Ways To Avoid Damaging Your Pool Pump


The pool pump is the heart of your pool circulation system. And just like your precious heart, nothing works when the pool pump stops working. Failures of pool pumps occur more frequently than you might imagine and it happens for reasons that might surprise you. While the majority of pool heat pumps are made to survive for roughly 6 to 10 years, there are a few things that can drastically reduce their lifespan. Naturally, a lot depends on how frequently you use it. However, a LOT more important is how well you care for it throughout that period.

The key to preventing the majority of pool pump issues is to install and maintain your pump properly. However, preventing pool pump damage is a little more complicated. Luckily, that’s exactly what this blog post is all about. Continue reading to discover the most effective ways to avoid frequent issues and prevent damaging your pool pump.


Problem: When motors are submerged underwater, drowning is usually fatal. If disassembled and dried internally, a partially submerged motor may occasionally survive unless it was running when the flooding occurred! In the beginning, many pumps are located considerably above the ground, but over time, sediment and other debris can raise the ground, reducing the clearance.

Solution: Raise the pump, or lower the ground! Ensure the area around the pool’s equipment drains quickly when it rains. Sandbag the pump pad or transfer the pump to higher ground if flood waters are threatening your pool pump until the waters have subsided. 

Dig up any in-fill or soil that has washed up against the pad if water no longer swiftly drains away from the equipment. You should also grade slopes and swales to help water flow away. To lessen moisture and prevent weed development, add gravel to the area around the pump and filter.


Problem: Long periods of ‘run dry’ (without incoming water) might cause the shaft seal to blow out and the pump to start leaking. Pump baskets may even melt in some situations, and the pump volute may become deformed. High temperatures will also cause the threads on PVC fittings that are threaded into and out of the pump to shrink, which will lead to air leaks on the inlet side and water leaks on the exit pipe fitting.

Solution: The first piece of advice is to keep the pool’s water level appropriate. To prevent the pump from losing its prime, find and seal any air leaks on the incoming pipes or suction cleaner hoses. 

Ensure the drain plugs are Teflon taped and tight, and the pump lid is lubricated and secure. Along with the previously described PVC fittings put into the pump, this is another typical area where air leaks occur. Replace the shrinking fitting or use Pool Putty to patch it.


Problem: Improper wiring, wire size, or voltage. Long-term exposure to high or low voltage can stress or destroy a motor, causing a short across the windings or constantly blowing out the capacitor. Only 120V and 240V and 120V/240V, also known as reversible motors, which can accept either voltage, are available for pool motors. 

If you plug 240V into a motor wired for 120V, you may expect sparks, smoke, and a dead motor if you don’t turn it off right away. If you plug 120V into a motor expecting 240V, the motor simply won’t start. Motor issues could also be brought on by improper wiring or the use of the wrong wire size.

Solution: Line voltage must be constant and within 10% of either 115V or 230V, depending on the application. Verify again that the line voltage matches the motor voltage before installing a new motor. Make sure your power leads and ground wire are connected to the terminal board properly by carefully reading the wiring diagram on the motor label. 

Although the power connection on current motors is pretty simple, a motor can nevertheless be improperly wired. Additionally, utilize the proper wire size when replacing old wires. This is often 12/3, or 12 AWG size, with three wires, typically white, black, and green.


Problem: When water freezes, it expands by 9%, which might shatter a pool pump volute or strainer housing and need the replacement of the affected component. 

Solution: During cold weather, keep the pump running. Nothing will freeze as long as the water is flowing through the pipes. Remove both of the pump’s drain plugs if running the pump is not an option (filter plugs, heater plugs, chlorinator, etc.). A freeze sensor can be used by a pool controller or a digital time clock to safeguard pool equipment from freezing, which will cause the pump to switch on automatically.


Problem: Around pool pumps, bushes, weeds, and overhanging trees retain moisture and obstruct airflow. Around pumps and low areas, soil and mulch collect moisture and water. 

Solution: To decrease moisture and promote airflow, trim bushes and plants as necessary. To keep the area around the pump free of plants, cover it with gravel and frequently pull or spray weeds.


Problem: A pool motor lasts longer since it needs efficient air circulation to stay cool while operating. Mulch, plants, or enclosed areas block the wind. The motor temperature will also increase in direct sunlight.

Solution: At a temperature of about 140 degrees, motors are constantly hot to the touch. Improved airflow lowers motor temperatures. Sunlight can be blocked by using shields for pump motors.


Problem: Pumps that are too large for the size or number of incoming pipes will cave in under a strong vacuum, effectively starving for water. Additionally, pool pumps that are too small for the system can encounter significant resistance. Overworking the pump and motor is a major factor in heart (pump) failure in both situations.

Solution: Considering the Pump Flow Curve carefully, your system resistance as best as possible, and your filter design flow rate will help you choose new pool pumps. It is best to replace the pump with a replica. If you’re uncertain, call our experts and we will need to know everything about your pool and every piece of equipment, including the size and kind of pipe being used, how far the equipment is from the pool, and other information.

If your pool pump has been surviving without any issues to date that means you’ve done a terrific job! So, keep up the good work!! We advise having a professional perform a checkup once a year to make sure everything is in working order. To ensure that friends and relatives may swim safely, the optimum time to do this is in the spring, just before peak use. 

If you live around South East Queensland, Toowoomba or Gold Coast get in touch with That Pool Heating Company now, to speak with a specialist for more suggestions or advice.


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