Easily Keep Your Pool Water Clean Without a Broken Pump

Cleaning pool water without a pump can be challenging for pool owners due to pump issues, power outages, or wanting to save energy. A pump is important for keeping pool water clean, but there are other ways to maintain cleanliness without one.

In this guide, we’ll share tips to keep your pool water clear and safe for swimming without a pump. We will explore traditional and innovative methods, including manual debris removal, water chemistry maintenance, solar-powered circulation systems, and pool covers.

How to Keep Pool Water Clean Without a Pump: A Step-By-Step Guide

Cleaning pool water without a pump is difficult because pumps are necessary to circulate and filter water, removing debris and keeping the water clean. If you don’t have a working pump or have a small above-ground pool, follow these steps to keep the water clean:

How to keep a pool clean without a pump

1. Skim the Surface

Skimming your pool’s surface is important for keeping the water clean and inviting. To remove debris from the water’s surface, use a pool skimmer net or a long-handled skimming tool. Regular skimming prevents debris from sinking and causing water cloudiness or algae growth.

Spend a few minutes each day skimming to improve your pool’s appearance and water quality. A cleaner surface helps your pool’s filtration system work better. Additionally, it makes swimming more enjoyable by removing the need to navigate around floating debris. Skimming the surface of your pool helps keep the water clean and attractive.

2. Clean the Walls and Floor

Brushing your pool is important for maintaining clean water. Algae, dirt, and debris can build up on surfaces, causing algae growth and making the pool water cloudy or green. Use a pool brush made for your pool’s surface – concrete, vinyl, or fiberglass. Brushing the pool regularly helps remove contaminants and prevents them from sticking.

You can use a pool vacuum with a hand pump instead of manual brushing. This device removes debris and suctions of dirt from the pool’s bottom. Brushing and vacuuming your pool regularly improves water circulation, clarity, and reduces chemical treatments. This approach keeps things clean and organized.

3. Use a Cover for Your Pool

Using a pool cover keeps your pool water clean. A pool cover protects your pool from outside elements that can contaminate the water. Use a pool cover to keep out leaves, dirt, debris, insects, and animals when the pool is not in use.

A pool cover keeps out unwanted substances and helps save water, heat, and chemicals. It saves time, money and is eco-friendly.

Pool covers have different types for different purposes, like solar covers, winter covers, and safety covers. Solar covers raise water temperature using solar energy, while winter covers protect pools in colder months.

4. Shock the Pool

Shocking the pool is important for maintaining clear and safe water by killing bacteria and algae. Pool shock treatment involves adding a strong dose of pool shock to the water. High chlorine levels in the pool break down organic contaminants like sweat, urine, and bacteria.

Shock the pool when necessary, especially in response to certain conditions. Signs of pool problems can include low chlorine, green or cloudy water, or after a pool party. Add the recommended amount of shock to the pool water as instructed by the manufacturer. It’s best to do this in the evening to let the chemicals work without sunlight.

Wait until chlorine levels return to normal after shocking before swimming. Shocking your pool regularly prevents illnesses, improves water clarity, and reduces chemical use and filtration. Be careful not to overdo it, as too much shock treatment can harm the pool.

5. Chemical Upkeep

Chemical maintenance is important for pool care. It involves monitoring and adjusting chemicals in the water to keep it safe and clear for swimming. Pool maintenance chemicals include chlorine, pH balancers, alkalinity adjusters, and stabilizers.

Testing pool water regularly is essential for chemical maintenance. Key parameters to monitor:

  • Chlorine Levels: Chlorine or other sanitizers kill bacteria and prevent algae. Keep chlorine levels in the recommended range for safe water.
  • pH Levels: Maintaining the right pH level (between 7.2 and 7.8) is important for swimmer comfort and chemical effectiveness. pH affects water clarity and imbalances can cause skin and eye irritation.
  • Total Alkalinity: Alkalinity stabilizes pH. Maintaining alkalinity levels of 80-120 ppm prevents pH changes.
  • Cyanuric Acid (Stabilizer): Cyanuric Acid (Stabilizer) protects chlorine from UV rays. Maintaining the right stabilizer level (usually 30-50 ppm) is important.
  • Calcium Hardness: Calcium hardness is important for the pool’s structure. Keep calcium hardness between 200-400 ppm.
  • Total Dissolved Solids (TDS): High TDS levels may mean water replacement is needed.

Adjusting these chemical parameters regularly can prevent water problems like algae growth, cloudy water, or skin irritation. Follow product instructions, avoid excessive chemical use, and consult a pool professional if unsure about pool chemistry.

6. Vacuuming by Hand

Manual vacuuming is important for pool maintenance, especially if you don’t have an automated cleaning system or a working pump. To clean your pool, you’ll need a manual pool vacuum, a hose, and some physical effort to remove debris and dirt from the floor and walls.

First, attach the pool vacuum head to a telescopic pole. Then, connect one end of the hose to the vacuum head. Put the vacuum in the pool, remove air, and fill the hose with water. Slowly move the vacuum head across the pool’s surface, brushing and vacuuming. Clean the entire pool area methodically for thorough cleaning.

Vacuuming removes debris and prevents sediment and algae buildup. Regular pool maintenance keeps the water clear and prevents microorganisms from growing.

Manual vacuuming is slower than automated options, but it’s reliable when you don’t have a pump or need extra cleaning for good water quality.

7. Drain and Refill

Draining and refilling your pool should only be done as a last resort when other methods haven’t worked. Only do it in specific situations like when the water is very dirty, has algae, or if you’re having trouble fixing water chemistry.

Consult a pool professional before draining and refilling the pool to assess if it’s necessary. To execute, drain, and refill the pool with fresh water. This removes debris, algae, and balances water chemistry.

However, there are drawbacks to this method. It uses a lot of water and can be expensive, especially in areas with water restrictions. It can damage your pool if done wrong. Consult a professional to safely and efficiently restore your pool’s water quality.

Not having a pump for a pool is not a good long-term solution. A pump and filter are necessary for keeping pool water circulating and clean. Without it, water quality will worsen over time, and you may need to repair or replace the pump to maintain a clean and safe pool for swimming.

If your pump isn’t working, get it fixed or replaced quickly for proper pool care. Regular maintenance and proper use of a pool pump and filter are important for a clean and safe swimming pool.

What is the Primary Function of a Pool Pump?

The primary function of a pool pump is to circulate and filter the water in a swimming pool, serving as the heart of the pool’s circulation system. This crucial piece of equipment plays a fundamental role in maintaining the overall health and cleanliness of the pool water. The pump operates by drawing water from the pool through a skimmer and main drain, then pushing it through a series of pipes and into the pool’s filtration system.

One of the key functions of the pump is to ensure that water is constantly moving, preventing stagnation and the buildup of debris and contaminants. As the water circulates, it passes through the pool’s filter, where impurities such as dirt, leaves, insects, and even microscopic particles are trapped and removed. This filtration process is essential for keeping the water clear, safe, and enjoyable for swimmers.

Additionally, the pool pump also plays a role in distributing chemicals and maintaining proper water chemistry. Continually moving the water, helps evenly disperse sanitizers like chlorine or bromine and balances pH levels throughout the pool, preventing the formation of algae and harmful bacteria.

Furthermore, a pool pump aids in maintaining consistent water temperature by circulating heated or cooled water, providing a comfortable swimming environment. It also facilitates the operation of other pool equipment, such as heaters, chlorinators, and automatic pool cleaners.

In summary, the primary function of a pool pump is to ensure the circulation, filtration, and proper chemical distribution of water in a swimming pool. Without an efficient pump, pool water would quickly become stagnant, dirty, and potentially hazardous to swimmers’ health. Therefore, a well-maintained and properly functioning pool pump is essential for the overall maintenance and enjoyment of any pool.

Is there a Way to Manually Filter the Water?

Yes, you can manually filter pool water, but it’s not as efficient as using a pool pump and filter system. Manual filtration can be useful when a pump is unavailable or not working. Here are some common filtration techniques:

Pool skimmer net

A pool skimmer net is a tool used to remove leaves, debris, insects, and contaminants from the water surface. Skimming the pool regularly keeps it cleaner.

Pool Vacuum

Handheld pool vacuums are used to manually clean the pool floor and walls. These vacuums connect to a pole and a hose. Manual pool cleaners are effective but require more effort than automated ones.


Some pools use cartridge filters. Clean cartridges manually to improve filtration efficiency. To clean the filter, you need to take apart the housing and rinse the cartridges manually.

Brushing and scrubbing

Brushing and scrubbing the pool helps remove algae and dirt, making it easier to skim or vacuum them out.


To lower the pool’s water level when it’s too high, use a hose to manually siphon out the excess water. This helps with water circulation and prevents overflow.

Manual filtration methods may not be as efficient as a pump and filter system, which can handle more water and smaller particles. To maintain a clean pool and good water quality, use a working pump and filter system.

How Often Should I Skim My Pool’s Surface?

How often you skim the pool’s surface depends on factors like the time of year, the environment, and pool usage. Here are some tips to help you decide how often to skim your pool:

Skimming Daily

In times with lots of debris, like when leaves are falling in the fall, it’s best to skim the pool every day. This prevents leaves, insects, and debris from sinking and makes pool cleaning harder.

Regular Skimming

Skim your pool a few times a week, especially if there are trees or bushes nearby. Skimming regularly keeps the pool water clean.

Before Swimming

Skim the pool before swimming. This keeps the water clean and makes swimming more enjoyable.

During Storms or Windy Days

Check the pool for debris more often after storms or windy days. Bad weather can make the pool dirty.

Remove the Pool Cover

Remove the pool cover carefully to avoid debris falling into the pool. After removing the cover, skim to clear any remaining debris.


Check the pool’s surface often. Skim the pool when you see debris.

Skimming frequency varies based on circumstances. To keep debris from sinking and becoming harder to remove, it’s important to skim regularly. Cleaning the pool’s surface makes it look better and helps the filtration system work better.

How Can I Prevent the Growth of Algae Without a Broken Pump?

To prevent algae growth in your aquatic environment without a pump, try these methods. Take proactive steps to maintain a healthy ecosystem for your aquatic inhabitants. Here are some ways to naturally and effectively fight algae growth.

Chemical Treatment

Using pool chemicals effectively is crucial without a pump. Test and adjust pH, chlorine, and alkalinity levels regularly to keep water chemistry in check. Use algaecide to stop algae growth. Follow manufacturer guidelines for chemicals.


Algae can stick to pool surfaces. Brush and scrub the pool regularly to remove algae and prevent it from growing. Use a long pool brush for better coverage.

Shock Treatment

Shock your pool regularly with chlorine or non-chlorine treatment. This prevents and eliminates algae. Follow the dosing instructions.

Pool Cover

Use a pool cover when not in use to reduce sunlight exposure. Covering the pool blocks sunlight, which stops algae growth.

Keep Water Flowing

Agitate the water manually using a brush, noodles, or a bucket to create circulation if you don’t have a pump. Still, water promotes algae growth.

Check Water Temp

Algae grow faster in warm water. Keep water temperatures low to prevent algae growth.

Prevent Debris Entry

Use a pool cover or skimmer to keep organic debris out of the pool.

Clean Often

Without a pump, you must clean and maintain regularly. Regularly clean the pool’s filter and other equipment for efficient operation.

While these measures can help prevent algae growth, they may not be as effective as a good pump and filtration system. If algae problems continue or get worse without a pump, consider getting a pump and filter system to better maintain water quality.


How to remove debris from the pool manually?

Use a skimmer or net to remove debris from your pool. Skim the water to collect leaves, bugs, and debris. Move the skimmer slowly across the pool, focusing on corners and areas with poor circulation. Clean the skimmer or net regularly to keep the water debris-free.

How can I prevent algae in my pool?

To prevent algae growth, keep the water clean and maintain proper chemistry. Test water pH and chlorine levels regularly. Adjust as necessary to maintain recommended ranges. Brushing and scrubbing the pool walls and floor can disrupt algae growth by removing clinging algae spores. Sanitize the pool well and use algaecide as a preventive measure.

Should I cover my pool when not in use?

Covering your pool when not in use is recommended. Pool covers keep out leaves, debris, and objects. They also reduce water evaporation, conserve water, and maintain proper water chemistry. Covered pools are cleaner and need less maintenance.

How often change pool water without a pump?

How often you change your pool water without a pump depends on factors like pool size, usage, and water quality. Without a pump for circulation and filtration, you’ll need to change the water more often, maybe every few weeks to a month. Test water regularly and change it if it becomes cloudy, overly chlorinated, or unbalanced.

Can I clean my pool without a pump using a pool vacuum?

Yes, you can manually clean your pool using a pool vacuum without a pump. Attach the vacuum head to a pole and connect it to a hose for suction. Move the vacuum head across the pool’s floor, overlapping each pass slightly. Be patient and thorough when cleaning to get rid of debris and sediment.

What about a pool chemical floater?

A pool chemical floater helps distribute pool chemicals evenly in the water. However, it won’t replace the need for proper circulation, as it mainly disperses chemicals on the water’s surface. Manual mixing and stirring are still needed for even chemical distribution.

How to maintain water chemistry without a pump?

To maintain water chemistry without a pump, you need to regularly test and adjust it. Regularly test pool water using testing kits for pH, chlorine, alkalinity, and calcium hardness. Adjust parameters using pool chemicals. Stirring the water with a brush or other tools helps distribute chemicals evenly in the pool.

Are there ways to keep my pool water clean naturally?

Yes, you can use natural methods to keep your pool water clean. Water lilies are beautiful and also filter water and provide shade. This reduces algae growth and debris buildup.

Can I use a solar water circulation system?

Solar-powered water circulation systems are available and can improve pool water movement without electricity. Solar systems use panels to generate energy for pumps or circulation devices during the day. Although not as strong as electric pumps, they can still circulate and filter to some extent.

Should I get a smaller pool if I can’t use a pump?

If managing a big pool without a pump is too hard or not possible, consider using a smaller inflatable or portable pool. Inflatable pools are convenient and easier to maintain than larger ones. They are easy to clean and maintain, making them a great choice for those who want a hassle-free water experience. Smaller pools may not be the same as big ones, but they are still a fun way to cool off and are great for families or gatherings.

Final Words

If you don’t have a pump, you can still keep your pool clean. This guide helps pool owners keep their pools clean and maintain water quality. You can replace a pump’s role with manual skimming, vacuuming, water testing, and adjusting chemical balance.

Using eco-friendly options like solar-powered circulation systems or pool covers helps maintain water clarity and promotes sustainability. By using these techniques, you can keep your pool clean and enjoyable, even when the pump is not working or when you want to use less energy.


Hi, I'm Asim! I love giving you cleaning guides, tips and tricks that will make your place sparkle and shine. Through years of practice, I've learned effective ways to clean and can't wait to help you. From tough spots to general cleaning, I can help you. Come along with me on this cleaning adventure, where I'll give you tips and tricks to make your cleaning process easier. Let's work together to make clean haven.

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