How To Clean Out a Pool Pump Impeller

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Is your filter pressure running low or does your pump motor sound strained? Was your pool pressure fine a week or so ago? Do you have an automatic floor vacuum that is barely moving on the pool floor? If you answered “Yes” to any or all of these questions, your pump impeller could be clogged with debris. This especially holds true if you have palm trees around your pool as the fine hairs of the palms tend to clog things up. The location of the pool pump impeller is shown in this cut-away of a pump.

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Video

Step by Step

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Step 1

Before you tackle the impeller, check to see that your filter and pump skimmer basket are clean. To see our How To Guides on these procedures click How To Clean a Pool Cartridge Filter, and How To Clean Out the Pool Pump Strainer 

 

Step 2

If you have a floor vacuum, check to see if any of the hoses are cracked. To do this – with the pump running – pull the hoses above the water one by one and bend them back and forth. If you hear air coming from any hose, throw it out.

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Step 3

If these efforts have not increased your filter pressure, you now need to look at a possible clogged impeller. Collect a coat hanger and a pair of pliers

Step 4

Turn off electricity going to the pump motor at your circuit breaker, not just the timer. You don’t want the pump to turn on when you are working on the pump.

Step 5

Remove the pump basket lid and the pump basket

Step 6

With the pliers, make a small hook about 1/2” - 3/4” at the end.

Step 7

Bend the wire a bit about 6" up so you can maneuver it.

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Step 8

Insert the wire slowly into the opening leading to the impeller until it stops. Now fish around for debris.

Step 9

Pull it out and clean it now and then. You may be surprised at how much comes out (especially if you have palms around your pool).

Step 10

Once you are done, put the pump basket back and with a garden hose, fill the housing with water in order to prime the pump correctly. Replace the pump lid.

Step 11

Turn on the electricity at your circuit breaker, and then turn on your pump.

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Step 12

If your pressure is still low, have a professional look at your pool as there could very well be something else wrong.

Comments

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(1 to 40 of 175)

 Posted: 5/15/2022 

Thank you! This was exactly the information I needed to solve my impeller problem. The explanation was very clear and specific. Compliments to you for the good deed. You made my day better. Nick
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/23/2022 

Awesome! Thank you for reading.
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 Posted: 5/13/2022 

Hey guy’s, I had the same problem, low pressure. I did step by step and we couldn’t believe how much stuff we pulled out of the pump. Now it runs perfect. You saved us a ton of money! Thank you so much!
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/25/2022 

Awesome! Saved money is the best money.
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 Posted: 5/11/2022 

3 Pool Stores, 100s of $$ , changing out DE and cleaning the grids because algae bloom is a way of life due to poor filtering…and being told by 2 technicians I need a new pump, (mine is 2 yrs old) and I need new manifolds, grid, that I have air leaks…so I re plumbed my system…. Not 1 supposedly learned person I asked about the diminishing flow during filtering mentioned this issue with my propeller. I’ll be out there first light to clean out my pump…oh please let this be the issue ??
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/26/2022 

Was the impeller the cause of your low flow issue?
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 Posted: 4/27/2022 

Hi, got a question on Step 10, please. So when I put water in the pump basket and fill to the top to help it prime, while I remove the water hose and put on the pump lid, the water I just put in there drains, such that the pump basket is only like 30% full anymore by the time I am ready to turn on the pump! Sometimes there are big 'gulp' noises as the water leaves the basket (lid off at that time). Is this normal? If normal, then where does that water drain to, and how can I ever correctly prime the pump if the water won't stay in the pump basket? Sorry if this sounds stupid, I am a newbie with just enough confidence to be really dangerous...
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/11/2022 

How To Determine Why a Pool Pump Won't Prime. I'd go through the linked guide to narrow down the possibilities causing the priming issue, The dropping water level after you remove the pump could be partly due to water displacement of the hose.
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 Posted: 4/4/2022 

Thank you thank you thank you ! Was ready to call AHS. I saw this forum and WHAMO ! Had pressure at about 5 Richter gauge. I followed instructions and cleaned the impeller and put her back together pressure shot up like you would not believe. Thanks again.
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 4/14/2022 

You're welcome; glad to help.
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 Posted: 3/26/2022 

I've can't remember when such clear advice was given before asking of anything in return. Thank you so much. When I buy a pool part I'll buy it through you guys if at all possible. If that's tough because I still have to get someone out in Lake Worth, FL to do the install and they have something on their truck then I'll get some pool supplies. Thank you for your generosity with advice. I'm grateful. -Bobby
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 3/28/2022 

Thank you, Bobby. We're happy to help in any way we can.
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 Posted: 5/2/2021 

Thank you ... I was struggling until I saw this video
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/13/2021 

Awesome! 
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 Posted: 2/25/2021 

Thank you! My neighbor's pine tree is the culprit. The needles go right through the skimmer basket and the pump basket. 15 minutes of clean out and we're back to circulating perfectly!
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Anonymous  Posted: 1/2/2021 

I’ve seen many videos, this is the first that explains the propeller-which was the culprit all along. Thank you!
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 1/4/2021 

Great! Thanks for reading.
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 Posted: 7/18/2020 

Great advice. Thanks. It worked perfectly.
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 Posted: 6/22/2020 

This fix seems simple however, what can be used as an alternative to a wire hanger when there are no wire hangers available?
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 10/6/2020 

I digress, you can use a plumbing snake. There is a higher chance of having a wire hanger on hand than a plumbing snake though.
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 Posted: 6/12/2020 

Saved my bacon today. Thanks for the helpful information.
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 10/20/2020 

You're welcome. Thanks for reading!
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 Posted: 5/24/2020 

Best site ever! I cannot believe how much stuff was jammed in there!!
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 Posted: 5/12/2020 

Inyopools saves the day yet again!!! Thanks for all you post. You’ve saved me thousands in maintenance calls. Thank you again!!!
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 11/10/2020 

You're welcome! Thank you for reading.
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 Posted: 4/7/2020 

Thank you so much! This video saved the day!!!
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 Posted: 4/7/2020 

This saved us today. The water is moving so much better after cleaning out the impeller. It didn’t even seem like a lot of debris. Thank you!!
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 4/7/2020 

Awesome! You're welcome.
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 Posted: 3/15/2020 

Thanks for the advice. I had low pressure too and yep the issue was the pump impeller was clogged. Pressure is back now and the pool cleaner is doing its job again. So easy to fix!
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 Posted: 2/8/2020 

Thank you so much for the advice! My pump basket had a crack in it and let a bunch of leaves through to the impeller. Your instructions were perfect! My impeller is clean and my pool is back to normal.
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 2/10/2020 

Awesome! Thanks for dropping by
 Reply

 Posted: 1/11/2020 

Wow, your trick if cleaning out the impeller was $$$! Than you so much for all your i site. My Saturday is now complete. Great website. Thank you, jim
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 Posted: 11/28/2019 

Thank you. Was ready to order a new pump today... and on a whim scanned internet and found this article. My impeller WAS clogged. Not much... but enough to restrict water flow. Thank you so much. Amazing.
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 12/4/2019 

Thanks for the feedback, Bob! We're glad you found this guide beneficial.
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 Posted: 11/25/2019 

Thank you for this video, it was exactly the problem I had and I followed your directions exactly and was amazed at how easy it was to unclog. My pool pump pressure is normal again. :-)
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 Posted: 11/2/2019 

Great tip - thank you for sharing. Worked perfectly.
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 Posted: 7/30/2019 

You're instructions saved me a lot of money. I'm a single 46 year old woman and I followed your tutorial, it fixed my pool pump with no issues!!! Thank you!!!
 Reply

 Posted: 7/30/2019 

You're instructions saved me a lot of money. I'm a single 46 year old woman and I followed your tutorial, it fixed my pool pump with no issues!!! Thank you!!!
 Reply

 Posted: 7/1/2019 

Your advice was spot on! Cleaned out the impeller and the suction pressure came back, thank you!
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 Posted: 5/22/2019 

Great tip on cleaning the impeller, worked like a charm to bring my pressure back up to normal, thanks!
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