Video: Poolside Chat Episode #16 – Pump Motor Making Clicking Sound

This is Poolside Chat where every week we answer your questions on how to fix and maintain your swimming pool. Poolside Chat is presented by, helping pool owners find the right parts since 2001. In today’s episode of Poolside Chat, Rob and Matt tackle another common swimming pool question:
  • Why is my pool pump motor making a clicking sound?

Now here’s your hosts – Matt and Rob.

Poolside Chat Episode #16 Video

Watch the video it’s easier than reading ;)


“I installed our motor yesterday, the UST1102. It seems to be working, but has this clicking sound and can never completely fill the skimmer basket in front of the motor. What is the problem?”

-Jim from Floyds Knobs, IN

ao msith pump motor centrifugal switch
Century Pump Motor Centrifugal Switch

A couple of reasons why this could be happening. The first would be that dual voltage motors, such as the UST1102, are shipped from the factory set to 230 volts. If you install the motor on a 115-volt circuit without setting the volt switch to the proper setting the motor may not start. The lower voltage may allow the motor to spin but not to full RPMs; the clicking sound is the governor/centrifugal switch opening and closing because the motor is not at full speed, 3450 RPMs. The volt switch is either a jumper or a knob style shown in the picture. The notch in the knob selects the current voltage setting.

Another reason why you could hear clicking is if your old motor was a full rated motor and your newer motor is an up rated motor, which means that the full rated motor has a higher service factor; it’s stronger. So when you put an uprated, a weaker motor, on there it’s not strong enough to spin the impeller for a full rated system. So that could also cause the clicking. For a full explanation on uprated and fullrated, read our blog article: Is a 1.0HP Motor the Same as a 1.5HP Motor?

Century Motor Dual Voltage Switch
Century Pump Motor Terminal Board w/ Volt Knob

After we helped Jim by explaining the two options he ran through a troubleshoot and figured he had it set on the incorrect voltage. He turned the knob to 115 volts and the motor fired up without a problem. Sometimes it really is the simplest solution to pool problems.

If you have any more questions about pool pump motor troubleshooting, you can always contact us at 877-372-6038 or visit us online at You can e-mail us at, also subscribe to this video and to our newsletter where you can also get a free pool maintenance guide, 128 pages that’s what they tell me.

6 thoughts on “Video: Poolside Chat Episode #16 – Pump Motor Making Clicking Sound

  1. I flip the switch to my pool pump and it doesn’t turn on. There is no sound at all. The timer is running but the pump is not. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  2. Matt, My four year old Super Pump started making a clicking sound and shut off after about 30 seconds. The sound is exactly like the one in your video. After removing the housing one can see that the sound is definitely one of the legs of the switch tapping. This is not a new pump situation. It has been set at 230 since it was installed four years ago (as were the prior two pumps over the past 15 years). Not sure if this is a bad governor or switch, or something else. Neither part looks discolored, burned, broken, etc. What does a bad governor or switch look like? Any thoughts? Thanks, Mike

    1. The metal could be too rusted for the switch to open properly or the arms are missing. But usually, the problem as we mention a lot in the video, is the voltage is dipping below the prescribed amount. In this case, 240. Voltage drops can occur in new or older installations. You may want to examine that possibility a little closer.

  3. Hi folks,
    Just wanted to give you a big support shout out. I received my pump motor, which was an exact match to my old one, followed your video on installation and it worked the first time with no leaks and no shocks. I can not thank
    you folks enough for the excellent way you do business. You saved me at least 500 dollars if I had to outsource it
    to a pool company. I will be a life long purchaser. Continued good luck in the business.
    Satellite Beach, Fl

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