Swimming Pool Blog
by Mark Garcia July 25, 2014
21 Pool Pump Pitfalls to Avoid
Pump failure can be caused by many things, but before you start pointing fingers at each other, first consider the age of the motor, or the back half of the pool pump. The pump motor has a life of about 7-10 years, on average. It's built for continuous duty, in an outdoor environment, but running at 3450 rpm, everyday for months on end...eventually all things in motion must come to rest.
The front half of the pump, known as the wet end, has parts that rarely fail, with the exception perhaps of a pump seal. The strainer pot, lid, volute and impeller are made of sturdy ABS, and although freeze or heat damage can cause cracking or melting, most total failure is rare, since most pump parts can be readily sourced and replaced.
In fact, you could continue to rebuild a pool pump nearly forever, or at least until the parts become obsolete, and then in some cases, aftermarket companies like Val-Pak continue to make parts for older pumps.
However, when placed with catastrophic motor and part failure, there are times when replacing the pump makes sense, particularly when it is a poor performer, or an energy hog. Replacing with one of the new Hayward VS Superpumps is a good remedy in both instances.
21 causes for swimming pool pump failure
- Mulch piled around the motor, restricting air flow and creating acidic air pockets
- Plants overgrown around filter system, blocking air flow and trapping moisture
- Storm water management issues, flooding the pump, or the ground around the pump
- Freeze damage from as little as 1/2" of water left inside pump stainer pot or volute
- Air leaks on pipe coming into pump causing pump to lose prime and overheat
- Air leaks around pump lid causing pump to lose prime and overheat
- Air leaks at pool (low water, stuck skimmer weir), causing pump to lose prime
- Suction pipes too small for pump size or restricted to 1.5", causing pump cavitation
- Pressure-side pipes too small for pump size
- FIlter too small for pump size
- Pouring antifreeze into a pool pump
- Pouring pool chemicals into the skimmer
- Incorrect voltage or voltage spikes
- Loose connections or incorrect wiring
- Incorrect bonding or improper ground
- Insect contamination on motor terminal board
- Large tree branch falling on pump, bending motor casing or cracking pump
- Pump being dropped from truck or any height, causing bent shaft
- Overtightening pipe fittings or incorrect drain plugs into pump, cracking strainer or volute
- Obstructed water flow - closed valves, plugged lines, clogged impeller, clogged pipes
- Finding a great price on a Hayward VS Superpump, and cutting electrical bills by 75%!
Thanks for Reading!