Pro Tip #15

Why is my pump motor hot?

The practical application of pumps and hydraulics is quite an in-depth study in engineering. The concepts of flow, horsepower, and energy consumption sometimes seem to be almost counter-intuitive and contrary to the way we naturally think – such as a pump requiring more energy to pump less water than the pump was designed to pump. There is, though, a question that commonly arises in the pool industry: “My pump motor is so hot, what is going on?”

The two go-to answers are:


  • Lower voltage is being supplied to the motor than what is actually required. Voltage can easily be confirmed a volt meter. It is surprising to learn how inconsistent utility company voltage can be.
  • The pump is doing more work (flowing more water) than what it is designed and built for. The more flow the pump produces, the more horsepower it uses and amperage it consumes – and in turn, a higher amp draw can easily exceed the motor’s rating and design. There are many ways to solve these problems. The most common is as simple as closing a valve on the pressure side of the system a bit. Other solutions can be more complex.

In either case, expensive damage to the motor or pump will eventually  occur if left attended. Always use a qualified expert to install, trouble-shoot and check these systems. Typical high voltage used for large commercial pool systems offer no room for mistakes.

If you need assistance, please give us a call. We do this type of troubleshooting all the time.