My Pool Pump struggles to start and is always full of air!

A very common issue I see on site is Pool Pumps that struggle to prime (draw water from the pool). This is most common where the pool pump is above the water level of the pool and has a couple of common causes as follows:

  • Your equipment is not water tight and your equipment is above water level. As a result when your pump turns off, all of the water in your equipment above the top water level of the pool drains back to the pool via gravity.
    • Solution: This is the simplest version of the problem to solve. A non-return valve (check valve) can be installed in an appropriate location at the equipment. This allows water to only move in one direction. So when your pump turns off, the water doesn’t rush back to the pool.
  • Your pump itself has a damaged or worn mechanical seal. The mechanical seal is the component in your pump which prevents water getting from the wet end of the pump in to the motor. If the mechanical seal is damaged, water will slowly leak out of the pump (as designed to do so, so that the motor doesn’t flood and short out) and the pump may struggle to start after it has been off for some time.
    • Solution: This can be a trickier one to solve. Sometimes the pump can be removed from site and the seal can be replaced. However many times, by the time the mechanical seal has worn out other components in the pump have also worn out and it is common to need a replacement pump.
  • Less commonly seen, but still quite possible is that your pipes are blocked. Most new pools (all that I work on) are built with 50mm suction lines, making it far easier for debris to pass through, however a lot of older pools only have 40mm suction lines which debris can easily get stuck in and cause problems.
    • Solution: Sometimes blocked pipes are easy to solve. Other times they are very difficult. Sometimes it is simply the filter that is blocked and all it needs is a clean! There are a few was about this. Commonly (unless the blockage is obvious) I will attach my own pump to the pipe work, remove all non-return valves, and reverse the flow in the pipes in an attempt to blow the blockage out. Other times I will isolate the problem pipe, fill it with a high concentration of chlorine and try to deteriorate the blockage.

If you are having trouble getting your pool pump to run properly. Give me a call.

email signature

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *