Maintaining your Pool with a Broken Pool Pump

You’re sitting down poolside, enjoying an early morning coffee, reading the Mr Pool Man Blog on your tablet or phone, enjoying the silence and the chirping of the birds when you realize something: the pool pump is not running! You rush to your pool pump, check all the connections, the breakers, the switches, anything that might cause your pump to malfunction when a cold chill runs down your spine, your pool pump has died.

You call your local pool repair service guy and they’re fully booked for the next two weeks. You try to tinker with the pump but no luck, it’s dead, the motor is burned out and there’s nothing you could do to give it a quick fix, you’re thinking to yourself “I should have maintained the pump better” but it’s too late.

You decide to order from your trusted online pool shop but it’ll take a few days for your new pool pump to be delivered because of all the logistic backlogs with the local courier services. What do you do? How do you stave off the thing that most pool owners dread, algae bloom!

Test, Test, and Test your pool water

If you have a dead pool pump, then the thing that you must do is test your water every day while waiting! It’s more important now than ever before to monitor your pool chemical levels, especially your pool chlorine, to ensure that it’s at its proper levels. Why is this important? Having a high pool chlorine level is critical when your pool pump isn’t functioning because the water isn’t being circulated and filtered! Knowing your chemical levels will allow you to adjust your pool chemical levels on the fly to keep it up to optimum levels.

Manually Chlorinate your Pool

I was about to say to turn your salt water chlorinator to its maximum level, but I just realized that salt water chlorinators won’t work without a pool pump! It's time to roll up your sleeves and pretend we're back in the good ole days! After testing, make sure to give your pool a healthy dose of pool chlorine to ensure that any biological contaminant is destroyed. Remember our recommended free chlorine levels of 1-3ppm? Well, while your pump is down, try to maintain it on the higher end of the spectrum (3ppm) to ensure that nothing survives or grows in your pool water while it isn't being filtered.

Note: Be sure to double check and triple check your cyanuric acid levels if you're using stabilised chlorine to make sure that you're not going above the recommended levels.

Call in some Backup with Algaecide and Phosphate Remover

As soon as your pump dies, give your pool the recommended dosages of algaecide and phosphate remover to get rid of any algae spores or growths that may snowball in the coming days. After dosing the pool, be sure to give it a scrub (see below) to properly disperse the algaecide the phosphate remover.

The idea here is to get your pool water as contaminant-free as possible while waiting for your new pump replacement as the water won't be filtered out for quite some time. Click here for more information on phosphate removers and algaecide.

Brush your pool, at least twice a day

Get your workout in by brushing your pool at least twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon! By brushing your pool surfaces, you’re essentially dislodging whatever dirt and algae that are starting to take root. Not only that, by brushing your pool surfaces, you’re effectively agitating the water and you’re helping circulate the water by a little bit. Stagnant water is the enemy!

Fish out pool debris ASAP

Don’t give pool debris a chance to break down and become un-fishable, especially without a pool pump running and filtering your pool water. Smaller pieces of leaves and debris will break down faster, causing phosphates to be deposited into your pool, and you know what phosphates are, algae food! The faster you get organic debris out of your pool, the fewer phosphates get deposited into your pool water and the fewer chance algae blooms can happen without your pool pump running.

Put your Robotic Pool Cleaner to work

This is where your robotic pool cleaner shines! If you have a robotic pool cleaner, have it do a cleaning cycle twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening to scrub down the pool surfaces and to circulate and filter your pool water at the same time. Since robotic pool cleaners don’t rely on your pool pump to function, they can go a long way in keeping your pool water clean and clear while waiting for your pool pump replacement.

Create a Venturi pump fountain

If you have a V-pump then you can also use it to circulate your pool water in a pinch. A V-pump can move around 3000-4000 liters of water per hour so you can essentially circulate your pool water without using your pool pump. Take note though that a V-Pump will add water to your pool so you’ll have to carefully monitor your pool water level if you’re using this trick. V-pumps are rated at 10:1 so every 10 liters of water it moves, it will use up (or in this case, add) one liter of water to your pool. This is a less stressful way of circulating your pool water when your pool pump is not functioning. Just make sure to test and rebalance your pool water after as the addition of new water will dilute your chemical levels, especially your pool chlorine.

Run your water features

If you have water features on a separate pumping system then run it! Every little bit of water circulation helps, especially with a busted pool pump. Don’t worry about the filtration right now because there’s nothing you can do about it, but circulation is very important.

Make your decisions fast

Once you start seeing problems with your pool pump, don’t delay! Call your local pool repair service to have them check out your equipment. Don’t wait until it has totally broken down before acting! Is your pool pump showing its age? Maybe it’s time to replace it with a new and more efficient variable speed pump! Mr Pool Man is Australia’s online pool shop of choice when it comes variable speed pumps and other pool supplies. Not only that, Mr Pool Man also has flexible payment plans which you can check out on our payments page, so you can replace your aging pool equipment even before they start to fully break down on you.  

Need a pump that will retrofit your existing pump? Head on down to our collection of pool pumps to browse one of the largest selections of pool pumps in Australia.

Too little, too late? Well, don't worry, we have a great guide on how to deal with algae blooms and green pool water here.

Do you have any questions about this topic or the featured products? No worries, we're here to help! Drop us a question down below and we'll get back to you ASAP.

Happy swimming :)

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