Without a pump, your pool would be a mess. This piece of equipment has a small motorized system that circulates the water, drawing dirty water into the filter. But, as the pump runs on a small motor, it can be loud, and sometimes, the noise may be too much to handle. The pump motor should make a faintly detectable hum during regular operation, so if it starts to make louder noises than usual, it’s a warning that something is wrong. Fortunately, a noisy pool pump is relatively easy to troubleshoot and fix on your own if you don’t want to hire a costly professional!
In this article, I will go over how to locate the source of a loud pool pump and how to fix the issue. Let’s dive straight in!
- The first step to fixing your pool pump is locating the loud noise.
- The most common reason your pool pump is noisy is due to low water levels in the pump or internal blockage.
- If you have a loud pool pump, you should build an enclosure around it to soundproof.
- You may need to ask the company for a repair or replacement, as a noisy pump could be a sign of manufacturing errors.
Locating the Noise
The engine, impeller, and housing are the three primary components of a pool pump – all of which are essential components to circulate the water. The engine provides the pump’s operation control; its only function is spinning the impeller. The impeller is a water-sucking blade that spins inside the engine. A bucket with a basket-like mesh lining connects the filter to the housing.
No matter how unpleasant your pool pump’s noise is, finding the source is the first step to stopping it. Is it coming from the wet end of the pool pump or the motor itself – that is, the housing or the impeller?
The type of sound that emanates from the pump will help you figure out what’s wrong with it. Here are a few different types of noises your pump may be making.
If the pump makes a grinding sound like stones rattling inside, the culprit is generally the impeller or housing. There could be loose screws or something blocking the impeller. If you check the pump and nothing is obstructing it, you may need to replace the impeller.
Sporadic Loud Noises
If your pool pump makes loud noises that start and stop sporadically, it generally indicates that your skimmer basket is full or there is a clog in your plumbing, preventing water from coming to the pump.
Does your pool pump sound like it is screaming for help? If you notice this awful noise, it is most likely an issue with the motor, specifically the bearings. You’ll need to take apart the pool pump and replace the bearings. In my experience, this does the trick and eliminates the high-pitched squealing.
Common Causes of Pool Pump Noise and How to Fix Each One
Some pumps are inherently loud, but newer variable-speed pump models are designed to run pretty quietly. That said, there are several reasons your pool pump may be acting up and being extra noisy.
Low Water Level
When the water level in your pool pump is running low, the pump might get noisy. Most of the time, the reason for this is a blocked skimmer.
There are two reasons your pool pump may have a low water level:
- The overall water level in your pool is low (below the skimmer). When this happens, water does not make its way to the pump, and the pump will draw in air rather than water.
- Your skimmer basket is full and is clogging your plumbing.
When the pump is no longer drawing in water, it works harder—and, as a result, louder.
How To Fix It
Fortunately, filling the pool pump with water is an easy fix. You’ll either need to fill the pool with water so that it is above the skimmer or simply empty the skimmer basket. If the pump is still not working correctly, it may be trying to self-prime or eliminate all that extra air. You might have to prime the pump manually.
Internal Blockage (In the Pump)
Another issue that could be the cause of your noisy pool pump is internal blockage. If debris becomes lodged within your plumbing or inside the pump itself, the pool pump motor may have to work harder to suction water from the pool and force it through the filter. The theme here is that when a motor is overworked, it makes an audible noise to let you know. Worse, it could start sucking air, which can cause bigger problems in your pool pump.
How To Fix It
The first step to fixing this is to turn off the filter and unplug the pump. You should also remove the lid from the pump basket. Check the pump basket for any leaves, gravel, small particles, or other material that might have gotten into it.
You may also need to inspect the impeller or rotating blade that forces water into the housing for filtering. Take out the pump basket while reaching your hands down into the tube between the basket and the impeller while leaving the pump unplugged.
Check whether the impeller is clogged or wobbly, as this is the most likely cause of the noise. If it’s wobbly, you must get the impeller replaced or adjusted. However, if it’s clogged, use a pair of pliers to fold a rigid piece of wire into a hook shape and scrape the debris out of it.
Internal Blockage (In the Plumbing)
If the internal blockage continues after cleaning the pool pump impeller, the problem likely lies within the plumbing. This may happen if large debris has built up in the plumbing lines between your skimmer and your pump. If this is the case, you’ll need to clear the lines before you can turn your pump back on.
How To Fix It
Depending on the scale of the plumbing blockage, you may need to hire a professional plumber to help you with this. That said, most of the time, it is relatively easy to DIY. Use a drain cleaning bladder attached to your garden hose to get rid of the clogged line. This device will expand and force pressurized water into the return line, which should almost always clear the debris blocking your plumbing.
Now comes the hard part. Cavitation happens when the pump sucks in not just water but also air. It is the most extreme of noisy pump sources. As previously mentioned, this may be caused by clogging and low pool water levels. However, if you’ve been running dry for a while, the water left in the pump might have heated to a simmer and then to steam. The steam may rise and cause certain pump sections, including the inner lining, to melt.
The impeller is another cavitation influence. If the pump runs dry for a prolonged period, the impeller absorbs most of the heat. As temperatures increase enough, the brass embedded in the impeller shaft breaks away, resulting in a sharp rattle.
How To Fix It
Unfortunately, if left alone for some time, a cavitized pool pump will likely need to be entirely replaced. You can inspect the pump’s inner covering when you open the lid. If you simply need to replace the impeller, you are lucky! However, replacing the pump body may be more complex (and expensive).
A screeching or rattling noise in your pool pump may be the result of faulty bearings. Bearings are mounted on the motor shaft to minimize friction when it turns.
How To Fix It
When bearings start to wear down, you should be able to lubricate them to stop the noise, but once the bearings get entirely worn out, lubrication will not suffice. You’ll either change the bearings or, in some cases, replace the whole motor.
While new bearings are affordable, the labor is time-consuming. A replacement installation generally requires the use of a specialized bearing puller and two separate bearing sizes.
What to Do If You Simply Have a “Noisy” Pool Pump
As you can see, there are many different issues that can cause your pool pump to emit uncomfortably loud noises. But, sometimes, your pool pump may just simply be loud. If this is the case, there are some things you can do to make it more quiet and peaceful.
Pool Pump Enclosure
If you fixed all the major issues and still don’t love the noise, a good next step is to build yourself a pool pump cover or pool equipment enclosure. This is relatively easy, affordable, and will drastically quiet down the machine.
Use Soundproof Materials for the Best Results!
I’m not a soundproofing expert, but I was recommended this article by several soundproofing professionals. I chatted with Sturgeon at Second Skin Audio, and he guided me to the BlocknZorbe panels for a pool I installed a few months ago.
I definitely recommend using BlocknZorbe panels. These are designed to be used outdoors and significantly reduce the sound coming from your pool pump. I used them to enclose a pool pump I installed in a recent project, and they work great!
When All Else Fails, It May Be Time for a New Pump
If your pump continues to scream, clatter, rattle, and clank after endless efforts to mute it, you may just have a faulty pool pump on your hands. In this scenario, if you have a warranty, you should call the company and ask for a replacement or a repair. If you don’t have a warranty, send the pump to a specialist, and if the pump is pronounced dead, you’ll need to purchase a new one. For some top recommendations on new pool pumps, head to my best pool pump guide – just make sure you get a pump with a long lifespan and lifetime warranty.
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Enjoy Your Peacefully Quiet Pump
Sometimes, stopping the noise from your pool pump may be quick and easy; other times, you’ll need to use some elbow grease to find the solution. Whatever the situation, fixing, cleaning, or purchasing a new pump should eliminate the horrible noise and your headache from the noisy pool pump!
More questions about your pool pump making a loud noise? Let me know; I am always happy to help.