Why Isn’t My Swimming Pool Heat Pump Heating?
Pool Heat Pump Troubleshooting Tips
By Allen Hayward
If you have a swimming pool and live in a colder region of the world, then you’ll appreciate having a heat pump for your pool.
The purpose of a heat pump is to keep your pool water warm. That way, you can go swimming in the later seasons after summertime is over with. The chilled water will get heated by the pump and make it more comfortable to swim in.
Of course, pool heat pumps are not going to stay functional forever. They eventually develop problems that make them incapable of heating your pool water any further. You won’t notice these problems until you leap into the water and feel the coldness all over your body.
If your heat pump is not doing its job of heating your pool water, then you have some options available to inspect the problem and then fix it. First, let’s review the heat pump problems which come up the most. Learning about these problems will make it easier to troubleshoot your pump.
The Top 7 Most Common Problems with Heat Pumps
Here is what usually stops a heat pump from working:
Reduced Flow of Water
The most common problem with heat pumps is the lack of water flow. Whenever you notice that your heat pump has stopped heating the water, you should immediately inspect the water flow and make sure it is good. This means inspecting each valve to ensure they’re open. After that, inspect the filter and look for a build-up of dirt or debris. In many cases, unclogging the filter will restore the functionality of your heat pump.
Check the Electrical Connection
Electricity must reach your heat pump. If your pump does not turn on, check the breaker and make sure it has not tripped. There could be a bad power connection or some electrical wiring problem. Always be cautious when it comes to electricity. If the wiring problem is complex, then it might be in your best interest to call an electrician. In some places, this is a legal requirement anyway.
Air must reach your heat pump for the pool water to get heated. This cannot happen if debris is clogging your evaporator coil because it will reduce the airflow. Then your water cannot receive the proper amount of heat it needs to stay warm. Inspect the evaporator coil for debris and remove any that you see. Common debris includes twigs, sticks, leaves, and dirt.
The thermostat should be set to a higher temperature than the water temperature. You can determine the temperature of the water by using a thermometer. If you notice the water is not warm, then your thermostat might be the problem rather than the pump itself. In this case, you should replace the thermostat.
Your heat pump can only do so much. If the outdoor temperature is 50°F or less, the refrigerant of the heat pump will already be freezing by this point. This causes the formation of ice, which will clog your pump and stop it from working.
Whenever you see ice accumulating anywhere on your heat pump, the chances are that it won’t be able to heat the water properly. This is either due to a refrigerant leak or colder outdoor temperatures.
Do you get a freon pressure error from your heat pump? This could be a high-pressure error or low-pressure error, so check to see which one it is.
Low freon pressure means the outdoor temperature is too cold for the pump to work properly. All you can do is wait for the temperature to warm up outside.
High freon pressure means there is a problem with the water flow. The heat cannot be removed from the system because the water flow is not strong. You might have clogged filters or flow lines, so check them out and clear any debris that you see. This should help the water flow faster.
Condensation & Leaks
If your pool heat pump has water accumulating around it, don’t automatically assume it is a leak. Sometimes condensation can form in your pump and start dripping as it melts. To determine the truth, you must test the water around the pump with a chlorine test strip. If the test shows any level of chlorine in the water, then it means pool water is leaking from the pump. But if the test shows no chlorine in the water, then it can only be condensation.
The reason for condensation can be attributed to a clogged drain. Whenever excessive amounts of water are generated, the heat pumps relocate this water to a drain. That way, the water doesn’t stay sitting around the pump or inside the pump. Clogged lines cause a back up of condensation in the system, which causes what looks like a leak. Clean the drains and the drain lines of any debris that is clogging them. This should fix your condensation issue.
When to Call a Professional
If you still can’t solve your heat pump issues, then call a professional. Do this only if you’ve tried the best you can with the tools and skills that you have. Sometimes getting expert assistance may be necessary for more complicated repair jobs. Then you can enjoy having heated pool water again.
The days of closing your pool at the end of the summer are over. Now you can enjoy swimming in your pool well into the fall season and then again in the spring season after the winter passes. Heat pumps give you so much more time to enjoy your pool.
By learning about the common problems that can happen with heat pumps and the ways to resolve them, your heat pump will keep running strong for a long time. You’ll also save a lot of money if you can manage to repair the pump yourself without hiring a professional.