How To Maintain a Pool Pump Motor


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To prolong the life of your pool pump motor and keep it operating properly, it is important to provide the proper environmental protections around the motor. The motor itself is fairly self-contained and generally needs little attention.

Step by Step


Step 1

MOISTURE - Water leaks from pool pump seals or pipe joints should be repaired to prevent failure of bearings and insulation. DO NOT splash or spray the motor. Mount the motor away from low spots and damp areas, and take measures to protect it from windblown rain.

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Step 2

COOLING - Provide for ample air circulation around motor. Do not let debris build up around the motor vents. Clean the air inlets as required, making sure that the POWER IS OFF first. If an external motor cover is used, be certain it does not trap moisture and has enough space between the motor and the cover to allow fresh air to circulate through the motor. Clean the air inlets as required, making sure that the POWER IS OFF first.
Note: A running motor that is too hot to touch is not necessarily overloaded. Class B insulated motors have a maximum operating temperature of 266 degrees Fahrenheit. If the automatic protector is not tripping and the actual running amps do not exceed the maximum amps on the nameplate, the motor is not overheating.

Step 3

SEASONAL - Whenever the motor must be shut down for extended periods, be sure all surfaces, vents and interiors are dry to prevent rust. If the motor is kept outdoors, cover it to prevent debris such as blowing leaves, dirt and snow from clogging the inlets. DO NOT SEAL THE MOTOR IN PLASTIC OR OTHER AIRTIGHT WRAPPINGS because condensation may form on the inside damaging bearings and insulation.
When restarting the pump and motor after an extended down time, make sure the suction is flooded so the pump seal is wet. Starting the motor with a dry pump seal can damage the seal.

Step 4

CLEANING - In general, the inside of the motor should not need cleaning if proper safeguards are made against contamination by dirt, lint or sand. If you want to clean the outside, simply use a damp cloth. Don’t spray the motor with a water hose. Flooding the motor can cause permanent damage.

Step 5

LUBRICATION - The ball bearings in A.O. Smith motors are double sealed permanently lubricated. If it appears the bearings have failed, simply replace them.
Noisy bearings are the first sign of bearing failure. If the bearings are not replaced promptly, the motor can overheat causing the windings to fail. Bearing noise is often a sign that the pump seal has been leaking. ALWAYS CHANGE THE PUMP SEAL WHEN YOU CHANGE THE BEARINGS.

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Step 6

CHEMICALS - Do not store or use chemicals close to the motor. Their fumes will corrode the inside parts of the motor.

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Step 7

DIRT - Avoid sweeping or stirring dust near the motor while it is running.


(1 to 8 of 8)

 Posted: 10/14/2022 

All of a sudden my pool motor started making a loud noise, and it's only 2 years old. What can I do?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 10/17/2022 

What kind of noise is it? Is it s grinding/scraping or a hum?

 Posted: 3/15/2020 

Hi. During a very rainy day, our pool pump motor was submerged under water due to heavy flooding. Is the motor still usable and what would I need to do to get it operable again?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 3/16/2020 

You will not know if it is still useable until it dries out. Then you can try turning it on to determine if it spins or not. What it will take to get the motor up and running again, all depends on what damage the water has caused. The issues could be bearings, windings, or shot circuitry. This article lists guides for most of the occurrences that may arise from your flooded motor: Pool Motor Troubleshooting

 Posted: 8/8/2019 

Hi, The pump will not work but it hums. I have separated the impeller from the motor but the half on the motor side is still there, if I plug it in it hums and if I help it by spinning it a bit it starts spinning like I imagine it is meant to. Can I oil it or something? Thanks, a total pool pump newbie

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/8/2019 

You likely have a failing capacitor, the symptoms of which are the humming and will spin but only with a nudge. How To Select the Right Capacitor For Your Pool Pump Motor

 Posted: 8/8/2018 

Hello Gino - the motor will still spin normally, but the impeller ring is important to the effectiveness of the impeller and diffuser. The impeller ring is there to create a seal as the impeller spins inside the diffuser, allowing for greater suction. If the noise is that noticeable, the part may be old and scored, causing a rough sound as it spins. Try replacing it/

 Posted: 6/23/2018 

Why does the impeller (plastic ring) always makes noise? Can the motor perform without this noisy impeller ring?