Learn how to troubleshoot pool equipment problems

No matter how well you take care of your swimming pool, at some point you will have to do some basic repairs and maintenance to ensure that your pool’s mechanics run perfectly. As a pool owner, you will want to know how to troubleshoot some frequent pool equipment problems.

Ensuring that your pool equipment is sound will keep you from expensive future repairs. Here are some of the most common pool equipment problems and how to address them:


pool equipment problems - pumpOne of the most common pool equipment problems is with the pump. If your pump won’t turn on, check the breaker box for a tripped breaker. Check the pump wiring for damage or loose connections. (Caution, consult an electrician if there are exposed copper wires or obvious damage to the electrical conduit.) Check motor vents for debris.

If you have a time clock, check to make sure the on/off tabs are in place on the face of the timer dial. If you have a full automation system you may have to consult the manual to troubleshoot your app. or controller.

If your pump flow rate is low, look for restrictions. Make sure the valves are adjusted so water can freely move from the skimmer and main drain and back to the pool via the returns, water features, or cleaning systems. The more wide-open flow you have the easier it is for your pump to move water. The additional benefit to this is it generally will save you on electricity when you reduce restrictions.

Next, look for blockages. A dirty pool filter, pump, and or skimmer baskets are the usual culprits.

If you have a variable speed pump your low flow problem might be related to programming.  Consult your manual to help you to program your V-pump.

If your pump is leaking, inspect seals and replace them as necessary.

A loose pump lid, cracks in the pump, gaskets, and O-ring issues can cause your pump to suck in air. You will also need to check the suction line to see if repairs are warranted.

If your pool pump basket won’t fill, turn off the pump, make sure the lid and O-ring are in good condition, and check that the water level is mid-way up in the skimmer throat.

Turn the pump on. If the condition persists, check that the valve to the skimmer and main drain are both open.

If this does not solve the problem, close one side at a time. If either side causes air in the pump basket, then there is a suction leak on that side which needs to be located and repaired.

If your pump won’t pull water into the pump basket, turn off the pump and remove the pump lid, then clean any debris from the pump basket. Double-check your valves to make sure water can freely flow from the pool to the pump basket.

Fill the housing with water using a garden hose or bucket.  Put the lid on and turn on the pump.

Water should begin filling the pump basket within two minutes. Once the pressure gauge reads a continuous pressure, open the air relief valve on the filter until a steady stream of water appears and all the air is gone.

Excessive noise? A loud pump may be telling you that you have a restriction, and it needs more water flow. Clear blockages and check for air leaks.

If these elements seem to be performing properly, you may have bad bearings and it’s time to call a professional service provider.

Do not try to repair electoral components. They require professional handling.

Pool Skimmer

pool equipment problems - skimmerPool owners facing pool equipment problems should check their pool skimmers. If your pool skimmer lacks the suction required, do the following. Empty the basket, make sure the weir door is in place and working, and check the float valve below the basket for any needed adjustments. The teardrop-shaped adjustable door should be open approximately halfway.

If your skimmer is adjusted via valves on the suction side of the pump, try closing the main drain line partially and opening the skimmer fully.

It is also possible you are experiencing a clog in the skimmer line. To remove the clog, turn off the pump and open the skimmer line. Close off the other intakes. Remove the pump lid and put a drain jet into the intake port on the pump and turn it on.

This should cause water to flow backward through the pipe and may dislodge the clog.


clean a pool cartridge filterAnother common issue among pool equipment problems is with the filter. If you’ve done a thorough vacuuming of your pool and notice dirt returning to the pool, the filter may be damage or bypassing. Often, this is a sign that the filter needs to be cleaned.

If you’ve followed the steps outlined and are still faced with pool equipment problems that you can’t solve, try researching online or on Google or Youtube, for additional help. Or, call a pool service provider for assistance.

Owning a swimming pool provides fun, exercise, and family bonding time. It’s also an investment. Understanding how to troubleshoot basic pool equipment problems will help you keep the good times flowing. If you need help or prefer to leave the maintenance and repairs to a professional, contact your local Premier Pool Service provider. We offer free quotes and peace of mind.

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