Strange pump motor problem

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JohnSWA
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Strange pump motor problem

Postby JohnSWA » Mon 28 Dec, 2009 12:03

My pool pump motor tripped the breaker so I reset the breaker to see what's wrong. The motor had a humming noise with no pump operation and then tripped the breaker again.

I have a spa pump motor also, so I thought I'd swap motors since it's winter and I won't be using the spa right now.

After swap, the motor did the same thing and then I thought I'd try the spa to see if it would run and now the spa runs for a couple of seconds and not it trips the breaker as well!

What confuses me is that the original motor with the problem is trying to run the spa when it wouldn't do anything but hum and trip the breaker and now the motor that was fine does the same thing as the pool motor did.... not run at all, just hum an trip the breaker.

My question is: Does this sound like an electrical problem, or could I possilbly have two bad motors?

Thanks for your help!


czechmate
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My Pool: 16 x 32 gunite21000 gal., Diamond Brite Blue, Swimquip XL pump, DE36
Location: Texas

Strange pump motor problem

Postby czechmate » Mon 28 Dec, 2009 13:30

Pool pump will usually hum when either the mechanically blocked by ice or debris,( sometimes a small pebble blocking the impeller), or when the capacitor (that splits and shifts the electrical faze to give the rotor a starting turn) is no longer working.
Motors for a cleaning, pool sweep or spa and its plumbing in the pools are designed for its sole purpose.
Some require steady forced priming by a main pump.
With no intent to insult you, Sir, you came close to qualify to, what we electricians qualify as "knowing just enough to be dangerous".
(It may be to your equipment, your packet book and sometimes to yourself).
Now, you may want to check the impeller for free movement and take the motor to the pool store for a run check. It may still have its windings OK, and may just need a starting capacitor. Or to save a 50 bucks, copy the microfarad values of both capacitors,then replace them. Just do one wire connection at a time to avoid conundrum.
Good luck
JohnSWA
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Strange pump motor problem

Postby JohnSWA » Mon 28 Dec, 2009 14:17

[quote="
With no intent to insult you, Sir, you came close to qualify to, what we electricians qualify as "knowing just enough to be dangerous".
.
Good luck[/quote]

LOL! I'm not offended in the least! I appreciate your input and I am definitely not a qualified spark chaser, but like most shadetree do-it-yourselfers, I usually spend more money chasing the problem than fixing the problem!

Thanks for the advice and I'll keep you updated on my fiasco... er... fix! LOL!!
czechmate
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My Pool: 16 x 32 gunite21000 gal., Diamond Brite Blue, Swimquip XL pump, DE36
Location: Texas

Strange pump motor problem

Postby czechmate » Mon 28 Dec, 2009 20:26

I forgot to tell you, that the starting capacitors are probably cheaper at the A/C supply store or some hardware stores, then in the pool supply place. (Those people tend to think that every pool owner owns also an oil well).
Values in microFarads do not have to be exactly same, just close.
Make sure it has the same amount of leads. Better yet with the sketch of the hook up.
Guest

Strange pump motor problem

Postby Guest » Mon 28 Dec, 2009 20:30

Thanks, Czechmate! That's a great place to start.
poolpumpguy

Strange pump motor problem

Postby poolpumpguy » Tue 29 Dec, 2009 13:24

VOLT METER will be your best friend.check two line and load wires for 230-240 volts don't check to ground, your breaker is wide ? chances are its 230-240v if its skinny it may be 115 volt,, check the name plate on the motor to see how your motor is wired. :shock: .. or search for your local electric motor repair with free testing. :D do not give up on a motor until you have it tested, some motors you can look threw :shock: the vent holes in the back of the motor and see if the motor windings are burnt.if so it is junk :thumbdown:
JohnSWA
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Strange pump motor problem

Postby JohnSWA » Tue 29 Dec, 2009 14:30

Thanks guys!

I'm actually leaning towards calling a pro. After taking the motor out, it runs flawlessly! I changed the run capacitor just for the heck of it since it was only $10, but it still doesn't want to run when installed into the pump. I've cleaned out the impellor and loosened it and tightened it to hand tight and the diffuser doesn't want to stay in place. After tightening the impeller (threaded type) to where the diffuser fits, the motor will not turn when installed. It's very frustrating, but I guess I'll just work some overtime and have this fixed correctly and professionally! The pump is wired correctly at 230/240.

Could the diffuser prevent the impeller from turning? I've gone over the schematic a thousand times and I just can't figure this thing out!

Thanks again for all of your help!
czechmate
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My Pool: 16 x 32 gunite21000 gal., Diamond Brite Blue, Swimquip XL pump, DE36
Location: Texas

Strange pump motor problem

Postby czechmate » Tue 29 Dec, 2009 20:00

On some tandems the impeller may be dragging its enclosure when coupled back.
You may try to loosen the bolts, slip 3/8 washers from the outside between the matting surfaces next to bolts and tighten again. Check with your fingers if the rotor is turning freely. If it is, turn on the power.
If it runs OK, place the washers/spacers where motor is bolted to the pump. I have done mine this way 3 years ago, instead of messing with the allen screws in the clutch/shaft.
Gavin R Wills

Strange pump motor problem

Postby Gavin R Wills » Wed 30 Dec, 2009 03:18

Sorry all, :lol: it's the bearings you do!
Ausie

Strange pump motor problem

Postby Ausie » Wed 30 Dec, 2009 09:10

Gavin R Wills wrote:Sorry all, :lol: it's the bearings you do!

So how come motor is running just fine when taken of the pump, Mr. Dundee? :crazy:
JohnSWA
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Strange pump motor problem

Postby JohnSWA » Wed 30 Dec, 2009 19:05

Ausie wrote:
Gavin R Wills wrote:Sorry all, :lol: it's the bearings you do!

So how come motor is running just fine when taken of the pump, Mr. Dundee? :crazy:

Yup! That's what has me stumped. I'll just bite the bullet and have a pro come out. I'm just hoping for an ethical and honest technician. Wish me luck and I'll tell ya what the fix is.
poolpumpguy

Strange pump motor problem

Postby poolpumpguy » Thu 31 Dec, 2009 13:50

First check power at the motor with motor running :?: check to see what voltage the motor is set for :!: is it the same ? if not clean timer points or replace breaker .. or it could be the start switch start or run capacitor if they look puffy or leaking this may be the problem.WAS the motor noisy ?. need more help ? send me a few pictures of your pump and motor ,one from 3 feet back the whole pump .. MOTORWIZJ .. BUT FIRST CHECK THE POWER WITH A METER !! good luck and be careful !.. you do this POWER TESTING at your own risk !Jay
:thumbup: NOT ALL PUMP AND MOTORS ARE THE SAME :thumbup:
JohnSWA
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Strange pump motor problem

Postby JohnSWA » Fri 01 Jan, 2010 15:14

Hi guys!

First, I'd just like to thank you all for your help with my problem. It appears that my problem with the pool/spa swap was just that I had the motor on too tight! It was driving me crazy r/r'ing this motor in such a tight area, but I finally just used my head and turned the pump on prior to tightening the bolts and it ran fine. I snugged the bolts and it still ran fine. I torqued the bolts and it just hummed. I backed of the nuts a smidge and it ran like a top!

Now for the broke motor. I found a bad shaft seal and a very corroded run capacitor. I noticed when it was in it's humming mode the start capacitor was very hot. I swapped the bad run capacitor with a new one and it still didn't run. I also found out that I was incorrect about the motor working for a few seconds and then shutting down as originally thought. It was actually the blower moter that worked for a few seconds and then tripped the breaker to the spa.

I'm thinking that I would be just better off to replace the motor/shaft seal/ceramic seal and see what that does. Whatcha think?

Again, thanks for all of your help and Happy New Year!!!
JohnSWA
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Strange pump motor problem

Postby JohnSWA » Fri 01 Jan, 2010 15:18

Oh, one other thing. I checked voltage to both pumps. 120 volts from breaker to motor. I couldn't get to the spa (bad) motor in time to see if it was getting all 120 volts, but I'm thinking it's toast anyway.

One note: I bought a cheap Harbor Freight volt meter and the flippin thing didn't work. I was pulling my hair out trying to figure out why I was'nt getting voltage to anything! I had to fix the voltmeter to make it work, but now it works fine.

Remember Rosanne Roseannadana? "If it's not one thing, it's another!" 'Gilda Radner' from the original SNL
czechmate
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My Pool: 16 x 32 gunite21000 gal., Diamond Brite Blue, Swimquip XL pump, DE36
Location: Texas

Strange pump motor problem

Postby czechmate » Fri 01 Jan, 2010 23:58

JohnSWA wrote:It appears that my problem with the pool/spa swap was just that I had the motor on too tight!

Well, seems to me that is what I meant when I suggested to you to use a spacer washers to relieve the pressure on impeller. :wave:
Of course Mr. Gavin called me a dork and said it was a bearings!

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