How To Wire A Pool Pump

Written by:  Danny Rhodehamel

Pool pumps are wired to run on either 230V or 115V. Most are run on 230V and are preset at the manufacturers at 230V. If you are going to wire your own pool pump, you must first know what voltage is coming to your pump from the house circuit breaker. Also you must ensure that the electrical supply agrees with the motor's voltage, phase, and cycle and that all electrical wiring conforms to local codes and NEC regulations. If you are unsure of this voltage or are unfamiliar with electrical codes and regulations, have a professional electrician wire your pump for you or at least check your work. Failure to wire the pump correctly can cause electrical shock or can damage your pump motor and void your warranty.

Tips & Warnings


Things You'll Need

Step by Step

Step 1

Measure the voltage on the wires going to your pool pump. See "How To Use a Multimeter to Test a Pool Pump Motor - Voltage". This voltage will be either 230-240V or 115-120V. Pool Pump manufacturers commonly list these as 230V or 115V. Generally you will have three wires coming to your pump. For 230V you will generally have a red, a black and a green wire. The red and black wires are both hot. There is no neutral. The green wire is always ground. For 115V the three wires are generally black (hot), white (neutral) and green (ground).

Step 2

CAUTION: Before you start wiring your pool pump, turn off all power to the pump at the breaker box.

Step 3

Unscrew the two screws that hold the cover over the back end of the motor. Remove the cover to expose the electrical connectors.

Step 4

Screw a metal elbow onto your pool pump at the end of the motor.

Step 5

Run conduit from the metal box to the pump. String your three wires thru the conduit and metal elbow into the end of the motor. Screw the conduit collar onto the end of the elbow. Ensure that your wire size is adequate for the HP rating and distance from the power source. Check your pool pump owners manual for the correct size. Wire sizes generally run 14 AWG for motors up to 1 HP and from 14 AWG to 10AWG for larger motors depending on HP and Voltage.

Step 6

If you are wiring for 230V, the three wires coming to the pool pump from the circuit box are red, black and green. In this example for Hayward pool pumps, red will go to the L1 terminal and black will go to the L2 terminal. The green wire will be under the green screw to the far right. In addition there is a black plug with two wires coming from inside the motor , a black wire and white wire with a black tracer line. The black plug is positioned so that the white arrow on top of the 2 prong black plug is pointing at 230V.

Step 7

For clarification this picture shows the terminals without the wires. The red wire is attached to terminal 1 of Line 1 (L1). The black wire is attached to terminal 3 of Line 2 (L2). The green wire is attached to Ground (GND). The black plug is positioned so that the black wire is attached to terminal 5. For 230V the white wire is not attached.

Step 8

If you are wiring for 115V, the three wires to the pool pump will be black, white and green. Attach the white wire to terminal 1 of Line 1 (L1). Attach the black wire to terminal 3 of Line 2 (L2). Attach the green wire under the Ground screw (GND). The black plug is shifted in position so the the black wire is attached to terminal 4 Line 2 (L2) and the white wire is attached to terminal 5. Note: in this position the white arrow on top of the 2 prong black plug is pointing at the 115V label.

Step 9

Replace the pool pump motor cover and secure it with the two screws.

Step 10

Lastly your pool pump motor must be bonded in accordance with local electrical code requirements. Use a solid copper conductor, size 8 AWG or larger. Run this wire from from a reinforcing rod to the pressure wire connector provided on the motor housing. Note: In this example the wire coming from the bottom of the picture is going to the pump. The upper wire is going to the heater to bond the heater.

Comments (121 to 160 of 348)

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User: Inyopools

pentair motor - With AC motors it does not matter. Either of the two red wires can be connected to either L1 or L2 terminals.


Hello, I have a pentair motor I am replacing with a pentair motor. 230V My wires are 2 red and 1 green. How do I know which red goes to which post? Thx

User: Inyopools

cuffer - I don't know how your spa control pack is wired but look at Step 3 in our guide on "How To Wire a PE153 Digital Timer to a 2-Speed 230V Motor'. It will give you some insights in how a two speed motor is wired. In this configuration, L2 is always hot. For high speed, circuit/switch 1 is on - the switch between terminals 3 and 4 is closed and power flows to L2 - switch between 5 and 6 is open. For low speed, circuit 2 is on - the switch between terminals 5 and 6 is closed and power flows to A - switch between 3 and 4 is open.

User: Inyopools

HOTTUBFVR - I assume the two blue wires are your two power wires coming from your circuit breaker to your pump. The label on the pump motor should show you how to wire this specific pump. In general the two wires go to L1 and L2.

User: cuffer

I am needing some advice... I recently replaced my spa control pack and now the 230v motor is shutting down when put in high speed mode(thermal switch on motor)I have checked the voltage at the black wire in low and it reads 123v and when put on high the red wire reads 123v and 0 on the black wire... is this correct?


my pump controls both the the spa and the pool i recintly relaced an ceturion 1 1/2 hp moter with a sta -rite 1 1/2 moter but the old moter was wired with blue wires going to a and b and ground the new one is a or L1 or L2 and ground the is a 10 year old pentair system wiring grond no prob but two blue wires? whatto do?

User: Inyopools

No Electrician - It's hard to understand your problem without a picture of your wiring, but.. Look at Steps 7 and 16 on this Wiring Diagram. Step 7 spreads the components out so you can see the wiring better. The "black part" you are referring to may be the overload protector. It has a blue wire coming from it and going to L1. If your blue wire is going to L2 you have something different. In any case this is the back wiring to L1 and L2. You would still attach your supply wires to L1 and L2.

User: Horace

My hot tub leaked all the water out; filled it back up, turned it on, saw that the single pump motor was leaking between wet & dry section. Ordered a new one just like the old. Only diff, the new one had the capacitor instead & the wire was a little diff on the outside (the wires were covered in the old ones) New one has two places for the BLACK and the WHITE coming from the board. The wires they can connect to are YEL/BLACK and YELLOW. My question: BLACK to YELLOW/BLACK? (that's what we did; hot tub now turns on for 1/2 second then nothing! HELP!

User: No Electrician

I bought new pump supposedly just like old one to make switching out easy. But the new one has a black part in the back next to the terminals with a blue wire that is attached to one of the terminals on L2. On my old pump, a red wire was attached to L2. Can I have two wires on the same line? What is the part? I can't find it anywhere. Other than that everything is the same.

User: Inyopools

Rick - Looks like you motor is set up for 220V. That's how they are normally shipped from the factory. The label says to rotate the knob CCW [counter clockwise] to set the voltage to 115V. Try rotating it CCW and see if 115V shows in the slot. If so, you are then set up for 115V. I would check the supply voltage with a multimeter to make sure you have 115V going to the pump. See our guide on "How To Use a Multimeter to Test a Pool Pump Motor - Voltage". If you have 220V going to the motor and your motor is set for 115V, you will fry the motor.

User: Inyopools

NateG - If you are referring to the terminal connectors clamped to the ends of the supply wires that attach to the terminal posts, the answer is no. These could be purchased at most any H/W store or you could hook the wires under the terminal screws as before.

User: Inyopools

Kris - Get a multimeter and check the power reading in and out of your breaker box to isolate the problem. You may have a bad circuit breaker. See our guide on "How To Use a Multimeter to Test a Pool Pump Motor - Voltage".

User: NateG

I am switching out my whisperflo pentair motor with an A.O. Smith. When wiring this up will i need to buy terminal connectors or does the motor come with it? the pentair motor wires are just wrapped around the screws.

User: Kris

We had a bad rainstorm and now the breaker box has no power. It was running as it started to rain. We never lost electricity,and tried tripping it. No luck. Help

User: Rick

I think my pump motor was set to 230, but should be set to 115. Wiring is white; black and green. When you say the pointer is pointed at 115 or 230, does that mean that ONLY the proper voltage number can be seen and the other is hidden by the knob? The knob seems to point to 115, but the cut in the knob shows 230. The old motor had the 230 showing with the white; black and green wiring....and seemed to run fine....will a motor that's 115 run with the pointer at 230 and then die or ?

User: Inyopools

Doug - Not sure what's going on if you have a new motor and you have power to the motor. New motor's generally come from the factory configured for 220V. Make sure you converted the motor to 115V if your power source is 115V.

User: Doug

Hi very confused at the moment...our pump (1 1/2 HP Hayward230) was running fine and one day just stopped...then was no hum no breaker kicked etc...took it apart looking for something obvious... pump...same hum no power yet its getting power thru the lines...120v...

User: Inyopools

ywang - The metal elbow and collar is a common piece of hardware that can be bought in most hardware stores.

User: ywang

Thanks for the article. I'd like to order a replacement metal elbow and collar, but couldn't find them from your web site. Please help!

User: Rob

Hey, just wanted to thank you for the information. I just removed and replaced my dead pool pump. The info you provided was invaluable. THANKS!

User: davey

so I have a 1081 1HP motor with three wire coming out- 1 is white, 1 is light blue, and 1 is white. the second white looks like it goes to a switch before the capacitor. Is this a 115V? I like to wire a basic on off switch and us this for a pond pump. Any help would be appreciated.

User: Inyopools

Ol Jim - If your only power requirement at the pool is for 115V, you should be able to change that 240V line over to 115V by moving one of the hot lines at the circuit breaker over to neutral. Line colors are off. Neutral is usually white so you'd probably want to label that line as neutral on both ends. Discuss this with your electrician.

User: Ol Jim

can I run a 240v below ground motor/canister filter combo on an above ground pool?
Only 240v available at pool (without having to dig new power line 200' in rock.)
My electrician said there was no way to convert to 115v in my circumstance.

User: Inyopools

John - The GFCI outlet may be bad. Try bypassing the outlet temporarily with a heavy extension cord to the main power supply. If that work, replace the outlet. Otherwise you may have to get an electrician in to check the motor.

User: John

My sister in law has a Hayward pump. When she plugged it in, the plug arced and melted off two of the prongs. The circuits were all checked with no problems noted. The plug was replaced and the back of the motor was checked and all seemed fine. Now when the plug is inserted into the outlet (GFCI) it immediately trips and won't start. What else could be the problem?

User: Inyopools

Dany G - According to the motor manufacturer, the neutral white wire is not needed when the motor is set up for 230V. The red and black hot wires are connected to L1 and L2 and the green wire goes to ground. Cap off the white wire with a wire nut. It is not connected to your motor.

User: Dany G

I recently purchase a new pool pump to replace my old pump which was wired for 230V. The new pump is already set for 230V wiring according to the notice posted on the pump. I look up at the picture on your web site showing how to do the wiring for a typical pump at 230V and it is the same as what I have on the new pump. However, the initial connection on my old pump was done with 4 wires (red, black, white and green for ground). I have no problem to connect both hot wires (red and black) to the L1 and L2 posts and the green wire to the green connector as indicated but where do we connect the neutral white wire that was part of the electrical connection on my old pump? I believe that the neutral white wire is needed to close the circuit but I don't know how to connect it. Can you help and clarify the situation?

User: Brandon

The motor is an A.O. Smith Century 1081/1563. The specs read as a 60hz, 2.5hp, 230v, 10.5/2.6A 3450/1725 RPM.

I will see if I can determine where the white wire connects to in the motor.

User: Inyopools

Brandon - Your problem may be with the neutral white wire. According to a motor manufacturer rep: "There is no neutral line on motors connected for 230 volts". Where is the white wire connected? On your other question, motors with 230V have half the amps of the 115V motors. I don't know the size of your motor but as an example a 2 HP motor uses 10-11 amps under full load. So your 30 amp breaker should work fine. You might check to see if it's still good.

User: Brandon

I recently bought a used hot tub with a 230V Century AO Smith Motor/heater assembly. When we wired it we set it by conventional knowledge; black and red wires as hot for the 230v, green to ground, and white to neutral. There is a 30amp GFCI breaker at the main panel. The tub came with a 50amp GFCI breaker which we wired near the pump. The voltage is correct, as we get 110 from the black and red indivudally, and 220 (240 maybe?) when both are tested together.

A couple questions.

When we turn on the breaker at the panel, it immediately trips. Could this be caused by us having the white connected to neutral at the pump?

Is the second GFCI nearest the pump (the second autonomous breaker that came with the hot tub) redundant and can we eliminate it? (And/or can it be part of the problem as to why the other breaker is tripping right away?)

What size breaker do we need inside at the main panel? I have read 30, 20, 15, and the original owners told me they had a 40amp GFCI.

It has been quite frustrating with how challenging it has been finding the proper way to wire this. The AO Smith "Installation manuals" I have found online do not tell you how to wire the pump from the house.

User: Inyopools

Florida - Wiring a two speed pump can be confusing. Take a look at our guide on "How To Wire a PE153 Digital Timer to a 2-Speed 230V Motor". It may not fit your application exactly but it does show you how the forth wire is connected. Make sure you have 230 coming out of the timer by putting the meter across black and red wires when they are both hot. Same for black and yellow.

User: Florida

I'm in the process of installing a 2 speed EE pump motor (AO Smith B2983), rated as 230V, but can't get it to turn on. I have 4 wires coming into the pump, measured with a voltage tester: green for ground, black (appears to be common) always at 115V, red at 115V when timer is in low, yellow at 115V when timer in in high. Wiring diagram on the side of motor indicates I should wire L2-common, L1-high, A-low, besides ground of course. Any suggestions or link? Thanks in advance.

User: Inyopools

WF26 wiring - Yes, L1 and L2 are interchangeable. Was your old pump set up for 230V or 115V? Can you check the voltage of the power coming to your new pump? You could have a bad pump. I'd check with the Pentair for advice before I you do much more with the pump.


Bought a new whisperflow WF26 pump set by factory as 230V. Removed old pulp adn connected the two wires to L1 and L2 and the green ground wire to the green terminal. Before plumbing into line wanted to check pump would run. Motor just hummed but not spuin. Able to freely turn motor shart. Verified the brown and white wite that are correctly set and scurely in place for 230 per label on motor. Any idea what to do. My understanding that L1 and L2 are interchangeable - is tghat correct?

User: Inyopools

shona - You will have some bubbles coming out the jets when you first turn the system on. If they continue to come out the jets, you probably have a suction leak before the pump. Check all connections you may have changed when you replaced the motor. See our guide on "How to Identify and Correct Air Leaks".

User: Inyopools

Rob - Your problem may be on the timer side of your wiring, not at the pump. Two-speed timer control can be tricky. I don't know what you have to control the two speeds of this pump but here is a link to one method: "How To Wire a PE153 Digital Timer to a 2-Speed 230V Motor". It will give you an idea of what's involved with the third wire.

User: shona

Motor is wired and running good , thanks for your help . Any Idea why I"m getting air bubbles out of the jets ? The fun never ends.

User: Inyopools

nkll - Yes, if you are sure the old motor was set up for 230V, you can assume that your supply voltage is 230V.

User: Inyopools

shona - Yes, for 115V the black plug will cover both 4 and 5 terminals and the arrow will be pointing at 115V.

User: Inyopools

shona - White, black and green is usually the wiring for 115V but not always. You should check the voltage going into the pump to be sure. If your supply voltage is 230V and your motor is 115V, you will fry the motor. See our guide on "How To Use a Multimeter to Test a Pool Pump Motor - Voltage".

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Tips & Warnings

Make sure that your pump is connected to a GFCI circuit.

Make sure all power to the pump is turned off at the circuit breaker before wiring the pump.

If your are unfamiliar with local electrical codes and regulations have a licensed electrician check your wiring.

Wires will very according to the manufacturer of your pool pump. Please contact the manufacturer if you are unsure of the configuration of your pool pump.

Please Note:

Inyo Pool Products is not responsible for any injury or damaged equipment
while using our guides. Using our guides is doing so at your own risk.
These guides are suggested use of your pool or spa equipment and may vary
depending on which product you are using.