Noisy Pool Pump – Tips and Troubleshooting
When a swimming pool pump gets noisy enough to get noticed by the pool owner or the neighbors, it means the pump is need of immediate attention. Ignoring these signs of excessive pool pump noise can lead to not only unhappy neighbors, but extensive damage to the pool equipment and expensive repair bills.
Is the Pool Pump the Problem? - In many cases, when the amount of noise the pump is making starts getting noticed, the cause is not the pump itself, but some other issue with the pool that is making the pump work harder than normal. The first step in troubleshooting the noise is to determine if it is a sign of the pump malfunctioning or an indication of a separate problem with the pool that is causing the pump to make noise due to straining to get the job done.
Indicators that the Pool Pump IS the Problem – most likely if the pump itself is the problem, the resulting noise will be a high-pitched whine or a metal on metal grinding. These sounds would indicate the possibility of worn motor bearings. It is normal for motor bearings on pool pumps to wear out over time.
If it is Suspected That the Problem is NOT the Pool Pump – There are several reasons why the pool pump could be louder than normal or making unusual noises because it's stressed and having to work too hard. Most of the time the problem is as simple as the pump being starved of water for one reason or another. Following are the most common reasons that pool pumps get starved of water.
Pool Water Level is Too Low – The first issue to eliminate is an insufficient water level. If the water level in the pool is too low and below the skimmer, the result will be cavitation or a loss of prime. It is never good for the pump to be running dry or running with a low water level in the pool. The pump will under a lot of stress and be at risk of burning out the motor.
Block Skimmer or Pump Basket – Check the skimmer basket and the pump basket to make sure they are not clogged with debris to the point where they are starving the pump of water. It seems simple, but happens all the time. People neglect cleaning out the baskets, they get clogged, and the pump isn't able to get enough water resulting in a noisy pump and eventually a burned out motor.
Loose Pump Base – Sometimes the noise is a result of a loose pump base. If the pump base is loose, the resulting vibrations can be very loud. While the pump is running, simple put some pressure on the pump motor with a foot. If this is the problem, it will be obvious because the noise will disappear.
Return Valve Closed – If the pool has solar heating or a water feature that involves manually changing valves, sometime the valves don't get set properly and a return valve or suction valve that should be open is closed. This situation can cause stress on the pump and again result in a noisy motor.
If following these troubleshooting tips don't help find the source of the noisy pool pump motor, call a local swimming pool professional to help identify and solve the problem.
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