Swimming Pool Pump Instructions

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Setting up a pool pump and filter becomes easier with time.
Setting up a pool pump and filter becomes easier with time. (Image: Yasinguneysu/Photodisc/Getty Images)

If you’re a new pool owner, you find that how to operate the pool pump and filter can be confusing. It’s best if you take the time to set up and learn to operate the pool filter early. After you set up the pool filter and pump the first time and understand how it works, it will become easier to maintain and troubleshoot.

Place the pump in a level location with good drainage. It’s imperative that you place pool pumps on even ground. The internal moving parts in a pool pump will cause the filter to vibrate and become unstable if placed on unlevel ground. Additionally, do not sit the pool pump in water or in a location where the pool water accumulates.

Connect the pump to the pool filter housing. When connecting the pump discharge to the pool filter housing, apply two layers of plumber's tape on the male end of the connection. This prevents water from leaking.

Affix a pool hose from the pool filter housing discharge to the pool’s inlet. This is the hose that allows clean, filtered water to return to the pool. Apply plumber's tape if you use the screw-on type of pool hose. If you use the plastic-hose-and-clamp style, then dip the open end of the hose in hot water for about five seconds. Doing so will soften the plastic hose just enough to make it easier to fit over the inlets and outlets.

Attach a hose from the skimmer to the pump’s inlet. The inlet is located in front of the pump basket.

Open the air valve on top of the filter housing. Because pool pumps operate in a vacuum environment, you have to let the air that is trapped in the filter system out. Opening the air valve gives the air a place to escape.

Secure the grounding wire to the pump motor's terminal. The grounding terminal on some pumps is located under the motor canopy. Check with your manufacture’s instruction manual to locate the grounding wire for your pump.

Plug the pump into the electric source, turn on the filter and watch for the water to spray from the air valve. When there is a steady stream of water spraying from the air valve, close the valve.

Add diatomaceous earth to the filter through the skimmer. If you own a diatomaceous earth filter, the earth gets added after the filter is up and running. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for how many pounds of earth you should add.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check the filter's pressure gauge. The pressure gauge readings are the benchmark to which you compare future readings. If the pressure readings increase by eight points or more, it's time to clean your pool filter and clear the pool pump basket.

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