This podcast episode tackles warning signs to help you know if you need a pool pump repair.
Welcome to the Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches online podcast, with your hosts, Holly Colasurdo and Elizabeth Varian.
Elizabeth Varian: Hey, everybody. It’s Elizabeth Varian here. I’ve got Holly Colasurdo, of Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches on the other line. How are you doing, Holly?
Holly Colasurdo: Hello! Hello, hello, everybody.
Elizabeth Varian: It’s good to connect with you. We’re in Thanksgiving season, full holiday time, so you know everybody’s gonna be using their pools here in South Florida.
Holly Colasurdo: Oh, yeah! All those snowbirds are coming in. They want to take dips. They can’t wait.
Elizabeth Varian: Yes, getting away from the colder weather up north. I think the timeliness of today’s topic is on point, because one of the things that you want to do when you jump in is to make sure that everything is working properly and today’s topic is the four warning signs that your pool pump needs repaired. That’s kind of important.
Holly Colasurdo: Yay! Pool pump!
Elizabeth Varian: Yes, it’s important if you want to jump in that it’s cleaning everything properly. Today, we’re not going to do a question and answer. You’re just going to take everything over. So, let me hand it on over to you. Take it away, girl!
Holly Colasurdo: Okie dokie. Every pool has a pool pump. They’re the heart and soul of your pool, especially here in Florida. They’re subjected to blazing heat, rain, and sometimes even lightning strikes.
Elizabeth Varian: Yuck.
Holly Colasurdo: These things can really affect the health of your pool. Everybody might not be aware that the pump circulates your water. It is so imperative that you have proper flow and circulation with your pool pump. Normally, they have about 12 to 15 years, so they’re not things that you need to replace often, like filters and skimmers. They pretty much have a really, really good, long life. Your pool pump should be set daily on a daily timer, which is important. Eight to ten hours for, like I said, the proper flow and circulation is so imperative. If you’re heating your pool, maybe a little longer. So, your pool should always be on a timer. Normally, pumps have a regular low humming sound, just like your car when you drive your car. You know it’s there, but you don’t always recognize it. But you do if something’s wrong with it, right?
Elizabeth Varian: Yeah, you know how it sounds normally. It’s got that … You know the motor’s running. The engine’s going, even if the car is sitting idle.
Holly Colasurdo: It’s like white noise. You don’t really know unless there’s an issue. Here’s what we see. Here are some warning signs and these are … It’s so funny, because our clients will call and go, “Oh, I hear a loud screech or grinding.” We know exactly what that is. Here’s what we hear, and what they mean, so if you do hear a loud screech or grinding sound that sounds more like an electrical motor than a Boeing jet, it’s more than likely your bearings are bad. Aside from motors being older, they can rust, or freeze from the water inside the casing, which is very, very common. Those things can cause leaky shaft seal. That’s where the screeching and grinding comes in. Or, if you have flooding from maybe your sprinkler system, lots of heavy rains here in Florida, tropical storms. Those little bearings and joints that spin all the time freely in their little case. When that screeching sound starts, that’s what that is, is a bearing. Those things can be replaced pretty efficiently.
Elizabeth Varian: Sounds like it’s an attention getter, that loud screeching, like you’re halt in your spot when you hear it, and like ah!
Holly Colasurdo: When you hear loud screech, you think of oh, WD40, but you can replace those little bearings on the cheap. That’s what something that … Our techs notice sounds and they can hear that.
Now, if you hear humming sound, it’s pretty much the capacitor. It’s a little barrel that stores an electrical charge that gets dispersed, that either kick-start or to keep your motor running. I know don’t want to get too technical. You have two types. You have the silver one, which runs the pump, and you have the starter, which is brown. A blown one can be caused by maybe a surge in power. I know we have them here all the time. Or overheating, running it too much. That’s an easy fix, too, for either a handy homeowner or if you have a great pool tech. So, that humming. It’s the capacitor. That’s pretty simple as well.
The pops and clicks. These sound like my knee joints. Once your motor …
Elizabeth Varian: It is South Florida.
Holly Colasurdo: Yeah. I wish mine was as easy to replace as the humming sound capacitor. So, if you walk by and hear the pops and clicks, sometimes your motor trips the breaker, and then it’s like, “Hello!” It’s signaling to you that it’s on it’s last leg. When your motor flips the breaker a lot … We have that sometimes. It’s just kind of a sign of a deeper electrical issue.
Elizabeth Varian: Oh, that’s not good.
Holly Colasurdo: And that can kind of get expensive. Once your motor’s done, forget it. You need to replace it.
Okay, let’s see. The fourth and last one is silence. That’s kind of the clicker. First of all, we always advise the client if they call in or if the tech calls in … You know, the tech can’t go into your house and check the breakers, so we’ll call the client and have them check the breaker. If it’s a breaker, fine, turn it back on. If it’s not, and the pump is not resting and it’s fine, and then it’s dead. Silence is a sign that the inner workings of the motor have just completely failed. The shaft is frozen. Once your motor reaches that point, it’s beyond repair. So all the other little things before that I talked about, the screeching, grinding, the humming, the pop and click, those are repairs that we can do, and [crosstalk 00:05:47] do lots of them.
Elizabeth Varian: This one, you’re saying, it sounds like a good replace instead.
Holly Colasurdo: Right. But after all those, and then if you hear silence down the road, then that’s just a sign that you need to get a new pump.
Elizabeth Varian: Get a funeral for the old one and bring in the new one.
Holly Colasurdo: Right. Typically, if you have a good service tech, like we have lots of great techs, and you’re getting your pool cleaned on a regular basis, whether it’s once a week or twice a week like most clients, they’ll notice that, and they’ll call in and say, “Hey, Mr. Smith, his motor is making a screeching sound.” We’ll send our repair guy out and they can make a better true diagnosis of the problem.
Elizabeth Varian: You know, it’s good to have a lot of these warning signs, because sometimes you hear something, and your brain just goes, well that may just be a fluke. Or, you pass by it, and you think you hear it, but you just brush it off.
Holly Colasurdo: Right.
Elizabeth Varian: It’s good if you’re getting those regular pool cleanings, because the tech gets to know your pool and will notice things that you, who may not be out by your pool all the time, may not.
Holly Colasurdo: Right. I always say our techs notice our client’s pools more than they do because the see them sometimes more than they do. Like I said, our snowbirds are never there. When we’re there every week monitoring their pool, they trust us to find what’s wrong and what needs to be done. That’s important.
Elizabeth Varian: We’re starting season. I mean, we’re not in full season until January, but people are starting to come down. I see the cars, the vehicle transport companies bringing the cars down, so-
Holly Colasurdo: Oh, yeah! Restaurant lines will get busy.
Elizabeth Varian: Oh, I know. We will not complain. We are happy. They take care of our no state tax. But, having to know, or even if you’re here regularly, knowing what to listen for with a pool pump is very important. We take for granted that it’s a hole in the ground with bunch of water in it, but there’s a lot more workings that are going on with all the features these days, and the lighting. You really have to be careful and on top of it and making sure that water is clean and healthy and being, like you said, circulated well.
Holly Colasurdo: Right. That’s important. That’s the main part of the pump-pool system is to make sure the water is flowing and the circulation in the pool. If it’s not, forget it. The monster of algae begins to descend upon you.
Elizabeth Varian: Oh, we don’t even want to go there. Agae.
Holly Colasurdo: No. No.
Elizabeth Varian: So, if someone either doesn’t hear anything, complete silence. Hears the loud screech and grinding, humming, pop and click, the four different … I’m going to go around pop and click all day. That’s just rolling off my tongue. These four warning signs, if they hear any of that, what is your recommendation?
Holly Colasurdo: We recommend that they call us. I have to say, one client did call in, and she had her cell phone, and she put it to the motor and the pump, and it was so cute! She was so sweet, and we’re like, “Oh, my gosh! We do hear it!”
Elizabeth Varian: That’s effective?
Holly Colasurdo: Yeah, that was so sweet, because you know, as a pool owner, you’re just like you said. You just want to get in the water and swim. You don’t want any issues. You don’t want to have to deal with any of that. That’s why we’re here. If you have any of those issues, always call your pool maintenance company ASAP. You don’t leave anything like that hanging, because if it could have been a quick fix and you leave it hanging and you don’t call in, then it can really cost a lot of money and you’ve got to replace everything.
Elizabeth Varian: Absolutely.
Holly Colasurdo: So, make sure you get your quotes in writing. We stress that wholeheartedly, and make sure, again, our motto, is make sure they’re licensed! That’s so important. It’s hard work to get that license.
Elizabeth Varian: You really, definitely, especially here in Florida. You want to make sure that you’re always working with licensed, bonded companies.
Holly Colasurdo: They’re not easy to get, but if you have a company that’s licensed, that owner worked very hard to get that.
Elizabeth Varian: Yes.
Holly Colasurdo: Lots of work, lots of hard work. They don’t give those out, like you said, willy nilly in Florida. That should be another podcast, the realities of the pool business.
Elizabeth Varian: What it takes to get the license.
Well, those who are listening, if you’re not on the website, you can call Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches at 561-203-0270, or you can find them on line at www.poolspalmbeaches.com. Holly, as always, very informative. I learned a lot today, and now, again, I’m going to have pop and click, pop and click in my head.
Holly Colasurdo: Continued education.
Elizabeth Varian: All day long!
Holly Colasurdo: Yours will be in your head. Mine will be in my knees.
Elizabeth Varian: Ow! We’re going to gather again in December, and we’re actually going to continue discussion of the pool pumps, which I’m excited for. Everybody have a wonderful Thanksgiving, since we won’t be speaking beforehand, and make sure to give Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches a checkout on the internet or via phone. Thanks so much.
Holly Colasurdo: Thanks, Elizabeth
Elizabeth Varian: Bye, everybody. Bye, Holly.
Holly Colasurdo: Thank you! Bye! Bye!
Thank you for listening to our monthly podcast. Be sure to contact Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches for your South Florida pool needs. Call 561-586-2815, or visit us online at www.poolspalmbeaches.com.