A swimming pool’s pump can be compared to a human heart: The pump is the central part of the pool’s circulation system, much like the heart is the central part of the human circulatory system. In the case of a fully operational pool pump, it keeps the water moving, clears debris from the water, and ensures the pool chemicals are mixed and pushed through the filtration system.
If the human heart malfunctions, blood doesn’t reach essential parts of the body. If a pool pump or pump motor malfunctions, water becomes stagnant and algae and bacteria grow. In other words, both become unhealthy.
This article will answer two important questions about pool pumps: How long do pool pumps last? And how long should a pool pump motor last? But first, let’s learn the factors that determine a pool pump’s life expectancy.
Factors That Affect a Pool Pump’s Life Expectancy
At some point, all mechanical devices wear out. The trick to saving money and anticipating a machine’s failure is to understand and address the factors that cause normal wear and tear on that machine.
Here are the factors that affect the lifespan of your pool pump:
Size of the Pool Pump
A pool pump that is either too small or too large for the needs of your pool is one factor. The mechanical stress on the pump if it is too small will cause it to burn out. It literally works itself to death and you will have to keep replacing it.
The opposite problem is a pump that is larger and has more water purification capacity than your pool needs. The result in this case is a high power bill.
The ideal is to strive for a pump that filters all the water in the pool within eight hours. This gives you a balance of the pump’s efficiency and the cost of running it.
Just like the chemicals you stock for your pool, the more you use them, the more you will need to replace them. The pool pump will wear out faster the more it is used, too. But let’s look at another variable that can give you greater control over a pump’s life expectancy.
A variable-speed pool pump allows you to control water circulation and purification. You can set the pump to work at a lower intensity at night so the pool will be ready for the next day’s usage.
A high-speed setting on the other hand filters the water faster. This is useful, for example, when you know guests are coming over in the late afternoon or evening for a swim. The pump will work harder at high speeds to make sure the pool is clean and clear for your guests.
Consider, also, that a pool pump timer can extend the life of your pool pump because it prevents it from running for longer than it needs to.
The pool pump has two major components: the pump and the pump motor. Many pool owners clean the pump and think that is sufficient. They forget the motor and all its parts: bearings, oil sealants, O-rings, and screws to name a few.
If you run the pump but you don’t maintain the motor, the result can be a system failure plus structural damage.
How Long Do Pool Pumps Last?
Now let’s take a look at the average lifespan of the various components of a pool pump and motor:
The housing refers to the outer shell that holds and protects the parts of the pump. It can sometimes crack from extreme temperatures or plumbing leaks.
Lifespan: 8-10 years
The lid gives you access to the pump and is on top of the strainer basket. An O-ring creates an airtight lock over the strainer basket. The lid can crack due to extreme temperatures or plumbing damage, too.
Lifespan: 3–5 years
This basket sits under the pump lid and traps large debris before it can reach the pump motor drivetrain. The basket protects the drivetrain from becoming clogged, which will damage the impeller.
Lifespan: 3–5 Years
O-Rings and Gaskets
Most machines rely on these small but mighty components. They prevent leaks and reinforce seals in the pump and must be replaced as a normal part of pump maintenance.
Lifespan: 1–3 years
This part sits between the impeller and the motor. It is a mounting flange connecting the pump housing to the motor. It contains the shaft seal, which protects the motor shaft and the motor from leaks.
Lifespan: 5–7 years
The diffuser covers the impeller and increases suction into the impeller’s eye. A seal is created between the impeller and the pump housing by vanes at the back of the diffuser.
Lifespan: 3–5 Years
This component is the force behind the water flow in the pump. It pulls water through the pump, pushes it into the filter, and then sends it back into the pool.
Lifespan: 5–7 Years
The motor is the heart of the pump. Without a fully functioning motor working at top efficiency, the pump can’t keep your pool water healthy. The key to a motor’s lifespan is attention and maintenance.
Lifespan: 8 years
Pool School Videos Can Help You Maximize the Lifespan of Your Pool Pump
The pool pump and the pump motor act as the power behind the health of the water in a swimming pool. The pump works by drawing pool water through the filter basket to remove impurities from the pool water and then releasing the cleaned water back into the pool. The key to the lifespan of the motor and its components is timely maintenance, based on how much the motor is used and the size of the pump.
Mike Steele, the Pool Doctor, has 30 years of experience in pool maintenance. He has captured that know-how into 20 self-paced online pool maintenance videos, providing information that isn’t available anywhere else. With Pool School Videos, you’ll learn exactly how to keep your pool pump protected and how to maximize its lifespan. For example, Mike will teach you three critical things you need to know BEFORE your pool pump motor ends up fried, as well as how to detect problems that can damage pool pump motors before they occur.
Plus, after you buy the video series, you will become a member of our private Facebook group that provides personalized guidance. If you have a question about your pool pump, your pool pump motor, your pump timer, or anything else pool related, simply post your questions and we will answer them within 24 hours!