Pool Pump is really hot to the touch

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TSH Tech

Pool Pump is really hot to the touch

Postby TSH Tech » Thu 29 Aug, 2013 01:37

When pool pumps are hot to the touch
Pool pump motors, brand new out of the box and plumbed to a pool do run hot to the touch normally. These are not house fan motors that typically run cool, there is 220Volts, over 1000 watts(high speed) of power running through these motors and that equates to heat.

The first little item to fail is the capacitor. The symptoms of a failing or failed capacitor is a humm noise when the motor is started, then the pump turns over. If the capacitor fails, you may get a humm noise, then nothing. This is an inexpensive part to replace.

Now, pumps run hot, and then they run unusually hot. When a motor gets to this point, there's a few tell-tale indicators of why this is happening. The first is old age. The pump is typically more than 4 years old and is about to fail completely. The second is copper fatigue inside the windings. Again, the pump is usually more than 3 years old, and has been mounted on the sunny side of the yard, day in and day out, the electricity that flows through the copper windings heat up and the copper wire. Inside the wire itself goes through a molecular change from the tremendous heat. The copper starts to become hard and brittle and when that happens, it demands more electricity to squeeze the electrical atoms through, making more heat, increasing the problem by spreading out to more of the copper wire. Ultimately, the motor begins to have symptoms of running for a few minutes, getting unusually hot and shutting down(thermal protection). When it gets to this point, your motor has run its course. It's time for a new motor. There is no repairing pool motors with bad windings, the whole thing is bad.

How to protect pool motors for longer life
I've seen just about every scenario of a pool pump mounted and installed. From my experience, I can tell you that pool motors that are inside covered sheds with plenty of ventilation or just simply covered by some sort of roof structure, last out to 6 years and in some instances more! The entire key to long lasting pumps is;
- Keep them covered from the damage of sunlight
- Keep them installed in a cool, shaded, moisture free area
- Keep them away from heat in general

Pumps that fail rather quickly, have chronic problems within 3 years at the most, are always in the direct sunlight, ALL. SUMMER. HOT, SWELTERING. DAY. :thumbdown:

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Swimming Pool Pro
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Location: Orlando FL

Pool Pump is really hot to the touch

Postby CGPoolman » Thu 29 Aug, 2013 07:34

TSH Tech,

You are right on the money as always! Anytime I install a new pump or motor, I suggest that the homeowner put some kind of cover over it to extend the life. Very few take my advice but hey - it makes for good repeat business!

Here in Florida, I do more motor replacements from July-September than I do the rest of the year. Most of them are located just like you said - Out in direct sunlight for 8-10 hours a day, pounded by Florida rainstorms, high humidity, etc. Average lifespan is about 5 years.

TSH Tech

Pool Pump is really hot to the touch

Postby TSH Tech » Sun 01 Sep, 2013 00:28

(about coverings) Exactly, all we can do is advise :?
free info

Pool Pump is really hot to the touch

Postby free info » Mon 02 Sep, 2013 13:16

When a pump is not wired correct it can still run but will over heat I would check the side of the motor look at the diagram & see where everything goes. Its not the 2 power & ground wire your looking at its the brown & white wire your looking to see where they go as I have seen many homeowners not switch them to their proper place and they get a very hot motor that turns on & off but over heats bad. The only other thing that no one talked about is the pump cavitating meaning the pump basket only fills up have way? This can also make the motor hot and in most cases the pump is to big for the pool system.

Pool Pump is really hot to the touch

Postby mauricem » Sun 20 Oct, 2013 16:13

A capacitor rating too small will also cause a pump to run hot.

The 40uf cap on our 2hp pump failed and to test we fitted the 25uf one off a 1hp pump. The pump ran fine and my understanding as confirmed by the pump manufacturer was that it was just a start cap and if it spun up the pump ok then its job was done.

As I found out from a motor rewind company this is wrong, these are start/run capacitors and play a critical factor at all phases of running. The small cap meant the motor would run for maybe an hour max before cutting out due to over heat.

We fitted the correct 40uf cap and no more overheating, hope it hasnt done any damage.

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