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Thread: Bad Bearings: Replace them, or the entire pump?

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    Bad Bearings: Replace them, or the entire pump?

    I just bought a house with a pool, and before I've even had the chance to stick anything other than my toes in it, I've got a problem! After the storms we had last week, I noticed my pump was making a different sound than it had the day before. Sure enough, there was some serious grinding going on, and after a few more minutes, some smoke too. Now, I'm no pool genius (that's why I come to you brilliant people!), but I know that if it grinds and smokes, it's bad.

    I called a pool guy, and he said my bearings were shot. So it looks as if I have 3 choices: 1) Replace the bearings, 2) replace the motor, or 3) replace the whole pump. Pool Guy thinks that I should replace the whole pump with a 1.5hp WhisperFlo, which he would do for $850.

    So, I have a few questions for all of you, and they all seem like they're intertwined, so I'm hoping that I can draw on your collective experience. I know that replacing the bearings would be the cheapest option, at least upfront. Since we've only been in the house for a few weeks, I don't know how much electricity we're using, but I know that there are more efficient pumps available. As much as I don't want to spend loads of money, I understand that spending now could save me in the long run. Should I choose door 1, 2, or 3? And if 2 or 3, what would be an appropriate replacement for what I have?

    Feel free to ask any questions that might help clarify my original question, and thanks in advance!

    RH

    20000 Gallon plaster IG, 14x31, Hayward DE4820 filter, Hayward multiport main, Hayward 3/4hp motor on a R5750 pump. Kreepy Krauly cleaner. 2 inch lines, pump is 15 feet from pool, all in Beautiful Downtown Burbank, California.
    19,500 gallon plaster pool, Kreepy Krauly, IntelliFlo pump, Solar Sun Rings no longer heating the pool now that I have eight 4x12 Heliocol panels on my roof!

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Bad Bearings: Replace them, or the entire pump?

    A few questions:
    1. How old is the current pump?
    2. Has it performed adequately so far? (runs all your cleaning equipment and any water features with good flow)
    3. Did you pool guy tell you why he is recommending a 1.5 hp pump when what you have now is 3/4 hp?
    4. Does the price quoted include installation?

    Personally, I would go with a 2 speed pump, which is on my wish list!

    Oh, and I found this pool pump cost calculator. According to this 3/4 hp may be a little undersized for your pool.
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Re: Bad Bearings: Replace them, or the entire pump?

    The new Speck 3 speed is Title 20 compliant and very suitable if you have 240V to the existing pump. Same type of motor design as the Pentair and Jandy Variable Speed pumps, just a lot fewer bells and whistles, only goes to 1 HP. Replacement pumps, as I understand Ca. law, requires at a minimum, a two speed. The Speck is about the same price but because the motor type is what it is, should last substantially longer and use a lot less power due to it's inherent efficiency. Given your location, this is important, especially since you run year round in an area known for high electrical charges.

    The other alternative is to replace the motor and seal set now and consider the pump option later if there is a cash flow issue. 3/4 HP is fine.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Bad Bearings: Replace them, or the entire pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    Replacement pumps, as I understand Ca. law, requires at a minimum, a two speed.
    In No.Cal, where I am, PG&E no longer gives rebates for two-speeds because of this requirement (they figure, why given an incentive for something you're required do). But they will still give a rebate on a variable-speed. So.Cal power companies probably do something similar.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    Re: Bad Bearings: Replace them, or the entire pump?

    I believe the Speck qualifies for the rebate.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Bad Bearings: Replace them, or the entire pump?

    Replace the motor.

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    Re: Bad Bearings: Replace them, or the entire pump?

    Replace the pump (and a 3/4 HP is perfect for your pool). Your pool guys doesn't know what he is talking about recommending a 1.5 HP pump (man, these guys bug me sometimes!!). If you want to have some fun, ask him what his reasoning is for the big pump!

    As of January '08 California requires at least a 2 speed pump. You can no longer use single speed pumps. Up front costs may be more with a new pump, but you will be better off in the long run with the new pump, and then you will be done.

    Did you by chance get a home warranty with the home? If so, you may be able to have the pump replaced under it.

    Congrats on the new home and pool

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    Re: Bad Bearings: Replace them, or the entire pump?

    Congrats on the new home purchase, here is the link to Southern California Edison Rebates for Pool Pumps!

    http://www.sce.com/residential/rebates- ... -motor.htm

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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Bad Bearings: Replace them, or the entire pump?

    A quick search for electric motor repair in Burbank brought up Berge Electric Motors - your yellow pages may show others. I've no experience with them, but you could certainly get a repair/rebuild estimate from them. I'm willing to bet that they can beat $850...

    Berge Electric Motors
    720 E Santa Anita Ave
    Burbank, CA 91501
    (818) 841-0731
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

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    Re: Bad Bearings: Replace them, or the entire pump?

    Wow, you guys are great! Thanks for all of the tips. Here are some answers to your questions:

    I'm not sure how old the pump is, but I know it's at least 5 years old as it was installed two owners ago. It appeared to be doing an adequate job so far. I thought the Kreepy Krauly could have been doing a better job, but the sellers only were running it 4 hours a day when showing it, so don't think it had enough time throughout the week to clean it thoroughly.

    Pool Guy recommended a stronger pump, "because, Bro, that WhisperFlo will be moving WAAAAY more water than that piece of junk Hayward. Even if you put a 3/4hp Whisper on there, you'd still be better off, but, Bro, you could really be pushing water with a 1.5, heck, even a 1hp." His price for the pump was $700, labor $150. I know I can get the pump far cheaper on the internet.

    Sadly, the home warranty didn't cover the pump (grumble grumble), but we're anxious to get this thing in service, especially since it's getting nice here, which also means that Company Season is starting soon!

    Two follow-up questions: How hard is it to replace a pump by myself? I realize that's a tough question to answer, since you have no idea of my mechanical aptitude. I've never made a plumbing problem worse, although I've had a few that took far longer than they should have! I have a feeling that I should probably leave this to the pros.

    Second: Given that my pump has been off for a week now while we try to figure this out, how much longer do I have before I have a problem with my water? We still have the chlorine tab floater going in the pool.

    Thanks again!

    Red
    19,500 gallon plaster pool, Kreepy Krauly, IntelliFlo pump, Solar Sun Rings no longer heating the pool now that I have eight 4x12 Heliocol panels on my roof!

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    Re: Bad Bearings: Replace them, or the entire pump?

    In your first post you mentioned smoke. Where did the smoke come from? If it came from the windings, then you will have to either replace the motor or have it rewound. If the motor needs to be rewound then you probably can purchase a new motor online for about the same amount of money. One issue with replacing just the motor is that the impellor may not come off after five years. Also be aware that you probably can get a two speed motor to fit your existing pump.
    7,500 gal, IG pool, L shape 22' x 15', 1.5 hp pump, cartridge filter, AquaPlus SWG/Controller, Pebble-Tec liner.

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    Re: Bad Bearings: Replace them, or the entire pump?

    Red-

    PoolGuy is a little clueless on water dynamics! His "bigger is better" philosophy may work on race car motors and Monster Trucks, but it doesn't "hold water" (sorry 'bout that!) here! Like Scott (PoolGuyNJ) and I mentioned earlier, 3/4 is perfect for your application.

    Pumps are pretty easy to install, if you have some skills! PVC and some electrical wiring aptitude is pretty much it. Use threaded unions on the pump plumbing of they aren't already there to make it easier to replace next time! And kill the breaker before working on the pump electrical.

    There; looks like Scott and I saved you lots of money with a smaller pump, less electricity and info on how to do it your self! We'll be happy to get you our PayPal addresses

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    Re: Bad Bearings: Replace them, or the entire pump?

    Alas Bruce, the DW has access to the PayPal. I do accept Visa and MC though!

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Bad Bearings: Replace them, or the entire pump?

    Our new to us pool had a pump that was seized. I tried the home warranty but it was the skimmer/in floor cleaner pump, not the filter pump, so it wasn't covered. Anyway, we replaced the pump with the same make/model. Super easy. Did not want to hassle with a different make pump and deal with the possibility of connection or alignment issues. We live in Cali. and ordered the pump online. 2 speed pump? We don't need no stinkin 2 speed pump! Tired of CA telling me what to do! Am gonna disect the old pump and see if it can be fixed. Save it as a backup.
    16K gallon, Pebble tec, beach entry. Two 1 hp Pentair Whisperflos. One for Paramount MDX2 main drain, Paramount debris canister, and Pentair CCP 520 filter. One for skimmer w/sock and Paramount PCC2000 in floor cleaner. 3/4 hp Pentair Pinnacle for waterfall. Fiberstars fiber optic pool lighting. Aqua-Logic AQL-P-4 control panel with wired remote in the house. SWCG system that is not used. Ultra-Pure Ozonator that is not used.

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    Re: Bad Bearings: Replace them, or the entire pump?

    What home warranty company didn't cover all above ground equipment?

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Bad Bearings: Replace them, or the entire pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    What home warranty company didn't cover all above ground equipment?

    Scott
    American Home Shield is one that I know of. When we bought our house our realtor had the sellers include a warranty, and specifically had them include the pool. There's a special box to check on the application, and more money required up front.
    26,000 Gallon Gunnite IGP
    2 HP Challenger High Head Pump
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  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: Bad Bearings: Replace them, or the entire pump?

    AFAIK, that is normally covered. Motor and seal set if it's just the motor unless there was some obvious abuse. It's been 2 years since I did AHS services (it was b4 I started my company) and it would have been covered. I suppose some things might have changed but I doubt it. I would be willing to bet the on-site tech they sent was inexperienced in how to deal with them.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Bad Bearings: Replace them, or the entire pump?

    Our home warranty only covers equipment that is "required" for pool operation. In our situation, the main drain/filter pump. The skimmer/in floor cleaner pump and equipment is not covered.
    16K gallon, Pebble tec, beach entry. Two 1 hp Pentair Whisperflos. One for Paramount MDX2 main drain, Paramount debris canister, and Pentair CCP 520 filter. One for skimmer w/sock and Paramount PCC2000 in floor cleaner. 3/4 hp Pentair Pinnacle for waterfall. Fiberstars fiber optic pool lighting. Aqua-Logic AQL-P-4 control panel with wired remote in the house. SWCG system that is not used. Ultra-Pure Ozonator that is not used.

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