How to Troubleshoot Swimming Pool Pump Problems


Pool pumps sometimes fail, but there are several other things that can go wrong, some of them surprisingly minor. If your pool turns cloudy or green because the pool pump isn't doing its job, troubleshoot the problem before you call for an expensive repair. You may be able to save money by fixing the problem yourself.

Pool pump doesn't come on

Step 1

Check all circuit breaker panels inside and out to be sure the circuit hasn't been tripped. There are often two, one located in the main breaker panel and one near the pool.

Step 2

Verify that the timer is set correctly. The timer, located near the pool, regulates when and how long the pool pump runs each day. There will be two indicators: stop and start. Verify that the indicators are still attached and some time is set. Also make sure it is set to run long enough to meet the conditions. In the summer or during rainy weather, it needs to be set for a longer time period, at least six hours.

Step 3

Make sure the pump is plugged in. Some pumps have exterior plugs, and it's not uncommon for these to be accidentally disconnected by lawn workers. If all power sources check out and your pool pump won't come on, the motor may have to be repaired or replaced.

Air in the lines

Step 1

If the pool pump is running but little or no water is going through, check the rubber gaskets around each to make sure there is no dry rot or damage. If all gaskets are undamaged, reseal tightly. A cover screwed on badly might be the culprit.

Step 2

Inspect the drain plugs for damage. Some require sealant tape; others have a rubber washer that can rot.

Step 3

Check any areas where the PVC pipe has been joined or repaired for leaks. If there has been any pool repair or modification in the past, the sealant may be damaged, allowing air to enter the system. If all seals, gaskets and pipe connections are airtight, you may have a leak in the underground pool pipes.

Tips and Warnings

  • Pool pump problems can quickly lead to overgrowth of algae, especially during hot summer months.

Things You'll Need

  • Waterproof tape
  • Simple tools


  • WeTheadMeida; How To Troubleshoot & Repair Swimming Pool Pumps
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About this Author

Sherry Gray started her writing career a year ago when the company she worked for as a web developer began to fail. In college she majored in English, taking every writing and literature course available plus advertising and business. She feels finally putting her education to work was a great career choice.

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