One of the most Frequently asked questions we receive is, "my pump isn't working! Why?"
If your pump isn't working you've got to go step by step in order to diagnose it.
There are 2 general reasons for the problem: Mechanical or Physical.
The Mechanical reasons are pretty simple to diagnose. Does the pump turn on? If no, it could be one of several reasons. First make sure it's plugged in. Make sure the circuit breaker is turned on and if you have a timer attached (good idea in order to save money), make sure that you are currently in the "ON" zone.
Next, check the wiring. If the wiring is somehow defective due to age improper installation, the pump & motor will not turn on. It would be well worth your while having a local pool service technician or electrician diagnose the problem. If the pump is more than 5 to 7 years old, it is coming to the end of its useful life and may need to be replaced. Electric motors do not last forever.
Whenever working on or examining the electric motor, be
sure that it is UNPLUGGED and not just shut-off. You don't want to be
injured with an electrical shock.
If you turn the motor on and it
hums, there are a couple of things to check. First off, when starting
in the spring, it's very possible that a little bit of corrosion has
formed on the magnetic wiring. In this case,
a simple turn of the motor shaft by either turning the impeller
directly (motor unplugged with no electricity) or by removing the back
plate of the electric motor and turning the shaft.
After you have made
sure it is moving freely and smoothly, plug the motor back in and turn
it on. This cures 95% - 99% of this type of problem.
The Physical reasons are
sometimes a little more time consuming to diagnose. Here the questions
center around, "the pump won't prime" or "the motor runs but the
basket doesn't fill up with water" or "the pump is operating but it's
not pulling anything."
All of these issues can be
relatively simple to fix. Follow the following steps:
Make sure there is enough water
in the pool. If the water isn't high, a "whirlpool" will form in the
skimmer and air will be drawn into the system.
Is the filter dirty or otherwise
clogged? If so, backwash the sand, change the DE or clean the
cartridge. If water cannot flow through the filter, the pump will
not be able to draw water.
On aboveground pools utilizing
blow molded hose, be sure there are no kinks in the hose.
On inground pools, it is possible
that a larger object such as an acorn or wad of leaves or dead frog
or mouse, has gotten past the skimmer basket and is clogging an
underground pipe. In this case a pipe snake may be needed to remove
the object (the most unlikely cause of all on this list).
Make sure the pump basket gasket
is clean & well lubricated with a good quality silicone lube. Clean
off any dirt or leaf particle. DO NOT use vaseline or petroleum
jelly; either product will shorten the life of the gasket or O ring.
Make sure the pump basket cover
is not cracked or misshaped. If so, it will not seal.
Make sure the clamps on the hoses
are properly tightened (mostly on aboveground pools). Too loose &
air will be allowed in plus you'll notice leakage. Too tight & the
hose will be pinched with the same problems.
Check any valves for leaks in
general - air leaks in particular. On the suction side of the pump
you will NOT have any water leaks when the pump is operating; when
turned off, there may be a few drips. Change or replace any valve
gaskets. At the beginning of each swimming season, be sure to
lubricate the gaskets & O rings.
Put a bead of silicone calk
around each pipe connection. Over time, some of the glued pipe
connections can degrade allowing air to get into the system.
Take the pump apart & check to
see if the impeller or diffuse (or both) are worn. Impellers and
diffusers will wear due to normal erosion over time. Worn out
impeller blades or veins will dramatically reduce the amount of
water that a pump is able move.
While the pump is apart, remove
any accumulations of debris from the impeller. Use a wire to clean
out the areas between the impeller blades. Bits of leaves,
twigs, acorns and seeds, as well as hair will clog the impeller
impeding the flow of water; even a couple of tablespoonfuls of
debris will make all the difference. Do this check mid-season and at
closing for continued good performance.
The most likely causes? Worn or
dried out gaskets & O rings and clogged impellers.
If you still need help, here's how to
store hours): Shelton 203-377-0100