How to Extend the Life of your Swimming Pool Motor


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When it rains, does water pour onto the pool pump motor from the roof overhang, or, does the pool motor sit in a puddle of water? Do you have a sprinkler system that sprays water onto the pump area? If so, the chances of it shorting out are increased dramatically. If the pool motor sits in a pool of water after a rain, some sort of drainage system around it is a must. In harsh weather climates, build or buy a housing that can be put over the motor during winter. An in- expensive pool pump motor cover does a fair job of keeping rain water off the pool motor.

Step by Step


Step 1

It is relatively easy to tell if your motor is going bad when it starts making a lot of noise. Usually the bearings inside the motor are shot and at this point there isn’t much you can do. (unfortunately, oiling it is not an option). If your motor does burn out, before buying a new one, talk to the people at your pool store to help determine if this motor was the correct one for your pool. When housing developments are built, many contractors buy the cheapest filter systems available and the motor horsepower may not be the correct one for your pool. It is essential that you know the water volume of your pool and the make and horsepower of your motor before shopping for a new motor.

Step 2

Pool Pump Lid & Basket - A critical part of the system, the pool pump basket collects debris from your pool and prevents it from going into your pool filter. If there is a lot of debris in here, it will affect the flow of the water into your filter and put a strain on the motor. There are a variety of pump baskets on the market and most pool pump basket lids can be unscrewed in a counter clockwise motion. Some systems have two screws on either side of the top and have to be unscrewed until you can remove it. If you have a lid that unscrews, you should be able to loosen it by hand, but if the gasket is old, or the top has been over tightened, you may need to purchase a pool pump lid wrench at your pool store. If you do have to use this tool, approach this cautiously and assess where the pipes and valves are in relationship to the handle. If you push too hard while trying to unscrew the top, you could hit your hand on surrounding equipment, which really hurts!

Step 3

NOTE: You should never over tighten the pool pump lid with the wrench as you could break the plastic housing. Lubricate with gasket lube and hand-tighten. If you still do not get a good seal, use the wrench sparingly.

Step 4

Pool Pump Impeller - The pool pump impeller and housing are in between the pool pump basket and motor. Its primary purpose is to move the water from the pool, thorough the pump and filter, and then back into the pool. If it fills with debris it affects the flow of water into the pool pump and can put a strain on the pool pump motor.

Step 5

If your pool doesn’t have a lot of debris, or a screen covers it, it is unlikely that the impeller is jammed or dirty. However, if your pool does have a lot of debris and/or your pool pump basket is cracked, there is a good likelihood that your pool pump impeller may be clogged.

Step 6

Do you have a palm trees around your pool? Let’s face it, palm trees are filthy and can be your pool’s worst enemy. Certain times of the year very fine debris will fall off the palms, into the pool, and clog the impeller. If you have a floor vacuum in your pool, a clogged pool pump impeller will affect its performance.

Step 7

If you aren’t sure if your pool pump impeller is dirty, clean your pool filter and observe how the pressure gauge needle lines up with your standard PSI setting or mark. If it shows a pressure lower than normal, your pool pump impeller may be clogged.


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 Posted: 11/26/2014 

Suggestion from a customer - After replacing two motors over 11 years and observing the damage to the UNDERSIDE of the motor, I decided to spend $6 for a solid (not mesh or woven) "Drawer/Shelf Liner" (from Home Depot, Lowes or Target) and place it under the motor stand. What leads to the corrosion of the motor's underside is the chemicals in the cement or concrete that are dissolved and splashed up from rain. Ever consider why the top isn't rusted out? Because it isn't contaminated by those concrete chemicals. The typical drawer liner is about 18" wide, cut a section about 18-24" long and place it under the plastic stand to secure the liner in place. That's it, enjoy your pool motor for an additional 2-4 years longer.

 Posted: 4/22/2013 

cqb - Here's a link to the pool motor cover that we sell: Protective Pool Motor Cover.

 Posted: 4/22/2013 

I have been looking for a pool pump motor cover for weeks and have not yet found one to fit my pump. Any suggestions as to where I might order one.

I don't understand why they don't come with the cover when you buy them.


 Posted: 1/2/2012 

Thanks for the information on extending your life swimming pool motor