A swimming pool pump consists of various parts. They are referred to as the “wet end” and the “dry end”. The wet end is where your pump basket is. It sits in the pump housing, which is also referred to as the volute. Water passes through here. The dry end would be your pool pump motor. No water should ever touch this part. There are a variety of seals in place which prevent this from happening. How long should a motor last? What causes it to go bad? What can go bad? Let’s explore.
Your pool pump motor has ball bearings as part of it’s make up. These are towards the back end of the motor. If you hear a grinding, screeching or squealing, then this is a good indicator that the bearings have gone bad. Can you replace just the bearings? Sure. But good luck finding someone that does this antiquated repair. Even if you were to get them repaired, replaced bearings typically only last about a year. It is better to replace the entire motor. If you have a single speed pump, this may be illegal in your State as most States are requiring variable speed pool pumps. This can make finding a single speed motor difficult. And keep in mind you would be putting money into old technology.
If your pool pump won’t start or is making a humming sound, this could either indicate a seized motor or one of the capacitors has gone bad. Again, you can replace the capacitor, if this is the problem, but keep in mind, whatever ruined the first one could ruin the new one and then you are out of money and still don’t have a working pool pump.
If one of the seals we talked about before goes bad, it needs to be replaced right away. Leaving your pool pump leaking can lead to other problems such as water getting to the motor, ruining the seal plate and other various parts. If water gets to the motor, then the motor is toast. Your pool pump cannot operate without the pool motor.
A swimming pool motor can last approximately 10 years. If your single speed pump is older than this, we recommend replacing it with a variable speed pump–even if it isn’t the law. We will talk about why more below. We don’t want to spend money replacing old technology with old technology.
Believe it or not, we have a say in how long our pool motors will last. A lot is largely dependent on the balance of your water chemistry. Too acidic or to basic water chemistry for extended periods of time can ruin the components of your swimming pool pump. Actually, this is true for all of your equipment, your plumbing and your swimming pool’s surface. Test your water and make the necessary adjustments regularly to not only have a clear and safe pool, but to protect our expensive equipment pieces.
Replacing the Whole Pump
This might make sense for you if too many things are wrong with your pump. Dumping money into an old piece of equipment doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. This especially rings true if you have a single speed pool pump. We suggest going with an energy efficient, variable speed pool pump.
Why Variable Speed?
Your old, single speed motor only runs on one speed. Measured in revolutions per minute (RPMs) this speed is 3,450. This uses an exorbitant amount of energy. It costs a fortune to operate. It is the most expensive thing in your home to run after your air conditioning unit. They are energy guzzlers. This causes a lot of homeowners to take shortcuts such as not running the swimming pool pump long enough, which can lead to cloudy water and algae. The chemicals needed to correct this can get pricey. Some customers opt to run their pool pump at night. Chemicals only mix and become effective when the pool pump is running. When do we need effective chemicals the most? Why, during the hottest part of the day. This can lead to expensive algae treatments and in severe cases, having to drain your pool!
Variable speed pool pumps run at a variety of speeds. You can design the RPMs to meet your specific pool’s required flow rate. Because we are running it at a lower speed, the pump draws less energy. This helps consume less energy and results in a lower energy bill. That is more money in your pocket each month. Most customers report an average savings of $70 per month! Even if you run your variable speed pump at the same RPM as your single speed pump, it still draws less energy.
Variable speed pumps utilize a permanent magnet motor. They are also totally enclosed, and fan cooled so you aren’t losing heat (energy) from the pool motor. This also makes for a quieter pump. A variable speed pool pump’s noise level in decibels can be compared to “moderate rainfall” while a noisy subway car is the comparison for single speed pool pumps.
Think you cannot afford a name brand variable speed pool pump? Think again! You can get an American made, household name of Black & Decker, Energy Star Rated variable speed pool pump delivered right to your door for about half of what your local pool supply store would charge. They are easy to install either for your DIYers or for a pool professional. With a removable base, they can plumb right into where your old pump used to go. My favorite part is the 5 year warranty! Check them out here!
See you poolside!