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Pool Pump Troubleshooting Guide

Pool pumps are the heart of every pool filtration system. This piece of equipment creates the suction to power water through the entire system. That being said, pool pumps need some troubleshooting and maintenance from time to time. Let us help diagnose the problem and provide recommended fixes and pool pump parts to keep your pool's filtration system running stronger for longer!

Common Pool Pump Issues and Troubleshooting Tips

Pool pumps are the work horses of your pool equipment ensemble, and work long hours in the rain and shine. Therefore, it's no wonder why they sometimes need a bit of TLC to continue performing at their best. So don't stress too much if you notice your pool pump is not living up to its normal standards. Simply work through the steps below if your pool pump is on the fritz.

pool pump motor will not start

Pump Motor Shuts Off or Will Not Start

Is the time clock on and running?
First, check the trippers. Next, is the time clock set correctly? Now, let’s check the overall operation — review the pump seal, ensure all wiring is connected, and de-clog the impeller.

Is the circuit breaker on?
Switch the circuit breaker off and then on. If in doubt about the availability of electrical current to the motor, contact a licensed electrician.

Pump Motor Hums, but Does Not Start

Is the capacitor shorted or opened?
Unfortunately, you will need to replace the capacitor. Find the right part for your pump HERE.

Is the motor shaft bound up?
Turn the motor shaft by hand to get the “feel” of the motor. If the shaft feels tight, or doesn’t turn smoothly, it may be time to replace the pump motor.

Pump Motor Runs, then Shuts Off

pool pump motor shuts off

Is the impeller turning freely?
It is vital for the impeller to turn freely. Inspect the impeller for proper clearance.

Are there rocks or debris between the impeller and pump housing?
Inspect the impeller and pump housing for debris and rocks, and remove, if necessary.

Is the wiring or connection loose?
Check to verify that the wiring connections are secure.

Is there low voltage at the motor?
Ensure the correct size wiring has been installed.

Pump Motor is Noisy

Is it the motor?
Air leaks in the suction can cause rumbling in the motor. Check for air leaks.

noisy pool pump

Is there a restriction or undersized suction line?
Cavitation is a result of improper suction line sizing, leaks in the piping, or a blockage in the suction line. Inspect all situations.

Is there foreign matter in the pump housing?
Inspect the impeller and pump housing for debris and rocks. Remove foreign objects, if present.

Is there a howling or screeching sound?
Rotate the motor shaft and feel for rough spots or binging. Also, any play or wobbling in the shaft is an indication the armature has become warn. It may be time to replace the pump motor.

Did the vibrations begin once it was installed?
This would indicate the pump was not properly mounted to your equipment pad or filtration system. Submit a pool service request form for assistance.

Pump Motor Overheats

Is the voltage correct?
Low or high voltage will cause overheating of your pool equipment. We recommend calling the power supply company for assistance.

pool pump overheats

Is the ambient temperature extremely high?
Artificially high ambient temperatures (air surrounding your pool pump) may be created if the motor operated in confined space and circulates the air. Contact Leslie’s service today.

Is there proper ventilation?
Check the motor fan to verify that it’s not broken. Ensure that the motor air vents are free of debris.

Is the motor in direct sun?
Protect the motor from excess heat by shading from the sun with a pump cover.

Is the wiring the correct size?
Undersized, long power wires will cause overheating. Submit a pool service request form for more information.

Pool Pump Will Not Prime

pool pump will not prime or has low flow

Is the strainer basket full of debris?
Empty the pump basket. Then, check for loose connections and air leaks. Find tips on how to prime a pool pump HERE.

Pump Has Low Flow

Is the pool filter dirty?
Check for clogged plumbing lines and components. This would also be a good time to clean or backwash your pool filter, media and/or filter cartridges. Lastly, check for the proper plumbing size.

Pool Pump is Noisy

Is there a leak in any connections?
Is your pump oversized for the size of your pool? Check for air leaks. Vibration typically implies improper mounting to the equipment pad. If using a variable speed pump, you should see the specific error messages on the digital display.


A malfunctioning pool pump is not an immediate cause for concern. Oftentimes, it just needs a simple cleaning or reboot to kick it back into gear. Keep this helpful post handy in case you run into any pool pump problems again! For additional help, stop in to your local Leslie's and speak with one of our pool equipment experts.