How to clean an Intex pool with a broken pump


How to clean an Intex pool when the pump is broken. Tips on how this family can continue using our pool even with a broken pool pump.

How to clean a pool when your pump is broken

This summer has been like non other. With everyone staying home more, it was no wonder that a lot of people ordered pools for their backyard. Those little big pools that are small enough the kids can stand, but big enough for a summer full of fun! 

But what happens when that small pool pump breaks? Looking around online and all you find are sold out, over priced, won’t arrive till Thanksgiving, pool pumps. 

If only you can keep this pool clean for just a little while longer! 

Guess what, you can. And it’s far easier than you think. 

how to clean a pool without a pump

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We’re not new to the Intex Pool game and you can read all about our Intex pool and backyard Oasis here.

It’s small as far as pools go, but perfect for a young family wanting to beat the heat during these hot summer months. And bonus, you can take it down and store for the winter! 

But when our pump started sounding funny I knew we were in trouble. With things being harder to find, if you can find them at all, it was time to order another pump. 

Sadly, the replacement had gone up in price far more than I had originally paid for the pool itself! It seems like I’m not the only one with pool pump troubles. 


The pool we have is an Intex 30 inch by 12 foot round with a pump. We’ve had it for three summers and it has been so much fun to enjoy easy summer days with the kids. So when that replacement pump didn’t work after waiting three weeks for its arrival, you can bet we were disappointed. 

Normally you can easily find just a replacement bottom. Sometimes the impeller breaks, the motor gives out or maybe it’s the plug itself. After trying everything to fix it, we were almost ready to give up.


vacuum pool without a pump
clean pool after vacuum


We had a pool vacuum and skimmer, we just needed suction to clean out the bottom. Since it has a filter net inside, any water that comes through the hose would be clean pool water. 

clean a pool without a pump
how to clean a pool without a pump
  • Take your pool vacuum with hose and completely submerge it in the pool
  •  plug the vacuum section with your hand and lift the end of the hose out of the pool
  • attach the net and start vacuuming the pool, starting with the far side
  • as the water comes out of the hose, catch the clean water in a pitcher or jug and place back into the pool
saving the clean water and putting it back into the pool


While waiting for the replacement pump, we made sure to keep it extra clean. That included skimming multiple times a day and using extra chemicals. 

After skimming we would try and move the water in a circular motion as best as possible. 

Day of vacuuming we did not move the water. We wanted everything settled on the bottom to make it easier to vacuum. 

Start at the far end. Starting vis versa will only bring the part of the hose that is not already in the pool, back in with dirt and grass. 

I’m sure you can try this method with a regular hose but to save the water you’ll want to use a mesh strainer or something similar as the water comes out the end of the hose.  

Be sure to cover the pool when you mow the lawn, even if that means using a tarp. 

Although this is not a long term solution, it is one that has allowed us to continue to use our pool while we wait for a reasonably priced replacement. 

We may only have a few more weeks of summer left but getting creative has made it a lot of more fun. Don’t forget to get the kids involved! Ours had a blast filling up the jugs and pouring the clean water back in the pool. 

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