When your pool pump, cleaner or heater just isn't working like it should, the problem is often a clogged pump impeller.
For a quick check, open the clear cover on the strainer basket. Drop your garden hose into the basket and turn the hose on 'full'. Then turn the pump 'on'. Water in the strainer basket should disappear immediately. If the flow is sluggish, check the impeller.
Make absolutely sure the pumps electric breaker is 'off'.
Check the breaker again. Remove the strainer basket. Now using a finger you can spare, reach into the opening behind the strainer basket and feel for leaves, pine needles and other debris inside the pump.
In this cut-away, you can clearly see all the internal parts of a typical pool pump. The impeller is the vertical black wheel in the center of the photo.
Note that all photos on the Pool School PRO CD are enlargeable.
No matter the style, the motor always slides out of and away from the pump. The pump is fixed in place with plumbing and anchoring bolts. The motor is always maneuverable.
(right) This Hayward pump is opened by undoing four 5/8" bolts. In contrast, a Sta-Rite pump uses a single steel band with a tightening bolt or manually adjustable knob.
A plastic cover called the volute protects the impeller. This Hayward motor is set on end and the volute snaps off. A Sta Rite- style volute is typically held in place with eight tiny stainless steel screws.
(bottom) A Sta-Rite pump stands open with the stainless steel band and the volute removed. The impeller is the opaque vertical wheel, six water channels radiate out from the center. Any debris is easily visible and just as easy to remove.
Use a pipe cleaner (if you can still find one) or bit of thin coat hanger wire to unclog the water channels in an impeller. Push your wire through each of the channels working from the outside edge toward the center.
(left) Be prepared to lubricate the Sta-Rite 'O' ring or the Hayward pump seal with water proof grease or Vaseline jelly when you put the pump and motor back together. If it's an ancient Hayward- type pump and has never been opened, you may have to replace the pump gasket (another simple task explained on the Pool School PRO CD).
Clogged impellers and related problems are only a few of the hundreds of repairs all explained on our
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