Should My Pool Pump Be Loud?

A swimming pool pump is a required piece of equipment on any swimming pool.  It is essentially the “heart” of your system.  As the pool water is drawn from the skimmer and/or main drain, it then gets pushed or pumped through your equipment and back into your pool through the return inlets. It makes several stops along the way to various pieces of equipment.  You may have a heater or a salt system.  You most certainly have a swimming pool filter.  The filter is what catches the dirt and debris and cleans your water.  

Without proper circulation, you simply cannot have a clear and safe swimming pool.  If we are not accomplishing what is known as a turnover during our pump run cycle, we are in for trouble.  A turnover is where the amount of water that is in the pool (In gallons) passes through the filter.  Without this, we can have murky, cloudy or algae ridden water.  Running the pool pump also mixes our swimming pool chemicals, making them effective.  When do we need our chemicals to be most effective?  During the hottest part of the day.  Not running your pool pump long enough or running it at night is not advised.

How Noisy Should a Pool Pump Be?

This depends on whether you have a single speed swimming pool pump or a variable speed pool pump.  The decibel level of old-fashioned, single speed swimming pool pumps can be compared to that of a noisy subway car.  A variable speed pool pump is MUCH quieter, with the decibel level comparable to that of moderate rainfall.  If your pool pump is making noises louder than these two levels, we may have a problem.


Bearings are a part of a swimming pool pump.  When they start to go bad, or out completely, they make a not-so-pleasant sound.  It can sound like grinding, screeching or screaming.  Can you replace just the bearings?  Sure.  If you can find someone to do it.  Tech savvy?  You can do it yourself for a minimal cost, but keep in mind replaced pool pump bearings typically last only a year.  If your pump has gotten to the point of needing new bearings, it may just be that your pump is old and needs to be replaced.


Cavitation is the accumulation of bubbles around your pump’s impeller.  When each of these bubbles pops or collapses, it can cause tiny shockwaves inside the water in your pump.  Your pump is basically vaporizing the water before it can be pumped back to the pool.  This can sound like a slurping or sucking sound and is dangerous to your pump if left unattended.  This could be from a clogged basket.  Or your pump is running dry, and the water is boiling.  It can get so hot I have seen it literally melt strainer baskets.  It is lovingly referred to as a “lobster pot”.

Your Pump is Not Priming

While a pump not priming on its own can cause cavitation, it doesn’t always.  Sometimes your pump struggles to have enough water in it to get things moving.  This can be from a suction side leak, such as your pump lid o-ring needing lubrication or replacement.  It could be a leaky valve.  It could be a cracked lid or in the pump itself.  Or your pump is just old.  This can be noisy as well.

Your Impeller is Clogged

A lot of times, debris can get caught in the impeller in your swimming pool pump.  This can cause pool suction and cause your pump to strain, which can cause noise.  To remove the debris, disassemble the pool pump and clear out any debris that is in the grooves of the impeller.  The impeller is an imperative part of moving the water.

Variable Speed Pumps

As we talked about briefly before, variable speed swimming pool pumps are much quieter.  If your pump is in need of extensive repair, needs to be replaced due to being down, or you are just plumb tired of paying those high electric bills, I highly recommend upgrading your technology to the newer technology of a variable speed pump.  

A variable speed pool pump runs at varying speeds.  Unlike your single speed pump, which only ran at 3,450 revolutions per minute.  This costs a lot of energy.  Energy = money.  Because we can set these pumps to lower speeds, we save money and reduce energy.  They are not as expensive as you think.  You can get a name brand, American engineered, household name of a Black & Decker swimming pool Energy Star rated variable speed pool pump for half of what a swimming pool store would sell a comparable pump for and it still comes with an industry leading warranty.  Check them out here!  See you poolside!