Pool pump lids: Do NOT overtighten when water squirts out!
January 9, 2011
One of my biggest pet peeves is an over-tightened pool pump lid!
I think the biggest reason people do this (women sit down, men stand up) is because we see water squirt out of the lid when the pump turns off. You DO NOT have a leak! Watch the lid closely when you switch on the pump, it gets sucked down. Conversely, when the pump is switched off the lid releases and a little water squirts out. THIS IS PERFECTLY NORMAL AND IS NOT A REASON FOR ALARM. So a little water squirts out, big deal. It’s the same as when you shut off your garden hose and some water squirts out of the hose bib. A little squirts out and then it stops:
Not only does over-tightening make it very, very difficult to remove, the torquing damages the seal on the pumps threaded inlet and outlet. This creates a vacuum (air) leak and the pump subsequently starts to suck air and run rougher and louder. Most people (men) tighten the lid even more to correct the problem- only to make it worse! Now that you’ve compromised the threads they need to be replumbed. This is an expen$e that could have been easily avoided.
Remember, if a tool is necessary for leverage, you’re too tight!
Another thing, manufactures’ make o-rings out of rubber for a purpose: so they’re elastic. If you crank down the lid you squash the o-ring so bad it loses it elasticity, further enhancing your problem
No LUBE. Lube is great for about a month then it turns to glue and makes the lid harder to get off not easier…Most o-rings are self lubricating and don’t need help. If the o-ring is grabbing or binding, go buy a new one at the pool store for $5-10.
(Most pump manufacture’s ask not to lube in the installation manual). Hand tight only and you’ll avoid a pool service call.
Mike the Poolman
Pool Service & Repair in Folsom, CA since 1995