How To Remove Stubborn Pool Pump Impellers

Removing a pool pump impeller is pretty standard, but knowing how to remove stubborn pool pump impellers is a different story. So, what do you do when the impeller just won’t seem to come off? Do you break the impeller off or just throw the whole thing away? 

If you’re reading this article, the odds are that you’re in the same predicament. In fact, you’ve probably been scouring the web all day searching for tricks on how to remove it.

Well, scour no more. INYO has you covered. 

Keep reading to discover tips and tricks on how to remove stubborn pool pump impellers. 

How To Remove A Pool Pump Impeller

For the most part, it is fairly simple to remove a pool pump impeller. In fact, it is something we recommend all pools owners do themselves.

However, if you’re not confident or don’t feel comfortable doing it by yourself yet, don’t worry. We also have a how-to video that shows you how to replace a pool pump impeller step by step. You can watch this video below.

Why Won’t My Impeller Screw Off?

OK, so what happens if you watched the video, followed all of the instructions, but still can’t get the impeller off?

Let’s explore the reasons that might explain why your impeller isn’t coming off.

Impeller Screw

First things first, did you remove the impeller lock screw?

In some instances, pumps may have a bolted impeller. This is especially true for the older pumps. Originally, the impeller screw was the only thing keeping the impeller in place.

When manufacturers changed the design of the motor, it made the impeller lock screw obsolete, or unnecessary. The reverse thread of the impeller tightens the impeller as the motor turns.

If this is the case, first, remove the impeller screw by turning clockwise.


If you’re having problems removing the screw, inspect for corrosion or calcium buildup. A heavily corroded impeller screw can make it difficult to remove. Use WD40 or another rust removal aid to loosen the screw before trying to unthread.

Sometimes, there may also be a cover over the bolt in front of the impeller, making it difficult to locate.

Stabilizing The Shaft

Next, did you stabilize the shaft to prevent it from moving?

Without securing the shaft, your motor will keep spinning with your impeller. Before attempting to remove the impeller, make sure you remove the motor cap on the backend.

When the cap is off, you have access to the capacitor and to the end of the motor shaft. After shorting the capacitor leads, carefully place a 7/16″ wrench on the flat end of the shaft. Similarly, this prevents the motor from spinning.


Sometimes, you lose your grip trying to turn the impeller. A lot of pool owners take a piece of cloth to help grab the impeller securely. If you’re using metal tools to grab the impeller, be careful.

Rubber Strap Wrench

Now, even after stabilizing the shaft, the impeller still won’t budge. If you are in this predicament, you might want to consider using a strap wrench.

By using a strap wrench, pool owners can gently loosen the impeller and make it easier to unthread.


Depending on the model of the pump, the shaft may vary. Some pumps provide a slot on the end of the shaft to secure with a screwdriver. Often times, you can access the slot by removing the motor cap.

We also have a how-to guide showing pool owners how to remove an impeller off of a Sta-Rite pool pump HERE

Corroded Motor Shaft

A corroded motor shaft will make it nearly impossible to remove the impeller. Once the shaft corrodes, it expands and locks to the impeller sleeve. When this happens, you have to cut off the impeller and chip all of the plastic away from the brass nut before you can remove the nut with a wrench.

Afterward, tap the remaining impeller sleeve out of the back of the pump housing piece by piece.


Typically, a leak from a faulty shaft seal causes the threads to corrode.

Stripped or Broken Impeller Threads

Unfortunately, if your impeller threads strip or break, replacing it is the only option. Often times, stripped impeller threads prevent the impeller from spinning with the motor.

In many cases, the impeller comes off easily. However, in many other cases, it is the exact opposite. If the stripped threads are preventing you from removing the impeller, the only solution might be to break off the impeller.

If you strip the impeller hub, break the old one-off, and remove the hub from the shaft. At this point, you’re not losing any money by breaking the impeller. However, don’t forget to check your old impeller for a part number before tossing it.


In short, when uninstalling your impeller, check for broken or stripped threads. If you can discern whether or not you have a broken or stripped impeller, you can easily choose your method of removal.

Moreover, if you managed to get your impeller off but not sure how to find your replacement, give us a call. We’re always happy to help pool owners enjoy their pools.

24 thoughts on “How To Remove Stubborn Pool Pump Impellers

  1. When you remove the pump seal you should always remove the entire seal, in the video you did not remove the metal piece which has an o-ring attached to it, that can leak also.

  2. I have a 10 -year old Waterway DC pump and had to remove a frozen impeller to replace the shaft seal. I was not able to remove the end cap to secure the shaft due to frozen screws and eventually used a couple of wrenches in the motor mounting flange to hold it. I was able to remove the impeller screw easily. I sprayed silicone lubricant onto the shaft and tried using an oil filter wrench to turn the impeller without success. Finally, I used a hairdryer to heat the joint (I know, it’s plastic) but it worked. You have to be careful with the wrench not to chip the plastic, but I figured I had no choice. I got the idea for the oil filter wrench from another pool motor repair video on You Tube. When reassembling, I etched an arrow onto the impeller to show the rotation direction to remove it. By the way, removing the old shaft seal was an adventure all its own, but that’s for another post. I hope this helps.

  3. I have a Hayward Matrix pump that was humming only after a year of use. I assume there is debris somewhere inside the impeller or motor. The thing will NOT budge under any circumstances. I really wish they had put a hex bolt at the end instead of a ineffective slot driver screw.

  4. Followed your tips to unscrew the impeller off my 20 year old pump. Took a lot more force than I expected, but I was careful and nothing broke. Thanks and regards from Australia

  5. Hi,

    First time pool owner and I have no suction. I have traced it to the impeller but it looks like I may need to take the pump apart? Just wondering how big of a job this is and if there is any concern getting it to go back.


    1. If you are handy, you should be able to complete the job. If after you watch the video and read the guide above you doubt yourself, I’d either get a more technically savvy helper or hire a service company.

      1. I have a Hayward above ground plopping that won’t turn at all grid to turn it but can’t took of back tried players nothing it it getting power cause it is humming sometimes then stopshelp

  6. Replaced the impeller but struggling to put it back together. just doesnt seem to want to slide in so i can tighten the bolts

    1. Is the impeller not screwing onto the motor shaft or the shaft seal not sliding onto the shaft of the impeller? if it the latter, you may have a piece of the old shaft seal stuck on the impeller stem.

  7. I have a FlowClear pump my impeller broke. Told me they don’t sell the part had to get new pump. Stay away from Flowclear

  8. I’m having trouble with the plastic bolt on my Emerson pump. If i break it off do you carry replacement parts?

    1. So my impeller is a 310-4000 and I cannot remove it. The hex fitting in the center has rounded off. Is the impeller itself threaded onto the motor shaft and if so what direction should it be rotated to remove it? I am able to get a strap wrench around it.

    2. Hello – though the Emerson name is on the pump sticker, they only manufacturer the motor. To help you figure out the best way to remove the impeller we will need to identify the pump. When you look on the pump housing side of the pump, do you see any stickers that say “Pump Model #” or “Model No.”?

      pool pump housing model number

  9. I’m trying to remove the impeller from a Hayward Ecostar pump. However the plastic motor fan is exposed there and I can’t seem to stop it from spinning and the impeller doesn’t want to budge. Any suggestions on this type of pump impeller removal?

    1. I finally got the impeller off using brute force (StaRite Supermax). The impeller had plastic threads which I stripped, so I am ordering a new impeller from Inyo. I tried using silicone lubricant and heat but to no avail. There was no set screw but I am ordering one with the new impeller…there was supposed to be a set screw according to the diagram for the pump. Hopefully the rest of the motor switch will go smoothly.

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