Since swimming pools come in many sizes and shapes, it is no wonder that the pool pumps do as well.  Most pool pumps are three horse power or less and have two connections at the piping system in which the water is pushed in and out.  It is in this area that the pool pump will generally leak.  Pool pump leaks are not always easy to diagnose.  Taking the time to check the pump can make a huge difference because you avoid further damage in the long run.  There are three common pool pump leaks that can help you rule out where the leak is coming from.

Identifying three Common Pool Pump Leak Issues

The three common pool pump leaks that occur are at the piping or motor connection area of the pump or the suction side.  If the leak occurs on the suction side, it is commonly known as an air leak. The air is being drawn into the closed system while on and operating.  If the leak is on the side of the pump where the water is discharged or pushed out of the pump, it is a water leak that usually starts off as a drip and needs attention quickly to prevent further damage.

The last common pool pump leak involves where the electric motor is attached to the pump.  The issue is usually caused by the shaft seal.  The shaft seal is the seal that keeps water from getting into the electric motor.  Pool pump leaks involving the shaft seal ARE IMMEDIATE ATTENTION REQUIRED because this leak is known to be a motor killer.  Replacing a pump motor is costly and the seal is so much cheaper to replace.

pool pump leaks in the shaft seal

Leaks on the Suction Side: Air Leaks

pool pump leaks in the suction area

If the pump seems to be struggling to move the water at start up or absolutely nothing is happening at start up, chances are you have an air leak at the suction area of the pool pump.  There are many indications of an air leak, such as:

  • cloudy pool water
  • the pump needs to be refilled or restarted often
  • Skimmer baskets are floating and not serving their purpose
  • the pool needs to be vacuumed more often than necessary
  • seeing small air filled bubbles returning to the pool at the clean water return fittings

If you feel that you have an air leak, handling it quickly can solve a lot of problems. You can have more than one leak at a time.

Pool Pump Leaks: Two Types of Water Leaks

There are two types of water leaks that occur in pool pump leaks: shaft seal leaks and discharge leaks.  The shaft seal leak is the most urgent of the two leaks.  This leak can destroy the electric motor and potentially the pump.  This is a situation you do not want, so getting expert help right away is imperative to resolving this issue.  The best way to detect a shaft seal leak is to check for a puddle of water under the pump.  In addition look for water damage, and/or if the pump is noisier than usual.

If you have a leak on the discharge side of the pump, it might be because the fitting to come lose and empty the pool.  Pool pump leaks involving water leaking from anywhere is not a situation you want to wait to fix or attempt to fix on your own without knowledge.  These issues can cause much bigger problems in the long run than you have at the moment.  The best way to detect a discharge leak on the pool pump is to look for sprays or drips. If you see water running down the side of the pump or just under it, water loss in the pool, or water damage to the surrounding area than you have your issue.

Water leaks can cause you big headaches if not handled right away and will be more problematic as they continue to occur.  Sometimes having an expert just take a look to ensure that the pump is okay can be the difference between a major expense and a minor repair.

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