Everything You Need to Know About Pool Pumps

A pool pump is a fundamental feature in inground swimming pools. It lets you pump water through the filter and keeps the water clean. The pump also works to circulate the water effectively.

What Does a Swimming Pool Pump Do?

Pool pumps are quite literally the heart of your pool. A pool pump pulls the water through your hardware and circulates it throughout the pool. A pump pulls and pushes water through pool heaters, skimmers, and any other equipment that you may need to keep your water healthy, comfortable, and clean.

Who Should Install a Pool Pump?

According to the National Electrical Code, a skilled pool serviceman or a licensed electrician should install a swimming pool pump. Poor pump installation may result in electrical hazards, which might cause serious injury to pool users. This isn’t a job for amateurs because in the worst-case scenario, electrical faults from improper installation may cause death. Such defects may also result in damage to your property.

The Main Components of a Pool Pump

A standard swimming pool pump must have several components, including:

  • Housing – this is the outer “shell” of your pump that contains all the components
  • Strainer basket – filters out debris before it runs through the internal components
  • Gaskets: lid, diffuser, housing and shaft seal – help maintain a water-tight fit on your components, so water doesn’t leak outside
  • Seal plate – secures the whole pump to the housing
  • Motor – creates the power that keeps the water moving
  • Impeller, impeller ring, impeller screw – this is the shaft that spins and its connecting components that physically creates the pulling force for the pump
  • Diffuser – Creates a vacuum lock with the impeller to maximize the power of your pump

What is the Cost to Run a Pool Pump?

A pool pump relies on electricity to run so you’re bound to incur some costs. Each pump will operate differently, but there’s a way to determine how much it’ll cost to run your pool pump. First, you need to check the pump’s specifications to identify its voltage and amperage ratings.

Once identified, multiply the amperage rating by the voltage rating to determine the total watts. Now, divide the total watts by 1,000 to determine the specific kilowatts. Lastly, multiply the kilowatts by the number of hours you run your pool every day. When you get the kilowatts per day, multiply by the cost per kilowatt per hour in your area. You can get the exact rate per hour from your previous electric bill.

One way to save money is to use a variable-speed pool pump, this can be particularly valuable if you live in an area that has fluctuating energy rates. You can run you motor at a lower rate during the hours of peak prices or when your pool needs less filtration.

Why is my Pool Pump so Loud?

Sometimes, your swimming pool pump may be too loud, which can drive anyone a little crazy. To determine what makes your pump so loud, you must evaluate it to determine where the noise emanates. Without getting too far into the weeds, it’s important to know some common causes of a loud pool pump.

One of the most common is when a pump is “running dry”, which means the pump is sucking air. If the water level is low, this can often be the case. Other common causes include worn out bearings or a blocked impeller. If something gets stuck in the impeller you’ll usually hear a screeching, whiny type noise. If all else fails, call a pool professional if you can’t easily diagnose the problem.

How Do You Select the Right Size Pool Pump?

The swimming pool’s flow rate should determine the size of your pump. Here’s how to determine your pool’s flow rate. First, multiply the swimming pool’s volume by two to get the gallons per day your pump needs to circulate for water to turn over twice.

Next, divide the new volume you get by 1440 to get the gallons per minute that your pump needs to circulate for the water to turn over twice. When you get the figure, match the gallons per minute with the proper size of the pool pump. Check the specifications of the pump, they typically list their flow rate in gallons per minute, and when you identify the maximum flow rate you can purchase accordingly. Many people buy a much larger pump than necessary which just wastes energy and increases their costs.

Can You Run a Pool Pump with the Solar Cover On?

A solar cover helps to keep your swimming pool warm. Therefore, most pool owners wonder whether it’s okay to run their pool pumps with the solar cover on. Yes, you can run your pump with the solar cover on. However, you’ll need to pay attention to the surface of your pool as any debris that gets stuck to the cover will not be filtered out. So, you’ll want to use a skimmer to make sure you clean out any leaves, sticks, or other debris before putting your pool cover on and running your pump.

If you found this article on pool pumps helpful, we encourage you to check out our blog regularly for more helpful articles on pool selection and maintenance. If you’re looking to build a pool or improve your pool you’ll want to have a look at our full lineup of American-made pool handrailsladders, pool slides, swim-up bars, and accessibility products.

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