Why Does My Above Ground Pool Pump Loose Pressure

An above-ground pool pump is indispensable to every swimming pool owner. It does all the work of cleansing and disinfecting your entire pool. Therefore, if it loses pressure, you could be in trouble. You could stop using the swimming pool for a couple of days before you fix the problem. At least, you can identify the problem and apply the suggested solutions.

Often, low pump pressure is due to the entry of air into the pumping system. The air finds its way through the hose, skimmer, strainer, or valves. This article will guide you through solving the root cause of low pump pressure for a stress-free lifestyle. It will also offer you the confidence to take a similar case whenever the issue recurs. So, it’s all for long-term purposes.

How Does a Pool System Work?

Before you pick a pool pump, it is essential to understand how it works. A pool has two piping sides. The suction end; it comes before the pump plus, the pressure end; it comes after the pump. The pump sucks water from the pool by creating a vacuum. It then pushes the water through the filter for purification.

If there is an air leak on the suction end, it will lower the pump pressure. On the other hand, an air leak on the pressure end will cause pressure to build up and spray the water.

The air leak acts like a barrier. This barrier causes low pump pressure after it invades the suction end. In the case of the pressure end, the force increases and causes water to spray out.

Common Pump Problems and Solutions

1. Low Water Level

It may sound too minor of a problem, but this is what may be causing low pump pressure. If the water level of your pool is lower than the skimmer opening, be sure to raise it. The ideal water level is halfway above the skimmer opening.

You can detect low water levels by hearing a gurgling sound or the sound of rocks bumping into each other. It always indicates that the pump barely has water entry.

The solution is to turn off your pool pump and raise the water level. Afterward, the pump will run normally.

2. A Clogged Skimmer Basket

This issue is somehow related to the problem above. The side effects are quite the same. You will notice uncomfortable and weird sounds of gurgling. Therefore, if you tried to raise the water level and failed, go ahead and check the skimmer basket.

A clogged skimmer basket may have accumulated debris over time. The clog is blocking the waterway between the pump and simmer, thus little water goes into the pump. If less water is entering the pump, then the output is equally low. Less water output leads to low pump pressure.

The solution is to remove the skimmer basket and clear the debris.

3. A Clogged Strainer Basket

A clogged strainer basket has similar effects and causes as a clogged simmer basket. Accumulated debris reduces the flow of water into and from the pool pump. The solution is still the same, detach the basket and clean it by removing the dirt.

4. Clogged Filter

Similar to the previous clog issue, a blocked filter pump will prevent water passage. If water cannot get into the pump, then it cannot perform the expected task. However, this will raise the water pressure of the water filter, signaling that it is time to clean the filter.

Follow the steps below to clean your filter.

Take out the filter. Make a Trisodium Phosphate solution and leave the filter to soak overnight. This solution is responsible for cleaning the grease and gunk from the folds.

For thorough cleaning, make a weak muriatic acid solution (10:1). Do not begin with this step because the gunk will stay on the folds.

If you have sand filters, you should replace the sand after 5 to 7 years. For regular maintenance, backwash the sand and when it molds together, replace the caked parts.

5. Clogged Impeller

This problem is less likely, so people overlook it. If there is debris on the impellers, water cannot rotate on their sides. It decreases the pressure and water flow in the pool pump.

Here are the steps for cleaning the impeller:

  • Remove the pump basket and its lid
  • Take a thin wire and use pliers to bend a ½ or ¾ inch hook
  • Bend the wire 6inches from the hooked end
  • Insert the wire into the gap leading to the impeller until it halts
  • Fish around for dirt
  • Pull the dirt out until you are sure there is nothing left
  • Put the basket and lid back

6. Suction Leak


Check the pump lid o ring, drain plugs, and pump intake pipes. These are common areas that could cause a suction leak. A big leak will result in a lot of air build-up that eventually makes the pump lose its prime.

A small leak will cause the pump to suck in and air and amass at the top of the sieving tank. The air will counter the pressure release from the pump after some time, then the water flow decreases. When the pool pump is off, the air pressure will cause the water in the suction hose to retreat. Sometimes, water may flow through the skimmer.

The answer is to locate the leak in the pipes and bind it.

Diverter Valves

They regulate the flow of water from the skimmer, vacuum lines, and main drain. The seals can also allow entry of air into the pumping system.

If this is the case, replace or fix the seals.

Plumbing Fittings

The fitting on the suction end of the pump can suck in air. The solution is replacing those fittings.

7. Many Water Entries

Opening many water features for filling the pool while pumping the water at the same time will affect pump pressure. The colliding pressure from the entries will reduce the pump pressure. It is similar to connecting multiple hoses to a single sprinkler. It ultimately reduces the water pressure of the sprinkler.

The answer is to reduce the water features or buy a motor with higher horsepower.

Final Words

I cannot promise that your pool pump will not act up again in the future. But you can be sure that you will solve the problem. Hopefully, this information will be your guide as you navigate the issue. Out of experience, low pump pressure is a significant setback but not as hard to handle.


I am Vera Watson. Drawing The House is a dream that was conceived when I saw a niche in consumer guide on almost everything in our homes. My main aim is to help you save money by testing the products you need and recommending you the best of them all. I believe in the family as an institution and the first way to make a family happy is providing the best for them.

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