Sunday, July 8, 2012

How to fix a pool pump

So with the temperatures finally getting up to seasonal norms, which in Kamloops means hot enough to melt asphalt, and to reduce car-left DVDs into weird globs of molten plastic, I thought it time for me to get the pool back into operation.

The pool, left in active for 8 months, had turned a lovely shade of green and large dark forms were seen to be lurking in its shadowy depths.

My attack on the algae pond was based on both a chemical attack and physical assault. The chemistry employed was simple. Keep pouring chlorine into the water until such time that the water became toxic to all forms of life. The fact that a passing sparrow fell out of the sky while attempting to fly across the pool told me that I was nearing the point of sufficient chlorine levels. I could have bought those little test strips but I always opt for the "canary in the coal mine" method whenever possible.

The physical assault required me to fire up the pool pump and suck up the dead algae monsters through a super sucker pool cleaner and then expel the mess out through the discharge/waste valve on the pool filter.

The pump had been doing yeoman's duty for the past two days but today, round about 10 a.m. I heard a sound like bones and glass being run through a blender coming from the pump house. About half an hour later I decided I should check on things.

The dull red glow from the pump's motor was the first clue that something was wrong. The fact that no water was either going into, nor coming out of, the pump was another clue that it was not performing as designed.

Fortunately I had learned from an uncle of mine that most things can be fixed by turning them on and off a number of times. Sometimes if you apply a sharp force with something like a hammer at the same time that you are turning things on and off it will speed the healing process. It is a good thing that said uncle went into something other than small appliance repair because the aforementioned remedy did little to fix the situation. In fact it may have made matters worse.

I knew I would have to put all of my mechanical knowledge to bear and start taking things apart and poking at the inside of the pump. I managed to disconnect about twenty different hoses that were attached to the pump before finding the one that I actually had to remove to give me access to the impeller.

An impeller, for those of you not in the know is a dark piece of black magic that causes water to go from one place to another. No one really knows how they work and their inner workings are best left to the realm of witch doctors and voodoo queens.

I found a sharp screwdriver and gently started to poke about in the very bowels of the machine. At one point I could feel the screwdriver plunge into something that was either a drowned hamster or perhaps a piece of rubber that served as a seal in the back of the pump. I didn't know which was worse to be poking at but at this point I didn't much care. I made a few more stabs that would either dislodge something that shouldn't be there or perhaps puncture something that should.

In a few short hours I had all of the hoses reconnected to the pump and was ready to test my handy work. With hammer in hand - I gave the pump a couple of whacks for good measure as I flipped the switch on and off before leaving it on for good.

Gone was the sound of grinding bone. Back was good green water and chunks of algae swirling around in the pump's filter chamber before being spit out into the Kamloopsian sewer system. Buoyed with my success I think I may take my hammer and try to fix my laptop that has been sounding funny ever since I tried loading up two DVDs at once.


  1. Thanks for fixing my hot tub last winter, Frank. If I had known that your solution was going to be "toss it over the fence into the ravine", I would have called my half-wit brother for help. Love the article, Frank :)

  2. I know it wasn't me who told you that, it must of been our mechanicaly inclined brother. My solution would of been much more elegant and would of involved a small explosive device of some type............

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. In the past I’ve had a few less than acceptable maintenance services for my pool. A few months ago, a friend suggested I try Miami Pool Tech in South FL. I did, and I’m happy to say that their services are excellent. They were professional, friendly, and very responsive to all my concerns and questions. If you’re looking for a great pool maintenance service, check them out at

  9. I had a search through the link, but believe it or not I am really unsure of what would work for us.

    gclub online


Please feel free to leave a comment. Ever since old Rebel rolled on me and I've been strapped to this old hospital bed I've enjoyed whatever posts come my way.