How to clean a pool pump strainer


A pool pump strainer is contained in a strainer basket in the pool pump housing assembly. Its purpose is to collect large pieces of debris that were missed by the skimmer or were sucked in though the main drains.

As such, the strainer is there to prevent the debris from entering the pump and clogging the impeller. However, the pool pump strainer should be checked and cleared weekly to prevent cases of clogging which in turn reduced the flow of water.

Before commencing the cleaning, make sure the pool pump is turned off. This will stop the flow of water through the pump. Once this is done, you should relieve the pressure that has built up in the pool pump and water line.

Most pumps have a pressure gauge which computes this, typically reading between 15 – 20 psi. To relieve the pressure, turn the air relief valve on top of the filter counter clockwise. Water will spray out initially. This is expected as the pressure on the gauge gradually reduces to 0 psi.

Also Read: When to repair or replace your pool pump

After relieving the pressure you can now open up the strainer. To do this, 1-turn the two knobs on top of the strainer lid counter-clockwise and 2– swivel the knobs down away from the lid. However, it is important to note that some pool pump strainer lids screw on instead of having knobs. These will require you to twist the lid counter-clockwise in order to remove the lid off the top of the strainer.

Check the basket for debris as soon as you manage to get the lid off of the pool pump strainer. You should also lift the basket out of the pool pump housing assembly in order to clean it properly. The debris at the bottom of the pool pump can be cleaned out with a garden hose. Point of caution; do not knock the basket either on the ground or hard surface as it is made of flexible plastic and as such could easily break.

As you drop the pool pump basket into the housing assembly, be sure to check for tears or stretching on the gasket. Before replacing the strainer lid, be sure to apply a thin coat of lubrication on the strainer gasket. This will help seat the gasket and will prolong its life.

After putting the lid back on and ensuring it’s tightly shut, turn on power to the pool pump to build up pressure in the system. While doing this, the air relief valve should still be open. This will facilitate an outlet for air as the pressure builds. Close the valve as soon as water starts to spray out of the valve.