200 Level

203 - Chapter 2

Protecting Direct Drives

These strong, durable pumps are a favorite of contractors because they withstand abuse and neglect pretty well, but there a couple of situations that will shorten their lives quickly. Most damaging are conditions that lead to overheating. Direct Drives in skimmers are especially vulnerable to overheating when the filter media, whether bags, mats or pads, are neglected. Left too long between cleanings, clogged media block the flow of water into the pump chamber; the water level around the pump drops. Air around the top of the pump removes heat 100 times less efficiently than water, and the pump starts to overheat. Most pumps are protected with a thermal switch that turns them off when they’re about to melt down, but the switches have a limited lifespan; after a certain number of cycles they fail, and that’s the end of the pump. This is the number one cause of skimmer-mounted pump failure.

Tip #1 - Keep the bags, mats or pads in your skimmer clean, to keep your skimmer-mounted pump fully submerged at all times. Alternately, use a skimmer with brushes, which allow water to bypass between them when full of debris, keeping water flowing to the pump at all times.