What's a swimming pool motor?

A swimming pool motor is the motor that drives the pump of the pool, sucking water in through suction ports, sending it through the filter, and pushing it out through the return ports. On average, a swimming pool motor should last around eight years, although repair warrantees are usually for 90 days and new motors come with guarantees of one to three years.

To prolong the life of a swimming pool motor, you should periodically vacuum out dust and lint. When you replace your motor, get a new one that has the same horsepower, motor speed, voltage, and frame type as the old motor to ensure that it will work properly. Sometimes a pool owner will assume that more power is better… and end up with a motor that's too powerful, damages the pipes, and unnecessarily increases electric bills.


What kind of pump you get depends on the size of your pool; above-ground pools use low-head pumps; pools that contain 10,000-20,000 gallons of water use medium-head pumps; and larger pools use high-head pumps. If your pump starts making awful screeching noises, it's a sign that the bearings in the motor need to be replaced or the whole motor should be replaced. If the motor makes grinding noises, it could be that the pump isn't getting enough water. If the motor hums but doesn't start, check if the impeller has become clogged up with debris from the pool. If the motor hums but the impeller turns freely, check the power to make sure that the motor is receiving enough electricity (with newer motors, 110 V electricity is usually not enough).

If you notice that the motor is cycling, running for a while, then turning itself off, it could be due to overheating. Make sure that you're using the right electrical supply connection and the right wire size for the amount of voltage. If you have to replace your motor and don't know much about electricity, you'll be better off having a professional take care of it.