How do I know what pump is right for me?
A bigger pump is not always a good thing. Depending on if you have been advised by a pool professional, that your existing pump was undersized, it is wise to keep the same horsepower as you have now.
How do I know what Horsepower my pump motor is?
The horsepower should be on the nameplate of the pump motor (in very tiny letters).
If the existing pump has done you well, it is easiest to plumb and wire with the exact same pump. The heights and lengths are the same, which makes the job a bit simpler.
How long do motors last?
Motors typically last an average of eight years before needing either rebuilding or replacing. Noisy, screeching front and/ or rear bearings will let you know when you need to do something.
A common problem is the threaded fitting carrying water out of the pump shrinking and allowing water to drip, run and then spray. This can be replaced with a high temp fitting to prevent its reoccurrence. Water may leak from a worn out mechanical seal. This seal is between the wet end and the dry end (motor) of the pump. This mechanical shaft seal should be replaced.
Air in pump basket?
After some time, you may notice air in the basket, especially if you have a clear lid to observe this. Air can reduce filtering efficiency, allow dangerous air to build up in filter, and sometimes prevent your pump from water flow. The problem is usually located around the pump, above-ground. Sometimes you have to look underground for the source of the air. Air in the pump basket can be caused by something as simple as the water level being too low in the pool. You might also want to check the skim weir. A plastic flap at the throat of the skimmer that keeps the debris in the skimmer when the pump is off. If the skimmer weir is stuck it can cause the skimmer to drain and take in air. Check that the pump basket lid is on tight and the o-ring is lubricated.
Pump is not pumping water like usual?
Make sure the pump basket is clean and properly positioned. Some types of pumps have a pump strainer basket that locks into place to prevent the basket from floating and causing the pump to cavitate, or starve for water. You can find that the pump basket is cracked and it is allowing debris to clog the pump's impeller. If the pump basket is cracked or damaged, it should be replaced. To check the impeller, turn off the motor, remove the pump basket and reach into the volute and feel if it is clogged with debris. If you cannot feel for sure, you may need to remove the motor from the pump to properly inspect the impeller. Most times you need only remove a clamp band to separate the motor from the pump.
Inside of the pump's motor are a front bearing and a rear bearing they are sealed and cannot be re-packed or re-lubricated. They are replaced when they begin to scream and screech. Bearings can become damaged when the pump has run dry and overheated, or if the pump is put under high loads, just replace the motor. Try finding the cause of the obstruction that is blocking water flow into the pump. It may be the impeller. Noisy pumps can be the sound of components striking one another. The impeller can, on stub shaft models, come loose, and hit against the impeller housing. The internal fan can break and hit against the motor side. Both instances will resolve themselves.
Motor will not start or turn on?
First check that you have power. The breaker must be on, time-clock on, all switches on. Use an electric meter to be sure that voltage is correct. Check all electrical connections, that they are tight and not corroded or shorted out by bugs or debris. The use of a meter or test lamp will check this with certainty. If there is power going all the way to the motor, the motor may have become shorted across its windings.
Motor hums but will not start?
The impeller may be clogged. Turn the power off, spin the impeller shaft. If it won't turn freely, remove the motor from the pump and clean the impeller. If it does spin, check the capacitor, check that the impeller is not hitting the impeller housing.
The capacitor is the black cylinder on the back of the motor, sometimes it is silver and mounted on top of the motor. Check the capacitor for white residue or oily discharge or for bulging, even a fine looking capacitor can be bad. Replace with a new one of the same rating.
Low voltage can be a cause of a humming but not starting motor. New motors are wired 220 volts, so if you hook it up to 110 volts, it will only hum, or cycle. One of the power leads may be loose, or shorted. Check with a Multimeter to verify the correct voltage, with a variance of 10% allowed.
If the motor runs for a short while, shuts itself off, and turns itself back on later, it may be overheating. All motors can run hot. A cycling motor may indicate that the thermal overload is kicking it off. If motor was just replaced, make sure that the electrical supply connections are correct and the wire size is correct for the voltage it is carrying. Low voltage can cause overheating. Inadequate ventilation and can cause overheating, make sure that the air vents are unobstructed. Older motors that suddenly begin to overheat will need to be replaced.