What Do I Do About This Mechanical Problem Now?

A handy reference on how to fix mechanical problems with your pool's equipment.


Possible Cause


Pump Won't Prime
  • Faulty suction type chlorinators.
  • Check hoses and fittings for air leaks, and repair if necessary. Fill with water and start pump.
  • Filter severely clogged.
  • Clean and/or replace filter elements, sand or diatomaceous earth.
  • Impeller clogged with debris.
  • Clean or replace impeller (normal time for some pumps to prime is 2 to 5 minutes).
  • Faulty seal in pump lid gasket.
  • Replace gaskets and/or tighten bolts between motor and pump, or lid.
  • Pump lid not tight.
  • Tighten lid.
Water Leaks Between Pump And Motor
  • Shaft seal or gaskets are worn.
  • Replace seal or gasket. Tighten bolts between pump and motor.
Motor Continually Makes Noise
  • Worn bearings.
  • Replace bearings or replace motor.
Motor Gets Hot And Shuts Down
  • Low voltage on 220 where one line has dropped.
  • Repair line.
  • Holes in motor to cooling fan blocked or fan damaged.
  • Clear holes or repair fan.
Motor Hums Or Buzzes, But Will Not Start
  • Motor seized.
  • Clean, lubricate and unseize motor. Clean centrifugal switch contacts.
  • Faulty capacitor or switch.
  • Replace capacitor or switch.
  • Burned winding.
  • Rewind or replace motor.
Motor Starts Slowly
  • Faulty capacitor.
  • Replace capacitor or motor.
Motor Completely Dead
  • Burned up motor, wires burned.
  • Replace motor or wires.
  • Timer problem, breaker flipped.
  • Fix or replace timer, fix breaker.
Dirt Comes Back Into Pool
  • Sand filter multi-port valve faulty.
  • Fix spider gasket or other faulty parts in valve.
  • Cartridge filter element allowing water over or under element, or tear in material.
  • Replace element.
  • Diatomaceous Earth filter with cracked manifolds or ripped or torn grids/fingers.
  • Replace parts or buy a new filter.
Pressure Never Builds Up On Gauge
  • Defective pressure gauge
  • Turn pump on and immediately turn off. If needle does not move, replace gauge.
  • Sand filter not filtering due to over cleaning
  • Clean filter less often
  • Clogged impeller veins
  • Remove impeller and clean
  • Pump basket filled with debris
  • Clean pump basket
Filter Doesn't Seem To Clean Pool
  • Defective filter, or filter too small
  • Replace defective parts or replace filter for pool
Water Leaks Out Of Waste Line
  • Sand filter multi-port spider gasket is worn
  • Replace spider gasket
Water Leaks Out Around Valve Handle On Multi-port Valve
  • O-ring on shaft and/or shaft bearing defective
  • Replace defective o-ring and/or shaft bearing
Valve Handle On Multiport Is Hard To Turn
  • Nylon bearing worn out or debris around shaft
  • Replace bearing or clear debris
Sand All Over Bottom Of Pool
  • Broken lateral
  • Replace lateral or filter

View the Mechanical Troubleshooting portion of our Pool Care Tips manual.