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Troubleshooting a Noisy Pool Pump

Noisy Pool Pump – If the noise from your pool pump is keeping you up at night or annoying the neighbors, you will need to find out what’s causing all the ruckus. Those horrible noises coming from your pump likely signal something’s wrong. But what?

Fortunately, it’s easy to troubleshoot a noisy pump on your own. Ideally, with a few tips and tricks, you can locate the source of the sound, whether originating from the motor or the pump itself. Before you assume you can just stop using your pump to avoid the noise, think again. Your pool pump is an essential piece of machinery, working to circulate the water and filter out dirty particles while at the same time, distributing chemicals. You don’t want to swim in a pool of algae or bacteria, do you?


How long has your pump been noisy? Ever since you installed it, or just a few days ago? If it’s been noisy from day one, it could be that you simply chose a low-quality pump or that it was installed incorrectly. Alternatively, it may be too powerful for your pool to handle. Bigger is not always better! Pumps with more horsepower than you actually need may be overwhelming your pool system and increasing your energy bills. More energy = more noise. Bottom line, quiet pumps are just more cost-efficient to operate.

It may be time to think about a new pump. We recommend a variable-speed pump that will save you in energy costs, paying itself off in nearly two years. You can also get a rebate on this type as well as a lifetime warranty.


Next, find out where the noise is coming from. Could be the pump, could be the motor. Pool pumps are comprised of three main components: the motor, the impeller, and the housing. The motor powers the impeller, which is a spinning blade that brings water into the pump. The housing is made up of a bucket with a mesh liner connecting to the filter.

You’ll have to do some digging to find out if the noise is originating from the motor itself, or from the wet end of the pool pump (impeller and housing).


What kind of sound is your pump making? Does it sound like it’s full of rocks? The impeller and housing are to blame. If it sounds more screechy, it’s the motor.

Water Level

If your pump is making noise, it could be that it is running dry. Sometimes, when the water level falls below halfway on the skimmer’s faceplate, the pump starts to suck in air along with the water. This will strain the pool pump, which makes it work harder and louder.  

If this is the case, simply add water to the pool pump. If that doesn’t do the trick, the pump may be having difficulties self-priming itself—or getting rid of excess air. You will have to prime your pump manually.  

Pump and Housing Imbalance

An uneven pool base could be causing your filter and motor to vibrate, which as you know can be noisy. It’s common, as uneven settling happens over time. In this case, you could try leveling out the ground so everything remains balanced.

Blockage in the Pump

When debris gets trapped inside the pool pump, the motor must work harder to suck water from the pool and get it through the filter. When the motor has to work overtime, the end result is noise. This is because it’s starting to suck in air and water, which isn’t good for your pump.

Switch off the filter, then unplug the pump, opening the pump basket lid. Clear out any leaves, dirt, rocks, and sediment that might’ve found their way in. Clean out the basket with a hose and you’re good to go.

Next, check the impeller. Don’t plug the pump back in, but rather remove the pump basket and reach through the tube between the impeller and the basket. Is the impeller clogged or wobbly? This can get noisy. If you see a clog, use a hook-shaped wire to scrape off the debris. If the culprit is a wobbly impeller, you’ll have to get it repaired or replaced.

Blockage Outside the Pump

Debris often builds up before the water hits your pump. Check the skimmer basket and pipes for blockages.


Cavitation is a serious problem. This is when the pump sucks in air as well as water. If you think the pump has been running dry for a while, it’s likely that the water that’s left in the pump has boiled and steamed. This can melt pump components, including the inner lining.

Another component that can be affected is the impeller, which takes the brunt of the heat. When high temperatures are present, the impeller’s brass insert detaches and makes a loud rattling sound. While the impeller is replaceable, the pump body is more difficult to remedy.


If it sounds like a pile of rocks in your pump, the bearings could be to blame. Bearings mounted on the motor are designed to reduce friction as the shaft spins. Worn bearings need to be changed, or the whole motor has to be replaced. Simply lubricating it won’t help. Replacement bearings are generally inexpensive, but you’ll pay a lot in labor costs.

If you’ve tried all of the above and nothing has worked, buy a new one or take it to a professional to troubleshoot.

Central Jersey Pools has a lot of experience with pool pumps. Call us today for repair, replacement or troubleshooting services.

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