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Thread: Pool Pump Motor Corrosion Prevention

  1. Back To Top    #1
    setsailsoon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015

    Pool Pump Motor Corrosion Prevention


    I've repaired a number of pool pumps recently and I'm finding most are 8-10 years old. Usually it appears the pump seal failed and got water on the motor bearing which eventually corrodes and makes a racket or it even freezes. In every case I have to take the motor off and disassemble it to remove/replace the motor bearing. It should be a very simple job and cost less than $30 in parts. But in every case at lease one of the long skinny bolts that hold the motor case ends together is completely frozen due to dissimilar metal corrosion (steel bolt in cast magnesium or aluminum case). These bolts are very long (about 12") and so skinny they twist and then break if there's much resistance turning them. Also often the bearing is frozen as well for the same reason. Sometimes I can drill the bolt out and use all-thread to repair the bolts and penetrating oil/patience with a puller to remove the bearing. At minimum it takes hours instead of minutes and sometimes too much force causes a broken case (new motor). My pump is only 3 years old so I thought I'd see if any of this was starting on my pumps (1hp and 11/2 hp). I turned power off and just tried to turn the bolts in place on the back of the motors. Sure enough, mine had almost frozen already. But with some gentle working back and forth I got all the bolts out. So I put this compound I used to use back in my blue water sailing days called Tef-Gel to prevent the future problem. Seems to me it would be a good idea to do this on any new pump. What do y'all think and what do you use? There are a lot of anti-seize compounds out there. Are any of them proven to work in pool applications? Seems to me that at least the bolts could be done as preventative maintenance with very little effort and save hundreds in future repairs. Also makes me think we should inspect/replace pump seals more often as it's pretty easy.

    Best regards,

    2013 In-ground plaster/pebble, screen enclosed, 12000 gal w/ Jandy 2 speed 1 HP pump, Jandy CS 200 cartridge filter, 800 gal spa w/ 1.5 HP booster pump, Solar heater, 2 LED lights in pool 1 light in spa, TF-100 test kit, The PoolCleaner Next Generation, Jandy RS-12 Automation system with iAqualink 2.0 control, Separate Hayward/Goldline Solar control

  2. Back To Top    #2

    In the Industry
    Pool Clown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Silicon Valley, CA

    Re: Pool Pump Motor Corrosion Prevention

    Every time this subject comes up, i ask myself, am i really doing my customers an in justice by refusing to replace bearings in his motor, but rather replace the motor as a whole instead? I don't really refuse to, i just tell them i don't want to put new bearings in your old motor.

    So then i begin to weigh the pros and cons...

    Aside from the first con i listed above, The OP lists a treasure of reasons for me not to repair... While the cost (30 to 40 dollars) of bearings is low in contrast to a new motor, you must factor in, charge actually, the labor involved as well. Granted, some repairs will go smoothly, but you cant always tell which ones from the initial inspection. You also should factor in the fact that the customer, given the option, might rather have a new motor instead. Especially if the motor is older than say 7 or 8 years.

    It is good that you are looking out for your customers, and want to give them the best value, but at the end of the day, you are in business to make money, and your customers must know this... Call backs are killers for you, and they begin to chip away at your customers confidence in your ability to make lasting, quality repairs even if you need to go back to make an "adjustment".

    I will assume, so as to cast no blame that the motors you recently repaired were from new to you clients to which you had no control over the past history or care of. This too would be a deciding factor. Depending on exactly what your services include, a good practice for your customers would be to either clean the area in and around the pumps, if not the whole equipment area OR inform the customer that the area needs to be kept clean (by others). As you probably know, a lot of corrosion can be caught and stopped early if found (pump leaks due to the seal). This cant be done in a timely manner if the area has debris all around the pump soaking up any water that is leaking.

    For me, in my area, complete replacement has been the practice, going on 40 years with very little call backs and satisfied customers. Now having said that, i must admit, usually after showing the customer the condition of the motor (visually), replacement is a no brainier.

    If the practice of repair is working for you AND your customers are satisfied, there may be no reason to change it.

    I believe that informing the customers of all their options, then letting them make informed decisions with regard to their pool, is one key to successful service practices.
    Factory Warranty Station for:
    Jandy/Zodiac, Pentair, Sta-Rite, Raypak, Polaris,
    and Paramount pool cleaning systems.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Valrico, FL

    Re: Pool Pump Motor Corrosion Prevention

    In the ten years I have owned our pool, I have had to replace the pump motor twice. I agree that dis-similar metal corrosion is at fault. However bolts can be replaced. What came into play with my pumps was corrosion on the front (pump end) end bell. The end bell is aluminum and the motor casing is steel. This resulted in enough corrosion that when the bolts are tightened, the motor armature would bind. The only remedy is to replace the motor.
    7,500 gal, IG pool, L shape 22' x 15', 1.5 hp pump, cartridge filter, AquaPlus SWG/Controller, Pebble-Tec liner.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    In the Industry

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Houston, Texas

    Re: Pool Pump Motor Corrosion Prevention

    I'd like to commend Pool Clown for his thoughtful response as it's right on the money, I have nothing to add.

    As far as corrosion I'm in the process of testing various anodes to see if they can lessen the issue. Where I see it the most is on Whisperflo pumps, I always take a seal plate with me when going to a leaking Whisperflo pump. I have yet to need to replace a motor on my test set-ups but I'm using the in-line anode on some and the disk type on the others. We'll see, watch these dagum motors last 10 years now....

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