How Long Do Pool Pumps Last?

Reviewed by Andrada Simion, Master of Science in Chemistry

Your swimming pool pump is an important part of your setup. It circulates your water and keeps it clean. But how long do they last, and what should you do if you need to replace one? Here are some tips to help you know what to do.

  1. The Average Lifespan
    Most last somewhere between 8 and 12 years, depending on whether you use them regularly or not. The type of pump you have can also affect how long they last.
  2. Size Affects Longevity
    A smaller pump will have to work harder to circulate water throughout your pool, which means they will burn out faster. They will have to run longer and more often, which will shorten their lifespan.
  3. Single Speed Pumps
    These are usually cheaper upfront than the variable speed type, costing between $150-$500. However, because these can only run at one speed, they will always be using the same amount of energy. This results in them needing to be replaced sooner.
  4. Variable Speed Pumps
    These tend to last longer than the single speed options because they can be run in a more efficient manner. They may be more expensive to buy, with a price range of $700-$1700, but they can cost less in the long run.
  5. More Usage Means a Shorter Lifespan
    Running them often means less time before they will need to be serviced. You won’t necessarily have to replace the whole thing at this point, but new parts may be required to keep it in working order.
  6. Repair or Replace
    When something isn’t working right, you need to determine if it’s something that can be repaired, or if it’s time to replace the whole thing. There may simply be something wrong with the motor or other pieces, which can usually be fixed with replacement parts. However, if the problem is with the pump in general, it might be time to get a new one altogether.
  7. Motors Don’t Last as Long as the Pumps
    Single speeds use a copper winding motor that generally last 3-4 years. Variable speeds use a magnetic drive motor that will need to be replaced after about 6-8 years. While copper winding motors are cheaper, the fact that they’ll need to be replaced twice as often as magnetic drive motors means you’ll be spending more money over the lifespan of your pump.
  8. The Way It Sounds Can Indicate Motor Problems
    When you start to hear loud grinding, intense screeching, or pops and clicks, your motor may need to be replaced. A constant humming noise could be a sign that your capacitor has overheated. This can easily be repaired without professional assistance. However, you’re not hearing any sounds, that means your pump is dead.
  9. Signs It Needs to Be Replaced
    If the housing has been cracked or is wearing down, it means you may need to replace it soon. Older pumps that are made out of materials like cast iron or bronze are no longer viable, and their parts have almost all been discontinued. These should be replaced by the newer PVC variety, as well as any that are 12 years old or more.
  10. Regular Maintenance Can Extend Their Lifespan
    Cleaning them on a regular basis and checking the condition of their parts will help to keep them running for longer. If you make sure to change out any broken O-rings, worn away sealant, screws that are missing, or housings that have been cracked, you’ll be able to extend its life.
  11. Try to Detect Defects Early
    Most variable speed options shouldn’t suffer any problems until they’re at least 5 years old. Your manufacturer’s warranty often covers any defects that occur prior to that point. Make sure to check your pump regularly to detect any issues as soon as possible, allowing you to get them fixed at no cost to yourself.
  12. When in Doubt, Call a Pro
    If you’re having trouble figuring out what’s wrong and aren’t sure if you need a simple repair or a replacement, call in a professional to determine that for you. They are experts on pumps of every variety, so they’ll be able to tell you exactly what’s wrong and what you need to do to fix it.