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Why Does My Pool Pump Have Low Pressure?

pool pump

Your pool pump is an important part of your pool’s filtration system. When it is not working properly, your pool can become dirty and unsanitary. The most common pool pump issues are when the pressure is too high or low. 

There are several reasons why your pool pump is experiencing low pressure, and it is usually due to a blockage on the suction side of the pump.

Homeowners often ask what their pool pump pressure should be, and the answer is that it varies depending on your pump model and pool. However, it is easy to determine when the pressure is too high or low and solve the problem with normal pool maintenance. 

Lastly, it’s important to run your pool pump often enough to keep your pool clean. How often to run a pump depends on the type of pump you own. Keep reading for everything you need to know about your pool pump.

Why Does My Pool Pump Have Low Pressure?

A properly functioning pool pump is a vital part of regular pool maintenance. If your pool pump’s pressure is low, you will have a flow problem. The most common culprit is a blockage or restriction on the suction side of the pool pump where water is drawn in from the pool.

The other side of the pool pump, where the water exits the pump, is called the pressure side. When the pressure side is blocked or restricted, the pressure will become too high. Therefore, you can usually assume that the problem is on the suction side when your pool pump’s pressure is too low.

There are several signs that your pool pump has low pressure. First, the gauge on your pump will indicate when the pressure is too low. Next, your water jets do not perform as efficiently as they should. The water may be a slow trickle instead of a strong jet. Finally, your pool cleaners will slow down when the pool pump’s pressure is too low. 

If you notice any of these signs of low pressure, don’t stress. The problem is usually easy to fix with normal pool maintenance. First, monitor your pool’s water level. It should be at least halfway up your skimmer’s door. 

You may also have a clogged skimmer basket or strainer basket. Clear both baskets of debris so that water can efficiently flow through them and to the pool pump.

What to Look for When Inspecting Impeller and Pipes

Sometimes debris can get past your strainer basket and clog up the impeller. This is the part of the pool pump that pulls in water. It spins and looks like a fan. If it is clogged or damaged, it will not pull enough water into the pump and the pressure will drop.

To inspect your impeller, go to your breaker and turn off the pool pump. Then use a screwdriver to pull out debris from the pipe where the impeller is located. If your impeller still doesn’t work properly, it could be due to normal wear and tear over the years. Call a pool specialist to inspect the impeller and determine if it is time to replace it.

If those solutions do not work, inspect your pipes. The joints may have sprung a leak, which allows air bubbles to enter the system. The housing of your pool pump can also crack and allow air in, which lowers the pressure. You should also inspect the pump’s lid to make sure it is airtight.

Finally, if you check all of these areas and everything is working properly, it’s possible that your pool pump’s gauge is faulty. 

Your pool pump is an important part of your pool’s filtration system. When isn’t working correctly, your pool can quickly become dirty and unsafe. Call a professional pool specialist for a complete inspection to get to the bottom of the problem so you can enjoy your pool all summer.

turquoise blue pool water

What Should My Pool Pump Pressure Be?

Your pool pump’s pressure gauge tells you the pound-force per square inch (PSI) that it is pumping water. What is considered a normal reading varies based on who manufactured your pool pump and gauge, so you should check your owner’s manual.

However, a common reading that is considered normal is around 10 PSI. Check your pool pump’s water gauge on a weekly basis to understand what is normal for your pool. When you see it drop below its normal number, the pool pump will not cycle water as efficiently and the pressure will become too low. 

Perform the inspections listed above and see if your gauge returns to its normal number. If it doesn’t, call a pool specialist for a more thorough inspection and diagnosis.

How Do I Know When My Pool Pump’s Pressure is Too High?

There is cause for concern if your water gauge reads over 10 PSI higher than its regular reading. Water gauges usually go up to 60 PSI, and anything over 20 PSI is considered high. 

If your water pressure is too high, your pool’s filter needs to be cleaned. If the pressure is still too high after the cleaning, there is probably a leak in your filter system.

Pool filters are made up of a pump and filtration system. The pool pump pulls water in using an impeller and then pushes it into the filter. The filter then removes debris and bacteria that your other sanitization methods missed. The water is then returned to the pool via return lines and jets.

A pool filtration system is easy to maintain but requires regular inspections and gauge readings to make sure it’s working properly. It’s not enough to sanitize your pool with chlorine or other solutions. You need a functioning filter to fully remove fine debris, algae and bacteria. 

If your pool’s filtration system isn’t working properly, it can result in a too-low or high-pressure reading on your pool pump. 

If you aren’t sure what’s causing the problem, call a pool care specialist to check it out. A specialist can create an effective pool maintenance schedule to keep the pool running efficiently. 

pool rail with turquoise pool water in the background

How Often to Run a Pool Pump and For How Long

If you are not concerned about your energy bill, you should run your pool pump all the time while your pool is in operation. However, if that is not an option and you simply want to keep your pool looking its best, you should cycle the water through at least once per day. 

That means that you should run your pool pump for four to eight hours every day. You can run the pump for those hours consecutively or split them up throughout the day for a more budget-friendly option.

How often you run your pool pump also depends on the time of year. For example, there are times when you want to run your pool pump more, like when you are opening the pool for the summer, trying to clean out algae or balancing chemicals.

The type of pool pump you have also plays a role in how often and how long you need to run it. There are three types of pool pumps, and which ones you need depends on what type of pool you own.

Types of Pool Pumps

First, the single-speed pool pump operates at a constant speed. They are inexpensive to purchase but can become costly to operate since you cannot lower the speed. 

The next type of pool pump is the two-speed pump, which has a higher and lower speed option. To save energy, you can switch the pump to the lower speed and lower your energy bill by around 80%. There is also an additional device you can purchase that will automate the pump to switch between the speeds when you program it. 

Lastly, variable-speed pool pumps adjust their speed on their own. They are smart devices that regulate themselves based on the task they are performing. They are most costly upfront but can save the most money on your energy bill.

When you are purchasing a new pool pump, pay attention to its specifications. Some pumps are made for above-ground pools and will not work well with an inground pool. You also want to make sure you get the pump with the right amount of horsepower for your pool’s size and needs. 

A pool care professional can help you select the right pump and install it for you. They can also educate you on routine pool pump maintenance or perform the maintenance for you so that you never have to think about it.

Schedule Routine Pool Maintenance Today

If you experience problems with your pool pump, such as low pressure, a professional with inspect your pool’s components and diagnose the problem for you. They can also provide specific advice about how often and long to run your pool pump based on your exact pool.  

A pool is a fun addition to any home, but it requires regular maintenance to operate properly so that your family can enjoy it as much as possible. Luckily, you can schedule routine maintenance with a pool care specialist.

ABC Can Help With Pool Repairs

Pool pump problems can have severe consequences if not taken care of quickly. If you’re experiencing issues with your pool pump, contact ABC Home & Commercial Services. Our certified experts will efficiently locate the issue and complete all needed pool pump repairs. This way, you can get back to enjoying your pool.

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