How long do pool pumps last?
They’re expensive and often a bit tricky to install, so when you buy a pool pump, it’s understandable that you would want it to last awhile and to get your money’s worth.
In this article I’m going to cover the simple answer regarding how long a pool pump lasts, along with some of the things you can do to help it last longer.
Let’s go with the simple answer first.
How long do pool pumps last? The short answer
Most pool pumps will last somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-12 years before needing replaced from normal wear and tear. The local pool experts I bought my pump from said that if you start having problems at the six year mark or later, it’s best just to replace the unit and not worry about repairs or band-aid fixes.
But there are plenty of external factors that can impact the lifespan of your pool pump, including electrical issues, weather and climate, pool use, and type of pump/motor you’re using.
We’ll look at these factors in more detail, along with some of the things you can do to extend the lifespan of your pool pump.
What can impact the lifespan of a pool pump?
What are the factors that can impact the lifespan of a pool pump? I’ll go through the basics here.
How hard does it have to work/how often is it on?
One of the most practical factors to consider is simply, how often do you run your pool pump? My pool pump is on a timer, which I have set to start at 9 AM and run until 8:45 PM. This gives the pump plenty of “off” time where it’s not only saving on my electrical bill, but also not unnecessarily aging the pump
Weather and Climate
Climates that are humid or produce a lot of rain can be especially hard on a pool pump, particularly the external metal casing. While these cases are strong and generally won’t break or fail, the humidity and rain can simply wear the unit down over time. If at all possible, make sure your pool pump is covered or enclosed in some kind of structure.
HP and voltage rating
Pool pumps with a higher HP (motor power) and voltage rating re going to have an easier time pushing water through your filter and will, in many cases, last longer as a result.
Electrical issues/motor burning up
An issue that can dramatically cut your pool pump’s life short is electrical problems or the motor burning up. I found this out the hard way with my first pool pump. There was a clog in the filter that needed cleaned, but we didn’t notice it until the pump motor burned up from having to work too hard to push the water through. This isn’t an issue of wear and tear, because it all happened at once. But just note that issues like this can either put unnecessary wear on your pool pump, or burn the motor out completely.
What can I do to help my pool pump last longer?
While I’ve already touched on some of the things that can be done to improve the life expectancy of your pool pump, I’ll cover those and a few others here specifically.
Place your pool pump in a structure
Setting up a structure to cover your pump and filter is a good place to start. It doesn’t have to be a full-blown pool house or closet. Just an outdoor storage container or area, like this one below, can go a long way in extending the life of your pool pump and keeping it safe from the elements.
Use a timer
Using a timer, like the one pictured below, is one of the simplest and most cost effective ways to extend your pool pump’s lifespan. You can come up with whatever schedule suits you, or you can use my strategy of running the pool pump during the day and letting it sit at night. Make sure you get one of the timers labeled an “outdoor timer” so it’ll withstand rain and moisture.
Check for clogs
Make sure to check for clogs in the pipes and filter. You can usually do this by checking on the water flowing through the pump. If there is a clog somewhere, it’ll be harder to keep the water clean, which should tip you off that there’s a problem somewhere else.
Keep the skimmers clean
The skimmers can be gross and annoying to clean out, but if these get too full, your pump is going to have a difficult time keeping up. Keep these clean as much as possible to make life easier on your pool pump.
Conclusion and questions
In summary, your pool pump should last between 10 and 12 years. But if you start having problems after year six, it’s probably advisable to just replace the unit instead of trying to keep it going. Make sure you take the time to implement some of our suggestions. If you only do one, I’d say go with the timer and have your pool pump running about half the time. There’s a balance of having it on to keep the pool clean and leaving it off to save power and preserve the life of the unit.
A timer is going to be the cheapest and most effective way to find that balance.
I’ve gone through a couple pool pumps myself, so if you have questions about their lifespan or something else, feel free to drop a line in the comments section below and I’ll do my best to help out.
Hopefully I’ll talk to you there.