5 Biggest Pool Pump Mistakes

5 Biggest Pool Pump Mistakes

The pump is literally the heart of your pool’s circulation system.  But just like our own hearts, we have a tendency to neglect the health and well-being of the pool pump and then freak out when it’s not working properly.  There are probably dozens of pool pump mistakes out there. . . here are our top 5.

Not Cleaning Pump Basket

Blog Image - Pump Basket Leaves (200 x 200)Let’s start with the very basics.  The pump strainer basket exists to catch debris but it can’t clean itself.  You need to reach in there and get the gunk out.  If you don’t, the pool will have decreased water flow which means reduced filtration and ultimately, the dreaded algae bloom.  The pump basket should be cleared out weekly and even more frequently during the fall and spring when there is more debris in the pool.  Learn more here about how to clean your pump strainer basket.


click here to find your replacement pool pump parts


Running Pump Too Little or Too Much

Some pool owners, desperate to save money on their electric bills, actually cost themselves more in the long run by not runningBlog Image -Pump Timer (200 x 200) the pump long enough.  To maintain water quality and safety, all of the water in your pool should be turned over (meaning filtered) once a day.  Depending on the gallons per minute your pump is moving, this usually takes 8 – 12 hours.  If you don’t give all the water a chance to pass through the filter, you can end up with dirty, cloudy water, algae and the need to spend more on chemicals and maintenance than you would’ve given to your utility company to run the pump a little longer.

On the flip side, there is running the pump too long.  Some believe in keeping it going 24/7 which might be necessary under certain conditions but for most pools is just wasteful overkill.  It drains both energy and money while causing unnecessary strain on the pool pump motor.  Your pump will burn out more quickly and require replacement of parts or the entire unit.  Plus, you are driving your neighbors crazy!  Give them a break from that humming motor and save some money in the process.  For standard residential pools with moderate use, you only need to turn over all the water once in a 24 hour time period.  If you are into the math behind pump run times and savings, read our How to Reduce Your Pool Pump Energy Bill guide.

Sizing Pump Incorrectly

There is a very persistent myth in the pool world that the higher the horsepower, the better.  As a result, it is probably safe to say that the majority of pools have oversized pumps.  We regularly hear from customers with a relatively small pool (~ 10,000 gallons) and a pump that is moving 2 – 3 times the gallons per minute required.  This means unnecessarily high electric bills and a lot of wasted energy.  Too large of a pump can cause poor filter performance and even damage it, if the filter is not also oversized accordingly.  Another possible consequence is pump cavitation in which bubbles form in the water inside the pump and then burst with great force, resulting in damage to the impeller and other internal parts.

Conversely, some pool owners try to save a few bucks by buying a lower horsepower pump that is too small for their pool’s demands.  This is especially true when a spa and other water features, such as deck jets or waterfalls, are tied into the pool pump.  Throw an automatic suction cleaner into the mix and that undersized pump is overloaded.

The bottom line?  Do the math to calculate how many gallons are in your pool (and spa if applicable) and how many gallons per minute are required to filter all of that water in 8 – 12 hours.  Then consult the manufacturer’s pump performance charts to determine what pump actually meets your needs.  Or skip all that, contact us and we’ll do the legwork for you!

Not Priming Pump / Running Dry

Most in-ground pool pumps are self-priming but do not mistakenly think this means your pump can initially prime itself.  “Self-priming” refers to the pump being able to reprime, and this depends upon a proper initial prime and maintenance.  Priming a pump means filling the intake with water.  Then upon start, the pump will push any air out through the discharge.  Read our step-by-step priming guide for all the details.

A loss of prime will cause the pump to run dry which you never want to do.  Keeping an eye on the pool water level is a must – don’t let it drop below the skimmer opening.  If the pump has no water to pull from the skimmer, it will draw air instead and lose prime which leads to running dry.  At the least, this will ruin the motor shaft seal which is what prevents water from getting inside the motor.  If it keeps running dry, the pump heats up and so does the water inside.  Commence melting plastic.  The motor might survive due to the high temp sensor kicking in but the wet end of the pump will be a casualty.  If your pump has run dry and appears to have survived, replace the shaft seal!

Not Changing the Shaft Seal During Motor Replacement

Blog Image - Shaft Seal (200 x 200)I literally grind my teeth over this one.  Replacement pool pump motors are an extremely popular product for us – and with good reason.  In the majority of cases, when a pump fails, the wet end is fine and only the motor needs to be replaced.  Since a pump motor is roughly half the price of a new pump, it makes often sense to keep the existing wet end and just buy a new motor.  Especially true for DIYers who don’t have to pay an installer.

But so many people buy just the motor and neglect the small yet extremely important shaft seal.  This seal keeps water out of the motor (water inside motor + time = failed motor).  Yes, your existing motor will already have a seal on the shaft and it might appear to be in good shape and ok to reuse.  However, shaft seals warp over time.  If you install the old seal on a new motor, there is a good chance it will not mate properly, leading to leakage which voids the warranty on the new motor.

So don’t skip the new shaft seal!  Depending on the pump model, you’re looking at about $15 – $30 to protect a new motor that is worth much more than that.  Invest those few extra bucks – you will not regret it.  While you’re at it, motor replacement is a great opportunity to upgrade other internal parts most likely to fail.  Check for our complete tune up kits, available for many of the most common pool pumps.  These include the shaft seal, along with o-rings, gaskets and lubricant.  For help with replacing the seal, check out our how to guide and video.

click here to find your replacement pool pump parts

309 thoughts on “5 Biggest Pool Pump Mistakes

  1. Can taking my filter out and cleaning it off while pump is on, cause cloudiness in my pool? We have tried EVERYTHING…for clear water again and still get a cloudy pool. We have a 13x33in upground pool. I noticed when my husband took the filter out (while pump was on) he put it back and all the stuff shot back out. I told him well that could be our problem???

      1. Hi, I have set up new Bestway damd filtration and missed the part, that must be filled up with water and accidently put it straight way for filtration. It just made big noise and stop immediately. I am wandering it run dry.whay can I do with it now?

      2. The same thing happened to me. It was actually around the time we applied floc. We finished pouring the floc and ran the pump on filter all night to see if it would work. This morning we backwashed, but it’s still the same. It looks as if there was a lot of sand around the edges of the pool and the water is really cloudy. I set up my Dolphin to vacuum the pool, hopefully it’ll at least get rid of the sandy walls 😞.

        1. I have found when I put flocc in && run the filter on “recirculate” for 2 hours then turn everything off for 48 hours my pool has never been more blue && every single thing sunk to the bottom. Vacuumed to waste && I repeated a couple times cause the house I just moved into the pool was AWFUL

          1. How green was your pool water before?
            I’ve been at it for 6 days now and I cannot see down 4 inches looks like a lake water. 4 gallons of liquid chlorine didnt do a thing.

    1. System needs to be put on service. That shuts the system down. You will be able to hear water leaving filter as you loosen top to get to actual filter. Unscrew top slowly and when you take top off, filter lifts out for easy cleaning with a hose. Reverse what you did and push service button once, if system doesn’t start, push again and it should start

    2. Never remove filter while pump is running, filter sediment in filter tank will return to pool if u do. Clean filter drain tank..

    3. Why would you do that. Simple to unplug for 1 minute and replace before starting again. That is just pure laziness

    4. You need to vacuum your pool to waste. Vacuum so the water and algae vacuum out of the pool. You will lose a little water but that’s how you do it.

  2. Hi…. I have a new Hayward pump above ground pro matrix….. The water in the pump basket just misses the very top so there is stil a swirl of water….. It is almost full but not ….. Pressure perfect!…. Hoses changed… Everything seems tight…..no air bubbles in return….. Is this ok???

      1. I have the same issue with the water looking like it’s just barely to the top of the pump, but my pressure is low.

        1. The reason you pressure is low is likely because the air is causing it to be low. Check the line for pinhole air leaks and be sure the water level is at the correct height for the skimmer.

          1. I forgot to turn off the pump while cleaning the filter. Now the pump won’t run. HELP!

          2. I’ll need more information to go on than that. Did the pump run dry? Or, did the pump get splashed with water from a leaking filter?

            Did a breaker trip? If the pump ran dry, is there any obvious damage to the pump housing like melted parts?

      2. Hi Matthew, I wanted to ask about air in the top of the pump. Brand new pump installed, new pipes needed and can see air in top of pump. No water leaks but I assume this must mean small air leak in new pipe seals. Should I ask the installer back?

        1. The cause for concern is the size of the bubble. Some pumps have a few air bubbles that bounce around the top of the lid. If you have a couple of penny sized bubbles in your pump lid, then it probably is not an issue to be concerned about. But if the bubble is the size of most or all of the pump lid then you have a problem and need to find the leak.

          If your bubble is big, have your installer come back out, or read this how-to guide: How to Identify and Correct Air Leaks

          1. Wow. Thanks for such prompt reply. There are 4 quarter sized bubbles. I was worried the water would leak out overnight due to airleak but it held. There are now lots of tiny bubbles in chlorinator which I didn’t observe with last pump. There must be an air leak right? I can’t clear the air with the filter bleed but it doesn’t appear to be getting larger.

          2. i’m having to back wash ny pump every 4 hrs or its stops pumping what could be the problem

  3. we treated the in ground pool with phosphate it recommends that the pool run for 48 hours straight, but noticed the pressure psi from 12 to 25, would we ruin the pump if left running all night and pressure becomes higher?

  4. We have had an above ground pool that we purchased at Walmart last summer. The pump was working last summer but we put the pool up today and the pump doesn’t seem to be working. Does the pump need water to turn on? I mean like does water need to run through it to turn on? We have it plugged up but it doesn’t seem to be working. I’m trying to see if I should purchase another pump or not.

    1. Did you open the no at the top of the pump to let the air out? You have to do it until you see water come out and then the pump will turn on

    2. No, water does not need to be in the pump for it to run but since it is a an above ground pool water should freely flow to the pump as it is installed below the water level.

      When you try to turn on the pump, does it make a sound, pop the breaker or does it do nothing?

    3. If the pump has a GFI on it the GFI might be wet causing it to be inoperable. Cut the plug end off and give it a new end. Always make sure that your new plug is always plugged into a GFI receptacle after replacing though…. ZAP!

  5. The pump to our pool kicked off when the water from the 2nd pool filter overflowed as I was priming it.
    It hasn’t turned on since. It’s been about 40 hours

      1. Hi, I can’t find an existing post or answer related to my problem…. pump fell out from bottom of skimmer basket on above ground pool, so of course water flowed (quickly!) over the top of the pump before we were able to lodge it back in place. It’s a cheap Walmart metal frame pool, 10 ft. Pump didn’t turn on. We are going to try to let it dry out, but is there anything else we can do?

        1. I’ve never fiddled with one of of their pumps so I’m not sure how much you can do with it once it is in that condition. But yeah, I would let it dry out for a day or two; then you can figure out if you will need a new skimmer or a new skimmer and a new skimmer and pump.

  6. I took the top off the pump 2 clean it out. When I put it back on there is a small leak. Should I turn off the pump until I can have someone help me or will it be fine with a small leak thru the day?

    1. Is the leak coming from a crack in the casing or from a leaky gasket? You can still run it but you will have to keep an eye on it just in case it gets severely worse. Figure out what the source of the leak is, and fix it asap; a small leak can turn into a gusher in no time.

  7. I have a above ground pool tried too turn pump on high and water started too coming out of the back of pump

  8. my pool pump heats up when i use ac source from my local power supply but runs very well on generator. what could be the problem ac source is 247 v all the time but drops to 160 when i turn on the pump

    1. Are you using the same lines to connect the motor to the generator, and the motor to grid power? The drop in voltage and subsequent overheating may be a sign of one of the 220-240 lines connected to the grid being damaged, causing the motor to draw more amps, and therefore create more heat. I would try running new lines to the motor.

  9. I was using the vacuum on our above ground 4ftx28ft pool for the first time, it has alot of sand in the pool from the installation. The skimmer basket for blocked and I shut the pump off really fast. Took the vacuum out, primed the pump and when I turned it back on, it was making a humming sound. I am wondering if the impeller is bound by something. Unsure of next steps.

  10. I have an issue with my pump losing prime when the skimmer valve is open. There is some water that stays in the pump but it seems like it is pulling air. The jets are spurting water/air to the point that it almost looks like a hot tub. Valves on the suction side have been replaced in an attempt to resolve the problem. When I close the skimmer valve everything runs smoothly and pump is fully primed. The moment the skimmer valve is opened half-way, the pump loses prime immediately and I lose a steady flow in the jets. Any ideas? I’ve gone through 2 pool guys with little luck.
    Specs: inground salt water pool. 35′ x 15′
    New pump, new t-cell, new heater, new spider in filter, new sand,

  11. My question is if power is reaching the clock, and the gears ARE turning, but there is no power/voltage where the three wires connect to the pump, what could my issue be?
    I’ve looked over wiring on both sides and made sure the wires are securely fastened, and I don’t see any wire damage.

    1. Need to turn off power take the timer out of the box and turn it on to see if the contents are connecting correctly or one may need to be adjusted

  12. I have an unground pool and the deep end is continuously cloudy. I had people come and check and they say everything is fine. I know something is wrong because I never had this happen before.

    1. That can be a sign of bad circulation, try directing the return jets at that end of the pool towards the floor to churn up the cloudy water. Also, shock the pool and dose it with clarifier to clear the cloudiness.

  13. I’m using a Kreepy Krauler type vacuum that hooks to the skimmer. When it’s running my pump loses prime.
    I’m assuming the vacuum just isn’t sucking enough water to keep it primed but why? And can it be remedied?
    I have a spa overflowing into the pool. Not sure if that is a factor.

  14. I am having a problem vacuuming the pool. The pump and filter runs fine, but as soon as I plug in vac (front of skimmer), there is no suction. That lead to us putting the line directly into the filter and we were able to vacuum, which worked once. Now if I try to do that (which obviously isn’t the right way) it sucks the pumps basket dry. I have removed the filter and cleaned it with muriatic acid. It is a new filter (2 mos). There has to be a leak, but all hoses have been removed and checked. I was thinking the gasket at the top of the filter housing was cranked down on damage might have been done there, but while filtering, we have 15 psi. Suggestions?

    1. It sounds like an air leak on the suction side of the pump, we cover this subject in this how-to guide and video: How to Identify and Correct Air Leaks. The filter housing is on the pressure side of the pump, so if there was a leak you would see a stream of water.

      The issue may be coming from the strainer lid gasket of the pump, which is an easy fix. If the pump and filter are working fine except when the vacuum hose is connected, my first inspection would be of the hose. There may be a pinhole leak somewhere on the line. A good way to find a leak, is to cap each hose section and submerge it, if air bubbles start streaming from the hose then that is your culprit.

      1. When you say I would see a stream of water on the filter housing/pressure side, you are referring to a stream coming out of the housing unit correct? Also, I just replaced the gasket on the strainer last year. I don’t really see a leak from there, but its possible. How long do those gaskets last. It’s been one hot summer here. I will remove all hoses and test them to see what I find. Thanks for ur help!

        1. There is no set time on when a gasket will go, it can pop out of the groove or get pinched anytime. A quick way to find an air leak is to light an incense or a cigarette then wave it close to the pipe, if there is a leak the smoke will be pulled in.

          When I say filter housing, I mean the filter’s main tank, that holds the sand, cartridges, or grids.

  15. I have a sand filter for our above ground pool. Hubby overfilled the pool last night. Can I turn the filter on without draining the excess water without damaging anything?

  16. Hello. I have an above ground pool, and a Hayward pump. The pump is in it’s 4th season. The filter is as old. When I run the pump for any length of time over an hour, and then turn it off, it pulls the water from the filter, and pushes it backward into the pool through the intake skimmer. It is with such force that it honestly is a 10″ fountain of water pushing up out of the skimmer. This causes a vacuum in the filter, and the hoses are all empty of water. So I switch the filter dial to the winter position, which allows water from the pool to fill the filter. At the same time, I remove the lid of the pump and allow water to flow back in from the skimmer. I must do this every time I turn off the pump. This has been happening for just about 2 weeks. I had a technician out to evaluate and he told me I need to replace the pump, that they only last 4-5 years. I don’t feel this is not acceptable. Would you please give me your thoughts … any ideas of how to repair this? Thanks for your time.

  17. I have quadruple my shocked my pool due to turning green after 2 days of sitting due to a hose busting. No I cant get rid of the green. Please help. Also can a hose be to long for the pump back to the sand filter?

  18. Hi, I own an in ground pool and our water levels are higher than needed… we want to swim tomorrow but have no idea how to drain the pool without a pool drainer … what should we do? And is it safe to swim if the water is 2 high ?

  19. I have an inground pool. One afternoon, I had turned off the filters to open the chamber to clean the 4 cartridges. After cleaning, i forgot to place the cartridges and replace the lid of the chamber that evening. The next morning, being on a timer, the filters ran for several hours. My pool water level dropped by 2 feet. I ordered 6,000 gallons of water to increase level so filters can run. The motor runs but now i’ve noticed that it runs louder than prior to this event. Did i cause harm to the motor?

    1. What kind of sound is the motor making? If it is a screeching or grinding sound, it would be the bearings, which may have been caused by some of that 6,000 gallons getting into the motor.

  20. I have an inground Hayward saltwater pool. On 2 occ I have received a LO reading on the heater and the pump sounds like it is grinding. I then backwash the pool to restore the flow, re-prime and that seems to set it to flow correctly. I just backwashed the yesterday and I had to backwash again today because I was getting a LO reading again. Is there something else going on. We just got a major thunderstorm and I’m wondering if the water level is too high there for interfering with the flow.

    Also on another note, I’m noticing some creases on the bottom of my pool in the liner as well as what seems to be Airpark it’s in some spots on the wall.do you have any idea what may be causing this. My pool is only two years old.

    1. Sorry my auto type doesn’t hear well. I am seeing air pockets along some spots on the walls of the pool behind the liner. Does this mean I have water coming in behind.

      1. Sarah,

        First question, is this a DE or a sand filter? If this is a sand filter, you may have to change the sand. Backwashing the filter helps rid your sand of excessive dirt and debris but eventually your sand gets so saturated it won’t matter what you do the water can’t get through it fast enough.

        Air or water pockets behind the liner could is a potentially bad sign, you will need to find out where that leak is coming from. Have you had excessive or flooding recently? Also what is being behind your liner: steel walls, fiberglass shell or other?

  21. One of the guys cut a pigtail to a Skil saw which tripped a breaker we know that they are not on the same circuit breaker, would that cause the pump to stop working??

  22. i have a waterco multicyclone plus 12 filtration system.it is attached to a 1/2 horse power pump. all works well , but as the filter starts to do its job the power of the pump does not seem to be enough to keep forcing water through the filter and requires me to strip down the filter, clean it and reassemble to get it working efficiently again. i think the filter should be able to run longer between cleaning. the working pressure on the filter rises from 0 to just under 1bar[11psi] when i have to clean it. the pool is small, only 27m3[7000 gl]. do you think i need a bigger[stronger] pump for the filter.

  23. Hi!
    I am always struggleing with a lot of bugs, pollen and millions of gnats in my pool.
    Three or four times a day we are skimming and cleaning out the catch basin but no matter what the pool has stuff floating around.

    What can I do to minimize this?!


  24. On a separate issue of recent I have encountered an infestation of tiny micro tubular speciem. After shocking pool three times I still have these but it has lessened. How long before you can swim and how do you prevent?

  25. Hi there I have an inground pool with a Hayward pump and daypack heater. I had the pump to half skimmer and half kreepy it didn’t feel like there was any suction but I left it for. 8 hours and when I went to turn to full skimmer I noticed that the pipe coming from the sand filter to heater was very swollen. And the water in the pump basket was steaming. I switched everything off. Is there a blockage or should I be back washing more?

    1. The steaming water and swollen pipe could be caused by low water flow. A pool heater requires a minimum flow rate (depending on model) to keep it from overheating and eventually breaking down. The bulging pipe may be caused by the superheated water deforming the pipe; the steam is likely another symptom of the problem. The heater hi-limit should have stopped the heater from reaching these dangerous levels.

      First I would find the reason for the low flow whether it be an air leak or a blockage and then I would get a professional to inspect your heater.

  26. My filter wasn’t working well (I accidentally filled water above skimmer) for a few days. Now that the water level has lowered and the pump is working well again, do I need to let it run longer than usual to make up for the missed days or is it sufficient to run it as normal (does all water once per day). This is an above ground, 10,600 L pool.


  27. My pump is running, sounds louder than usual, and bounces from 0-10 psi. I am new to pools. Just bought a house with an inground pool. Im clueless! Will running the pump with low pressure cause the pump motor to go out? And, why is my pressure low? Any help or advice is greatly appreciated!! Thanks!

  28. Good morning. At our community pool, our servicing company recommends pulling the motors (for both baby pool and large pool) for the winter. I’ve read mixed thoughts on the issue. What is your opinion. They are charging $600.

    1. If the pumps are in an equipment room, I would keep the motors on the pumps and save the motor. With the cost of $600, does that include blowing out the lines and other winterization? If not then you are paying a company to essentially remove two motors which is about a half hour worth of work.

      For a general idea on how to winterize your pool read this guide, How To Winterize Your In-Ground Pool

      1. Thanks Matthew! We are paying for the company separately to blow out the lines and other winterization, so I think your assessment is correct. I’m anxious to read your guide!

  29. I accidentally forgot to turn off the pump while cleaning the filter basket and water rushed all over the place. Now my above ground pool will not turn on. Will letting it dry more than likely fix the problem? Thank you.

  30. We bought a above ground pool and the sand filter sprung a leak in the middle of the tank. It was a 150lb doughboy I seen a used filter on Craig’s list that was 250lbs crystal flo2. Not knowing any better I hooked it up to the existing pump and was on my way. We started noticing sand in the pool and the pressure on the tank never went up from 10 lbs even after a month. Pulled sand out to check laterals and they are fine. But I just found out my filter is rated for 60 gpm and the pump is rated for 91. Would this cause sand in pool and what damage might I have done to the filter???

    1. If your pump is pushing 50% more than what your filter is rated for, that is probably the root of the damage. If there was not already damage from it being a used filter in the first place.

      If there is sand in your pool, the issue is likely a cracked lateral and/or standpipe. The crack in the equipment may only pop up when the filter is under high pressure, making it hard to find when you are inspecting it by hand.

  31. We bought a de filter and hooked it up after using cartridges for 5 years. Now the pump and filter doesn’t put out enough gpm to run our above ground heater. Any suggestions?

  32. When I change filter cartridges I immediately have very strong water flow…but within short period (often little as an hour) the flow drops significantly. Pressure not increasing or very little, i.e. 2 lbs. Ideas??


  33. Hi, I have a new above ground pool, and I have no idea what I’m doing where chemicals are concerned! I purchased chlorine granules, and the directions read to take the skimmer basket out before slowly pouring the granules into the skimmer. My question is should I put the skimmer basket back in while the pump is running and the granules are dissolving? Or should I leave the basket out while the granules are dissolving? I don’t want to damage the pump. Thanks so much!

    1. Once the granules are added to the skimmer they should be diluted into solution pretty quickly allowing you to pop in the skimmer basket.

      A better way to add the granules:
      1) Fill a 5-gallon bucket with water
      2) Add recommended chlorine dose to bucket, then stir.
      3) With the pump running, pour the bucket’s contents as you walk the perimeter of the pool.

  34. i need help, i ran my pump for about 7 hrs on my intex 12x24x52 above ground pool and forgot to open the valve and i was gonna go turn it off and there was water spilling thru a outlet on top of the pump, so i closed the valves and turned off the pump, did i mess it up now with doing that, is it ever gonna work again?

    1. It is hard to tell, you may have blown a gasket which should be an easy fix. Or you may have cracked a part of the plumbing or pump which is more expensive to repair. The only way to know for sure is to find the source of the leak.

  35. I have a 12 year old AO Smith century Centurion pump model 38448300, the top lid for the strainer is not sealing, I need the Oring or even the entire lid, does anyone know what the replacement PN would be and where I can find it?
    I’m not having any success locating that brand.

    1. Rick – to find the correct gasket we will need to know the model number of the pump housing side. The AO Smith info provided above is the motor, which can be fitted to dozens of pumps. Can you find a tag on the pump housing that says “pump model number” or find a part number on the strainer lid, basket or other parts?

  36. Hi Matthew,
    Thanks for responding. The tag on the pump says “Century Centurion” A.O. SMITH
    Part 7-177474-01 switch less motor. Then there is a tag that says Model Number 38448300
    Serial number. PF-1-10-F03.
    That’s pretty much all the info aside from specs.

    I changed the o ring early season and it’s the wrong one, and I have air being pulled in.
    I believe the top strainer cover o ring is the culprit.

    I appreciate your help.


    1. Rick – that is all motor info again. The motor label is only going to have motor information. To give you an idea of the two sides of a pump, here is an image:

      parts of a swimming pool pump

      To find the seals you require, we need the model number off the pump side.

      1. That’s the only sticker on the strainer side?
        Model number 38448300
        Serial number PF-1-10-F03

        The motor has a different part and serial number.

  37. Thanks for all the info! My fill line has spring a leak, and the builder would like to cap that line off and run a new line that would flow into and fill from the pump / filter equipment. I want to know if that’s a good idea, bad idea, or makes no difference. He said he does it all the time, and would install with special valves to prevent the fresh water and pump water from backing into each other.

    1. It’s hard to say, because I can’t see the health of the old pipe, the size of the leak or how easy an installation would be. I would get a second opinion from a local different pool guy/contractor to be on the safe side.

  38. I woke up this morning and my inground pool had lost significant water. When I went to work it lost more water, that is usually when the pump runs. I looked at where the water drains from the pump and did not see any wet areas. Any ideas?

  39. It was so useful to learn that a pump motor is roughly half the price of a new pump. Our motor has been sitting out all winter, as we forgot to take it out. I see minor cracks in the motor itself. I will be sure to call someone about my options for replacement parts!

  40. Hello all, I recently replaced my pool motor with the same size that was there. The pump works great when I have the bottom drain or the hot tub set to pull water from. However if I change over to the skimmer it keeps losing the prime because it seems to drain all the water out of the skimmer too fast. The water is at the correct level maybe even a bit above. Any ideas.

    Thank you

  41. Hello again all, Ignore my question. I am an idiot. LOL a stick had gotten wedged in the flap that keeps debris from floating back into the pool and the door was stuck up and not allowing enough water in.

    Thank you

  42. Hi, can you please tell me if the filter where all the debris are held has to be turning all the time if the pump is on? I noticed that the pump was going, but the leaves in the container filter is not turning, which means, the water is not recycling. What should I do? I appreciate you help.

    Kind regards

    1. Leafs in the pump strainer basket are not the best telltale on how well a pump is working. You should be able to tell how well a pump is working by your filter’s pressure gauge or by feeling the strength of the return. Your pump’s flow rate may be slowed because you have too many leaves in the basket. Clear out your pump and skimmer strainer baskets and then see how your water flow is.

  43. Hi Matthew,

    Quick question – I have two fountains that run into the pool that are on the same pump. Just the other day, one fountain’s stream became weaker and not as much water was running into the pool, while the other fountain is stronger with more water running into the pool. I didn’t change the valves and since it’s on the same pump, I wouldn’t think there would be a clog. If you have time, let me know your thoughts, thanks!

    1. It depends if the fountain are equal distance from the pump.

      If they are – My best guess is that the fountain with the weaker clog has some kind of obstruction in the pipe or nozzle of the fountain. The obstruction is restricting flow to the Fountain B, making water divert to Fountain A causing the stronger flow. Without having eyes on the plumbing that is the only that that can come to mind.

      If the stronger fountain is closer to the pump – The pump may have reduced water output, from sucking air leak or a dirty filter. Check for those two problems and check back with us.

  44. I am in the process of having my pool resurfaced by a regional chain pool company. They were supposed to let us know when they would be coming so that we would be prepared, but showed up unannounced while we were at work yesterday and drained the pool. The pump and booster are on automatic timers and turned on with an empty pool and ran dry for almost 4 hours before I got home and noticed them running and shut them off. The pool pump is 7 months old, the booster pump is 1 week old. I contacted our sales contact with the pool company to bring the issue to their attention and come up with a plan to make sure everything is functioning right when we start it up again, he said “It takes more than running dry for 4 hours to damage these pumps, there isn’t anything to worry about.” Your article says that running dry is not good, but doesn’t say how long they would have to run dry to cause any damage. Both pump motors were too hot to touch when I turned them off. Should I be concerned in this situation, or is 4 hours of dry running not enough to cause any damage?

    1. A pump running dry for longer than fifteen minutes can damage the pump, melt plastic components, overstress the motor and ruin the shaft seal. I’d have a serious conversation with that sales rep, and have them deal with it seriously by replacing the necessary parts for free or replacing the whole pump.

      If they ask to inspect the pump, try to be onsite so you can see it yourself when they open it.

      1. I attempted to go that route, they started coming up with additional charges for resurfacing. The response was “I’ve been in this business for long time, so I know what I am talking about. I had pumps running for days without water and nothing was wrong with them. Oh, by the way, for your warranty on your new plaster to be valid, you have to have it professionally brushed and balanced for 5 days after we finish. That is an additional $600. I also just finished inspecting your pool and found some cracks that we didn’t notice before, they will have to be repaired for an additional cost.”

        Information below to help others avoid a mistake that we made:

        Our neighbors are also in the process of having their pool resurfaced, so we knew to ask about the cost of aftercare. We were told that this service was included in the price, we failed to get it in writing so they are refusing to honor it. We also discussed some cracks that were obvious below the coping and in a couple of places on the plaster, we were told that they were minor issues that would be easily corrected (epoxied or grouted depending on how wide they are if they are deeper than the plaster) after the old plaster is removed and before the new stuff is installed and that this was also included in the quoted price. Again, we failed to get it in writing and have nothing to stand on. We have paid a 50% non-refundable deposit for this work, the price has now gone up by $600 + whatever the crack repairs end up being, and we have two choices: Pay the additional costs or give the work to someone else and lose the deposit. Lesson: What the salesman says is meaningless, get it all in writing.

  45. I just had a new motor installed on my hayward pump by my pool guy. Long story short is he didn’t do this and lied about it. I took the motor off and replaced everything according to some youtube videos I watched. The only problem is now the motor won’t start. I think it could be one of two things. 1st is that I may have installed the spring part of the shaft seal backwards. There was a little water in the back electrical compartment where you connect all the wires. The other thing is that it could be the capacitor. One video said to touch a screwdriver onto the 2 connectors to short it out as it retains power.

    Your guide said water + time in the motor = failure and in my situation, there would have only been water for a short amount of time. I’m not getting anything when I turn on the power though and it is getting power b/c my other pumps work.

    Please advise and thank you so much!

    1. Since it could be a few things, on the motor and inside the pump, I would just start over: remove the motor, check that the seal is properly installed, then require the motor as illustrated on the wiring diagram sticker on the motor. Also installing the shaft seal backward would not prevent the motor from turning, but it would cause a leak.

  46. just got my above ground pool last year I open my pool the other day turned on the pump came back later an found water its coming from underneath the sand filter can I still run my pump until I get it fix

        1. The leak may be coming from the filter tank itself, which usually leads replacing the whole filter. Some try to epoxy the crack but the placement of your leak makes it extremely tough.

  47. Every time I use granular shock it ends up on pool floor. I sweep it out, cloud up the pool, and have the granulars back on the floor the next day. Do I have a possible bad lateral? I don’t want to vac to waste and loose the chlorine I just put in do I?

    1. Charlie,
      How are you adding the granules to the pool? Are you dissolving the granular shock in a bucket of warm water before adding it to the pool? The dissolve-bucket method is the correct way to add shock to prevent the granules from settling on the pool floor, which can cause staining.

  48. Hi there, I’ve had a 15,000gallon pool for 8 months now and there’s a small leak in the plumbing outside, have to fill with water once a week, goes down about 2 inches a week, then the kids came over and played in the pool, the very next day it went down 6 inches! Tried some the and couldn’t find anything in the pool as far as leaks, so why it went down so far in 1 day?? Dont ha e the money to fix at the moment, should I just let it go? Until I do? And if it falls below the skimmer I know that’s a problem! Just turn the pump off permantley? Till I have the money? Thank you

  49. my alkaline is 120 my ph is good my pool is a 25 foot above ground pool what is the best stuff to use and how much also I had to shock it and my water is cloudy

  50. I have an above ground pool that we recently started working with opening it up for the summer. I shocked it last night and left the pump on to filter throughout the night. I went to bed at 11 p.m. and the pool was doing good. I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and noticed water level dropped down below skimmer, the pump was not running, and the plug in from pump to extension cord was burnt. It was plugged into a GFI. Not sure if motor burnt out or I need to just replace the cord.

  51. Opened our above ground pool yesterday and everything was running well. This morning , got up and the water was below the skimmer. Should the valve on the pump be on or off when running? The water is coming out of the backwash. All the rest of the valves are in the right position, just not sure of the one on the pump.n

  52. I’m not sure if this is the correct place for this question but I have an in ground pool and I was starting up the pump today. I wanted to drain some of the water out and accidentally turned to control to the “closed” setting while it was running. Did I do something terrible? The tabs on he filter lid (a couple of them) broke and now it won’t circulate water at all. It was only on there maybe 20 seconds before I got it turned off. When I try to change the settings nothing happens. What did I do? Is this going to be expensive to fix?

    1. First things first, never turn the multiport valve while the pump is running. No matter the setting, operating a multiport valve while the pump is on is a recipe for a mangled valve.

      As for your particular case, your next step is to open up the valve. Remove the six to eights that secure the lid/handle assembly. Once inside you can check to see what is broken, loose or gone. Without knowing which filter you have, I am not sure about the tabs you are referring to.

  53. So I have a indoor in ground pool. So it doesn’t have any debris. Do I need to keep my pump running for the normal 8 hours. Or can I cut it off for awhile and give it a break

    1. Because your pool is indoors, your chlorine needs are likely significantly less then a pool exposed to direct sunlight, pollen, and other chlorine hogs.

      Your situation is unique so I would play-it-by-ear. Lessen your time by an hour each week, then at the end of each week check water for clarity. Test chemical levels to determine if your pool is stable, or if you need to up the run time by an hour. Continue this until you find your pool water’s happy point.

  54. Matthew,
    I installed a new Polaris PB4-60 Pressure Cleaner Booster Pump today because the old one was leaking badly and finally started making a loud screeching noise while running. After letting it run for about 30 minutes I noticed it seemed to be a bit noisy and the new inlet hose was shaking quite a bit. When I took hold of the inlet hose it was so hot I could not hold it for more than a few seconds. I immediately turned off the pump.
    Could this be happening because the old wiring is 120V instead of 220V? The new pump uses 220V and the old pump says it is 220V on the label but maybe it was rewired for 120V??
    If this could be the problem how do I figure out the wiring voltage? I was trying to save some money but at this point I’m thinking it may be time to call an expert. I’m new to pool ownership and figuring out this stuff as I go.

    1. PB-460s use dual voltage motors that can be set to operate on 115 or 230 volts. The terminal board has a jumper or a knob that allows you to set the motor to the appropriate voltage.

      The first thing you need to do, figure out if you are feeding it 230 or 115. Secondly, set the motor to the correct voltage. 230-volt wires are usually coded red and black; or black and black with a ground wire. 115 volts should be color coded white and black, with a ground wire.

  55. Everything works great on m pool except bugs and debris do not go into skimmer. They just float around on top of water.

    1. Have you tried adjusting your return jets to create more so floating debris gets caught in a circular current? This should work all the debris towards your skimmer for easy capture.

  56. Hi, Mathew. We left the water shut off valve on top of the filter cartridge open, the pump had been on for about an hour, we heard it as soon as it started to make a noise because of the drop in pool level and not enough water going through the skimmer, there was still water coming out. We closed the screw and turned the handle to bottom. After we’d filled the pool and put it back on skimmer, we noticed that the pump was noisier than before. Could you possibly help please.

    1. Was the motor being splashed or getting flooded? Also, was the pump running dry at any time?

      The result of this mistake could be bad bearings or a motor that was overheating and caused internal damage and possibly melted pump parts. You might want to open the pump to check if any of the pump parts like the impeller, seal plate or shaft seal have been damaged.

  57. Hi, I have a Hayward 1hp pump and sand filter on my 24′ above ground pool. I have adjusted all levels to be within spec (chlorine, ph etc.) Still have a blue cloudy pool after running filter for 48 hours straight. After backwashing my psi reads 10, and water flows nice and strong out of the return jet. After some hours, I notice the water barely flowing out of the return jet and barely sucking through the skimmer. Psi still 10. I turn it off, backwash for a minute, turn it to normal filter setting and once again water flows strong out of the return jet. Some hours later, same thing. Any help is appreciated, I’m losing my mind here!

    1. Also, I have had the water tested by the local pool store. It seems my water is cloudy because the lack of continuous proper filtration due to my loss of flow through my filter. Sand is only one season old. I don’t see air bubbles in my suction side skimmer, it is full and not leaking.

    2. Also, I have had the water tested by the local pool store. It seems my water is cloudy because the lack of continuous proper filtration due to my loss of flow through my filter. Sand is only one season old. I don’t see air bubbles in my suction side skimmer, it is full and not leaking.

    3. I could write a bunch a possible solution to your problem but that would waste both of our times so I’ll cut to the chase. Here it goes. “Get rid of that sand filter and replace it with a good quality cartridge type filter”.

  58. I looked at my filter basket the other day and it looked like it was bone dry and there was lots of debris swirling around. I sent a text to my pool guy and he said that if there was debris swirling, there was water in it but I just couldn’t see the water. He says he’s asked this all the time. He said debris can’t swirl without water. Doesn’t sound right to me.

  59. I have a Hayward EC-45 earth filter. Since opening the pool several days ago we have been having issues losing water flow back to the pool as it’s very low after running the filter for about an hour and a half. At first we just figured it was because the water was green and we had to just get the water cleared up and take care of the filter along the way. We were basically bumping and back washing the filter in order to keep it running so we could add our chemicals. But again we only had good flow for about an hour and a half before having to bump or back wash. We now have the water pretty well cleared up but our filter is still acting the same even after a thorough cleaning of the fingers as well as soaking them in muratic acid for 6 hours. After put back together and earth added the pressure was like a raging rapid when you start the filter up and after 90 minutes, time to bump the filter. When I went to do it today there was very little resistance when I pulled down to bump it. This seemed strange to me so when I went back to do it the next time, I just shut the filter off for 30 seconds and restarted it without bumping it and it roars like a raging rapid. I’m totally stumped here, please help. Seems to be a lot of air bubbles on top of the water when I re-start the filter. Any help is appreciated.

    1. Let’s start with the pump first. When you see feel the pressure take a dive, does the pump’s lid have large air bubbles, or a complete pocket of air? Also, does it build as time goes by?

      Besides backwashing, have you hosed off the fingers or gave them a chemical soak? We suggest giving DE grids and cartridges a deep cleaning once a year to clear out any gunk clogging the pores. If you have not done this in awhile, your DE fingers may be so gunked up that they can only handle about an hour and a half of work before they need to be bumped.

  60. Hi. We just had the pool opened and the pump turns on fine but it only runs the skimmers for about an hour and then they stop. But the pump is still on.

    1. Well first, is there enough water in the pool to properly cover the skimmers. Also when the skimmers stop, is there water in the pump or is there a large air bubble?

      And lastly, what is the filter’s pressure gauge doing? Does it spike, take a dive or stay constant?

  61. We just dug our pump system down a bit to help it run better according to our local pool lady. We had a torrential rain tonight, and the dug down area held water. When I went out to check the pump was not running but still plugged in. Do we stand a chance of getting this pump to run again once it dries out? Do you have any advice on what we can do to help it? Thanks!

  62. I have obvious DE in my pool. Should I turn off the pool pump until my pool service can fix the source of the problem? I’m worried that the DE is abrasive on the pump and other components of the system.

    1. DE powder is not abrasive, and should not affect your pool surface. Outside of giving your pool a murky look and being a sign of damaged filter equipment, it should not pose much harm suspended in your pool water.

  63. I have sand in my above ground pool can I vacuum it out through my pool filter or will it tear up the pump if I can should I use wast out or filter

  64. I have an inground pool using a Hayward DE 4820 Pro Grid filter and a Polaris Caretaker 99 infloor cleaner. In-between backwashes, as the filter pressure increases near to when a backwash would occur, I am getting a considerable amount of larger debris passing through the filter and completely clogging up the intake screen of the 5 port valve. This stops the cleaning process and I have to clean the screen frequently until I backwash. This only seems to happen when the filter pressure approaches 30psi, which is the point where I would normally backwash the system. I do not have any noticeable DE in the pool and the water is normally beautifully clear.

  65. I have a new multi port valve on a filter that we purchased less than two years ago. Water is leaking out the backwash hose while in filter mode. I have checked the spider gasket and it looks perfectly fine. I even switched the top of the multi port valve with the new system to try to help with the water flowing. It helped for a short while, but then started to leak out again. The strange part is that it starts off dry, starts to leak out slowly, and then is about halfway out the hose. It is draining my pool repeatedly and is very frustrating! Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  66. Hello there. I’m getting a higher than normal pressure reading (25 psi) with a motor that’s in need of a new shaft seal. It’s leaking a lot. Would the shaft seal problem be the cause of the high pressure? Or is it something else? Thanks.

    1. A leaky shaft seal is not going to cause a build of pressure. It is more likely that your filter needs a cleaning.

      But that shaft seal needs replacing as quick as possible to prevent further damage to your motor.

  67. We just put up a pool we just bought off someone and I need sand for the sand filter and got to get a few new pieces for the sand filter can I still hook up the pump and not the sand filter to run it for a day to just circulate the water and shock it.

  68. Hi, how can I tell if my pump is bad? I’m having a terrible time with algae and not being able to clear it up. The return is pumping water to the pool like always. Very strong. All baskets are cleaned out. The gage is reading 15…
    I did notice it spit algae out as soon as I turned it on today? That’s something I haven’t noticed before.
    Please help. :/ Thank you.

  69. I have a 1,000 gph cartridge filter that I unplugged to clean the cartridge. After I put the cartridge back in and the lid back on I plugged the filter in without clearing the air out first and it did not turn on. As soon as I realized it I unplugged it then cleared the air out and plugged it back in ad it still didn’t turn on. Any thoughts or suggestions? It worked fine until I unplugged it to clean the cartridge.

  70. Hello….I have an intex pool pump and my son lifted it up so I can cut some grass underneath the tubing….forgot to turn it off while doing that….was only for a minute or so…now the pump will not turn….checked all of the connections for electricity and everything is working fine on that end….when I go press the reset button…it doesn’t seem to be getting any “juice”…I let the pump sit overnight to “cool” off….any suggestions

  71. Matt, what a treasure you and your Company’s site are! Thanks for being there.
    Had a thunderstorm and hard rain and have learned to have the pool running then as it aids in keeping chemistry and circulation correct. Except this time. I came out the next morning and the pool had not only dropped 2-3 inches (vinyl in-ground) but the pump was starving obviosly for water.

    I filled the pool and all seemed fine until a few days later I turned off the pump and when I turned it on I could no longer get the pump to prime though it sounds like it’s spinning/running. I had a local pool company come out and the tech says he thought it was the pump and it was shot. I ordered a new one which will be here in a week but have no way to keep the pool chemistry correct while I wait. How can I keep the pool from going green, I also suspect that a pipe leak may have happened as I found no water leak at the main pump, filter or heater area and when I had refilled it that first time it lost no water until the filtration system was running. Without the filter running water level holds. Have someone coming out for that also to test pressure in pipes, But all of these things take days to happen and the pool is going green quick, any ideas? Can I dissolve shock and just pour into pool?

    Thanks again for being there!

  72. Help! I added chlorine tablets this morning to my hayward chlorinator and now its leaking. Found the o ring to be loose so got replacement. However the leaking appears to be coming from the retainer nut on top of the lid. Guess i need to replace this too? Is it ok to allow pump to run when its leaking so bad?

    1. If the part is a thing you can grab locally, then I would suggest just not running the pump until you can pick it up. Not running the pump for a day will not cause too much havoc with your water chemistry.

  73. Hi,
    I have to replace my hayward above ground pump. It is attached to a HE filter. Do I need to empty the filter out before replacing the pump?

    1. I’m going to presume you meant DE filter. But either way, no you wouldn’t have to empty the filter to install a new pump. I would use the air relief, to release pressure in the system before removing any piping.

  74. Hi

    My pool heater caught on fire and burnt up the plumbing so I disconnected my heater, replumbed the PVC, and main pump is now running fine gain. The booster pump motor turns on and sounds normal but is not pushing water to run the robotic pool cleaner. I made sure all the filters, baskets were clean. My next step was to make sure the impeller was not affected by the heat or debris that may be lodged. Any other suggestions?

    1. I would definitely check the impeller, first, but then I would check the hoses feeding the pump.Just to make sure the inside of the hose has been clogged or melted internally.

      Are you sure the shaft is spinning, or are you going by the sound the pump makes?

      1. Impeller looked to be in good condition and spun without resistance. The incoming water hose had water coming out when main pump is turned on. I blew air into the outgoing hose and bubbles came out into the pool. I cleaned, resealed, and reassembled the booster pump. The shaft is spinning when booster pump is turned on. Still no pressure when booster pump is on. Any other suggestions?

        1. I’m not sure what the issue could be unless there is a problem with the internals of the cleaner. The cleaner may be receiving enough water but the paddle wheel or water management system has failed.

  75. is it ok to clean the pool filter into the pool floor drains outside the pool? I am afraid of it over time clogging the drain and turning hard like cement. I don’t want any problems.

    1. I think you are describing channel drains that are built into your deck, right? If you are concerned about clogging these drains, cleans the cartridges over a patch of grass or driveway.

  76. Some time over night the pool water fell below the skimmer. The filter comes on at 8 PM so it may have been running for up to 12 hours without water. I knew it was low but thought I had turned the filters off until I could monitor adding water but forgot about the timer kicking back on. I’m adding water now but what do I need to check to test for damage to the filter? Do I just turn it back on or should I do something to remove the air or check for heat damage? Recently divorced and clueless about what to do now. It’s an in ground pool with a DE filter.

  77. Our pump isn’t turning on but it is getting power because the ionizer that is attached has power when we turn the power switch on for outlet the pump and ionizer are plugged into.
    Our pump basket had a lot of debris in it and the water in the basket was at about half way. Can you give me a direction to go in to figure out what the problem is?

  78. I live in Wisconsin. We usually close up the (above ground)pool in early October. I am sure I am done with the pool already for this season. Is it okay to close up the pool while it’s still in the 70s-80s out? Does that matter?

  79. I have a Hayward sand filter and pump. When I vacuum the pump runs out of water within two minutes. I shut it down and start the vacuuming process over. Checked for leaks through out the system and could not find anything.

    1. Have you checked thevacuum hose? Because it sounds like you have a pinhole air leak in one of the hose sections. if the pump only loses prime when the vacuum hose is being used, it would be my number one suspect.

      Check for pinhole leaks by taping or sealing the end of each hose length then submerging the hose. If air bubbles appear then you’ll need to replace the section(s.)

  80. I had to drain my endless pool below the suction outlet in order to repair a leak in the suction pipe going to the pump. Can I fill just above the suction outlet and run the pump to check to make sure my repair works? Or do I have to fill the pool up to skimmer outlet, which is about 20″ above the suction outlet and feeds into the suction line. The inlet from the return line is about the same level as the skimmer outlet.

    1. If you can close the skimmer line either by a diverter valve or a plug you can fill just above the repair point. But you would need to close the skimmer line to prevent your pump from running dry.

  81. We installed a brand new motor, same as the last. It burned up in 45 minutes. Can something in the pump be causing this. We had an electrician make sure it was wired properly. We have spent 1,000 between pool people when the electrician and still no pool.

    1. Just like a car, there is a chance you get a lemon that goes kaput almost as soon at you get it. They are pretty rare though. Was the pump running dry, or was it purely a mechanical issue?

      have you contacted the dealer from who you purchased the motor to start a warranty claim?

  82. We replaced our cartridge at the beginning of the summer and have increasingly been having issues since then. We were losing suction and had little to no flow back into the pool via the jet. We replaced our houses, O-rings, gaskets and cleaned the pump and filter immensely. I even cleaned out the impeller, and still nothing helped. There were no leaks. This is an above ground pool. After cleaning one time I suggested taking the new cartridge out and running it without it and it suddenly was working perfectly. We had great water pressure and the pump was suctioning the water again. We put our old cartridge in and it still worked perfectly. We took it back to the pool store we got, because we thought maybe we were sold the wrong cartridge, but they assured us that they gave us the right one. They exchanged it for us with a different brand and now the pool seems to be working. Have you ever heard of the cartridge to a filter system doing this before? So confused.

    1. Even they say they didn’t, it sounds like they gave you the wrong cartridge initially. A new cartridge can match the physical dimensions of your old cartridge but has less square footage. The lower square footage restricts flow and reduces flow.

  83. We have a Hayward pump on our inground pool. While we where gone for 7 days our house sitter mistakenly turned the dial to waste instead of filter and it ran that way the entire 7 days. The waste outlet was closed. We turned it off and later tried running it on filter. It runs but the pressure is low and the pump feels hot. What should we do first?

    1. Have you opened the pump to determine if any parts of the pump are damaged? Is your water at its normal levels?

      Motors are usually hot, electrical motors create heat as a byproduct, and they are metal casings sitting in the summer sun.

  84. What a crazy collection of questions. So many of these people shouldn’t own a pool. Mathew, I commend you on your patience.

  85. cratemurtal flowers go right through the skimmer basket. Pump got clogged. After cleaning i added a filter sock to the basket. Basket now catches everything but now it seems that the pump is getting to much air and suction starts for a few seconds then stops. Removed skimmer door to allow more water in and the issue seems to be gone. Adding more water to the pool so that skimmer has more water to supply to the pump.


  86. I turned my pools pump off late summer,I have an in ground 18000 gallon vinyl liner pool with a de sand filter..btw I had to suddenly go out of town and now there are leaves and pecans in the water and it’s green. The glass on the pump has like a rust color ring around the inside of the glass, the water is clear but partials are inside the glass as well as the ring.. water is still inside the pump and the pipes I haven’t drained it as I do for the winter.. now with the algae green water I’m not sure what to do to close it, it’s usually clear blue when I close it for the winter. I don’t want to get and algae or leaves etc in the pump or lines when I backwash it.. so I’m just at a stand still.. I Kno I need to get all the leaves out first but what would be my next step? Should I shock it to get the water clean then drain the water to clear the lines and drain the pump..ughhh… What have I done.. any help will be so appreciated. Oh we’ve gotten a lot of rain so the water level is at the top of the skimmer but water can flow through so no worries there, just rain water don’t help the cleanliness. Thanks for the time to respond..

    1. Like you said the first step will be removing debris like leafs and pecans. As for the water treatment, you have two options, clear your water or close it and clean it in the spring.

      My preference is to clean it now so spring is less of a horror show. A shock and backwash cycle (or two) coupled with the standard winterizing kit that comes with rust and scale removers should set you up nicely.

      Leaving it til spring will be easier in the short term but you are just kicking the can down the road. Stains will have time to set in, and the green stew that is your water has a chance to ripen.

      1. I agree.. just need to bit the bullet and clean it now shock it, drain it, and cover it. Thanks so much for your help..

  87. I have two dogs who love to swim and my parents have a pool. Whenever I bring my dogs over to swim, I place the hose out of the pool, but leave it attached. My question is, Can I remove it completely and then just reattach when my pups are done swimming? This is so my dogs don’t pop a hole in the hose with their nails.

  88. if i cant put the pump in the same invert level of the swimming pool but above water level what to do please in order to not having air in the suction pipe

    1. If this is an inground pool, that is common and not a problem. if it is an above ground pool, then it will depend on the pump. Some above ground pool pumps can prime themselves by pulling water up to them and some cannot. The most notable a/g pump that can prime itself is the Pentair Dynamo.

  89. I changed the impala from the pool pump, but when I connected the pump make a humming sound the it doesn’t before. What can I do?

    1. The humming noise could be a bad capacitor. Are you sure you required the motor correctly? Also, did you confirm the new impeller is the same part number as the original? if you accidentally installed the wrong impeller, the heavier load could cause the motor to overwork, possibly causing that noise.

  90. When my pump is running, it leaks water through the waste out hose. Is the pump an issue or the valve to change settings on the pool from filter, to waste out?

  91. My pump is spinning like a blunder spin, not in the regular hamster style. And my skimmer won’t move. What am I doing wrong after I cleaned my in ground pool/spa ?

  92. Hello, so we recently bought our first home and it had an inground pool that had not been updated since the 70s. we had them come put a new deck, replaster, and new tile. first time pool owners so we are excited. then once we filled up our pool the pump wasn’t really working correct so someone finally came out and said whoever the seller got to install the pump to pass for the appraisal installed the pipes backwards so our pump was basically working backwards. we finally got that fixed and notice our Jacuzzi kept losing water fast but the pool was fine so same pool guy advised us to plug the jets if problem still happens plug the bottom. boom problem solve the bottom of the Jacuzzi was leaking once we plugged it up it retained water. we figured we didn’t need to get that fixed since we live here in Texas we wont be using our Jacuzzi anyway. everything was working great our water cleared up it looked amazing. 2 days later our pump stops working and doesn’t want to suck in water. could that be because we plugged the Jacuzzi? we recently had our warranty company come out and they told us its a leak under the pool because the pump and everything looks like its working fine. I wish I knew more about pools to argue it but I cant figure out why and we keep spending money for ppl to come out and help with nothing ;(

    1. PLugging a leak in the basin of a jacuzzi would not be the sole reason to cause a pump, not to prime. Now if you improperly clogged the leak or maybe just slowed the leak and the water level within the spa was so low enough to where the jacuzzi’s skimmer was not covered by water, then that would be a problem. If your jacuzzi’s skimmer was not filled with water it would draw air, thereby preventing your pump from priming.

  93. would our pump not prime itself if we have plugged up a leak in our Jacuzzi? we have tried all the priming techniques but nothing seems to get the suction going.

    1. PLugging a leak in the basin of a jacuzzi would not be the sole reason to cause a pump, not to prime. Now if you improperly clogged the leak or maybe just slowed the leak and the water level within the spa was so low enough to where the jacuzzi’s skimmer was not covered by water, then that would be a problem. If your jacuzzi’s skimmer was not filled with water it would draw air, thereby preventing your pump from priming.

  94. Hello we have basically a brand new Jandy VS pump system for our inground pool. I have the pump scheduled to auto run at certain times of the day/night and the cleaner to run at other times of the da/night. Lately ive noticed that my cleaner shows “on” on my controller, but my pumps not running, so the cleaner isn’t really on or doing anything. I was under the assumption that telling the controller to run the cleaner would turn the pump on to the preset speed for the cleaner. Any suggestions?

  95. Hi Matthew
    My skimmer lines have collapsed in my pool and with it coming into summer here in Spain I do not want to start digging work with family here. As a alternative I thought maybe run a Vac hose from my Vacuum port , which runs fine, into one of my skimmer ports thus the other skimmer will pull in the water. But will this put any extra pressure on my pump?

  96. Hi. I have a huge problem. Last night, i added water in the pool and forgot to turn it off, obviously the motor is filled with water since the motor is very closed to the pool. I turned it off, removed the water and let it dry from last night till 1pm the next day since it very hot here. When i turned it on it has a very weird sound and i immedietely turned it off. But still the motor was running. How am i gonna able to stop this? Thank you

    1. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do at this point; other than hope it dries out completely. The bearings may have been compromised, which will only worsen over time even if you keep the motor dry. Bad bearings sound like a loud screeching. The motor will still run but will annoy everyone within earshot Some of the electrical components could have been damaged. Depending on what they are, they can be easily replaced.

  97. Question:

    The motor that runs the filter and the infloor cleaning system keeps going out. What would cause this? We have a 20,200 gallon saltwater pool with the In Floor Cleaning system. The Motor that runs the filter system is a 2.0HP this is the one that has gone out and has been replaced 3 times in the last 6 yearsand the Motor that runs the fountains is a 1.5HP this motor has lasted just fine for the last 6 years.

  98. I just set up a 12’*30” Intex pool might be stupid question but does the suction screen and out out need the little plugs that came with pump kit?? The directions are very vague and it doesn’t seem like water will be sucked in or spit out with them in my pictures show them in but very vague on if there supposed to stay in during operation!

  99. Hello, getting an 15×30 oval on-ground pool installed soon. how far can I hard pipe the filter and pump ? I am not sure of the pump brand but it is a 2.5hp

  100. Good morning I hope somebody can guide me;I have a 20×40 unground pool which is loosing approx 2 inches of water daily; we called a specialist; did the bucket test; he brought in a diver to test,found nothing; we did the plug all skimmers and eyes for 24 h test; still leaking;im out $800 and still have no answers…I don t know what to check or do…

  101. What causes pump strainer basket to get stuck real tight so I can`t remove it. This started happening lately, Thanks

  102. When the pool is running and pressure is at 20psi where it should be there are no bubbles whatsoever in the basket in front of the motor. I can turn the valves from skimmer to pool and back and not lose any pressure or see bubbles, however when I connect my Hayward pool sweep ( with all new hoses) to my skimmer I get a awful lot of air in the basket and seem to lose prime with pressure dropping down to 10psi but pool vacuum still operates and cleans up bottom of pool but very slowly. After I disconnect pool vacuum and manually take air out of system everything is back to normal. Very confused..

    1. A simple cause of the bubbles could be trapped air in the hose. If you plunk the hose into the pool and start hooking it to the skimmer you can introduce a lot of air into the system. When you start to install the hose, always completely submerge it to push out any air pockets. Also, try installing the cleaner head side of the hose first and submerging the cleaner then attach the suction side. So when you attach the other side and start the pump, it is pulling water with no chance of it gasping air while you fiddle with the hose.

  103. My pump ran dry for about 90 minutes. I still don’t know why but it seems to be running fine now. I think the cover on the pump basket lid was loose allowing air in. Is there anything I should do? Everything seems to be running OK now

  104. I was getting ready to vacuum my pool and I turned my pump off to backwash first. When I went to turn it back on, nothing happened. It just makes a noise but will not pump. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi, did you ever figure this out? I just backwashed the pool without turning on the pump, and now the pump isn’t working… any ideas how I can fix this? I’m hoping you found an easy answer!

  105. Hi, I just installed a Waterway 1hp dual speed pump for above ground pool. It came with 3 prong plug and an ‘on-off’ switch at the back of the pump. The company I bought it from stated that this is a dual speed pump but I cannot find a way to switch from hi to low speed. Can you tell me how to do this?

    Serial #: SP 180619 7593
    Model #: SP-10-1N11MB
    Part #: 3410413 – 1502

    1. SP-10-1N11MB is a single speed pump. Search it on InyoPools.com or Google and you will see the results. You can also look on the motor label for the RPM rating. If it was a dual speed the RPMs would say 3450/1725, if it was single speed then it would say 3450.

  106. I have just installed a new pump for my inground pool because there was not water pumping from the pool into filter or chlorinater but it has not solved the problem, I still have no water flow at all. Does this mean there is a blockage in the pipes

  107. What happens if we left the filter on waste on all night and the water level was below the skimmer in the morning. No idea how long it was pulling in air?

    1. First, turn off the pump and add water to the correct levels. Next, prime the pool pump and then turn it on to see if the system has been damaged from possibly running dry. The most likely problem that could arise from running the pump dry is parts of the pump could overheat and even melt. if the pump doesn’t start, then you pool pump motor needs troubleshooting. If there are leaks in the in pump then gaskets and hardware may need replacing.

  108. Good day sir. My pot with water at the.pump runs empty 30 minutes.or so after the.pool has been switch off. My pump is 30 cm higher than the.pool butthis.never happened.in the.last 2 months..only now. Any advise please sir? Pump is good whilst on.

  109. Hello Sir am a new pool owner in South africa my son accidentlly switched the selector valve from filter to recirculate for 10 seconds and turned it back to filter. A strange sound started so i turned off the pump then switched it back on back. And today my heater system seems not to heat up the pool. Is my filter damaged kindly asist.

    1. Hello Victor – if the valve was moved from Filter to recirculate, the flow of water should have still been through the heater. The constant flow should have prevented the heater from damaging itself due to overheating. Is your heater flashing any error codes? If so, what is the make and model number of your heater?

      Has the filter stopped continued making noises? Also, has pressure in the system dropped?

  110. Need advice. There has been record rain this winter and the pool water is halfway up skimmer in AG pool. It was winterized and closed (nothing removed though). How do I get water out of the lines and the level down in the pool? Will the water have infiltrated the filter too? Pool guy is no longer around (the one who winterized) and I’m lost.

    1. I live in Florida so I don’t know how you would go about re-winterizing your equipment. I would add though that they make covers that close your skimmer opening with, and plugs to close your return line. You may need those.

  111. Please don’t judge. I was backwashing my filter and put it on the rinse cycle. I was putting chlorine in real quick when my niece yelled from inside the house for help. Needless to say I got distracted and it ran on rinse for 2 hours before I realized what I did. Pool lost at least a foot of water ! Did I break the filter ?! Help

    1. The pump is going to be the bigger worry because if it ran dry for that long, there could be severe damage done to the internal parts. Does the pump motor turn on, and does it still pump water?

  112. Hi

    I live in Scotland and private pools really aren’t a thing here but we have an indoor inground 25000 liter pool. We recently installed a new filter but now the pump won’t prime… the pool only has a couple of feet of water in it at present as it was being washed out after a period of being empty. 

This pool has NO skimmers, just a single main drain which attaches to the pump. 

Would the low water level prevent the pump priming?

If we fill the pump, the water just disappears away back into the pool before we can get the lid on.

If we fill the filter and fill the pump (while it is switched on- stupid I know😣), pressure builds but as soon as we open the exit valve the filter empties. When we switch off the pump it empties too.

There is no valve on the pool-to-pump pipes but this previously wasn’t a problem.

Should I try to fill the pool higher? So frustrated by priming failure!

  113. We just put up a coleman steel.frame 18’x48″ and when water is going through filter and pushed back into pool is the filter supposed to be full of water coming out top ? Ours only does if you lock the part that pushes it back into water?

  114. Mathew,
    Need to tell you bout something stupid i did.
    Got cover off and my pool as always was slimy and few leaves in it. I got leaves out,filled up to skimmer,at same time,I brushed up floor to get it to circulate to skimmer..Backwashed a few times and as it started to clear,added shock..The water started to clear and left filter going over night and went to bed..When I was filling up with fresh water,I unhooked from spigot on house but did not remove fill end from pool..I woke up around 2am in morning and water level was below skimmer line. Where the time dictated,I shut off pump and went back to bed figuring I would deal with it when it wasn’t dark..Where I left hose end in pool,water was pumping out from spigot end.
    Very stupid…I hope people don’t do what I did😂

  115. I had a new motor installed on my pool and it still is not circulating well however it was primed when installed and there is water there. I have a salt system, wondering what the problem could be? I read online that a bad water pressure gauge could be the problem.

  116. Our neighbourhood has a huge unground pool. They have left the pump running for more than 3 months continuously… it’s never been off in this time. It’s now squeezing its bits off and it seems they don’t care. The water is still dark green and the pool had been left unattended.

    Can the pump catch fire or explode as we are concerned of potential damages to property or imageries to all neighbours.

  117. Hi,I have a above ground pool with a sand filter.my skimmer stops sucking in water sometimes. Could you tell me what you think? And should the water level be all the way above the skimmer or half way? Thank you so much

  118. Hello,

    What size of pump should I have for a suction sweep? We bought a sweep and when hooked up it loses prime and never gets it back. Took it to my grandmothers pool to test and it works perfectly. Also the whole system works perfectly until we add the sweep. The only difference I’ve found between our pump and my grandmothers is hers is 11.0 amps and ours is 9.6 does that mean we need a more powerful pump?

  119. Hello,

    After back-washing, I accidentally forgot to place the arm back on filter. I didn’t remember until after I already put the filter powder in the skimmer. What should I do? Should I put more filter powder in there or will it be ok?

    1. It would depend on how much of the DE was backwashed to waste. If you don’t know or can’t tell how much DE is in the filter, I would backwash it and start over again, this time making sure the valve is set correctly before adding new DE.

  120. Hi, my pool pump is operating on high RPM and not dropping to the scheduled RPM setting anymore. I cant figure out why. The control panel hasnt been changed at all and the schedules are still kicking on the pump, but the pump is very loud and not dropping to the lower RPM. Any idea what is going on?

  121. We just set up an above ground pool. Got everything hooked up. Skimmer Weir door is down allowing water to flow to pump. After about 25 minutes I check and there’s no water in the pump just air. The weir door is still down allowing water to flow freely – skimmer basket is clean – water still comes out of the sand filter is this normal to not have water in the pump all the time?

    1. The way above ground pools and their equipment are usually set up, the pump is gravity fed. So, as long as there is water reaching the skimmer, the water is heading downhill into the pump.

      The way this problem is described, it sounds like the water is entering the skimmer, stops before the pump, then somehow is coming out of the sand filter. This type of water flow wouldn’t happen unless you have a bypass before the valve. Are you sure the pump strainer housing is empty? When the strainer lid is filled with water but has no air bubbles, it can look like the strainer housing is empty.

  122. I am building a pool on a slope behind my home and the pump room is actually under the pool. The distance from the skimmer to the pump suction will be about 10 to 12 feet and from the bottom drain to the pump suction some 8 feet.. Do I have to take any special procedures for having extra pressure on the pump when it it turned off? The same goes for the return lines that will have quite the amount of water pushing back when the pump turns off.

    I won’t have any problems with suction but I am worried that there will be too much pressure on the pump when it is turned off because of the high water column because the pump is that much lower than the pool.

  123. Hello-
    I have a spa water level that is @ 2′ higher than the level of the pool.
    Can I run them both with a one pump system without the spa level
    dropping to the pool level , or overflowing the spa ?

  124. I have inground pool and would like to know how to do correctly back wash , does the pump hs to be turned off as the time performing back wash?
    Also my pressure went down when I do the back wash as well as in the jets..what caused it?

  125. Why after that I have cleaned my pool with the denominator for about an hour and the pool is sparkling clean but within an half an hour my pool has sand in. Is the filter sand needing to be changed . I do however backwash twice a week for two minutes at a time then rinse.

  126. We are buying a small above ground pool That’s only about 1000 gallons. My kids are very sensitive to chlorine so I was going to buy the Intex saltwater system, but the smallest pump/filter I could find was for a minimum of 2800 gallons. Would I still be able to use this and just adjust the settings or do you have any recommendations?

    1. You can still use the larger pump, and run it for an hour or two a day and your pool should be pretty clean. I maybe wouldn’t run the pump while the kids are in there the first time you fire it up.

  127. Found a used 16’x42” Intex pool on Facebook and considering purchasing; however, that pool hasn’t been used in 2yrs and left in storage. Is it a good idea to buy it and try it out?

  128. Can I use the pump without using the sand filter? Or will the pump not work if they aren’t connected?

  129. Did you adjust the chemicals? So I tested and found that the chemicals needed an adjustment. Did I actually do it? The easiest mistake in the world is to procrastinate and just flat not get to adjusting your pool’s chemicals. The result can be a big headache to clean up later, like algae, cloudy water, or scale-forming.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recommended Resources

Video: Poolside Chat Episode #6 Pool Pump Motor Tune Up Kits

Video: Poolside Chat Episode #6 Pool Pump Motor Tune Up Kits

This is Poolside Chat where every week we answer your questions on how to fix and maintain your swimming pool. Poolside...
Read Now

Why is my pump losing prime when I vacuum my pool?

May 31, 2018
Why is my pump losing prime when I vacuum my pool? In this video, we look at why your pool pump...
Watch Now

Looking for pool parts?

Copyright © 2020 INYOpools All rights reserved