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Thread: Replacing pump motor

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    Replacing pump motor

    Hi all, I don't post much on here but lurk and use it as a resource when I'm having issues. Hopefully you all can help with this one.

    I have a ~15K gallon SWG pool with three waterfall features (two about 18" above pool surface and one ~28" above), Pentair cartridge CCP520 filter (150gpm) Whisperflow WFE4 pump with a 1.65 SFHP pentair motor.

    Lately the top water fall isn't working. Water just kind of dribbles out. I've made sure the filter was clean. Baskets are clean etc. I even took apart the wetside of the pump to make sure all was well. I'm assuming at this point the motor is on it's last leg. I was looking into replacement motors and wondering if I shouldn't try a higher HP motor as the top waterfall has always seemed weak (it's the first to show signs of even a slightly dirty filter). Pool Supply Unlimited shows a Magnetek full rate 1.5 HP 1.5 SF (so 2.25 total HP) replacement motor when looking up my OEM part #. Would this be a good motor to get to try and get a little more stable action from my top waterfall or am I going to exceed my piping/filter or rating on something else?
    15K gal gunite salt water, Aquapure 1400, pentair whisper quiet pump, gas heater. Wall w/ 3 fountains.

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    TFP Guide

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    Re: Replacing pump motor

    You can't get anymore flow from a larger motor without replacing impeller also. Did the builder put in any kind of valves to control flow between pool and waterfall?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Maybe post some pictures of your equipment setup

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    Re: Replacing pump motor

    Ok, i was wondering about the impeller as well. I think the WFE4 part refers to the impeller sizing? I'll have to research that more. Yes, there are two simple quarter-turn type valves to separately control return into pool and waterfall. I'll try and post some pics later. Thanks.
    15K gal gunite salt water, Aquapure 1400, pentair whisper quiet pump, gas heater. Wall w/ 3 fountains.

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    Re: Replacing pump motor

    Here are some pics. Valves in order from Left to right are: Cleaner, skimmer, main drain, return and waterfall. Current configuration is how I leave it when not using the pool (cleaner is on, skimmer partial and return on). To switch it to run the waterfall I just turn the return off and the waterfall on. Usually get better waterfall flow when main drain is on and cleaner is off. Unless the valve is broken I don't see how this could be causing any issues. I've run it the same way since I had pool installed.

    From the manual I have for the pump it looks like I could use a WFE6 impeller on a 1.5hp motor and a WFE8 on a 2hp motor. Those seem like they would buy me about +17 gpm and +30 gpm respectively. WFE4 only has max gpm of ~118 and my filter designed flow rate is 150gpm
    20160720_163759.jpg
    20160720_163210.jpg
    15K gal gunite salt water, Aquapure 1400, pentair whisper quiet pump, gas heater. Wall w/ 3 fountains.

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    Re: Replacing pump motor

    You can't squeeze juice from a dried peach, that being said the gpm you get is dependent on several factors most being with the plumbing from the equipment to the pool. You'd be surprised at what your actual gpm is.

    The "e" in your pump model refers to efficient, the 1.5hp/1.5sf motor you listed in your op is a full rated standard efficiency motor and the impeller is the same for WF-6 and WFE-6 which is part number #073129. The efficient motor will have a sf of 1.47 at 1.5hp(really efficient right?).

    I will say that you should notice the difference going from WFE-4 to WFE-6 but to get a good estimation of your actual gpm you can install a flow meter on the return line after the salt cell. They make a really cool one, #FV-C, but it's rather expensive yet easy to install.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Replacing pump motor

    Quote Originally Posted by Galleta View Post
    Lately the top water fall isn't working. Water just kind of dribbles out. I've made sure the filter was clean. Baskets are clean etc. I even took apart the wetside of the pump to make sure all was well. I'm assuming at this point the motor is on it's last leg. I was looking into replacement motors and wondering if I shouldn't try a higher HP motor as the top waterfall has always seemed weak (it's the first to show signs of even a slightly dirty filter). Pool Supply Unlimited shows a Magnetek full rate 1.5 HP 1.5 SF (so 2.25 total HP) replacement motor when looking up my OEM part #. Would this be a good motor to get to try and get a little more stable action from my top waterfall or am I going to exceed my piping/filter or rating on something else?
    A pump just doesn't start slowing down. When the bearings on a motor start to go out, there is extra load on the motor and it may slow down a tiny bit but too much and it will quickly overheat and trip the thermal limiter switch. So what you are describing sounds like a different issue.

    You said this was working fine before. Did you notice what the filter pressure use to be when working properly and what it is right now?

    Is that a check valve to the left of the pump? Did you open it and make sure it isn't broken?
    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: Replacing pump motor

    This is what I was worried about... don't want to replace motor only to find out that isn't the issue!

    If i remember right, after cleaning the filter the pressure would be about 15-20psi and now it's only at ~10psi. However, I could be mis-remembering (pretty sure it didn't get down to 10 psi though). A flow meter plumbed it would have been nice (almost put one in last year...)

    It is a check valve next to the pump. I did open it up and it seems fine to me. It is a spring load flapper valve and seemed to not take much effort to move manually.

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    A pump just doesn't start slowing down. When the bearings on a motor start to go out, there is extra load on the motor and it may slow down a tiny bit but too much and it will quickly overheat and trip the thermal limiter switch. So what you are describing sounds like a different issue.

    You said this was working fine before. Did you notice what the filter pressure use to be when working properly and what it is right now?

    Is that a check valve to the left of the pump? Did you open it and make sure it isn't broken?
    15K gal gunite salt water, Aquapure 1400, pentair whisper quiet pump, gas heater. Wall w/ 3 fountains.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Replacing pump motor

    Lower than normal pressure, if correct, usually means a suction side issue. Pipe or impeller blockage. When you opened up the pump did you look in each impeller vane to make sure it is clear?

    Also, if you open all the suction ports, is the waterfall fine?
    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: Replacing pump motor

    I did pull off the impeller and check the vanes and didn't see anything (you can only see so far in them) and also tried blowing them out. If I open all the suction (cleaner/skimmer/main drain) there isn't much difference. BTW, thanks so much for the suggestions. I appreciate it!

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    Lower than normal pressure, if correct, usually means a suction side issue. Pipe or impeller blockage. When you opened up the pump did you look in each impeller vane to make sure it is clear?

    Also, if you open all the suction ports, is the waterfall fine?
    Last edited by Galleta; 07-20-2016 at 08:46 PM. Reason: typo
    15K gal gunite salt water, Aquapure 1400, pentair whisper quiet pump, gas heater. Wall w/ 3 fountains.

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