Common Reasons Why a Pool Motor may Fail Early

By February 15, 2019 May 9th, 2022 Cleaning & Maintenance

Why did my pump/motor go out?

The average lifespan of an electric pump motor can depend on many variables, so it can be difficult to determine one single reason for pump failure.

These are some of the most common reasons why a motor may fail earlier than average.

Bad Environment

The single most common reason for pump failure in any climate is bad environment. Many homeowners do not realize how long their pool equipment is in the sun, or they may not be aware of a sprinkler nearby or run-off from the roof during heavy rain. But for the most part, the shadier and drier the environment, the slower the motor will rust and corrode and eventually fail. Rust, corrosion or warping of the outer shell of the motor is tell tale sign of this. It also may come from underneath, if too much ground or debris is allowed to build up around or underneath your pool equipment. Always keep the bushes and other growth away from you equipment pad by trimming them back on a regular basis.

Distance from Equipment to Pool

The farther the water has to go, the more work the pump will do.

Height of Pool

Height of pool, in relation to pool equipment, or other factors that increase back pressure or resistance to flow. Sometimes, pools or their equipment are placed above ground level, while the other is not. This will always create more work for the pool pump as well.

Solar Panels

Pumping the water to the roof, against gravity, always leads to a shorter lifespan. This is why we encourage people to keep their solar off, when it is not needed. It is also important to have the appropriate horsepower when there is solar heat vs. not having solar heat.

Bad Filtration or Plumbing

This is why it is important to regularly change filters and backwash, especially in the case where you have a cartridge filter. While plumbing the pool and it’s equipment is often up to the builder, how efficiently this is done can make a huge difference to the homeowners pocket several years down the road. Also, just because your cartridge looks clean, does not mean that it is good for your pump. Always know your filter’s “starting pressure.” This is the reading you get on the pressure gauge with no cartridge in the filter. If your clean filter is causing that pressure to increase by more than 5 psi, you should probably get a new one. Never use the same filter cartridge for more than 2-3 years.