Swimming pool maintenance has many aspects, such as chemical balancing, skimming and vacuuming. To keep a pool crystal clear requires hard work. However, the chemicals are useless and vacuuming is impossible if the pressure in your pool pump is too low to be effective. The far majority of swimming pool owners of both above ground and in-ground pools use earth-based filter pumps. Low pressure could be the result of many things both simple and complex.
One of the most common reasons for low filter pressure is a dirty debris-filled filter that hasn't been cleaned in weeks. The filter pump operates with a substance known to most pool professionals as "earth." The earth is a white power substance that is added to the filter through the skimmer and settles inside the pump. It helps capture small particles of dirt and debris that the skimmer baskets cannot catch. This earth will become dirt, more dense and less effective over a period of more than a week, resulting in low filter pump pressure. Turn the filter off, and turn the release valve at the base of your pump and backwash the filter. Keep the valve open until the water runs clear. Shut the valve, and refill with clean earth. Use the pump handle to pump the filter three to five times prior to turning it back on.
Pump the Filter
You pump the filter as part of the backwash routine. However, the filter can also be pumped in between backwash periods as well. Shut the filter, and pump the handle located at the top of the filter three times. Turn the filter back on, and the pressure will increase. Ideal pressure on the gauge should consistently show a reading between 12 and 17.
Low pressure can be the result of clogged hoses and skimmer baskets. Inspect the skimmer basket attached to the pool, and clean it out. Leaves, bugs and water toys can get stuck the basket and affect water pressure. Another location is in the small canister which connects via a hose to the skimmer. Turn the filter off, and open the top of the small pump. Empty the skimmer basket. Be careful because the water will overflow as you empty it and wet your feet. After cleaning these two baskets, pump the filter and restart.
If you clean everything and the pressure is still falling with regularity, the motor may be breaking down. Symptoms of a faulty motor can include louder than normal operation, and the engine may occasionally smoke or run extremely hot. Hire a professional to inspect the motor, and determine if purchasing a new motor is an option over repairs.