Intex pool pumps come as a pool filter and pump combo. That means it’s the heart of your pool circulation and filtration system. It keeps the water moving at the same time, cleaning it of debris and other microscopic dirt.
When your pool pump isn’t working, then you won’t enjoy your swimming. In short, when the pool pump isn’t happy, no one will be happy.
Even though these essentials are a must for healthy pool operation, at times, they fail. When issues pop up, you’re supposed to get everything back to normal.
The signs of a pump failure are mostly quite clear. It might not start, fail to pump, or even produce certain unfriendly noises. Before you can start panicking, you could start with basic Intex pool pump troubleshooting.
This post will take you through the basic things you can do to troubleshoot common problems you might experience with your Intex pool pump.
What Type of Intex Pool Pump Do You Have?
Before you can start troubleshooting your pump system, know the type of model you have installed. Typically, there are two types of Intex pool filter pumps:
Intex Sand Filter Pump
Intex Sand Filter Pump comes with a huge tank filled with special sand to act as a filter. It has a separate pump unit that connects to the sand tank with a small hose.
Intex Cartridge Filter Pump
Intex Cartridge Filter Pump type uses a cartridge filter and arrives as a single unit with the pump built inside the cartridge housing. It usually’s smaller than the Intex sand filter pump.
Intex Cartridge Filter Pump models come with the pump and cartridge on separate housing similar to the Intex sand filter pump.
Both system’s troubleshooting is similar, but how you solve the issues might differ. That’s why it’s crucial you know the type of system you’re using.
How to Troubleshoot Your Intex Pool Pump (8 Common Problems)
Here are the most common problems you might face with your Intex pool filter pump and their respective troubleshooting techniques.
1) Intex Pool Pump Not Starting
Imagine you woke up and run to turn your Intex pool pump to prepare it for a big day ahead. When you switch it on, pap, nothing, or it starts and shuts off almost immediately.
The possible culprits for such a problem are either loose electrical connection, tripped off breaker, or faulty safety.
How Do You Fix This Problem?
Solution 1: The first step is to track the power cables from the wall socket to the pool pump, checking for loose connections. Remove plugs and reconnect them this time, making sure you fit the right.
Solution 2: If your Intex pool pump doesn’t start, you got to test the wall socket for power. You will need a multimeter or a tester.
A multimeter will tell you the volts passing through the outlet, while the tester will check the presence of power in the socket.
The benefit of using a multimeter instead of a tester is, the device will tell you if your pool pump is receiving enough volts (between 110 and 120 volts).
Start by setting the dial to AC voltage marked with a capital V and a small wave sign (V~) or the AC sign. Since you’re testing the 120-volt socket, set the dial to 200 volts.
On the multimeter, insert the black probe on the COM position and the red probe on the VΩmA point. Once you confirm everything is set right, take the black lead and insert it to either the long slot or the socket’s ground plug.
Insert the red lead to the short or hot slot. You want to make sure you insert the probes in that order. If you insert the red probe first, you risk getting electrocuted by the energized black probe.
If you get anything above 110 volts, the outlet is okay, and you can move to solution 3. But if you get less or zero, there is a problem, mainly on the breaker box.
Go to your breaker box, and if there is any, that’s stripped off. If there is, then turn it on. If there is none stripped off, then shut all the breakers off and turn them on. The breaker might have gone off from the inside.
That should do. If you still get zero or less than 110 volts from the outlet. Call an electrician to check the whole line out.
Solution 3: Check the safety plug on the pump cable that plugs to the wall socket. It comes with two buttons, red (reset) and yellow (test).
If water was to enter it, there could be a short circuit or rust that could be interfering with the connection.
Clean the terminals with some baking powder and water. If you need to open them, mark how they are and screw them back in that order.
If your Intex pool pump still doesn’t start, it’s a mechanical problem, mostly a dead motor. It’d be best to take it to a professional for a checkup.
2) Intex Pump Runs But Isn’t Pumping
There might be something interrupting the water suctioning or reducing the water flow reducing the pump efficiency in such a case.
The problem could be causing prime loss. There might be an obstruction, dirty filter, or air in the plumbing system.
How Do You Fix This Problem?
Solution 1: Make the filter flow is correct. You will want to make sure nothing is blocking the pump or filter flow.
Sand Filter Pump
Start by checking the filter gauge. If above 10 PSI, start by backwashing the filter sand to take all the debris out. This will reduce and reset the water flow.
Cartridge Filter Pump
The best solution here is to clean or replace the filter cartridge. Shut the pool connector valves on the plumbing if you have them.
If you don’t have them, raise the filter to a high spot. Open the air release valve on the housing top. Once the air has escaped, open the housing cover, remove the filter cartridge, and rinse it with a hose.
If the dirt gets off quickly, clean it and return it. If it’s not getting clean, the best solution would be to get a new Intex filter replacement.
Solution 2: Check for blocking, especially for the Intex pool pumps that come with the filter and pump on separate housing.
The outlet that connects the pump housing to the filter housing can collect hair and other materials that can clog it.
Check it out. Start by shutting the pump and water off and gently remove the hose. Unscrew the tightening screw fix.
Remove anything that shouldn’t be there and reassemble everything back tight and snug. While at it, remember to make sure the O-Ring sits in the correct position.
You should also check the impeller for blockage. It’s almost impossible for the upright single unit filter pumps’ impeller to get blocked. This is a problem for the two housing Intex filter pumps.
To check for the impeller blockage, you will need to shut off the pump. Shut off the water flow and remove the hose connecting from the pool.
Unscrew the top cover and side cover that connect to the hose pipe from the pool. At this point, you should be able to see the gasket on top of the impeller.
Pull it out gently, and you should be able to reach the impeller itself. Remove anything that doesn’t belong there. It could be hair, feathers, or any matter.
Solution 3: If the plumbing system has air, it could be coming from the skimmer if your water level is low or clogs are blocking the water flow.
If your Intex pool water level is below the skimmer top, the water getting into the circulation system could combine with air. Solving this problem is easy. All you need is to refill the pool water until it covers the skimmer right.
Also, check for debris in the skimmer basket and if you find any, clean them and hose them off. Fill the strainer basket with clean water and reseal it.
Air could be getting into the plumbing system through leaks in the pump housing, worn-out shaft seal, or thread sealant.
Inspect the O-Rings in the pump, the shaft seal, not forgetting the threaded sealants. The O-Ring is the tiny rubber ring that provides a seal when you connect the pipes.
If there are leaks around the O-Ring, it might be worn out or broken. The best solution is to replace all the leaking O-Rings with a new O-Ring set.
When replacing it, apply some petroleum jelly or Vaseline around the O-Ring and install it. Ensure all the covers and pipes are securely tightened.
3) Intex Pool Pump Runs, But Produces Loud Screeching Noise
It’s pretty easy to get frustrated when your Intex sand or cartridge filter pump produces gargling or screeching noise. At times the sound can be irritating for your neighbors.
If your Intex pool pump sounds like stones rotating inside a basket, it might be starved for water, or the impeller is loose and wiggling.
How do you fix this problem?
Solution 1: Check for blockage along the suction lines. If the suction valve is clogged with hair or other things, the pump will struggle to pull the water, thus becoming noise. Unclog it and test your pool pump again.
Solution 2: If you still hear the noises, close the pipe valves or lift the pump above the pool water. That stops the water flow to the pump.
Open the air release valve slow, and once the air gets in, you can now open the housing cover. For the small cartridge model, you’ll need to clean the filter first before returning it.
If you’re using a sand filter pump or the cartridge filter pump with the pump housing on the side, you only have to open the pump unit alone.
Remove the impeller gasket, and you should have access to the impeller itself. Remove it gently. It’s a small, fan-like piece with a magnetic tail.
The impeller is rotated by the magnetic effect produced by the motor. It’s supported by a small, stick-like piece that runs through it in the center.
If broken, then the impeller will be floating, thus touching the motor walls. When removing it, you might even leave the broken piece inside the impeller housing.
Use nose pliers to remove it and find an ideal replacement for the stick-like support. The size has to be identical to fit both ends and through the impeller.
Once you replace the broken piece, you can reassemble everything back. Remember to leave the air release valve open before you can turn on the pump. Allow some water to flow out through the valve to force all the air out, then shut it off.
Solution 3: if you still get the noises, your Intex pump could be more potent for your pool size. The best solution is to downgrade to a less powerful model to avoid future problems.
How Do You Tell If Your Intex Pool Pump is Going Bad?
The truth is, your Intex pool pump won’t last forever. At some point, after some years of operation, it will eventually retire.
Usually, it’d take you some repairs that aren’t helping you realize it’s time to retire it. But if you want some signs to tell you it is going bad, here they are:
This is something you experience with Intex sand filter pump and cartridge filter pump with separate housing.
If you try the methods I discussed above, but you still get constant dripping even when it’s off, that is a sign its seal on the pump housing is worn out.
Constant loss of Prime
Intex pool pumps use a magnetic field to rotate the impeller. If something were to happen to the electrical side, then the impeller’s magnet wouldn’t rotate, and that could cause a priming problem.
If the impeller’s positioning is correct and you’re getting priming problems, that is a sign you need a new Intex pool pump unit.
Most of the problems you will face with your Intex pool pump are easy to fix with simple DIY skills. But if you came across a problem that you are hesitating to try, don’t be afraid to call a professional to help you out. An Intex pool pump should last up to around 8-10 years. If yours is close to that, and you’re getting the above signs, it might probably be the best time to think of buying a new Intex pool pump.