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Common Pool Pump Failures

There are many reasons why a pool pump would fail however there are a select few reasons that make up the vast majority of swimming pool pump failures.

Pool Pump Main Seal Leak

The main seal in the pump is located adjacent to the impeller and is about the mid point of the pump. The main seal is responsible for the vast majority of pool pump leaks and ultimately pool pump failures.

A main seal that is failing or has failed will manifest itself as a small leak that originates from somewhere in the bottom middle of the pump. This leak itself is not the major issue, but instead it is the location of this leak that is problematic. A leaking main seal will allow water to drip from the bottom middle of the pump body directly in front of the air intake for the electric motor.

Rusted Pump Motor Bearings

The electric motor on your pool pump pulls air through the motor as part of the cooling process. If the pump is leaking from the main seal then water from the pool will be pulled in through the motor. By pulling chlorinated water through the internals of the motor you can expect to have early bearing failure in the pump.

Failing bearings inthe motor will be a gradually increasing noise often described as high pitchaed or metallic sounding. It is usually not financially viable to repair bearings in a pump motor as the cost of the repair will be close to the cost of a replacement motor. Main seal leaks that lead to motor bearing corrosion and untimately failure is the number one cause of pump failure bar none.

Chlorine Pucks In Pump Basket

Putting chlorine pucks into the pump strainer basket, or even in the skimmer strainer basket, is a sure fire way to cause early pump failure. In this circumstance you are sending the strongest conectration of chlorine in your pool directly into the pump (and also the filter and especially the heater).

Not only is putting chlorine in your pool pump a bad idea, it is actually dangerous to do. A pump that shuts down for any reason with chlorine pucks in the skimmer basket will build chlorine gas inside the pump. If you open the lid on the pump when there is chlorine gas trapped inside you will know FOR SURE that this has happened. Typically you would instantly be unable to see and barely able to breathe at all.

Overheated Pump Motor

Once a pool pump has been run without water, or potentially run at the incorrect voltage for too long, the motor will cease to function. The thermal overload inside the motor should shut it down before a fire develops however internal motor damage is common.

As the dielectric grease between the windings in the motor heat up they can leak or melt away causing a partial short in the motor windings. This will give the symptom of a pump that runs for a short period before tripping the electrical circuit breaker.

You can also check out the Pool Pump Problems page for other commonly encountered problems when installing a pool pump.

Pump Fact

Installing the pool pump on a rubber pad or thick piece of old carpet can reduce noise from the pump by as much as 80%