If you’re experiencing low or no water flow, don’t despair! This is a common issue and can be an easy fix sometimes. Here are a few quick checks you can do to see where the issue might be, and some simple ways to rectify them.
Flow problems can happen for a few reasons, and if not fixed quickly can lead to damage to your equipment further, costing you more than expected! If you would like assistance, you can book in one of our experienced team members to find and fix the problem for you here!
Top 5 reasons for low or no flow
#1 Blocked Baskets
The most common reason for low or no water flow is your skimmer and/or pump baskets are full of leaves or other debris. Check and empty both the skimmer basket (by the pool) and the pump basket (inside the pump) to reduce restrictions & help free up the water flow. Check for broken or cracked baskets at the same time & replace if required. Note that you should not have leaves consistently building up in the pump basket, they should be collected in the skimmer basket. If this happens regularly it usually suggests your skimmer basket may have a split in it. If pump baskets are choked with leaves then you run the risk of blocking the impellor inside the pump (see point 5 below).
*Always turn the pump off before you remove the baskets! If your pool pump is below water level you will need to close any valves in front of the pump and set the multiport valve on the filter to ‘closed’ to avoid water spilling everywhere!
#2 Low water level
The ideal water level for your pool is at least halfway up the skimmer box opening. Your pool water level can drop below the skimmer box and reduce (or even stop) water flow through the system during long spells of hot weather, windy conditions, no rainfall, or just extra swimming. Sometimes the water level looks right and the pump will prime but loses prime again within a few seconds, we call this surging and it is caused by low water level.
*When filling up the pool with water from the garden hose or water tank, ensure that you have your water tested with us for phosphates after your water level is back to normal.
#3 Check if your pump is primed
Look through the clear pump lid while the pump is on, if it isn’t filled with water, your pump isn’t “primed”. Pumps are not always fully primed right to the top but it should be at least at the top of the basket.
Turn the pump off and remove the lid (don’t lose the o’ring!). Empty the pump basket of any debris and replace it, then use a bucket to manually fill the pump, this is called priming.
Pour it in slowly and once the water stops gurgling and the level stays at the top of the pump basket, replace the pump lid with the o’ring and turn your pump back on. This is usually enough to “jump-start” the pump although, if water doesn’t start flowing through after 30-60 seconds, turn the pump off.
Sometimes priming won’t work on the first try, and you need to repeat a few times to make it catch. To help with water flow, try disconnecting the suction cleaner, remove the vacuum plate and clean the skimmer basket before trying again.
Still no flow? While the pump is turned off rotate the multiport valve handle to “recirculate” and try priming the pump again.
If after these tips you still can’t get your pump to prime, turn the pump off, give the pool a shock dose of chlorine and contact us for assistance.
#4 Clean your filter
A dirty filter will reduce water flow as the pump can only push water through so much dirt and debris. Try backwashing and rinsing your media filter. If this still doesn’t work, turn the pump off and set your filter to ‘recirculate’. Once you have normal flow again, try backwashing then rinsing. If this fails to get your flow back, you may be due for a media change.
For cartridge filters, you will need to clean the cartridge by removing it from the housing *ensure that the pump is off and any valves are closed if below water level.
Hose the cartridge clean or replace if necessary and re-assemble, lubricate the o’rings and open any valves. Turn the pump on and bleed the air from the top until water comes out and you’re ready to go again!
D.E filters need to be backwashed and every few months they’ll need cleaning by disassembling, hosing & reassembling. Similar to the cartridge filters, ensure the pump is off and any valves are closed beforehand. Clean, re-assemble, open the valves and bleed the air to finish!
If you’re not sure how or confident to do these contact us to do it for you.
# 5 Check pump impeller
*we do not recommend you take your pump apart unless you know what you are doing as this can void the warranty and cause further damage. In this case it best to contact us to have a professional look over your equipment.
The impeller is essentially a spinning, hollow disc that draws in water at the centre and spins it out at high pressure. If your pump impeller is clogged, it will not be able to move as much water. This blockage is usually caused by a broken or split skimmer or pump basket. If you had a lot of leaves in the pump basket or having to regularly empty the pump basket may be an indication the impellor is blocked.
Remove the power plug so the pump cannot be turned on. Take the pump lid off and remove the pump basket. Use a small tool or your fingers to remove any debris from the inlet to the impeller which is behind the pump basket.
If you’re still having continued issues with your pool’s water flow, the fastest and simplest way to find a solution is to call or visit our shop staff who are always on hand to help troubleshoot, don’t forget to bring in a water sample with you, alternatively, you can call us to book a service or click below to request online.