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Thread: Squeaky pool pump - bearings, loose impeller, ??

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Squeaky pool pump - bearings, loose impeller, ??

    Hello TFPers,
    Below is a link to a recording of my pool pump's obnoxious noise:


    (not sure the link works, but the address is correct)

    It's been doing this for quite some time now, but I'm finally getting around to doing something about it It only makes this sound when the pump motor is cold. So, all winter long, it would squeal when it first turned on, then after 5-15 minutes would quiet down and work just fine. I just put the sound together with temperature about a week ago, when I noticed that it wasn't making the noise since the days have warmed up. You can see in the video that I put a garbage bag full of ice on the pump before starting it, just to be sure it would squeal on command for the camera.

    We have a Fidelity home warranty (I know they're practically useless, but it was included with the house... ) which covers our pool equipment, so they've sent out a pool service to look at it. Of course I can't produce the noise on command, so I showed their tech this video. His first impression was a perhaps a loose impeller, but said he'd never heard a sound like that before. My thought is: if it were impeller-related, it would constantly make the noise regardless of outside temperature. My gut feeling is bad bearings, which don't squeal when they're warm.

    What sayeth the great Oracle at TFP? I may send them (edit: the service guys) a link to this page if you have some ideas.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Re: Squeaky pool pump - bearings, loose impeller, ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Melt In The Sun
    Hello TFPers,
    Below is a link to a recording of my pool pump's obnoxious noise:


    (not sure the link works, but the address is correct)

    It's been doing this for quite some time now, but I'm finally getting around to doing something about it It only makes this sound when the pump motor is cold. So, all winter long, it would squeal when it first turned on, then after 5-15 minutes would quiet down and work just fine. I just put the sound together with temperature about a week ago, when I noticed that it wasn't making the noise since the days have warmed up. You can see in the video that I put a garbage bag full of ice on the pump before starting it, just to be sure it would squeal on command for the camera.

    We have a Fidelity home warranty (I know they're practically useless, but it was included with the house... ) which covers our pool equipment, so they've sent out a pool service to look at it. Of course I can't produce the noise on command, so I showed their tech this video. His first impression was a perhaps a loose impeller, but said he'd never heard a sound like that before. My thought is: if it were impeller-related, it would constantly make the noise regardless of outside temperature. My gut feeling is bad bearings, which don't squeal when they're warm.

    What sayeth the great Oracle at TFP? I may send them (edit: the service guys) a link to this page if you have some ideas.
    kinda thinkin it's the impeller...it sounds like it is priming...then it starts pumping water. How big and old is the pump?
    Beave
    Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Wil-Bar Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
    Swimline J-Blue Opal Liner, 1 4X20 Fafco Solar Bear Solar Heater
    Hayward 2 HP Swim Pro Voyager Pump Micro 150 with 4 way timer
    Swim Pro Voyager Filtration System with Hayward ABS Pearl wide mouth skimmer

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Squeaky pool pump - bearings, loose impeller, ??

    Yeah I should clarify that....

    I am pretty certain that it's not a priming issue. It primes just fine. The sound is a little deceptive at the end of the video; as soon as it stops squealing you can hear the heat pump in the background. It still doesn't make sense to me that priming/impeller issues could possibly be dependent on temperature.

    It's a 1 hp Hayward w/ AO Smith motor, 1.5 SF. It is probably as old as the pool, 5 years max (house built in 2005, not sure about pool).

    Even after the squealing stops, it makes a soft mechanical clicky-scrapey sound that reminds me of the loose bearings in my rollerblades when I was a kid. You can't hear it on the video.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Re: Squeaky pool pump - bearings, loose impeller, ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Melt In The Sun
    Yeah I should clarify that....

    I am pretty certain that it's not a priming issue. It primes just fine. The sound is a little deceptive at the end of the video; as soon as it stops squealing you can hear the heat pump in the background. It still doesn't make sense to me that priming/impeller issues could possibly be dependent on temperature.

    It's a 1 hp Hayward w/ AO Smith motor, 1.5 SF. It is probably as old as the pool, 5 years max (house built in 2005, not sure about pool).

    Even after the squealing stops, it makes a soft mechanical clicky-scrapey sound that reminds me of the loose bearings in my rollerblades when I was a kid. You can't hear it on the video.
    You may be right...there are experts here who can show you how to change the bearings...on your own...but, not my cup of bearings if you no what I mean...
    Beave
    Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Wil-Bar Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
    Swimline J-Blue Opal Liner, 1 4X20 Fafco Solar Bear Solar Heater
    Hayward 2 HP Swim Pro Voyager Pump Micro 150 with 4 way timer
    Swim Pro Voyager Filtration System with Hayward ABS Pearl wide mouth skimmer

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    Re: Squeaky pool pump - bearings, loose impeller, ??

    Bearings are done. I don't change bearings normally. I change the motor. Others do do bearings.

    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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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Squeaky pool pump - bearings, loose impeller, ??

    Any more thoughts from anybody else? I appreciate the help.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    Re: Squeaky pool pump - bearings, loose impeller, ??

    I am a Vice President with Fidelity National Home Warranty. If you would like, please contact me via telephone or email regarding your pool equipment. If possible, I would like to review your claim and see if I can resolve your pool pump issue.


    Thank You, Monica Soto
    Customer Care Department
    Fidelity National Home Warranty

    (800) 308-1424 Ext. 7145
    msoto@fnf.com

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Squeaky pool pump - bearings, loose impeller, ??

    Monica,

    I talked with FNHW customer service, and have been put in contact with a pool contractor. I posted on here not to bad-mouth Fidelity , but just to get multiple opinions on what the problem could be. Thanks for your concern nonetheless!
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    Re: Squeaky pool pump - bearings, loose impeller, ??

    You may be able to do the old "ear to the screwdriver" test to localize the noise. In case you don't know this old mechanic's trick, you get a (preferably long) screwdriver, and press the tip to one end of the motor, and put your ear against the handle. It will very clearly transmit the sounds of the bearing to your ear. Then check the other end, and anywhere else you think the noise may be coming from.
    You do have to be super careful doing this, because you are placing you head in close proximity to moving machinery. You have to make sure that your hair, earrings, necktie, etc. will not get caught in the motor. You are also poking a metal screwdriver against a live motor, so you can't stick it inside or through any holes, or onto live electrical connectors, etc.

    Or separate the motor from the pump and fire it up to see if the noise goes with the motor.

    Or you could tear it down and inspect the parts individually.

    Or you could replace the entire unit.

    That's what I have.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

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    Re: Squeaky pool pump - bearings, loose impeller, ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohm_Boy
    You may be able to do the old "ear to the screwdriver" test to localize the noise. In case you don't know this old mechanic's trick, you get a (preferably long) screwdriver, and press the tip to one end of the motor, and put your ear against the handle. It will very clearly transmit the sounds of the bearing to your ear. Then check the other end, and anywhere else you think the noise may be coming from.
    You do have to be careful doing this, because you are placing you head in close proximity to moving machinery. You have to make sure that your hair, earrings, necktie, etc. will not get caught in the motor. You are also poking a metal screwdriver against a live motor, so you can't stick it inside or through any holes, or onto live electrical connectors, etc.

    Or separate the motor from the pump and fire it up to see if the noise goes with the motor.

    Or you could tear it down and inspect the parts individually.

    Or you could replace the entire unit.

    That's what I have.
    When I was a kid...My dad used to take his cars to Mr. Dibble an old guy who used to work on engines at GM in Detroit. He did the same thing but with wooden dowel rods...he would put them up against the block and he could hear the timing in each valve and could tell if the the pistons were pumping in unison or if one was slightly off. I have never heard of anyone doing it present day until now...perhaps a wooden dowl rod would be safer...it would have the same effect.
    Beave
    Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Wil-Bar Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
    Swimline J-Blue Opal Liner, 1 4X20 Fafco Solar Bear Solar Heater
    Hayward 2 HP Swim Pro Voyager Pump Micro 150 with 4 way timer
    Swim Pro Voyager Filtration System with Hayward ABS Pearl wide mouth skimmer

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Squeaky pool pump - bearings, loose impeller, ??

    Well, the service company wants to change the impeller...we'll see what happens. I don't see how that could possibly be the cause of the problem, given my observations.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Squeaky pool pump - bearings, loose impeller, ??

    I have never heard of anyone doing it present day until now
    Funny, I have a mechanic's stethoscope, but I have better results with a screwdriver. Way better.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Squeaky pool pump - bearings, loose impeller, ??

    Well, the impeller is changed, and now I have a substantial suction side leak - constant bubbles and audible gurgling when the pump is running. The leak is at a pipe joint about 10 inches from the suction inlet of the pump, I can hear it pulling air right after the pump is shut off, and can watch the bubbles slowly dribble into the pump basket. Since the weather's warm, I won't be able to tell if the impeller change fixed the original problem

    Plus, they added water to my pool til it was about 1/2 inch below the skimmer top when I was letting it evaporate down so I could work on the auto-fill. They also walked on our newly seeded lawn , and....cleaned the filter cartridges, which is fine except they did it in the new baby grass . Oh, and, that is not their job!!! They were called to fix my pump, not to overfill my pool, walk all over and clean the filters in my just-sprouted lawn, and break my suction piping!

    So now, they have a responsibility to fix the suction leak that they've caused, but I don't want them on my property anymore! Time to call Monica (posted above).........
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    Re: Squeaky pool pump - bearings, loose impeller, ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Melt In The Sun
    Well, the impeller is changed, and now I have a substantial suction side leak - constant bubbles and audible gurgling when the pump is running. The leak is at a pipe joint about 10 inches from the suction inlet of the pump, I can hear it pulling air right after the pump is shut off, and can watch the bubbles slowly dribble into the pump basket. Since the weather's warm, I won't be able to tell if the impeller change fixed the original problem

    Plus, they added water to my pool til it was about 1/2 inch below the skimmer top when I was letting it evaporate down so I could work on the auto-fill. They also walked on our newly seeded lawn , and....cleaned the filter cartridges, which is fine except they did it in the new baby grass . Oh, and, that is not their job!!! They were called to fix my pump, not to overfill my pool, walk all over and clean the filters in my just-sprouted lawn, and break my suction piping!

    So now, they have a responsibility to fix the suction leak that they've caused, but I don't want them on my property anymore! Time to call Monica (posted above).........
    yeah...I would call her...her posting here was all customer service all the time...so I think if you call her she will ensure that you get satisfaction. Quite frankly, they had no business doing anything that you didn't authorize them to do. I would really be angry at someone if they did that on my newly sprouted lawn. Shame on them.
    Beave
    Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Wil-Bar Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
    Swimline J-Blue Opal Liner, 1 4X20 Fafco Solar Bear Solar Heater
    Hayward 2 HP Swim Pro Voyager Pump Micro 150 with 4 way timer
    Swim Pro Voyager Filtration System with Hayward ABS Pearl wide mouth skimmer

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Squeaky pool pump - bearings, loose impeller, ??

    Update for anyone interested. I contacted Monica above, and now am waiting to hear from a different company, called "Knockout Pools" . Better dig out my boxing headgear and mouthguard
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Squeaky pool pump - bearings, loose impeller, ??

    Well, Knockout came out here. Tried turning the pump on and off to find the suction leak; no dice. The tech said that the small amount of bubbles in the basket was just fine and the pump was working just fine. Sure.

    Now it's cavitating (pretty sure; definite change in the sound, like pumping gravel), but only on one of my return zones (I have 6 controlled by the in-floor cleaner valve). It's the wall return zone, which logically seems like it would have the lowest head loss.

    I know that cavitation = blocked suction. Could a screwed-up impeller change have anything to do with this? Bubbles/cavitation are the same whether I'm pulling from the main drain or skimmer. Basket gasket is good, according to the tech that was out here. Is that worth trying to change? Otherwise, I'm at a loss as to what to do from here, other than just sit on it and hope the warranty outlasts the pump.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Squeaky pool pump - bearings, loose impeller, ??

    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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