Hayward Pool Pump Troubleshooting

hayward-pool-pump-troubleshootingWe carry the other brands, but Hayward pumps and filters have always been our flagship line.

Reliable & durable, Hayward pumps will still likely need some type of troubleshooting at some point during your relationship.

Often what appears to be a pool pump problem is actually a filter problem or a valve problem, so the first step is to rule out any mis-aligned valves or obstructions in the filter or pipes.

Barring problems with other pool equipment, a pool pump problem will either be an electrical issue or a plumbing issue. On the electrical side, problems can occur with the electric motor, timeclock, breaker or wires. On the plumbing side, you can have problems with air leaks, water leaks or just getting the water to flow properly.

Hayward Pool Pump Electrical Problems

Pump Won’t Turn On

intermatic-time-clockintheswimMakes No Noise: If you flip the switch and nothing happens and you hear no noise at all, check the circuit breaker by flipping it Off and then back On again. If you have an Intermatic time clock, look into the Visual Motor Check, to see if the tiny motor gears are turning. If there is a GFCI outlet wired into the system, check that the red button is not popped out.

If power is reaching the time clock or switch, check the wires running from the switch to the pump for any signs of damage, and inspect the connections on each end, for loose wires or insect infestation.

If no power is reaching the time clock or switch, the tiny motor is dead, or the switch or breaker is bad, or the wires from the breaker to the time clock are broken or loose.

Makes Noise: If the pump motor makes a humming sound when trying to start, you likely have a bad start capacitor. On Hayward pumps, these are the black cylinder mounted at the rear of the motor. They are easily removed and replaced.

hayward-motorBefore ordering a new capacitor however, be sure that the shaft is not “froze-up’ with rust. To spin the shaft, disconnect power at the breaker, and remove the capacitor (at 9 o’clock) and the thermal overload (at 12 o’clock), so that you can slip a 7/16″ wrench onto the slotted shaft.

Use the wrench to wiggle the shaft through several revolutions, to break any rust that has formed between the stator and rotor, and free up the shaft. Carefully re-secure the capacitor and thermal overload switch.

Pump is Shutting Off by Itself

Not a good sign usually. If it turns back on after 15 minutes, it likely has been overheating. Provide shade if necessary, and make sure that air is circulating freely under all parts of the motor, remove any leaves or mulch.

Other causes of a pump shutting itself off include loose or broken wires or incorrect voltage, more than 10% more or less of the rated input voltage.

Pump is Smoking or Sparking

smoke_rising_anim_150_wht_13070Whoa, shut the pump off quickly. Smoking pump motors are usually caused by connecting 230V to a motor wired to receive only 115V. Check the motor diagram for the Low Voltage / High Voltage wiring diagram. An incorrectly installed shaft seal can also produce friction smoke, and a blown capacitor will throw off a lot of smoke, following the small explosion.

Sparking motors can be caused by loose wire connections or two wires or terminal connections touching each other, which is usually easily fixed. Sparking can also come directly from a short in the windings of the motor, which usually means the motor is near the end.

Pump Trips the Breaker

When the breaker trips when trying to turn on the pump, most likely the motor shaft is frozen, the impeller is stuck, or the capacitor has blown. In some cases, it can be a bad breaker, especially one that is used often to turn the pump on and off.

If the breaker trips while the pump is running, the pump is likely drawing more amperage or voltage than the breaker rating. This could be caused by incorrect voltage or from clogged or restricted pipes, valves or impeller. It could also be just a bad breaker.

Pump only Runs for 5 seconds

If your Hayward pump runs for only 5 seconds and shuts off, check the incoming voltage. Most inground Hayward pumps are shipped to accept 230V, and if you only give it 115V, it can’t get up to speed.

Many inground pumps are have ‘reversible voltage’, and can be switched from 230V to 115V by turning a tab or by switching a few wires on the terminal board.

Hayward Pool Pump Plumbing Problems

Pump is Leaking Water

water leak

A pump that is leaking water is usually a bad shaft seal, or a loose pipe connected into the top of the pump. Leaks can also come from loose drain plugs or loose on bolts on the seal plate, connecting the motor to the pump.

If the water is running down between the pump and motor, determine if it’s dripping out of the plumbing fitting on top, or the shaft seal on the bottom.

If you have just replaced the seal, it may have been placed on the impeller backwards, or the seal plate gasket is out of position, or the diffuser is misaligned and the seal plate is not sealing up against the pump body.

Pump Basket has Air Inside

bub3The opposite of a water leak, and air leak pulls water into the pump, and is always located in front of the pump impeller.

Common air leak sources are a loose or cracked pump lid or dirty lid o-ring, but most often the cause is the threaded fitting coming into the pump. Pool putty can make a semi-permanent repair, or the fitting can be cut out and replaced.

Other causes of air leaking into the pump is from leaky valves in front of the pump, low water level in the pool, or a skimmer weir stuck in the up position.

Pump is not Pumping Water

If the pump is not pumping water at all, check that all suction and return valves are open, and the pump lid is on tight, with the lid o-ring in place. Lubricating the lid o-ring regularly will help improve the seal. Check that the drain plugs are tightly inserted with Teflon tape, and that the pump basket is inserted in the proper way, and is sitting all the way down.

prime-the-hayward-pool-pumpIf the pump has lost prime completely, fill a bucket with water or bring over a garden hose and re-prime the pump manually by filling up the pump. If the pump won’t catch after a several attempts to fill with water, check for an air leak (see above) on the suction side of the pump, an obstruction in the line, or low water level.

If you just pulled the pump to check the impeller or replace a shaft seal, make sure the seal is installed correctly, and that diffuser and diffuser gaskets are seated firmly.

Pump Flow Rate is Low

When the filter pressure is high, the filter is dirty ~ and when the filter pressure is low, the basket(s) are dirty. Lower than normal pressure on the filter corresponds with lower than normal flow rates.

pump-impellerCheck the pump impeller by removing the pump basket and reaching through the hole to feel for any debris or rocks stuck inside the impeller. If you feel anything unusual, remove the bolts to pull the motor out for a good cleaning of the impeller.

An air leak (see above) will also reduce water flow rates, as air is drawn in to the pump, and a dirty pool filter or baskets can clog up the works, and reduce the flow rate.

Pump is Loud or Noisy

noisy-pump-motorA loud or noisy pump can be either a plumbing or electrical problem. If the pump sounds like it’s gargling rocks, or there is heavy vibration noise, it may be cavitating, a term that means it’s starved for water. It’s either too powerful for the incoming plumbing, or too many suction lines are closed, or the skimmers are clogged.

A motor with a more high pitched squeal or screech is usually in need of shaft bearings. There are two sealed bearings inside pool pump motors. They can be replaced, but unless the motor is quite new, most pool owners will replace the entire motor.

That’s all Folks! If these quick tips didn’t solve your problem, feel free to call our pool tech supporters at 1-800-288-7946 for more Hayward pool pump troubleshooting.

And if you are in need of Genuine Hayward Replacement parts, we have Hayward pump parts and motor parts stocked in 12 warehouses for fast delivery with same day shipment!

Davy Merino
InTheSwim Blog Editor

The Ultimate Guide to Pool Water Balance

pool-water-balance--It really is a balancing act – to maintain the correct levels in the pool water. If pH or Alkalinity is too low, or Calcium Hardness levels are too high, there can be problems.

Other chemicals also must be balanced and in a certain “safe area” – an ideal range for each component of water balance that is tested.

Pool water quality is affected by the level of pH, which is affected by Alkalinity. Pool water pH levels that are too high can cloud the water or create scaly deposits, but low pH levels allow for pool equipment and surfaces to become etched and corroded.

Adding too much chlorine can cause skin and eye irritation. On the other hand, when levels of sanitizers are too low in a pool, they will not provide the power to kill off bacteria or other contaminants.

Water Balancing chemicals are important because they prevent damage to the pool, or poor sanitation from chemical levels that are too high or too low.

Chemistry of Water Balancing Chemicals

Water balance for pools essentially means to bring into balance, the most important being the pool pH, Total Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness levels.

POOL-WATER-BALANCE-PHpH measures the acidity or basicity of the water. The pH scale goes from 0 to 14, and 7 is considered neutral. Anything under 7 is acidic, while anything above 7 is considered basic. Pool pH of around 7.4 is best.

Pool water pH values below 7.0 creates a corrosive environment, or an acidic condition. Add a base to bring the pH up, into a more basic range to prevent corrosion.

pH levels in the pool water have ideal range of 7.4 to 7.6, and whether higher or lower, it’s not good for the pool or swimmers. At levels above 7.8 only 50% of your chlorine will be active.

Pool pH that is above 7.8 creates a scaling or basic condition. This means that scaly deposits may form, or cloudy water problems. High pH also reduces chlorine potency. Add an acid to bring down the pH to prevent the formation and build-up of scale.

pool-water-balance-taTotal Alkalinity measures the hydroxides, carbonates and alkaline substances in the pool water. A close cousin of pH, Alkalinity buffers your pH, keeping it more stable. When TA is too low, pH levels are erratic, and not stable.

Raise low alkalinity by adding a base to the pool, specifically products labeled Alkalinity Increaser. TA levels should be 80-120 ppm. Total Alkalinity strongly influences your pH level, so if your pH is off, be sure to check the alkalinity.

Lowering Total Alkalinity by adding an acid to the pool water. This is harder than it sounds, because it also lowers pH levels when you add acid. Certain types of acid will lower Alkalinity more than pH, but it can still be a process of lowering TA, raising pH, lowering TA, raising pH…

POOL-WATER-BALANCE-CHCalcium Hardness measures the softness or hardness of the water. Hard water has higher calcium or magnesium content. These particles can deposit themselves on pool surfaces, lights and ladders, or can frequently come out of solution, making the water cloudy.

Calcium Hardness is another important factor to any pool. Water can get murky and scale formations can occur, as well as stains. It is important to keep calcium hardness levels below 400 ppm, but the most desirable range is usually 180-220 ppm.

When calcium hardness is too low, add Calcium Increaser. The water is then too soft and can corrode surfaces in the pool. If levels are too high, scale deposits and cloudy water can become a problem.

What’s Temperature got to do with It?

ducky-pool-thermometerThe Langelier Saturation Index can be calculated by testing water for pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, cyanuric acid and, temperature. When water warms, from 70° into the high 80’s – this changes the way water balance components interact.

Generally speaking, higher water temperatures makes your water more active, and is balanced at lower levels for TA, CH and pH. When water temperatures are cooler, higher levels are recommended.

The Saturation Index uses a temperature factor to tell you the ideal levels for TA, CH, Cya and pH. The math is a bit complicated, and involves charts, but Pentair has an easy to use online Saturation Index Calculator.

Other Pool Chemical Levels

Full analysis would include testing for Total Chlorine and Free Chlorine levels, and for Cyanuric Acid levels in the pool.

POOL-WATER-BALANCE-CLFree Chlorine is the amount of chlorine that is available to work with, not including Combined Chlorine, or chloramines. When you test your water with a DPD test kit, you can test for Free Chlorine (FC) and Total Chlorine (TC).

Subtract FC from TC, and you get CC, or combined chlorine. When CC is over 0.3 ppm, it’s time to shock the pool to remove these contaminants. Free chlorine levels should be at least 1.0 ppm.

POOL-WATER-BALANCE-CYACyanuric Acid retains the chlorine in the water for a longer period of time. Stabilizer is added to some chlorine to protect from breaking down – which occurs from UV rays. When the stabilizer levels are low, your chlorine won’t last as long.

The ideal range is 30-50 ppm, and better on the low end, as new research suggests that high levels of Cya can suppress chlorine activity and potency.

POOL-WATER-BALANCE-TDSTotal Dissolved Solids is another important factor to pool water balance, although it is not often tested unless pool water conditions have become unmanageable. When water evaporates, minerals are left behind – and as evaporation continues, the water becomes more saturated, which makes it harder for chemicals to be successful in their endeavors. This in turn gives pool stains an opportunity to come out and appear in the pool.

The only way to lower TDS is to drain some water out, and add fresh water. Recommended levels for TDS are less than 2000 ppm, or 5000 ppm for pools using salt chlorinators.


  • Test 2-3x per week, adding adjustment chemicals as needed.
  • Run the pump after adding chemicals, to help distribute.
  • Add one chemical at a time, or add them into different areas.
  • Test and adjust in order. First alkalinity, then pH, then calcium.
  • Use the Saturation Index to consider water Temperature.

taylor-dpd-cl-brPool chemical levels can be crucial to the health of swimmers, as well as the health of the pool. Unsanitary water, stains and corrosion are common in pools with consistently unbalanced pool water.

To avoid these problems, test and balance your pool water regularly, and enjoy your pool with less mess, and less stress!

Alex Malamos
InTheSwim Staff Blogger


Pool Chlorine Brands – What’s the Difference?

drpool-shock-3Pool chlorine – one of my favorite topics! Hello again, I’m Dr. Pool, resident chemist at In The Swim.

Why would a chemist work for a pool supply retailer? To create & test our own chemical formulations, in a state of the art compounding facility.

Is all pool chlorine the same? The short answer is NO ~ Trichlor tablets may look the same, but they differ in “materials and workmanship”.

Chlorine Materials

Chemical labeling and MSDS sheets provide a look into the ingredients used in chlorine tablets and pool shock, but manufacturers are allowed “proprietary” license, to not list trade secret ingredients.

Trichlor tablets can contain additives to control algae or improve water clarity. In such cases, a lower percentage of available chlorine will tip you off to the use of fillers or additives.

Cheaper binders can gum up chlorinators and cloud pool water. Raw materials can contain impurities or low grade fillers in cheap chlorine.

Chlorine Workmanship

How chlorine is made does make a difference in the level of impurities, and in how the chlorine is delivered. Cheaper tableting equipment can produce a crumbly tablet that dissolves too rapidly.

pool chlorine types, pool chlorine tablets or trichlor tabsA chlorine product’s solubility, hardness and bulk density affects the release rate and is dependent upon the heat and pressure used during tablet formation, as well as the quality and purity of ingredients.

It takes a lot of pressure and heat, and precise cooling to create a well-made chlorine tablet, and do it without harm to the environment. Less sophisticated tableting facilities produce an inferior product and discharge excessive byproducts into air and water.

Country of Origin

In recent years, chemical manufacturers in the U.S. have petitioned the International Trade Commission for protection and sanctions against imported isocyanurate products being dumped on the U.S. market.

dept-of-commerce-logoLate last year, the Dept of Commerce ruled that imported Chinese chlorine was found to be heavily subsidized by the Chinese government, and was unfair to domestic manufacturers.

The effects have already caused one major US chlorine manufacturer to stop producing pool chlorine – Chemtura. Tariffs will increase for Chinese chlorine, which likely will force cost cutting measures to maintain profit on their investments.

Differences in Chlorine

In a nutshell, there are significant differences in the quality of chlorine tablets and pool shock. This results in tablets that dissolve too rapidly and leave a gummy residue, and granular products that separate too slowly, and leave behind a cloudy residue.

There are many ways to make a cheap chlorine product, so stick with a major brand; and avoid private label brands and sales on “Generic” pool chlorine from big box retailers, home stores or discount clubs, which are domestically packaged with imported chlorine.intheswim-chlorine-tablets

No matter what type of chlorine you use – Trichlor, Dichlor or Cal Hypo – look for a respected brand of domestic pool chlorine, and steer clear of chlorine products of dubious origin or of poor materials and workmanship.

Dr. Pool

Dr. Pool


The Ultimate Guide to Swimming and Pregnancy

swimming-while-pregnant-smudge-stickTable of Contents

  • Overview
  • Swimming Safely
  • Swimming Benefits
  • Debunking the Myths
  • Additional Resources


Because it takes away the risk of falling while exercising, swimming or any kind of water workout is an especially great form of exercise for pregnant women. Today’s guide to pregnancy and swimming is a follow-up to “The Benefits of Swimming During Pregnancy“.

Read on to learn more about swimming safety precautions for pregnant women, more information about the swim benefits, and why many myths about swimming when pregnant simply are not true.

Swimming Safely

No diving. “The Benefits of Swimming during Pregnancy” touched on the dangers of diving when pregnant, but it’s an important point to reiterate. This article points out many of the great benefits of swimming while pregnant, but stresses that you should never dive or jump feet first from any height; into the pool when pregnant. And if you’re an avid scuba diver, this article from the American Pregnancy Association, recommends that you stop diving while pregnant as some studies have shown that it can lead to birth defects and preterm labor.

Use extra precaution if swimming in the ocean. While this article explains that swimming in the ocean is fine to do while pregnant, it stresses that you’ll need to be especially cautious. It provides a few great ocean swimming tips, such as “Don’t turn your back on the ocean”, “Always bring a friend – never swim alone”, “Avoid the ocean if the water is cold or the weather is bad”, and more.

Stay hydrated. As this article from Livestrong.com notes, swimming may cause you to neglect to stay hydrated because you don’t notice sweating as you would with land exercises. It advises that you drink a cup of water before, during, and after your swim session.

Avoid crowded pools. Swimming is a great form of exercise for pregnant women, but as this article explains, it is best to avoid crowded pools. If a pool is crowded, it increases your chances of getting kicked in the abdomen, which could have adverse effects.

Change your routine based on your trimester.  As “The Benefits of Swimming during Pregnancy” noted, while you can swim throughout your pregnancy, your routine will need to change from trimester to trimester. The resources below provide swimming advice based on trimester:


Check the water temperature. The water you swim in should not be too hot or too cold. As this article notes, pregnant women should swim in water that is between 84 – 86°F. Water that is too cold can cause the uterus to contract, and water that is too warm can cause overheating.

Avoid hot tubs. This article from the Mayo Clinic explains that spending time in a hot tub while pregnant can be risky. Doing so can cause hyperthermia, which has been linked to miscarriages and neural tube defects.

Don’t overdo it. While swimming, and exercise in general, is great for pregnant women, you should not workout as strenuously as you may have prior to becoming pregnant. It is recommended that you not allow your heart rate to exceed 140 beats per minute.

Wear non-slip shoes. Poolside areas can be very slippery. That’s why you should be sure to have non-slip shoes to wear around the pool area, and even during your workout to avoid a slip and fall.

Wear sunscreen. If you’re going to be swimming outside, you should absolutely wear sunscreen. It recommends an SPF of 30 or 45. Not only is wearing sunscreen safer in general, doing so can also help prevent the mask of pregnancy.

Swimming Benefits

It aids in blood circulation. As this article notes, in addition to aiding in blood circulation, swimming can help alleviate the back pain that often comes with pregnancy. By helping to strengthen certain muscles, swimming helps prevent the spine and pelvic movement that can cause pain. This article explains that just standing in shoulder deep water can reduce blood pressure.

It helps with posture. Swimming can be a great posture aid because the buoyancy makes it easier to be upright and maintain positioning. It also points out that swimming can have a therapeutic massaging quality by “exerting force on your body and massaging your muscles as you move around.”

It helps reduce swelling. Swelling in the legs and feet is common for pregnant women. As this article explains, because gravity attributes to the fluid buildup, swimming can help relieve it because you’re able to float and move around more easily.

It reduces joint pain. As this article notes, reducing gravity’s pull can also be a great relief to women suffering from increased joint pain. It recommends swimming 30 minutes a day.

It helps treat gestational diabetes. As this information from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services notes, seven out of 100 women get gestational diabetes. The Agency notes that swimming is a great activity for women with gestational diabetes because it helps control blood sugar.

It helps relieve sciatica. As this article explains, during pregnancy, the sciatic nerve, which is the largest in the body and runs from the lower back down through both of the legs and ending at the feet, can become compressed. The buoyancy of water can help take that pressure off the nerve for pregnant women.

Debunking the Myths

Myth #1: Swimming causes premature labor, miscarriages, and birth defects. This article sets this myth straight by explaining that none of these factors are true. In fact, as long as you aren’t experiencing any problems, you can continue your regular swimming routine.

Myth #2: The chlorine will harm the baby. In this Q&A, someone asks, “Is it safe to swim in a chlorinated pool during pregnancy?” The doctor responses give the go ahead and bust this myth, explaining that well-monitored levels of chlorine are safe.

Myth #3: You shouldn’t swim unless you swam before you were pregnant. As this article from U.S. News & World Report notes, it is absolutely acceptable to start swimming when you become pregnant even if you weren’t swimming regularly before. Just be careful not to over do it, and consult your doctor or midwife before you begin.

Myth #4: You can’t swim in a lake. As this article notes, it isn’t unsafe to swim in a lake, but you should use your own judgment. The popular myth that all lake water leads to a higher risk for infection isn’t true. Some lake water is fine for swimming while pregnant. The article recommends obtaining water cleanliness data and using your own best judgment.

Myth #5: You have to know how to swim to enjoy the benefits of swimming while pregnant. You do not need to know how to swim to participate in many water exercises. As this article explains, many water exercises can be performed in waist or chest-high water. In fact, simply walking in the shallow end of a pool can have many benefits for pregnant women.

Get your Swim On, America!swimming-is-great-exercise-PM-sm

Dr. Pool

Dr. Pool

Additional Resources:


Favorite Pool Store Scams, Shams & Flimflams

POOL-STORE-LAYOUTBefore I moved north and took a position at InTheSwim, I was a regional manager of 6 stores, in a Texas pool supply chain.

I made a break from brick & mortar retail to online retail in 2005 – do you think the gag order has expired by now? :-)

Here’s a few things that you, as an educated pool supply consumer should know about your local pool store.

Pool Water Analysis

water-sample-bottleMany pool owners are in the habit of bottling up a sample of pool water and rushing it over to their local pool store for a pool water analysis. It’s a valuable service for many, however inconvenient it may be, but you should know that ‘free pool water testing’ is designed to sell chemicals.

The ranges for pH, Alkalinity and Calcium are very narrow and elevated, or ‘on the high side’. The tester can add more or less drops of indicator, to increase the adjustment chemicals needed, or fudge the numbers as they type in test results.

Pool store employees are usually incentivized or commissioned on chemical sales, and will load you up with more chemicals than you need, and some that you don’t. And, if your pool water problem isn’t fixed by their chemical prescription, they are happy to test your water sample again, and sell you more pool chemicals. However, any previously purchased but unused chemicals are non-returnable, sorry!

taylor-k2006Break free from pool store water testing by purchasing a Taylor Complete DPD test kit, either the K-2005 or the K-2006, and do your own water analysis. Kits include full waterproof instructions and testing manual with charts to calculate correct dosages. Your chemical costs will drop dramatically, and you will quickly learn your pool’s ‘chemical personality’.

Pool Renovations

…or pool services, equipment installations or repairs, etc – You don’t see many full-on pool stores that have a reputation for a good service / repair / installation department.

Some companies can pull off both concerns, Retail -and- Repair divisions, but in most pool stores, the service division is ignored, and becomes a source of major complaints, and poor online reviews.

If your local pool store tells you that they do renovations, they don’t. They use local subcontractors to complete various phases or the entire job, and may not even visit the job site. This results in delays, mis-communication and little sub-contractor accountability and oversight.

Overpriced Stuff

You can expect to pay more when you buy at a local store. The retailer will tell you that it costs money for all this ‘brick and mortar’. True, it is more expensive per square foot for urban retail space than it is for rural warehouse space.

The larger expense is not the rent, but the COGS, or cost of goods sold. Unless you are a Leslie’s PoolMart or Pinch-a-Penny, local pool stores don’t generally have a lot of buying power; when you buy a dozen at a time from pool distributors, your COGS is fairly high.

12-warehouses-for-shippingPool stores are also limited in the number of items they carry, the average pool store carries between 300-500 items. This requires them to sell only tried and tested items that will bring a good profit. InTheSwim by contrast, has over 25000 items, stocked in 12 warehouses around the country.

Fake Sales

You know the deal – prices slowly rise during summer, so they can slash the price during fall and spring. Most stores cycle their prices 3-4x per year, with different items (chemicals, parts, toys, floats, patio items) being marked down, either just before, or just after the peak in annual sales for those items.

HUGE-SALE-BANNER-PURCH-FROM-ISTOCKPHOTOWhen done correctly, sale prices on most items don’t reduce overall profit margin, as long as purchasing and sales forecasting was correct, and the store is not forced to liquidate overstock items.

OK; we’re done here…

Caveat Emptor ~ let the buyer beware! Do you know of more pool store scams? Leave a Reply below ~

Watch how you spend your money this summer – and take charge of your own pool water testing, twice a week, with a professional test kit. It takes just a few minutes, twice per week.

Davy Merino
InTheSwim Blog Editor