Is your pool pump keeping you up at night? Are you afraid of how much the repairs needed are going to cost you? Fear not, troubleshooting and solving your noisy pump problem is simpler and cheaper than you may think. In this article we will take you step by step through diagnosing what the problem is and how to solve it.
First of all, what is the actual sound that the pump is making? Is it an annoying screeching sound like nails on a chalkboard or is it more of a rattling sound like it is full of rocks? The specific sound your pump makes will determine the area that the problem is coming from. There are three main components making up your pool pump; the the impeller, the housing and the motor. If the sound is more of a screeching type sound, then the problem is most likely coming from the motor. If the sound is more of the rocks rattling around in the pump kind of sound, then the likely culprit is either the impeller, the housing or both.
The motor is the powerhouse of the pump and operates the impeller. The impeller is a spinning blade that’s purpose is to suck the water into the pump. Finally, the housing is a bucket with a mesh liner, sort of like a basket that connects to the filter.
Before you go any further, the first thing that you need to do is to check your water level in the pump. This tends to be one of the most common causes of a noisy pool pump so it should be the first thing that you check. If the water level in the pump is less than halfway on your skimmer faceplate. The skimmer is a little bucket like object found built into the side of your pool. If your water has fallen below the halfway point, then simply adding water to the pump could be the solution. If there is still a bit of a noise, then manually prime your pump and that should fix things.
While you are looking at the skimmer you may also want to check for any debris that may have built up in your skimmer basket or the pipes leading from the skimmer to the pool this could also be causing your problem.
If you add water, clear any debris, and prime your pump and it is still making a noise that sounds like rocks beating around in your pump, then you may want to check of the housing of the pump. If the base is uneven due to the ground settling after instillation, then level out the ground and this should balance the housing and the annoying noise should go away.
If balancing your housing isn’t the problem, then there may be debris caught inside the pump causing the motor to work harder and make noise. To check this first turn off your filter, unplug the pump, and open the basket lid. Check inside for any sediment (rocks, leaves, dirt, etc.…) that may have settled in there. If you find any debris, simply clean out the basket, rinse it down with a hose, and your noise troubles should go away.
If you are still hearing the noise the issue could be with the impeller. Without plugging your pump back in yet, pull out the pump basket and reach into the tube between the basket and the impeller. Check the impeller to if it is clogged or uneven as either of these issues will cause the noise. If it is clogged take a pair of pliers and bend a piece of coat hanger into the shape of a hook and use it to remove the debris. Sometimes the impeller may be uneven or wobbling, if this is the case then you may have to have it worked on by a professional or simply replaced.
Finally, if your pool pump still sounds like shaking a box of rocks then the problem could be what is referred to cavitation. This is unfortunately a serious problem as it is caused when the pump sucks in not only water, but air as well. If your pool levels have been low for a long time and the pump has been running dry then it is possible that this has caused the water left in the pump to heat up to a boil causing steam to rise and possibly melt parts of the pump such as it’s inner lining. At this point it may be best just to replace the pump.
If the noise coming from your pump sounds more like a screeching sound than a box of rocks, then the bearings on the motor are the most likely issue. If you have worn out bearings, you will either need to replace them or replace the entire motor. The bearings are inexpensive to replace, however, the labor to replace them is quite intense as it requires a special tool to remove the bearings and two different bearing sizes. Before you give up thinking you are going to have to call a professional there is an old school trick to try. Take a hammer and tap the top of the motor casing a few times, sometimes this dislodges the built-up rust inside the motor and can fix the problem.
If in the end you decide you would just like to replace the pump altogether then we have a few options, we can suggest for you.
First, if you are interested in a pump that is both quiet and has a specific horsepower then we suggest an In-Ground Pool Pump as it comes in a wide range of horsepower and has been specially designed for volume. This pump includes a three-year warranty and can solve all of your pump noise issues.
Second, if you have more of a horsepower issue then the Blue Torrent 1.5 HP Typhoon In-Ground Pump is the one to buy. It has a larger horsepower yet won’t overwhelm your filtration system.
Finally, if quiet and economical are what you are looking for then the Energy Star Variable Speed In-Ground Pool Pump may be your dream come true. It is a variable speed pump that makes the least noise of any pump on the market as well as being energy efficient saving you loads of in energy costs. Combine that with the lifetime warranty and you will wonder why you don’t already own this pump.