Pool Jets Not Working? Here’s What to do First

Kevin Pflug

Are your pool jets not working? Maybe you’re facing other circulation issues such as a low filter pressure reading or weak suction from your skimmers…perhaps you’re getting a low flow error showing up on your heater or salt system.

These symptoms usually indicate that your water is being blocked from circulating effectively. Follow the steps in the troubleshooting guide below to identify and fix your low-flow problems.

Don’t Trust the Pressure Gauge

Many times, the pressure gauge readings on the filters are wrong, so you have to double-check that there really is an issue. If your gauge is telling you that your pool filter pressure is low, you should put your hand in front of your wall returns/jets to make sure that you actually feel lower pressure. The gauge itself can certainly be broken and be giving you a false reading.

If it feels like your pool jets are not working, then we can move on to the next step, which is:

Empty Pump and Skimmer baskets

Try emptying out the skimmer baskets if you haven’t already, and also the pump basket. This is the most common reason for the pool pump not circulating water, so definitely give this a try.

Note: If you’re ever needing to open the pump basket and your system is below the water level of the pool, you will have to close the valve on the suction side of the pump and set the multiport valve to the “closed” position before opening your pump.

Pool jets not working still? Then move on to the next step.

Ensure Full Prime to Get Pool Jets Working

Ensure that your pump has a full prime. Move on to step 3 if that’s the case. If not, try the following to prime your pump:

If your pump is not filled with water, then you’ll need to attempt to prime the pump. The first thing you should do is turn off the power to your pump. Next, empty the pump basket (if you haven’t already) and fill the pump with either a bucket of water or a garden hose.

Once the pump is filled with water, put back on the lid (make sure the o-ring is set properly into place) and start it back up…the pump should start up properly within about 15 seconds. No good? turn the pump back off again.

If the pool pump is not sucking water after your first attempt, then take the baskets out of the skimmers and try to prime it again. Still not pulling water from the skimmers? Try rotating the multiport valve handle to the “recirculate” position while the pump is off and try again.

No good? Keep the pump turned off, shock the pool if you have shock on hand, and give us a call for a troubleshooting service.

Now that we know the pump is filled with water and seems to be running well, we’ll move on.

Recirculate Mode if Pool Returns Not Working

Turn off your pump, put your multiport valve into the “recirculate” position (if you have a DE or sand filter), and then turn on your pump. If this results in much better water pressure, then the problem can be narrowed down to the filter. Still no help? You’ll have to schedule a service call by clicking here.

But what if your pressure did indeed get better while in recirculate mode? Well, then try to remember when was the last time your filter was backwashed or cleaned. If you haven’t backwashed within the last 2 days or so, then the filter could certainly be your issue.

On the other hand, if your pool pump is working but water is not circulating, and your baskets are empty…you may have a clogged or dirty filter. This is one of the main reasons that water will not circulate through the system effectively. Follow the steps here to backwash your filter: Ultimate Backwashing Guide.

If backwashing helped, congratulations! You resolved your low flow issue 🙂

Move on to the next step if you’re still facing problems.

Clean your DE or cartridge filter elements

Hopefully, you still don’t have low flow after trying all the above steps…but if so, then the next step is to clean or change the filter media. If you’re courageous enough to try it yourself, then use the following filter-changing guide to try to walk you through it: Deep Filter Cleaning Step-By-Step Guide.

Perhaps you’d rather leave it to us (and we don’t blame you, it can get messy!). Click the button below to book a service call quickly and easily.

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Kevin Pflug
Kevin joined Romanelli & Son Pool Service in 2021 and hasn't looked back since! He enjoys eating his wife's delicious homemade meals and bowling with his family.

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