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Pool Pump Care

In this article we discuss what maintenance tasks you can undertake to prolong the life of your pool pump. These tasks are simple and can be performed with just about any pool skill level.

The do’s and don’ts of Pool Pumps

  1. Protect your pool equipment from the elements. Where it is possible, it is always a good idea to position your pool equipment and pump out of the weather. Full sun and rain can prematurely age your pump
  2. Clean the hair and lint pot basket and pool filter regularly
  3. Ensure that your pump is primed and isolating valves are open before starting the pump.
  4. Do not run your pump using an extension lead. This can cause a voltage drop which has the potential of damaging the motor
  5. Never place chemical tablets in the hair and lint pot basket
  6. Do not starve your pump of water or allow it to run dry.
  7. Never leave your pump unattended while using it to empty the pool or lower the water level.

How your pool pump functions

  • The electric motor drives the wet section. The wet section (pump) has an impellor, which pushes the water.
  • The Hair and Lint Pot Basket collects any large debris that bypasses the skimmer box and prevents it from reaching the wet section. (For fine debris use a "Filter Sox" in the skimmer box).
  • The Hair and Lint Pot also acts as a priming chamber if the pump is to be installed above water level. Where this is so, it is recommended for maximum performance that the pump be installed no higher than one metre above the water level of the pool. The use of a "Non-Return Check Valve" is recommended to maintain the pump's prime where a suction lift of more than one metre is necessary.

How to prime the pump

To prime the pump, remove the Hair and Lint Pot Lid and fill the chamber with water. Refit the lid and start the pump. If no water appears to be coming from the pool return after a short period of time, stop and reprime the pump. The Hair and Lint Pot will gradually fill completely with water and bubbles should all but disappear. If not, check that the clear lid and 'O'ring is sealed and there are no leaks in the suction lines.

Where the pump is installed below water level it is advisable to fit isolating gate valves on the suction and return lines in order to isolate the equipment from the pool to facilitate cleaning the Hair and Lint Pot basket (and the pool filter in some cases).

Pump Maintenance

The Hair and Lint Pot basket must be regularly cleaned of debris to avoid clogging the impellor and causing loss of flow. Remember to reprime the pump (where necessary) after cleaning. It is important to maintain good flow as it cools the shaft seal.

Reduced or stopped-flow will burn out the seal and damage the wet section and VOID the warranty. For this reason, also clean the pool filter regularly and check that isolating valves are open before starting the pump.

For PEBBLE SURFACED POOLS, a Filter Sox should be placed in the Skimmer Box basket to stop pebbles from passing through the basket and possibly damaging the wet section or seal. This is also a good remedy for situations where debris such as pine needles is a problem. These can build up and jam the impellor.

Look underneath the pump between the motor and the wet section when doing a maintenance check on your equipment. Water leaking out there is a sure sign of shaft seal damage. This should be repaired immediately before damage to the motor results. Electric motors subject to water damage are NOT covered by warranty

The pump should be located so that it is covered and able to be kept dry. This is added safety for you and the electric motor and will extend the working life of the pump and motor. It is normal for the pump to run hot. There is an external fan at the rear of the motor to aid cooling. Adequate ventilation, however, is essential.

Use lanolin, silicon or Teflon based lubricants to preserve rubber 'O' Rings.

NEVER use petroleum jelly or Vaseline lubricants.

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