Is Your Pool Pump Not Working? Top Reasons & Maintenance Advice to Get It Running

It may be incredibly frustrating when you’re trying to clean your pool for the summer, and your pool pump isn’t operating as effectively as it should. To avoid further pool damage, it is necessary to pinpoint the cause of the trouble and fix it efficiently.

Suction problems and difficulty in starting the pump are the leading causes of pool pump failure. Pool pump issues are usually caused by blocked pipes, clogged filters, debris, and low water levels. Pump startup problems typically come from the motor not receiving electricity.

In this post, we will examine why a pool pump could not work and how to detect and resolve the problem. Suppose you have no expertise in dealing with pool problems. In that case, we will give you a few pointers to figure out why your pool pump isn’t working and fix it yourself, but if not, it’s best to get a professional.

The Pool Pump Is Not Starting Or Turning On

There could be various reasons your pool pump does not start or turn on. The methods listed below can help you detect where the problem is. Still, suppose you are unable to find it. In that case, you should consult a pool professional to identify and remedy the problem.

Having a professional evaluate your pool pump can assist you in determining what is wrong faster. Still, it should not be your first option if you can discover and repair it yourself.

Check The Power Source

First, check the pump’s connection to the power source. Above-ground pools usually power from an electrical outlet inside the pool pump house. I had seen it often when someone used the outlet for something else and did not plug in or switch on the pool pump. Check your pump’s outlet socket to see if everything looks as it should. If not, take a lamp and plug it in at the power socket and see if it receives power.

If the light turns on, the outlet is operational; otherwise, you may need to use a different outlet to power the pool pump or have the outlet inspected and repaired. In contrast, an in-ground pool is wired directly into an electrical circuit. First, determine which circuit powers your pool pump. Reset the circuit breaker. Check if the pump is working now. If not, let’s move to another solution.

Check The Motor

There are a few things to check for if you suspect the motor to be the problem. If the pool motor overheats, it will automatically shut down as a safety measure. Letting the motor cool down before using it again is the best option.

If the pump motor capacitors are damaged, or the impellor is worn out, it can cause the motor not to start or work as it should. Consulting a professional to check for capacitor damage or wear might be the best option if you are not qualified to handle it yourself.

Another reason the motor may not be working can be because of water damage. Look for any signs of corrosion or rust. If your motor is damaged due to water exposure, you may need to replace it. If you have checked the motor for any apparent problems and the pump still does not want to work, consult an electrician or a pool expert for further help.

Check The Pool Timer

Some pool pumps work with a timer and only run at specific times. Ensure the timer is set correctly and programmed to turn the pump on at the appointed times. Sometimes the timer resets, and the programming needs to be re-entered. Also, check if the timer has any signs of damage or receives power. Some timers work directly from an electrical supply, whereas others may have batteries.

The timer starts and stops the pool pump at the designated times. If the pump’s timer is damaged, it will cause the pool pump not to start, and you should repair or replace the timer.

If the timer is not receiving any power, it may be because the circuit breaker has tripped. If the circuit breaker tripped, reset it and start the pump again. If you have checked the timer and the pump is still not working, the problem might be located somewhere else, and it would be best to get professional help.

The Pool Pump Does Not Have Enough Suction

The most common problems that can be found in pool systems that don’t have strong enough suction is usually because of air in the system or clogs. However, other factors can cause low suction, like incorrect pump size, low water level, worn impeller or seal, etc. It’s best to call a pool professional to diagnose and repair any pool pump problems to ensure it’s fixed correctly and safely.

Clogged Pipes Or Full Debris Baskets Can Reduce Suction

Debris buildup can cause clogs that can slow down or stop suction entirely. There are a few places where you need to check for debris buildup if suction isn’t as good as it should be. The first place you can check is in the pool itself. Check for blockage in the pool weir inlet and remove any debris. Also, check the skimmer, pool vacuum, and any inlet or outlet for debris buildup and clean it properly.

The pool weir debris basket must be emptied regularly to keep suction at its best. If the pipes and the weir basket are clear of debris and suction is still a problem, check the filter basket located at the pool pump. After cleaning the pool motor filter basket, you will need to prime the pump by adding water into the basket.

Air In The Pool Pump System

The presence of air trapped in the plumbing leading up to the pump is a common problem that can render a pump inoperable. When the air gets trapped in a pool’s plumbing system, it causes the pump to lose its prime and not work correctly. Unfortunately, this prevents the pump from sucking in water.

If there is any air in the pool system, it is most likely due to a suction line leak or cracks. This issue could have been caused by a broken valve, a leaking joint, or a break in the pipe. When the pool water level is too low, the wier may draw in the air with water, allowing air to enter the system.

If you are unsure that the problem is because of air in the system, you should first check the pool’s water level. Then, add more water if it appears to be necessary. Check for leaks in the plumbing if that doesn’t work.


Pool pumps frequently fail due to suction issues, starting issues, clogged pipes, or debris accumulation. You can try some things to figure out what’s wrong and fix it yourself. Still, it is best to seek professional assistance to fix the problem correctly and safely. Pool pump problems can be avoided with regular maintenance and cleaning.