We all hate having to spend money seemingly unnecessarily. As homeowners, it seems like it's always something popping up. Especially if we own a home with a swimming pool. Swimming pools are a luxury item , much like a boat. They require regular maintenance to prevent extra costs. Sometimes things just wear out and need to be replaced. A swimming pool pump is one of these pieces of equipment we simply cannot go without repairing or replacing. Here’s how to get the longest life out of your pool pump.
What is a Swimming Pool Pump?
A swimming pool pump is a required piece of equipment that is needed on all swimming pools. The pool pump is what circulates the water. The water from your swimming pool gets drawn through your skimmer and/or your main drain at the bottom of your pool. Then the swimming pool pump pushes the water through your various components in your plumbing line. You may have a salt system. You may have a heater. You may have an in-line tablet feeder. One thing all swimming pool owners have in common is a filter. When your pool pump pushes the water through the filter, it allows dirt and debris to get captured.
Proper circulation is imperative for clear, safe and inviting swimming pool water. Not only does it remove dirt and debris, but moving water is happy water. It allows the chemicals to properly mix, helping to ensure you are protected against cloudy or murky water, algae blooms and ineffective sanitizer. Without effective sanitizer, your swimmers are at risk for water borne diseases and illnesses. Yikes!
Keep the Baskets Emptied
We have several baskets in our swimming pools. We have a skimmer basket, a pump basket, and possibly a leaf canister basket on our automatic pool cleaner line. These are all places debris can get caught. If these become clogged, it can cause the pump to not be able to properly circulate. If it becomes too much of a blockage, your swimming pool pump could run dry, which can ruin your pump completely.
Repair Leaks Immediately
“Oh, it’s only a small leak”. I hear this time and time again from my customers. Your swimming pool plumbing system is supposed to be an airtight system. If water is coming out when the equipment is on, guess what is getting in when the equipment is off? Air. Air in a swimming pool line interferes with circulation. Leaks can come from your pump, filter, valves etc. For the purpose of this article, we will talk about pump leaks.
There is a two part ceramic seal called a pump seal or a mechanical seal located within every pump. This is to prevent water from getting to the motor. You will usually see a “weep like” when this is going bad. It will look like your pump is crying from the middle section. This must be fixed right away to save our pump motor. They are usually $20 or less. Even if you had to hire someone to change it for you, it is still cheaper than buying a new motor or complete pump.
There is an o-ring under the lid of your pump called a strainer o-ring or cover o-ring. This should always be kept lubricated with a silicone based lubricant to ensure a tight seal. Replace the o-ring when it looks swollen, flat or pinched. Again, air in our system is not our friends. I cannot tell you how many service calls we have been out on to diagnose a “pump not working” only to find it was the strainer cover o-ring. Such a simple fix!
Keep the Water Chemistry Balanced
This is the number one way to protect all of your swimming pool equipment. It also protects your pool’s surface and the plumbing. We need to be testing our swimming pool water weekly at a minimum. Especially during those hotter months. High pH and alkalinity causes your water to be scale forming and can lead to calcium build up. It also makes your sanitizer less effective. Low pH and alkalinity could mean your water is corrosive and can literally eat away at your surface, plumbing and, you guessed it, your equipment. Too high of chlorine can also damage your swimming pool equipment. You should periodically check for metals as high levels can cause staining and are usually indicative of a water imbalance.
Invest in Quality Equipment
This is something that will definitely extend the life of your swimming pool pump. When replacing such a crucial item, we want to choose a swimming pool pump that is good quality. When we skimp, we are more at risk of having to replace it prematurely.
If you are in the market for a swimming pool pump, I suggest going with the newer technology of a variable speed pool pump. Your old single speed pump is/was costing you a fortune to run! Even in working condition.
If you think a variable speed pump will break your bank account, you are not completely wrong. If you were to get a quote from your local swimming pool supply chain, you would be looking at a couple grand…just for the pump! But I am here to tell you that you can own a top of the line, variable speed pool pump for about HALF of the price those big box stores are charging.
The American-made, household name of Black & Decker has extended their quality and expertise to the swimming pool industry. They make not only an affordable variable speed pool pump, but peace of mind with an unheard of five-year warranty! Check it out here.
So how long our swimming pool pump really depends on us. How well we maintain our pool and what equipment we choose to invest in are in our best interest. See you poolside!