Swimming pool pump replacement

The task of swimming pool pump replacement is not all that difficult, but what you don’t know can kill you, or make you liable for injury in the future.  Replacing a pump without knowing the hydraulics of your plumbing system can increase the risk of suction entrapment.  Pool pumps come in a variety of sizes and horse power and despite the ease of installation, swimming pool pumps must be sized accordingly to avoid negligence.

The other issue with pool pump replacement is the electrical service.  Pool pumps should last for many years and if they are failing after a short period of time, the problem could be electrical in nature.  Things you need to consider when replacing a pool pump are:

  • Is the conductor feeding power to the pump the right size?
  • Is there a GFCI breaker on my pool pump
  • Is the conductor properly enclosed in conduit
  • Is the conductor the right gauge for the length of run for my pump
  • Is my electrical bonding in place for the pool pump
  • Is the conductor sized to 125% of the continious load of the pump

How To Avoid Risk

Pool pumps are electric motors and under the national electric code, there are equirements for swimming pool pumps to meet the above conditions.  What steps can you take to help ensure this?

  • Hire a licensed electrical contractor familiar with swimming pool pumps
  • Ensure you take out an electrical permit when replacing your pool pump
  • If you do not have a GFCI breaker on your pool pump, ensure that you add one when you replace it

Plumbing Considerations with swimming pool pump replacement

As mentioned earlier, pool pumps come in a variety of sizes, does your pump use 1-1/2″ or 2″ or 3″ PVC? If you have any question as to what is correct, you should consult your local pool professional trained to address this.  Does your swimming pool have two main drains? Are they spaced 36″ apart and are the drain covers VGBA compliant?  The person who touches your pool pump last is also responsible for your pools compliance.  Replacing a pump is a modification of the swimming pool plumbing system and even on a residential pool, you want to ensure that you are not taking on additional risks by using a pump that is too strong for your system.

Safety When Replacing a pool pump

Consider a pump with SVRS (suction vacuum release system) this is a special type of system that will break suction if something becomes entrapped on a drain cover. It is a way to help prevent accidential drowning due to entrapment.

Now it’s time to find the right pump

When replacing your swimming pool pump, you should consider energy efficient options such as a variable speed pump.  These pumps can save you a ton of money on electrcity and they are highly efficient compared to a single speed pool pump.

Follow all manufacturer directions when replacing a pool pump. Pumps require 5x pipe diameter in front of the pump to help smooth out the turbulence of pool water.  This phenomenon is called cavitation and can seriously damage your pool pump causing premature failure.  If you don’t know how to adjust your pool plumbing, you should consider hiring a pool expert with experience.  Taking a few minutes to consider a pool pump replacement might be more than buying something and swapping it out, could help save you a lot of money in the long run, and help preserve your equipment warranty.

Need to replace your pool pump? 


large pool pump


author avatar
Swimming pool contractor licensed in Wisconsin and Texas. CPO Certified and PHTA Certified instructor.