Also known as a pool pump basket, pump strainers are an important part of any pool pump, whether for residential or commercial pools. It’s vital to monitor, take care of, and maintain smaller pool parts that are part of bigger systems such as the pump or filter.

Let’s explore exactly what pool pump strainers are and why they should be cleaned and taken care of.



Pool Pump Strainers

What is a pump strainer?

Every pool pump housing contains a line strainer basket that collects large pieces of debris (sand, rocks, pebbles, sticks, leaves, etc.).


What is the importance of a pump strainer?

These are objects that were missed by the skimmer or sucked in through one of the drains. Essentially, pump strainers prevent various debris from entering the actual pool pump assembly, which can then clog the impeller. Filtered water means a safe, clean, and clear pool.


Why should pump strainers be cleaned?

Cleaning a pool pump strainer (and skimmers) daily or weekly is part of overall swimming pool maintenance. A clogged strainer basket forces a pool pump to work harder to cycle the pool’s water. A clog will decrease the water flow and there will be a low turnover rate of freshly filtered water cycled back into the pool. In turn, the life of your pool pump will be shorter because pressure builds and puts stress on the pump’s seal.


How to Clean a Pool Strainer Basket

Prevent the pump strainer from clogging and creating a reduced water flow and low-pressure drop in the pool’s system. Here is how to check and clean it (along with the skimmer) weekly (or daily for community pools).

  1. Turn off the pool cleaner pump (and pool heater if you have one). For pools with heaters, wait 5-10 minutes after you turned the heater off for it to cool down. Then, turn off the pool cleaner pump.
  2. Close the skimmer and the main pool drain’s valves. Is the pool pump located below the water level? In this situation, turn the filter’s valve to “closed.”
  3. Remove the pump lid.
  4. The pool experts at Frank Wall Enterprises recommend using a garden hose to wash out the pump strainer basket. Do not use a high hose force or bang the basket against a rock or anything but your hand. Baskets can break easily and become brittle over time. Use your hand to pull out twigs, leaves, and other debris.
  5. Allow pump strainers to completely dry. (It’s best to have a spare pump basket to rotate out.)
  6. Inspect the pump strainer for signs of damage and replace the basket if needed.
  7. Re-insert the pool pump basket, but do not over-tighten it. Some baskets twist-lock in place.
  8. Inspect the pool pump’s lid and O-ring for cracks or damage. Lubricate the pump’s lid and/or O-ring with a very thin layer of petroleum jelly if it appears dry.
  9. Re-install the pump’s lid and O-ring. Again, do not over-tighten.
  10. Make sure the pool’s filter valve is in the “filter” position.
  11. Open the main drain valve and air relief valve (on the filter) all the way.
  12. Turn the pool pump back on. Allow the pump a minute or two to circulate.
  13. Open the remaining skimmer valves one at a time.
  14. When a steady stream of water is visible out of the air relief valve, close it.
  15. Turn the pool cleaner pump (and heater) back on.


Find Pump Strainers, Equipment, and Advise at Frank Wall

Are you looking to buy a pool pump strainer? Shop Frank Wall now. For over 30 years, Frank Wall Enterprises has sold the highest quality pool equipment and pool part brands. We can help with centrifugal pumps, diaphragm pumps, or others and give you the help you need.

Contact Frank Wall today with any questions regarding products, installation, and more.