The pump is the heart of the circulation system of your swimming pool as it is doing much of the job to supply your pool with water. The pump pulls (or more accurately, pumps) water from one or several suction ports (like the main drain or skimmers) then pushes it via the filter, heating device, the sanitizing agent/s, and then brings it back to the pool. The entry of the water to the pool is either through the wall or the floor returns or both.
When the pump malfunctions, there is no way you can use your swimming pool unless you can do something about it by hiring someone to do it for you. But, on second thought, you might also want to do it yourself to spare you from the expensive labor fee your technician might ask for. Like any other equipment, a pool pump needs maintenance while pool pump repair is inevitable when certain parts hereof is damaged, wears off or when their lifespan just come to an end.
In this article, we will tackle some common causes on why your pump doesn’t work and the possible repairs you may do to prevent you from the costly purchase of a new unit as a replacement. A better example of this device is the Pentair pumps, a leading pool pump brand.
2 main parts of a pool pump
The pool pump has 2 main parts, namely, the pump and the drive train (also called the motor). Each main part has its own subparts that we will enumerate here:
The pump is made up of the housing, strainer or basket, filters, lid, gaskets and seals, and the seal plate.
• Drive Train (motor)
The drive train is the electrical component of the pump that makes pumping of water possible. It is composed of the motor (with bearings), impeller, diffuser, impeller ring, and the impeller screw.
Most common pool pump defects
Here are some of the most common elements of a pool pump that are more susceptible to breakdown or the usual tear and wear:
Note: Whenever you will do a maintenance or repair on any part of the pump, be sure to shut off the electrical power to prevent electrocution.
1. Motor bearings
The bearings of your motor are the most vulnerable to wear and tear. Their operation can be affected by time, weather, rust, and the frequency of use. If you don’t have a pool pump timer, you have to operate your motor manually, that is, in an on and off manner. Bad bearings may produce a humming or whirring sound. When you hear these noises coming from your motor, it is better to replace the bearings, or else, you will end up with a burnt motor over time.
How to replace bad bearings
Here are the simple steps in replacing the worn out bearings (watch the detailed method here).
- Dismantle the motor from the system (be sure that the electrical power is cut off)
- Bring the motor in a dry place and start dismantling the bearing as shown in a 3-part YouTube video we mentioned above. Use the proper tools for the job.
- If you still have the manual of your pump, you can pre-order the bearings (you must replace the 2 bearings) online from your dealer (say, a Pentair pump) by informing them of the part’s reference number. If you don’t have your manual anymore and you have no other way of identifying the bearing’s part number, you can see the reference number once you have the dismantled bearing in your hand. The reference number is written on the bearing’s outer race.
- Be sure to lubricate the bearings well before you install the brand new ones. As an added precautions, new bearings should be tested manually by hands and by placing your ear near them while you rotate each bearing to test if they have no factory defect. If you don’t hear strange sound and the bearings can be easily rotated smoothly, you are sure of a good replacement.
- After the new bearings are reinstalled, do the reverse of what you have done in dismantling the motor. When the motor is re-assembled, test run it before you put it back in the system.
2. Pool pump filter
The swimming pool filters have 3 types, such as the cartridge, diatomaceous earth (or DE filters), and sand. These filters also need maintenance as provided for in their manual of instructions which differ from each other depending on the manufacturer. Pool pump replacement filters are also available on the online store or in your nearest pool supply store.
While the cartridge type of filter needs to be cleaned periodically, when it suffers damage due to wear and tear and other factors (this type could last 3 to 5 years with proper maintenance), it has to be replaced. Replacing this device is quite easy because it comes with an instruction manual for your quick reference.
The DE filters require elaborate maintenance are more expensive than sand and cartridge filters, although they are more effective. You can also check out it’s accompanying instruction manual when replacing.
The sand filter is the cheapest among the three filter types and it is also the easiest to maintain. In fact, almost all pool pump brands recommend changing their sand filter every 5 years of use.
3. Seals and rings
The seals and rings are just some of the pool pump components that are mostly replaced as they are more susceptible to tear and wear. All seals and rings are recommended for replacement whenever the pump is dismantled.
Pool pump repair could be laborious sometimes, but you can still DIY when you have a guide like this article which can save you a large amount of money if done properly. So, the next time your pool pump needs maintenance, you can do it yourself without the hitch.