The picture above is the pressure gauge on my swimming pool’s cartridge filter. This is about the pressure it should be at to operate properly, 25 p.s.i. (pounds per square inch). If it is very far outside this range while the pump is on, you likely have something wrong with the pump system. About 3 months after I moved into my house with the pool, the filter pressure was reading 10 p.s.i. and the pump started sounding odd.
I was still learning the ropes of in-ground swimming pool maintenance. I knew to empty the pool skimmer often and how to check the chemicals in the pool, adding chlorine when necessary. However, there is quite a bit more to taking care of this type of pool. When we bought our house, we had a pool inspector check the pool to make sure it was in good working order. The plan was for me to be there while they checked it and to discuss taking care of the pool. Something came up and I wasn’t able to make it, so I ended up on my own when learning how to take care of the pool. When you buy a house with a pool, get a pool inspector to check it over and have a professional go through the maintenance duties with you.
It turns out the low pressure and abnormal running sound of the filter and pump was due to a severely clogged pump skimmer. Here’s a picture of my pump system showing the location of the skimmer:
That indicated area with the clear lid is likely what your pump skimmer looks like. We need to empty these every one to four weeks, depending on the level of debris going into your pool. My skimmer was so full of leaves and twigs from surrounding trees that the pump couldn’t pull water through it very well. This greatly reduced the pressure of the water flow throughout the system after that skimmer and rendered my filtration efforts useless.
So if your pump filter is showing low pressure, make sure that your pump skimmer is clear.