How Do You Replace a Pool Pump Yourself?

Swimming pool pumps are a required piece of equipment for any swimming pool.  Like anything else, they break or become outdated and at some point in time, need to be replaced.  Some people, mostly those that are technologically inclined, may choose to do this feat themselves to save money.  Here are some things you should know.

What is a Swimming Pool Pump?

You can think about your swimming pool pump as the “heart” of your equipment system.  Pool water is drawn from your main drain and/or skimmer and then is pushed through your system by the pool pump.  The water makes all the necessary stops along the way to the various other pieces of equipment such as a salt cell, heater and lastly, the swimming pool filter.  Circulation is key for a clean and safe swimming pool.

The proper way to operate a pool cover pump is explained in this article.

Turn off the Power

For your safety when working with an electrical piece of equipment, make sure the power is off, preferably at the breaker.  Never attempt to remove a piece of equipment while the system is running.

Gauge Your Installation

You’ll want to determine if your new pool pump is a “plug-n-play”, meaning exact size for exact size.  If your new pool pump is a different length, you may need to reposition the pump either at an angle, further out or further in.  The best way to determine this is to place the new pool pump alongside the old pool pump so you can see. You may need to shift the pump 1” or 2” inches.  We always recommend using high temp unions so that you can easily remove your pool pump in the future.


You will need to remove the old wiring from the old pump.  Take the screws off that cover on the end of your motor.  Take a picture of the wiring so you can install your new pool pump wiring the same.  Make sure you pay attention to whether or not it is wired for 110v or 220v.  For a 230 pump, bothe the black and red wires are what is known as “load” wires.  The green is what is considered your “ground” or “neutral.  Consult an electrician if you are not comfortable or unsure about messing with wiring. 

Remove the wiring from their terminals.  Unscrew the collar that is connected to the conduit.  When you pull the wires out, be careful not to strip them!  After the wires are out, you can take the elbow off.  We will be reusing this on the new pool pump. Take off the copper bonding wire.  Use a set of pliers if this is difficult.

Cutting the Plumbing

You will need to figure out where to cut the piping to get the old pump out. Leave enough room for unions and any potential extra plumbing.  Remember, you may have to reposition the pump, so cut accordingly.  It is important to relieve any air pressure in the system first before cutting.  You do this at the air relief on your filter.  We want the gauge to read zero.  As far as cutting the plumbing, you may want to invest in a pvc cutter to make even , smooth cuts.

Cleaning the Piping

You can now remove your old pool pump.  Where you made your cuts will need to be cleaned and deburred.  You can do this with a file.  Wipe off any excess glue or gunk that is on the pvc.

Connecting the new Pool Pump

It is time to place in your new pump.  Make sure to plumb the suction side first so you can see exactly how to replumb the new pump. You will do the discharge side secondly You may need to make a height adjustment if the new pool pump is taller or shorter.

Connect the new pool pump using teflon tape and glue.  Make sure the new fitting is as clean as a whistle.  Never over tighten the fittings.  Cut your pvc at a short length to the other end of the plumbing just to make everything connect. .

You are now ready to connect your new pool pump.  Make sure to let that glue dry for 2 hours at least!

Starting the New Pump

You’ll have to prime the pump using a garden hose to fill it with water.  You’ll be ready to turn back on the power and close the air relief valve at this point.  Consult your owner’s manual on how to program your new pump.  I say “program”  because I hope you have just replaced your pump with a variable speed pool pump.

Variable Speed Pool Pumps

Whether upgrading to save money or just replacing a dead pump, you’ll want to go with variable speed.  These energy efficient pumps are better on the environment and save you a ton of money on your electric bill.

Think you cannot afford a variable speed pool pump?  Think again!  You can get a name brand, American made swimming pool variable speed pool pump for about half of what you would pay at your local pool store.  Yes, BLACK + DECKER sells an awesome variable speed pump. With an unprecedented five year warranty and removable base to help with installation, you just can’t go wrong.  There are several helpful videos you can Google on installing this very pump.  

See you poolside!

Related articles:

What to Do When Your Pool Pump Won’t Turn On

Noisy Pool Pump? Here's How to Fix It