A pool pump is the very heart of a swimming pool. For this reason, it’s important to know when your pump is on its last legs and might be in need of replacement or repair. Luckily, there are several telltale signs that indicate a pump is on the fritz, such as leaks, excessive rust, and loud, grinding noises when you turn on the pump.
A replacement pool should cost $300-600, and if your existing pump is 8-12 years old, then it’s probably time for a replacement. You can replace a pump yourself if you’re reasonably handy with both plumbing and electrical, but if you’re not it’s best to go straight to a contractor or pool company.
If you don’t replace or fix a problematic pump, your swimming pool will quickly become overwhelmed with debris and turn into a breeding ground for algae. Let’s look at how long a pool pump usually lasts, how much a replacement costs, and whether fixing it is really worth it.
How Many Years Does a Pool Pump Last?
A pool pump usually lasts around 8-12 years before it needs replacement. However, its components will start wearing down over time, so it’s better to catch the issues before they become more problematic. Here are a few signs that indicate it’s time for pump replacement or repair:
Any weird, out-of-character noises are early warning signs of a failing pump. If you hear any loud grinding or screeching sounds, then it’s highly likely that your motor is going bad.
Checking your filter’s pressure gauge reading can help confirm your pump’s loss of suction. If the gauge reads 10 psi above the baseline pressure, then it might be time to clean the filter.
However, if the pressure reads lower than normal, then you might have an improperly primed or clogged pool pump. This will, over time, wear out your pump’s motor, ultimately necessitating a complete pump replacement.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace Pool Pump?
On average, it costs around $300 to replace a pool pump, but the final cost ultimately depends on the type of pump you choose.
For instance, if you get the same make and model, you’ll only have to pay around $80 to $200 for the pump replacement. However, if you opt for a different and newer version, then the replacement might cost you somewhere between $80 and $350.
If you’re replacing your pool pump with a model of the same size, brand, and type of motor, then you’ll probably have to pay under $200 in total for the labor fees and the pump itself.
However, if the pool technician has to make a few modifications, like rewiring the area or changing the pipes and couplings, the labor costs will be higher. You’ll have to pay around $280 to $320 in labor fees for a pump that has a different make and model than the one you currently have.
Cost of a New Pool Pump
The average pump costs around $690, but the price varies with each model. Low-head and single-speed pumps are the cheapest, ranging somewhere between $300 and $600.
High-head submersible and variable speed models are a bit on the higher end, ranging from $800 to $1,200. Solar pumps are much less common and cost around $500 to $2000.
Pump Motor Cost
A new pool pump motor has an average cost of $300, with most models ranging somewhere between $100 and $500. If your pump stops working, you may only have to replace its motor instead of the complete system.
Motor Replacement Cost
With materials and labor, replacing a pump motor costs around $250 to $650. This is a cheaper and much more affordable option than replacing your entire pool pump, as long as the pump is relatively new and will last for a few more years.
Is It Worth Fixing a Pool Pump?
If you’re pretty confident in your DIY skills and know your way around a pool pump, then you can easily do minor repairs, such as changing the pump bearings and mechanical seals. Replacing the pump’s capacitors and impellers are also minor problems that are definitely worth fixing.
However, if the pump motor has burnt out or died, then it’s better to just replace the entire system. While replacing the pump’s motor is definitely an option, it will cost around 60% to 70% of the price of a new pool pump.
If you also take into account the depreciation and installation costs, you’ll see that replacing a burnt-out motor is just not worth it, and it’s often best to get a completely new pump.
Even if you replace the motor and save a few hundred dollars in the short term, all other components of the pool pump will already have started to degrade.
It won’t be long before they also need repairs or replacement, resulting in more expenses in the near future and eventually adding up to (or even exceeding) the cost of purchasing a brand new pool pump.
Can I Replace My Pool Pump Myself?
If you have good DIY skills and basic mechanical aptitude, then you can easily replace the pump yourself in a fairly short time. Here’s what you need to do:
- Turn off all the valves connecting the outlet and inlet pipes to the filtration system by moving the circular handle in the clockwise direction. You can also turn the lever handle of the valve until it’s perpendicular to the pipe.
- Turn the knob of the filter’s pressure-release valve in the counterclockwise direction to open it. Allow the air pressure to escape and then close the valve.
- Use a ratchet and socket to unscrew and remove the nuts and bolts securing the pump’s flange to the filter housing. Keep the bolts in a secure position.
- If your pump is secured to the filter pad, unscrew and save those nuts and bolts as well.
- Remove the old pump from the case.
- Use a rag to clear away any debris that’s stuck in the circular housing that holds the impeller.
- Put on a pair of latex gloves and use your index finger’s tip to coat the housing’s inner surface with water-pump grease.
- Apply a single coat of grease on both sides of the new pump’s flange gasket. Make sure you choose a pump with a flange gasket and impeller similar to the type and style of your old pump.
- Place the gasket flat against the face of your new pump’s flange. Make sure you align the gasket holes with the flange’s bolt holes.
- Position your new pump with the brand or manufacturer’s label facing upward.
- Ease the pump slowly towards the case so that the impeller correctly aligns with the impeller opening.
- Secure the pool pump in place by fitting the flange at the filter case.
- Align the case’s threaded holes with the flange’s bolt holes and screw in all the saved bolts.
- Tighten the screws until the pool pump is firmly attached.
- If you removed any anchor bolts, install and tighten them securely as well.