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How Long Do Pool Pumps Last?

a pool at a home with two deck chairs and a retaining wall

A pool pump can last anywhere from around 8 years to as long as 15 years or more. The lifespan of this vital piece of equipment typically depends on things like the type of pump you buy and whether you regularly maintain the pump.

One of the primary signs that there might be a problem with your pool pump is if the water looks cloudy or if algae or grime is building up on the surface of your pool. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the entire pump is bad or that you must replace the whole thing. In some cases, you might need to replace just one part of the pump, such as the motor or the filter. In most cases, pool owners are better off calling in a pro to make these fixes, as someone with the experience and tools to get the job done right can usually quickly make any needed repairs so that you can get back to enjoying your pool.

That said, learning more about what might be going on can give you the information you need to explain the problem to a pool repair company over the phone and get your problem taken care of sooner, rather than later.

Common Pool Pump Problems

There are a few signs that can indicate that your issue might involve only a part of the pool pump.

Your Pump is Overheating

A pool pump can overheat if there is a problem with the impeller or if something else causes the pump to lose its prime. Priming is the process that causes the pump to pull water out of the pool and through the filter.

If your pool pump won’t prime, then air might run through the pump. This can cause the impeller to spin more quickly than usual, which can wear down the pump’s motor. This can also lead to more serious issues, like leaks in the pump.

High Pressure Reading 

If there’s a high pressure reading on the gauge for your filter, this might mean that there’s a problem with your impeller. Or, it could be a simpler issue. A good place to start is to check the pump strainer basket. If it’s overloaded, then excess debris might be getting into the impeller and keeping it from working correctly.

If the basket is clean, then there might be another problem with your impeller. Some possibilities are that it’s too weak for the size of your pool or that it has worn out and needs to be replaced.

Strange Noises

Noises coming from your pool pump, like humming, grinding, pops or screeching might indicate that there’s something wrong with the motor in your pool pump. Depending on the issue, fixing a single part might solve the problem. Or, you might need to replace the entire motor. A trained pool specialist can help find the issue and recommend the best way to fix it.

When You Need to Replace Your Pump

If you aren’t sure whether to repair your pump or install a new one, consider whether:

  • the pump is more than 12 to 15 years old;
  • the pump housing is cracked, leaking, rusted or rotting or
  • the manufacturer has stopped making the parts of the pump that are broken.

While some pool pump issues are easy to fix, other more complicated problems need the help of an expert. It’s often difficult for homeowners to accurately diagnose problems with their pool pump because so many different kinds of issues can look the same. If these issues go untreated for too long, they can lead to costly repairs.

That’s why it’s wise to call a professional when you first notice problems. They can help figure out what’s wrong and fix the issue with your pool pump before it causes more significant damage. Pool specialists can also help save you money, even if there’s a less complicated problem with your pump. They can help figure out if a simple replacement part will fix the issue and help you avoid spending hundreds of dollars to unnecessarily replace the whole pump.

As previously mentioned, a malfunctioning pool pump can lead to a build-up of algae in your pool. One way to remedy this problem is to shock your pool. But, can you shock a pool if your pump isn’t working?

a pool with cloudy water and a broken pump which makes a homeowner wonder if you can shock a pool without the pump running

Can You Shock a Pool Without the Pump Running?

If your pool turned green overnight or has become overrun with algae, it might be because your pool pump has stopped working. When this happens, homeowners sometimes try shortcuts like attempting to shock the pool without a working pool pump. While this might be tempting, it is not recommended to shock a pool until the pool pump is up and running again.

Shocking a pool is when you add a high level of chlorine to the water to kill algae, destroy fungi and bacteria and help keep your pool clean. Your pool pump is an essential part of this process. If you try to shock your pool without a working pump, it will be difficult to completely clear algae and other debris from the water. Even if your pool does clear up after you shock it without running the pump, it will only stay clear for a few days before the algae starts to bloom and you wind up with cloudy pool water again.

The pool pump is a piece of equipment with many different critical parts that help it run. The pump is made up of a motor, a filter and an impeller. When you shock the pool, the pump works by circulating the water and chlorine in the pool. In addition, it helps filter out any algae and other debris in the water.

If you have a pump that stopped working, if you have questions about shocking your pool or if you are experiencing any other pool problems, the best way to get help is to contact a professional. An experienced pool professional can diagnose the problem and help get your pool back to the clean and welcoming oasis you expect as efficiently as possible.

Specialists can also perform routine pool maintenance like shocking the pool (if you need it) and regularly checking your pool equipment, so you don’t have to worry about it. These pros can help you save time by handling all your pool care needs for you, plus they can work with you to find an appointment time and maintenance plan that works best with your schedule.

If it turns out you will need to replace your pool pump, you’re likely wondering which size will be the best fit

a beach ball in a pool

What Size Pool Pump Do I Need?

The pool pump is essentially the heart of your pool because it circulates and filters the water and helps keep your pool clean. That’s why it’s vital to make sure your pool pump is the right size for your pool. But, many homeowners have difficulty picking out the right size pump because there are several different complex factors that you need to take into account. For instance, a pump with more horsepower isn’t necessarily better and might damage your pool equipment if it isn’t a good fit.

The best way to figure out what size pool pump you need is to contact a certified professional who can help determine the most accurate sizing. However, if you would like to pick out a pool pump on your own, it’s important to consider several factors when choosing the size.

Your Pool’s Volume

The volume is the measure of how many gallons of water that your pool holds. You can estimate the volume by measuring the length, width and depth of your pool and then using an online calculator for the shape of your pool.

For example, if your pool is rectangular, then you would multiply the length times the width times the depth (measured in feet). Once you have this number, you would multiply it by 7.5 to get the approximate number for the volume (in gallons).

Flow Rate Range

The flow rate range is the span of flow rates that your pool equipment can handle. To find this range, you need to figure out the minimum flow rate and the maximum flow rate.

The minimum flow rate depends on your pool’s volume and the turnover rate, which is the amount of time it takes to completely cycle through all of your pool’s water. To get the minimum flow rate, divide the volume of your pool (in gallons) by the turnover rate (in minutes). For example, if you have a 25,000-gallon pool and your turnover rate is eight hours (or 480 minutes), then your minimum flow rate will be around 52 gallons per minute. The measure for the flow rate is usually abbreviated as GPM.

The maximum flow rate depends on the specifications of your pool equipment. Some of the main pieces of equipment that are tied to this rate are the type of pool filter you have and the width of pipes in your plumbing system. The maximum flow rates for the filter and plumbing system should be marked directly on the equipment or on the documents that came with the equipment.

The Feet of Head or Total Dynamic Head (TDH)

The TDH is the total length that water will have to flow to get to your pool pump. This is a complicated calculation that accounts for the length and width of all your pipes and turns or twists in the pipes, as well as equipment like the pool heater and filter that water will need to travel through.

As you can see, determining the right size pump for your pool is a more complicated process than you might have realized. This is why most people leave this task to professionals when it’s time for a replacement.

ABC Can Repair and Maintain Your Pool Equipment

Keeping your pool water healthy and clean requires in-depth knowledge of chemicals and electrical components. Instead of struggling with making these kinds of decisions and repairs on your own, contact ABC Home & Commercial Services. Our certified professionals are highly trained in all aspects of pool care and can take the hard work of caring for your pool off your plate.

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