Intex Pool Pump Troubleshooting & How to Guide

Intex Pool Pump Troubleshooting & How to Guide

Intex’s pool pumps are popular amongst pool owners owing to their effectiveness and durability. However, issues can arise in the course of using the unit and make it difficult to achieve desirable results. Other users may have difficulties setting up their pool pumps. In this troubleshooting and how-to guide, we look at some common Intex pool pumps issues and the actions you need to take address them. Read on to learn more.

How to Operate Intex Pool Pump

Cartridge Filter Pump

To operate an Intex 633T filter pump, follow these instructions:

  1. Make sure the filter pump is switched off. The switch is located on the motor housing.
  2. Connect the power cord to a GFCI protected electrical outlet.
  3. Turn both plunger valve handles fully counter-clockwise until they stop. This opens the valve, allowing water to flow into the filter pump.
  4. With water flowing into the filter pump, the water pressure will allow the air trapped inside to escape from the air release valves. Water will flow out of the valves when all the air has escaped. When this happens gently finger tighten the valves in a clockwise direction.
  5. To operate the filter pump on “TIMER” mode:
  6. Set the timer dial to the desired operating hours.
  7. Turn on the pump by pressing the switch to timer position (clock symbol), the filter pump is now filtering the water and will stop after the operating hours are completed. The built-in timer will now operate for the number of hours selected at the same time each day.
  8. You can re-adjust the operating hours if necessary by repeating the above steps.
  • To operate the filter pump manually without the “Timer” mode:
  • Turn on the pump by pressing the switch to “I” position. The filter will start filtering the water.
  • To turn off the pump, press the switch to “O” position.

Sand Filter Pump

To operate an Intex SF20110 sand filter pump follow the instructions below:

Before operating, ensure that all the hoses have been connected and tightened securely, and the correct amount of filter sand has been loaded. Also, ensure that the entire system is connected to a ground type receptacle protected by a GFCI or residual current device (RCD.

  1. Grasp plunger valve handle. Turn the handle counter-clockwise, pull up until it stops, and then turn it clockwise until the metal protruding notch anchor is on the “0/1” position. Repeat for the second plunger valve. This opens the valve to allow water to flow into the sand filter pump.
  2. Make sure the drain/waste outlet on the 6-way valve is not covered and is directed to a proper draining receptacle.
  3. Make sure the pump is off, depress the 6-way valve and turn it to the “BACKWASH” position.
  4. Switch on the pump. Water is circulating backward through the sand media and to waste/drain outlet. Backwash until a clear flow of water is observed in the waste/drain outlet or through the drain sediment window. The initial backwash of the filter is recommended to remove any impurities or fine sand particles in the sand media.
  5. Switch the pump off and change the 6-way valve to “RINSE” position.
  6. Switch the pump on and run the pump for about one minute to level out the sand bend after backwashing the sand media.
  7. Switch the pump off and change the 6-way valve to “FILTER” position.
  8. Switch the pump on. The system is now operating in the normal filtering mode. Run the pump until you obtain the desired pool water clearance and no more than 12 hours per day.
  9. Record the initial pressure gauge reading when the filter media is clean. After sometime, accumulated dirt in the sand media will cause the pressure to rise and the flow to diminish. If there is no vacuuming device attached to the system and the pressure gauge reading is in the yellow zone it is time to backwash the sand media.

To operate the sand filter pump in “FILTER” mode under “TIMER” control:

  • Set the timer dial to the desired operating hours.
  • Turn on the pump by pressing the switch to timer (clock symbol) position. The sand filter is now filtering the water and will stop after the operating hours are completed. The timer will now operate for the number of hours selected at the same time every day.
  • You can re-adjust the operating hours if necessary by repeating the above steps.

To operate the sand filter pump manually (without the “TIMER” mode):

  • Turn on the pump by pressing the switch to “-” position. The sand filter pump is now filtering the water.
  • To turn off the pump, press the switch to “O” position.

Intex Pool Pump Keeps Tripping

If your pool pump keeps tripping, it is likely because of an issue with the motor. The windings inside the motor could be shorting together due to heat or age. If GDFI circuit breaker trips, try resetting the circuit breaker and restart again. If the circuit breaker keeps tripping, your electrical system may have a defect. Turn off the circuit breaker and call an electrician to correct the problem.

Intex Pump Won’t Turn On

If your pool pump won’t turn on, the motor could be the problem. To troubleshoot a motor that has failed to start, try the following:

  • First, make sure the pump’s switch is set to its ON position.
  • Ensure the motor is plugged in. The filter cord must be plugged into a 3-wire outlet that is protected by a class A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)
  • Check if the GFCI circuit breaker is tripped. Reset circuit breaker if tripped. If the circuit breaker trips repeatedly, there could be a problem with your electrical system. Turn off the circuit breaker and call an electrician to fix the problem.
  • The motor could have been too hot and overload protection shut the motor off. Let the motor cool down and then try again.
  • If the pump is connected to an electrical circuit that has insufficient amperage, the pump motor may hum but fail to run fully. Make sure the circuit amperage is sufficient to run the pump.
  • During heat waves, your utility company may experience a power drop. Contact your electric company to confirm the problem is not from their side.
  • A clogged pump impeller may prevent your pool pump from starting up. To fix this problem, turn off power to the pump at the circuit breaker, and then remove the pump basket lid and take out the basket. Carefully remove any visible debris from the impeller by hand until it spins freely.
  • If you have a pool timer, ensure that it is operational and set to the desired operating hours.

Intex Pool Pump Set Up Guide

Cartridge Filter Pump

To set up an Intex pool pump model 637R, follow these instructions:

  1. Assemble above-ground-pool first. Follow the pool’s installation instructions carefully.
  2. Place the filter pump the length of the hose away from the pool wall where the lower black protruding hose connection is “sticking out”.
  3. Insert the nozzle union into the upper protruding hose connections, and then attach the pool inlet air adaptor to the upper protruding fitting. Screw the air jet valve over the pool inlet air adaptor. Then insert the strainer union into the lower protruding hose connections. The hoses fit over the strainers inserted into the connections.
  4. There are two hoses to be connected to the filter pump hose connections. With hose clamps, fasten one of the hoses to the lower protruding hose connection (marked “+” on the pool liner) and to the upper pump connection (marked “+”).
  5. Connect the second hose to the pool inlet air adaptor and to the lower pump connection. Make sure all the hose clamps are tight. Make sure the air jet valve is tightened securely onto the pool inlet air adaptor and facing up.
  6. Unscrew the threaded filter housing collar from the filter housing by turning counter-clockwise. Grasp and remove the housing cover. Check to see if a cartridge is inside the housing. If yes, replace the cover, finger tighten the housing collar back onto the filter housing.
  7. Fill the pool to a level of at least 1-2 inches above the top connection. The water will automatically flow down into the pump.
  8.  When water starts flowing out of the air release valve hole, screw in the air release valve back into the filter housing cover. Do not over tighten the valve.
  9. Connect the filter pump to the power outlet. The filter is now filtering the water.
  10. Operate the filter pump until the desired water clarity is obtained.

Sand Filter Pump

To install an Intex SF20110 pump, you need the following tools:

  • One Philips screwdriver

Motor pre-filtering assembly setup:

  1. In a counter-clockwise motion, unscrew the leaf trap cover from the pre-filter housing. Take out the basket and filter housing nut.
  2. Connect the pre-filter housing to the motor water inlet. Align the connector in the pre-filter housing with the water inlet on the motor.
  3. In a clockwise motion screw filter housing nut onto the motor water inlet.
  4. Replace the basket and lead trap cover back to the pre-filter housing.

Sand tank installation:

  1. Place the tank support base on the selected location.
  2. Place the tank on the tank support base.
  3. Connect the motor pre-filtering assembly unit to the tank support base. Ensure the pre-filter housing water inlet hose connection is facing towards the pool.

Sand loading:

  1. Place the sand shield over the top of the center pipe. Pour the sand into the tank at a slow rate.
  2. Fill the tank approximately half way. Remove the sand shield from the top.
  3. Evenly distribute the sand inside the tank, then fill the tank with some water to provide a cushioning effect when the remaining sand is poured in. This prevents the center pipe hub from excessive shock. Place the sand shield back and continue to pour the sand into the tank.
  4. Sand shall be filled between the “MAX” and “MIN” marked gauge on the center pipe. Evenly spread and level out the sand by hand.
  5. Remove the sand shield.
  6. Wash away all sand around the top edge of the tank.

6-way valve installation:

  1. Slowly lower the 6-way valve over the tank, and ensure the bypass pipe protruding underneath the 6-way valve fits securely into the center pipe hub top opening.
  2. Place an L-shape o-ring on the 6-way valve inlet connection and on the pump motor outlet. In a clockwise motion connect the sand filter interconnecting hose between the pump motor outlet and the 6-way valve inlet connection.
  3. Remove the clamp bolt, and install the clamp around the tank and 6-way valve flanges, the replace the clamp bolt and use a Philips screwdriver to tighten it.

The 6-way valve has three hose connection ports.

  1. Connect one hose end to the pre-filter inlet and the other end of the hose to the lower plunger valve with the strainer. Make sure the hose nuts are tightened securely.
  2. Connect the second hose between the 6-way valve water outlet and the upper plunger valve with the inlet-nozzle. Make sure the hose nuts are tightened securely.
  3. The third hose connection port (drain/waste outlet) on the 6-way valve shall be directed to a proper draining receptacle using a hose or pipe (not provided). Remove the drain cap before you attach the drain/waste hose or pipe.
  4. The sand filter is now ready to filter the pool.

For non-Intex pool:

Connect the hose to the pool inlet/outlet connection with a large hose clamp. Tighten securely. Remove the drain cap before attaching the drain/waste hose or pipe.

For Intex pool size 16’ and below:

  1. In a counter-clockwise motion unscrew the plunger valve union from the threaded strainer connector. Be careful not to lose the step rubber washer.
  2. Grasp the plunger valve assembly. Ensure the step washer is in place. Connect adaptor B to plunger valve union.
  3. Remove wall plug and then insert the strainer into the lower position of protruding hose connection, and the nozzle into the upper position of the protruding hose connection. Adaptor B fits over the strainer connection inserted into the connection. Tighten securely.
  4. Remove the drain cap before attaching the drain/waste hose or pipe.

How to unclog an Intex pool pump

To unclog your pool pump, you need to clean and replace the filter cartridge. It is recommended that the filter cartridge be replaced at least every 2 weeks.

To clean an Intex 633T filter pump, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the filter pump is turned off then disconnect the power cord from the electrical outlet.
  2. Turn both plunger valve handles fully clockwise until they stop. This closes the valve, and prevents the water from flowing out of the pool.
  3. Gently turn the top air release valve once or twice in a counter-clockwise direction. The housing cover can now be easily removed.
  4. Remove the filter housing collar by turning it in the counter-clockwise direction. Place it somewhere safe.
  5. Now remove the used filter cartridge.
  6. Examine the inside of the filter housing. If there is sediment on the bottom of the housing then:
  7. In a counter-clockwise motion gently unscrew and remove the sediment valve located at the bottom of the housing. Place it somewhere safe.
  8. Using a garden hose or a bucket of water, pour water into the housing to flush out the sediment.
  9. Screw back the sediment valve in a gentle clockwise motion. Do not over-tighten.
  10. Place a new filter cartridge in the housing.
  11. Return the housing cover to its position, and in a clockwise direction re-screw the housing collar onto the filter housing.
  12. Turn both plunger valve handles fully counter-clockwise until they stop. This opens the valve allowing water to flow into the filter pump.
  13. When the trapped air has escaped through the air release valve, gently re-tighten the valve in a clockwise direction.
  14. Reconnect the power cord and turn on the pump.

To clean an Intex sand filter pump (model SF20110):

  1. Turn off the filter pump switch then disconnect the power cord from the electrical outlet.
  2. Grasp a plunger valve handle. Turn the handle counter-clockwise, push down until it stops and then turn it clockwise until the plastic protruding notch anchors in the “0/1” position. Repeat for the second plunger valve. This prevents the water from flowing out of the pool.
  3. Release the pressure first by opening the sediment release valve located on the lower side of the pre-filter housing.
  4. In a counter-clockwise motion unscrew the leaf trap cover, and then remove the basket and leaf trap o-ring from the pre-filter housing.
  5. Empty and flush the basket using a garden hose. You may use a plastic brush to remove deposits from the basket. Do not use a metal brush.
  6. Clean and rinse the inside of the pre-filter housing and the leaf O-ring with a garden hose.
  7. Re-install the leaf trap O-ring, basket, and leaf trap cover to the pre-filter housing.
  8. Close the sediment release valve back.

Check this too: How to Bypass Lid Lock On a Whirlpool Washer

Why did my Intex pool pump stop working?

There could be several reasons why your pool pump stopped working:

  • The water level could be low. Make sure you fill the pool to the correct water level.
  • The strainer screen could be plugged up. Make sure the strainer screens at the pool inlet are clean.
  • There could be an air leak on the intake hose. Make sure the hose nuts are tightened properly. Check the hose for damage.
  • The motor could be faulty or the impeller could be jammed. Make sure you clean any sticks or leaves in the intake hose.
  • There could be an airlock inside the cartridge chamber. To remove the airlock, turn and pull valve handle to full upright position.

How do I reset my Intex pool pump?

GFCI reset

The pool pump is provided with a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). If the GFCI circuit breaker trips, power to the pump is interrupted. To reset, push the reset button on the GFCI.

Vacuum release valve reset

The plunger valve on your Intex pool pump is equipped with a vacuum release valve that will automatically activate to minimize suction at the pool outlet if the outlet is blocked. This is an additional safety feature to prevent suction entrapment.

To reset the vacuum release valve:

  1. Turn off the pump.
  2. Clear any debris or obstruction in the outlet.
  3. Remove all air from the filter pump.
  4. Turn pump on again.

What happens if air gets in your Intex pool pump?

If air gets in your pool pump, you may see a significant number of bubbles coming out of your return lines into the pool. When air is pulled into the pump it can cause it to dry. Also, in the long run your pump can age too early and overheat.

How do I bleed the air out of my pool pump?

To bleed the air out of your pool pump, follow these instructions:

  1. Turn off power to the pool pump.
  2. Rotate the air release valve located on top of the filter housing counter-clockwise to open the valve.
  3. Open the pool pump strainer box cover. Verify the presence of water in the pump basket. If there is no water present, fill the strainer with water from a garden hose.
  4. Inspect the pump cover gasket for cracks. Lubricate the gasket with petroleum jelly and re-install the cover. Hand-tighten the cover knobs.
  5. Turn the filter to the “FILTER” setting.
  6. Restore power to the pump. Gradually open the skimmer valve. You should see air bubbles from the returns as air is forced out of the line into the pool water.
  7. Observe the air release valve on top of the filter canister. You should hear the sound of air escaping as the system fills with water. When water starts to come out of the air release valve, turn the valve clockwise to close it.

Why does my Intex pool pump have decreased water flow?

There are several possible causes for decreased/slow water flow on your pool pump:

  1. The inlet or discharge is clogged.
  2. There is an air leak on the intake line.
  3. Scale or buildup on cartridge.
  4. The filter cartridge is dirty.
  5. The nozzle and strainer connection are reversed.
  6. The pool inlet air adaptor is connected to the wrong fitting.
  7. Sand media clogged with dirt.
  8. Crusting or caking on the filtering sand surface.
  9. Pool vacuuming device attached to the system.

To troubleshoot this problem, try these tips:

  • Clear any obstructions in the intake hose by discharging it inside pool wall.
  • To stop an air leak on the intake line, make sure you tighten the hose clamps. Check the hoses for damage, and also check the pool water level to fix this problem.
  • Replace the cartridge if there is scale or buildup.
  • Make sure you clean cartridge more often.
  • Make sure you install the nozzle at the upper position of the pool inlet, and the strainer at the lower position of the pool outlet.
  • Make sure the pool inlet air adaptor is connected to the pool inlet upper fitting.
  • Backwash filter.
  • Remove about 1 inch of sand if necessary.
  • Remove any pool vacuuming device attached to the system line.

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