Mike the Poolman


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Clogged Pool pump impeller

December 14, 2010

Have you ever wondered what the impeller in your swimming pool pump looks like? For your convenience I have attached two photos.
The first is an impeller that is clogged with leaves(A):


One way or another leaves were able to pass by the pump basket and clog the pool pump impeller. In this case, the homeowner previously emptied the pump basket but failed to properly position the basket back into the pump pot. Leaves got by the basket and clogged the impeller (another common cause is a cracked or broken pump basket).

When the impeller is clogged the pump loses significant water flow. In many cases the pump will overheat and the shaft seal will fail (we refer to it as a “blown seal”). The result is a leaky motor, eventually the bearings will whine and then the entire motor will stop.

If this scenario occurs and you have a booster pump for your pool cleaner (e.g. a Polaris), the booster pump is starved of water, it overheats, it’s seal fails and now you could have two failed pump motors! I’ve seen it happen many times- all because of a broken or misplaced pump basket.

The moral of the story: when emptying the pump basket, always check the basket for cracks and properly position it in the pump pot (some call it the pump trap- either way it’s the same thing).

No damage to this pump occurred. The homeowner noticed the filter pressure was down on the filter tank and immediately called Mike the Poolman to assess the situation.
Here is a clean impeller ready to pump some water! (B)


Mike the Poolman
Pool Service & Repair in Folsom, CA since 1995

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