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Thread: pump help :-(

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    pump help :-(

    Hi,
    fairly new to the pool game, I have been pretty lucky troubleshooting the past 7 years Ive owned the pool being able to figure out my own issues...but this one has me stumped.

    Ok...so a few days ago i noticed my pump was very weak, and wasnt moving the water out of the jets like it should be. I tried to backwash it, but the pump was barely moving the water enough to get out of the backwash hose. So I took the pump apart thinking there was something in the impeller maybe...but no. I then blew out the intake lines to ensure nothing was stuck there...they were clear. Checked all the connections to ensure they were tight. Then removed the multi port valve to see if there was something there...but it was clear as well. Finally out of desperation, i changed the sand in my filter....still the same weak pressure.

    All that to say do I need to replace my pump, can I rebuild it? How do i know which part to replace? Thanks so much in advance. I have a 16x32 inground pool, the pump is a sta-rite 1hp pump.

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    Re: pump help :-(

    Rebuilding it is an option although you will probably find that you can buy a new more efficient pump for about the same money as rebuilding the one you have.
    20000 Gallon, Sand Filter, IG Plaster, Hayward Aqua Rite 40k SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, Taylor SpeedStir

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    Re: pump help :-(

    yeah..thats what I wasnt sure of...whether the cost and time of rebuilding is worth the effort, or to grab a new one. Or If maybe there was something else I was missing all together. (hoping it wasnt the pump at all..lol)

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    Re: pump help :-(

    Double-check the voltage at the pump and/or at the breaker to make sure things are okay there.

    Double-check that the wires are tight on the pump and/or at the breaker. In general, make sure it is getting the electricity it is supposed to get and that the wires are all tight and not loose.

    Not that you have a frame of reference, but see if you can turn the pump by hand. You ought to be able to relatively easily.

    You could also hook the motor to the electricity but NOT connected to the impeller and 'bump' it to see if it spins. Do this quickly just as a quick check and be sure you are holding on tightly to the motor as it will want to jump and squirm around. Sometimes this can dislodge things and sometimes you can get a bit more life out of the motor but odds are decent the bearings might be on their way out and you are going to need a new motor and/or pump assembly. It just depends how much you want to mess around with it. Bearings, if that is the problem, can be replaced. And if you're doing that, you might as well look into replacing the shaft seals and any other o-rings/seals/gaskets and such. Again, it just depends how much you want to dig into it.
    ----Chris----
    25k IG/Spa Figure 8, 18x36, Pebble Sheen Blue Granite, Sta-Rite S8M150 Cartridge Filter, Pentair 460805 400k BTU Heater & 011018 IntelliFlo VarSpd
    Liquidator, Fafco Solar Heat, Polaris PB460 Booster Pump w/280 cleaner, Katchaleaf Cover, TF100 Test Kit, FAKE MAIN DRAIN

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    Re: pump help :-(

    Chalupa, my thoughts are. When you say weak. What do you mean? Does it sound normal? Is it buzzing? Barely turning? If it all sounds normal, you should look for a suction leak that is causing low suction. Does that make sense?

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: pump help :-(

    What is the filter pressure now vs when it was stronger.

    Also, I don't believe it would be a motor wiring issue or a bearing issue as mentioned above because both of those will overload a motor which will either burn up the windings or trip the thermal limiter switch. So if you are experience a motor that shuts off after a few minutes of running it could be one of those issues but if it runs fine but just not at full pressure, then it is more likely to be an impeller issue or a plumbing issue.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: pump help :-(

    First off thanks for the replies..this is great.
    Secondly, unfortunately as I was testing everything I noticed my pressure gauze had stopped working as it had gotten water in it somehow...so I havent been able to check the pressure on the filter. That being said. The pump itself seems to sound normal... I have checked all connections for a leaks, where else could it be coming from? I turn the pump on and it sounds like its working normally but the water that coming into the pump is a very slow stream.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Not that you have a frame of reference, but see if you can turn the pump by hand. You ought to be able to relatively easily.

    I have taken the pump apart, and I can spin the impeller both directions without resistance.

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    Re: pump help :-(

    When you spin the impeller, the motor shaft is spinning too correct?

    It sounds like a blockage somewhere, either pressure side or suction side. A pressure reading would help determine which.

    Why make/model pump do you have?
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: pump help :-(

    Its a Sta-rite 1hp pump. I will look up specifics when I get home.
    How do i do a pressure reading? Right off the filter pressure gauge?
    Yes, when I spin the impeller the motor shaft spins as well.

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    Re: pump help :-(

    Reread your first post and it really sounds like a suction side issue since the flow is low with backwashing too.

    Did you try back flushing the suction line (i.e. from pump to skimmer/MD)?

    Is there any air in the pump basket?
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: pump help :-(

    I blew out the suction line yes, and it was clear. There is lots of air in the pump basket..it only gets about half full with water

    - - - Updated - - -

    Did you try back flushing the suction line (i.e. from pump to skimmer/MD)?

    sorry..whats the MD stand for?

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    Re: pump help :-(

    There is lots of air in the pump basket..it only gets about half full with water
    That is a symptom of either an air leak or a suction side blockage or even both. If an air leak and it is significant (more than 50% air in the basket), that can certainly affect the water flow.

    Have you check the pump lid gasket for cracks and lubed it as well the pump drain plugs?
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: pump help :-(

    yes..thats all good and tight, no leaks. Pump lid is good no cracks, O ring is new last year.
    Should I try petroleum jelly around the pump lid?

    - - - Updated - - -

    How can I check a suction side blockage?

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    Re: pump help :-(

    No, you should never use petroleum jelly on any gasket. Only use silicon pool lube.

    As for the suction line, you said you "blew" it out but exactly what does that mean? Did you use air or water pressure? Water pressure will work better but you need to seal a hose in the pump basket pipe inlet with a wet rag so it can build pressure in the line.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: pump help :-(

    ok. i havent used anything on the o-ring to this point as its always had a good seal. I checked it again when I got home but found nothing.
    I blew out the lines using a shop vac. I did it from the pump side to the intake side, and vice versa. I thought is would loosen up whatever was in there if anything. I didnt want to use a pressure washer in case i wrecked something...and have never used water to clear a line before. can you explain you to do it with water pressure?
    Thanks

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: pump help :-(

    Water pressure will work better but you need to seal a hose in the pump basket pipe inlet with a wet rag so it can build pressure in the line.
    Basically this way.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: pump help :-(

    Plumber's snake or even an electrician's snake can be helpful in probing and breaking up possible blockages.
    ----Chris----
    25k IG/Spa Figure 8, 18x36, Pebble Sheen Blue Granite, Sta-Rite S8M150 Cartridge Filter, Pentair 460805 400k BTU Heater & 011018 IntelliFlo VarSpd
    Liquidator, Fafco Solar Heat, Polaris PB460 Booster Pump w/280 cleaner, Katchaleaf Cover, TF100 Test Kit, FAKE MAIN DRAIN

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    Re: pump help :-(

    Well..i fixed it I used a plumbers snake..just thought I would try it for poops n giggles to see if I could find anything. I found a HUGE clump of leaves n grass..i got some out then blew the line from the pump side to the skimmer side and it blew a bunch more junk out was very happy..but now the pump is running better than it ever has and I have a leak where the motor meets the pump part...sigh...will get a new gasket set for it...but cheaper than a new pump.

    THanks so much guys for all the help with this. It was great troubleshooting...even though it turned out to be initially what I thought it was in the first place! lol I just needed to be more persistent.
    anyway. Thanks again.

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