The pump on your pool is a motor-driven device that circulates water through the filter system to keep the water clean and free of debris. It is the core of your pool's filtration system. During normal operation, the noise made by the pump motor should be a barely audible hum, but when the pump begins to make louder noises, it's a sign that something is amiss. Not only is the noise disruptive, it usually signals that the filter system is no longer cleaning the pool properly.

Swimming pool with clear water.
An efficient pump and filter system will help keep your pool sparkling. The noise it makes should not be disruptive.

Fortunately, the problem can be remedied with a simple inspection and adjustment. Here are some reasons why a pool pump might become overly loud, including the solutions and proceeding to the most complex problems.

Check the Water Level

If the water level in your pool has fallen below mid-height on the skimmer faceplate, it's possible that air is getting into the pool filtration system. When air gets in, it disrupts the pump's vacuum environment that is needed to filter the water. This puts more strain on the pool pump, causing it to sound louder as it works harder. Adding water to the pool will resolve the problem. Ideally, the water level should be up to about the top third of the skimmer faceplate.

Make Sure the Pump and Filter Housing Are Level

An Intex pool pump and housing.
credit: Intex
The pool filter pump must be installed perfectly level to operate correctly.

Check the pool pump and filter base to see if it was installed on level ground. If the filter system is sitting on an uneven base or on ground that's not level, the internal moving parts of the pool pump will cause the entire filter and the motor to vibrate. It's not uncommon for ground to settle unevenly, throwing the pump housing out of level, and it's usually not hard to level it up again. Sometimes solving the noisy pump problem is as simple as securing the base for the filtration system.

Make Sure the Skimmer Basket Is Clean

Skimmer basket being cleaned.
credit: Swimmingpool.com
Keep the skimmer free of debris to reduce the load on the pump motor

Clear the pump basket and skimmer basket with a garden hose. If these two baskets are filled with debris, the pool pump motor must work twice as hard to suction the water from the pool and push it through to the filter. Anytime the motor is overworked, it will make more noise. Keeping the basket areas clean will reduce pump motor noise.

Examine and Clean the Pump Impeller

A swimming pool pump impeller.
credit: Poolcenter.com
The pump impeller can become clogged with debris.

Examine the pool pump impeller. To do this, turn off the filter, unplug the pump, and open the pump basket lid. Pull out the pump basket and reach your fingers down through the tube leading from the pump basket toward the impeller. Touch the impeller to see if it's clogged with debris or if it is wobbly. Too much debris or a wobbling impeller will cause the pump to sound loud. Remove the debris if it's dirty. Use pliers to bend a stiff piece of wire to create a hook at the end. The hook will help you remove debris. If the impeller is wobbly, you may need to have it adjusted or replaced.

Replace Bad Bearings

If you hear a whining sound in the motor, it's time to replace the bearings. This is an intricate process, so call a technician familiar with the inner workings of a pool pump motor.