Swimming pools are synonymous with summer fun and a luxury to have at home. Pool owners also know that they can be a pain in the neck once trouble starts brewing. A pool is a substantial financial investment, and any problems with its functionality can signal an expensive remedy. Fortunately, loss of pump pressure is a problem that lends itself to self-help. A thorough inspection and testing should result in the problem being identified.
The first thing you want to do is check the easiest remedied problem. With a pool pump that's losing pressure, check the pool filters first and see if they're clogged. If so, it's time to replace them or clean them out. You also want to check the area the filters are located to make sure no debris has been left behind. If you don't regularly check your filters, it's likely that the filters have been clogged for some period of time and debris has been mounting. A simple visual inspection of the filter area will clue you in on how much debris was left behind.
The impeller is the rotor that creates the pump's suction power. It is located on the pump's shaft and protrudes outwards. Once in a while debris, such as small pebbles, will work its way to the impeller and block it from rotating. Remove the impeller and inspect it. You can remove any debris with your hands or a small brush. Of course, make sure the power is off before you remove this piece of machinery to avoid injury.
Air leaks are one of the most troublesome causes of pressure loss because they may require the replacement of pipes. The pool pump works without any air. When air is introduced to the pump via an air leak, it creates air bubbles and impedes the pump's ability to create pressure. The leaks in the piping will continue to suck in air as long as the pump is running. Turn off the pump and immediately watch the above-ground piping. Water will shoot out of any leaks, but only for a few seconds. If you are able to identify the location of any air leaks, you can inspect the size of the leak and decide if the pipe needs to be replaced or repaired with silicone epoxy.
Inspect all the piping seals to make sure they are forming a tight bond over the pipes and are not showing any signs of wear and tear (i.e., cracks, brittleness and so forth). Air can seep through a damaged pipe seal quite easily. Any seals that appear to have damage should be replaced before you turn your pool pump on again.
Check all your valves to ensure they are on. Sometimes the valves can be accidentally turned off by children or your pool man. This can cause your pump to supply an inefficient amount of pressure. Give the valves a twist and see if they're open. If not, turn them back on and see if pressure has been returned.
- Photo Credit swimming pool image by apeschi from Fotolia.com
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