Vinyl Pool Pump Troubleshooting, Part 2

What do you do when a pool pump starts but then turns off, or when the pump runs rough or just doesn’t sound right?

Much like a pump that will not simply turn-on, a pump that starts and then turns off, many times involves a problem with the electrical system.  Electricity and water are a very dangerous combination, so never attempt to do any kind of electrical work or testing without a full understanding of safe methods; or better yet call a professional.

If your pump makes a humming noise and then trips the electrical  breaker, you might have a seized pump motor, which usually means the brushes in the motor are shot, and a new motor is in order.

If there is just a little rust holding back the motor from spinning, you sometimes can get lucky by tapping the side of the motor with a rubber mallet. This might dislodge the rust and the windings inside can then rotate freely.

Sometimes a technician can spin the motor, with the power off, by removing the motor from the from of the pump, and this might do the trick.

Sometimes you might have a failed start capacitor. But be careful start capacitors store a charge and can explode when disassembled. Again, it might be better to call a professional.

If your pump runs for a while, but then trips the breaker, most likely it is because the pump is running too hot. Again, a new motor is usually needed, if there are no restrictions in the water-flow through the pipes. But restricted water-flow will cause a pool pump to run too hot and turn off as a protection. Pipes and valves will need to be thoroughly checked!

If over time you hear a strange noise from your pump, you probably have a bearing problem. They are metal and breakdown over time. Time for a new motor on the back of your pump.