate the pump, though.

Pool Pump Keeps Leaking

Pool pumps leak for all sorts of reasons. It’s the most common issue people have with swimming pool equipment.

So, where do pumps leak?

  • The pump seal between the motor and impeller
  • Any of the gaskets, seals, and O-rings
  • Loose unions and fittings
  • A loose pump lid
  • The pump housing is broken or cracked

How to Fix

A leaky pump should be fixed as quickly as possible to keep air out of the system. Lubricate and replace the O-rings, gaskets, and seals if necessary. Unfortunately, a cracked pump housing calls for a full replacement. You shouldn’t use adhesives or epoxies on a pump housing because they won’t work.

Remember to tighten each of the unions and replace them if they’re chipped or cracked. Underground plumbing leaks need to be fixed by a professional to prevent your warranty from being voided. Unprofessional plumbing replacements can ruin your home insurance policies, too.