Simple Swimming Pool Pump Maintenance

by Pool Builders on 01-20-2011 in Articles

The pool pump is the engine to your swimming pool circulation and filtration system. In order for your pool to stay clean and the pool water to stay clear, the pump needs to be in good working order at all times. The following pool pump maintenance tasks should be performed on a routine basis.

Water Level - Monitor and maintain the proper water level in your pool at ALL times. If the water level gets too low, the pump can lose its prime and run dry, damaging the pump or pump motor.

Clean Out Skimmer Baskets - Keep the skimmer basket clear of debris. If the skimmer basket is neglected and becomes filled with debris, it will eventually restrict water flow to the pump and damage the pump or pump motor. A clogged skimmer basket will also lead to inefficient filtration and water clarity problems such as a cloudy pool or an algae bloom. Cleaning out the skimmer basket may need to be done as often as once or twice a day during certain parts of the year, especially in windy areas or in backyards with lots of trees and bushes. For some pools it may be as little as once or twice a month.

Clean Out Pump Basket - the pump basket needs similar maintenance as the skimmer basket. For most swimming pools it won't need to be cleaned out as often as the skimmer basket. On the other hand, if you're checking one, you might as well check the other.

Tip: For both the skimmer basket and pump basket, try to avoid hitting the baskets on the concrete deck when cleaning. This will lead to cracks in the baskets that will allow debris to get by, risking a clogged impeller or damaged pump. Instead, clean them out with your hands and wash them out with a hose.

Prime the Pool Pump - any time the pump lid is removed and reinstalled during cleaning, be sure the pump is filled with water up to the top of the inlet before restarting the pump. Simply use the hose or a small bucket with water from the pool to add water to the pump. This will assist the pump upon starting and avoid running the pump dry for any length of time.

Pump Lid - Inspect the pump lid for cracks that may cause an air leak. A cracked pump lid is a problem that is easily overlooked and will cause the pump to run dry.

Pump Lid O-Ring - A bad pump o-ring can also be the cause of an air leak. Inspect the pump lid o-ring for dryness or cracks and replace if necessary. Make sure the o-ring is clean and well lubricated with an approved lubricant when reinstalling. Also clean the surfaces of the pump and pump lid before replacing the lid in order to create a tight seal. Without a tight seal, air might enter the system and decrease pump performance and pool water circulation.

Neglecting your swimming pool pump can be a costly mistake resulting in big headaches, an ugly pool, and expensive repairs. Avoiding these problems can be quick and easy. The key is getting to know your swimming pool and how often it needs attention. Then, implementing a routine of performing the above tasks as needed.

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