Your pump life expectancy can range from 4-7 years on an average. It will last longer if you change out the shaft seal every few years as preventative maintenance.
If you run 24×7, I would say 4-5 years is average, and it is likely time for a replacement motor, assuming there are no leaks or cracks in the wet end. Swapping out motors is simple, you need not have to disconnect any of the plumbing, simply 8 bolts, unscrew the impeller, and swap out the electrical connection.
Factors that Determine a Pool Pump LifeSpan
Exposure is the greatest factor here. Exposure to the elements, and a leaking/worn shaft seal are the main cause of motor failure.
The wet end of the pump is pretty bullet proof, you simply have a skimmer basket that filters out the larger stuff, then you can have the pool pump basket that catches smaller items, then what goes through is micro enough to pass through the impeller.
Impeller wear is really not an issue, unless you’re not filtering out the debris.
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It is common knowledge that pumps tend to fail on the dry side. They’re metal, so exposure to water can trigger corrosion over time, and then the bearing worn or wet can lead to noise that you hear before the motor goes. As the bearing wear, it triggers heat to build up in the windings, that heat then begins to break down the insulation, then you get winding failure. No cost-effective fix for winding failure.
My above ground pool is 11 years old, so I have some experience here.
The pump housing and impeller will last forever as far as you remove dirt and don’t allow it freeze with water in it. The seal on the ceramic impeller bearing will leak after many years, but it is cheap and simple to replace. I recommend replacing the ceramic bearing as well.
The weakest link is the front bearing in the motor. If left outside over winter season, it will fail about every 4 years. Although cheap to replace, the bearing is not simple to replace. To make it last longer, you should bring the pump indoors for the winter.
Your pump motor switches also fail fairly often. The in-rush current and inductive load nature of the motor just eats mechanical contacts up. Nothing you can do about this really.
Other failures I’ve had (and fixed):
- The foam gasket
This (moving plate in the multi-valve) came loose from the plate and tore. I replace the whole assembly for a nice amount of money.
- The Shaft
The shaft on the multi-valve plate snapped and I had to do the whole plate assembly (not to expensive). You however need a big c-clamps or vise to hold the valve unit together (strong spring!) while re-assembling.
- Crappy Hoses
The cheap hoses that came with the pool failed after 4 years of use. I had to order some horses from Amazon (CHECK ON AMAZON) that has a spiral plastic on the outside. It seems to be lasting forever. 15 years and still going strong!