How to Repair a Clogged Pool Pump

Removing the pool filter
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-100
What You'll Need
Pliers, wrench or similar tool
What You'll Need
Pliers, wrench or similar tool

A pool can run without a pool pump but if dirt and debris seem to be accumulating in your water, the chances are that you have a clogged pool pump. By following these four easy steps, you will be able to quickly troubleshoot problems with your pool pump and keep it running effectively to keep your pool sparkling clean.

Step 1 - Turn Off the Water

Before you do anything, be sure to shut water off at the valve that serves the pump and close down electricity to the pump as well. If you do not do this, the water will continue to flow and when you open the pump, you'll not only get soaked but you'll have to stop mid-way through your repair to shut off the water. Additionally, the risk of electric shock is greatly increased if water and electricity mix.

Step 2 - Clear the Filter Basket

person removing pool filter

The first place to look for obstructions is in the filter basket. The basket is easily accessible and is always located in a clearly visible area. Pull the basket out of its recess and remove any foreign objects you find in it. If your pool is close to trees or bushes, it's likely that leaves, berries or small twigs have been sucked up by the pump. After the basket is clear, turn the electricity to the pump back on and see how it is functioning. If the suction has returned, your repair is over. If there still seems to be something blocking your pool pump, you'll have to shut the pump off again and move on to the next step.

Step 3 - Clean the Impeller

Attached to the area where the filter basket is housed is the cylinder that contains the impeller. The impeller is a rotor that uses pressure to keep the water flowing and helps the pump function to keep your pool clean. Often, the impeller can look like a little fan with blades and small pieces of debris can often become stuck or entangled in the parts that stick out from it.

To get to the impeller, free the cylinder from where the basket sits. You will see a sequence of bolts attaching the two parts together so use your pliers or wrench to loosen the bolts. This will disconnect that one end of the cylinder. Pull out the cylinder and you will be able to see the impeller. There will probably be a small amount of dirt or other debris around it so be careful as you use your fingers to clear out whatever is preventing the impeller from doing its job.

Step 4 - Reattach

large swimming pool

Once you have cleaned the impeller, re-connect the cylinder to the rest of the pump, tightening the bolts sufficiently so it is properly attached. Now, switch the water and the electricity to the system back on and your pump should be working like new. Be sure to check the filter basket and impeller regularly as this is the best way to ensure you don't suddenly encounter a clogged pool pump when you next go for a swim.