Should I fix or Replace a Noisy Pool Pump?

What is that sound we are hearing?  Is it a plane?  Is it a train? No!  It’s our noisy swimming pool pump!  Your pump could be noisy for a couple of different reasons.  

What Is a Swimming Pool Pump?

A swimming pool pump is a must for any pool.  It is what circulates the water.  It is what pushes the water through the various components in your circulation system.  These things could include a salt cell, a heater, an in-line chlorinator, an off-line chlorinator or a heater.  One thing that is definitely on your swimming pool besides a pool pump, is a swimming pool filter.  This is the most important step for your pool water.  This is where the water gets cleaned by the filter catching dirt and debris from your swimming pool.

A pump consists of two parts.  There is the dry end, which is the motor.  No water should ever touch here.  Then there is the wet end.  This consists of the pump housing, or volute.  It is where your basket goes and where the water flows through to re-enter your pool.

There are many types of swimming pool pumps.  

Types of Pool Pumps

Pumps can be purchased in different makes, models and styles.  There are single speed pumps, dual-speed pumps, variable speed pumps and booster pumps.  Booster pumps are used to operate a pressure side automatic pool cleaner or for a spa or water features.  The other pumps are used mainly as main circulation pumps.  These pumps are the ones that push your water through your system to circulate it. 

Proper circulation is imperative to any clean, safe and inviting swimming pool.  It not only allows the chemicals to mix and work effectively, but it pushes the water through your filter to be cleaned. Without proper circulation you can experience murky or cloudy water, algae and ineffective sanitizer, which is a huge health risk.  With a pool you cannot see the bottom main drain poses an exponential drowning risk.

A Noisy Pump

Both single speed and 2-speed pumps are noticeably louder than a variable speed pump.  The sound of the old technology of these pumps can be compared to a subway.  Variable speed pumps are much more quiet.  Their decibel level would be closest when compared to moderate rainfall.  So, your pump could just be noisy by design.  

Pumps that suddenly become noisier than usual have some type of issue.It could be sucking air and cavitating.  There could be a clog of dirt and debris in your impeller.  An impeller is a piece inside the pool pump that flings the water through another part called the diffuser.  The rate at which this flinging is done is measured as what is known as horsepower. Your motor bearings may be going bad if you hear a squealing sound.  This is indicative of inevitable failure.  If you hear a loud humming sound, you may have a bad capacitor.  Both motors and capacitors can be replaced.  But why would you want to put any money into an energy-guzzling, low efficiency piece of equipment?

Variable Speed Pool Pumps

Single speed pumps do just that: they run on a single speed.  This is measured in revolutions per minute (RPMs).  All single speed pumps run at 3,350 RPMs.  This speed is unnecessary as a constant and requires a lot of energy to produce.  More energy = a higher electric bill.  Even a 2-speed pump is only somewhat efficient on the lower of the speeds.  The lower speed alone is not enough to properly circulate your swimming pool water unless you left it on for a very long time.  So, you are stuck using energy-guzzling mode on these pumps as well.

Variable speed pumps are also known as Energy Efficient Pumps.  Why?  Because they use exceedingly less energy than single or dual speed pumps.  Did you know if you don’t own a variable speed pool pump that running your pool is the most expensive thing to operate on your home after the air conditioner?  Yikes!

Variable speed pumps do just that:  run at varying speeds.  Usually at a mixture of high, medium and low speeds.  You will determine these settings or the professional you hire to install it wll.  Even if you ran a variable speed pool pump at the same speed (3,450 RPMs) that your old single speed used to operate at, you would still be using less energy/  Less energy consumption=lower power bill=more money in your bank account.  The math is pretty simple to me.

Variable speed pumps utilize a total enclosed, fan-cooled motor.  It is also a permanent magnet motor instead of just windings like your old single speed.  This prevents heat loss.  Have you ever touched your pool pump motor?  Hot, isn’t it?  You will not experience this with a variable speed pump.

But Variable Speed Pumps Are So Expensive!

You are not wrong if this is what you have been thinking while reading this article.  If you were to go to your local swimming pool supply and repair store and get a quote on a new, brand name variable speed pool pump your jaw would drop at the couple of thousandI dollars that they cost.  Even your friendly swimming pool tech will have to charge you over $1,000 for any decent pump.  So what now?

I have some amazing news.  The American-made, household brand name of Black & Decker has taken their knowledge and expertise into the swimming pool industry.  The best part is, they are a fraction of the cost of those other guys.  They are high quality and come with an unprecedented FIVE year warranty.  Now that is peace of mind.

The average homeowner who switches to a variable speed pump from a single speed pump saves on average $70 per month!  I can’t think of any other piece of equipment that pays for itself!  You also may qualify for a rebate from your utility company because these pumps are Energy Star Rated.  

You will also be more inclined to run your pool pump at the right time of day and for the proper duration because it doesn’t cost as much.  This leads to cleaner, clearer, healthier water!  So, yes, you can “fix” your old pump.  But remember, you are putting money into something that is kind of “broken” to begin with with the new technology we now have.  See you poolside!