A powerful and efficient pool pump is a vital addition to any modern outdoor pool, maintaining proper circulation and filtering out unhygienic particulate matter. However, while pool pumps are generally simple and reliable pieces of machinery, they can encounter mechanical problems, one of the most common (and annoying) being excessive pump noise.
If your pool pump is making an unusually loud noise or vibrating excessively during operation, a number of problems could be the cause. Fortunately, pool pump noise and vibration are rarely terminal problems, and diagnosing the source of the noise accurately will often allow you to effect simple repairs without requiring expensive replacements.
The motor that powers your pump is as vulnerable to mechanical failure as the pump itself, and excessive pump noise is commonly caused by bearings within the motor wearing out and failing. These bearings also control excessive vibration, and a motor running without proper bearings can quickly overheat and become damaged.
To check for bearing problems, open up your motor (after first disconnecting it from the power supply) and check the bearings for visible signs of wear and/or corrosion. If a bearing has become damaged, do not try lubricating it to fix the problem, as this can cause further damage and cause lubricating oil to leak into the water intake or outflow. Instead, replace the bearings entirely -- replacement bearings are cheap but difficult to install, and you may require assistance from a professional pool pump repair company.
A nasty grinding noise often indicates the presence of solid matter within your pump, and you should take steps to rectify the situation immediately before it causes damage to the pump's internal workings. Pay particular attention to the filters on your intake valves, and check for accumulation of debris around the edge of the impeller housing that may be causing grinding. Make sure to empty and clean your strainer basket(s) regularly to prevent clogging.
A problem common to all liquid pumps, cavitation occurs when the flow of water entering the pump is too low. This creates air pockets within the impeller housing which powers the pump and reduces the air pressure inside the housing until the water heats up, potentially causing it to boil. The heat produced as a consequence of this low pressure, as well as the increased friction caused by running the impeller without enough water, can cause serious damage to a pump, leaving it extremely noisy and underpowered during operation.
The noise produced by cavitation is often a harsh rattling, as if your pump has been filled with gravel. You may also notice visible air bubbles collecting in your strainer basket. To solve a cavitation noise problem, look for damage or malfunctions in the following areas:
- Suction intake -- If the water intake(s) on your pump have sprung air leaks, they may be allowing air bubbles into the impeller housing. Look for pinholes, cracks and corrosion.
- Intake valves -- If the intake valves are clogged, or too many have been left closed during cleaning or maintenance, not enough water is allowed into the impeller housing.
- Shafts and seals -- The rubber fittings that provide airtightness in a pool pump can perish over time to allow air into the pump; alternatively, a pump that is already suffering from cavitation may be running so hot that the seals melt.
- Impeller and bearings -- An impeller running for extended periods with insufficient water flower will quickly pit and corrode due to heat and moisture, potentially causing loud rattling. This can be exacerbated if the bearing that attaches it to the powered axle fails, and can potentially cause terminal damage. Inspect your impeller for visible damage (make sure to turn the power off first) and have it replaced if necessary.
For more information, contact Shenton Pumps or a similar company.