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Thread: Pump / Electric question

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    Pump / Electric question

    Do you have an on/off switch that operates your pump? Also, what type of plug / recepticale do you have -- mine's a very large 4-bladed one.

    I don't but wonder if there should be one. I wanted to bump my filter this morning. The timer (in the basement) on the pump had already turned it on. So I unplugged my pump and there was a spark. The breaker in the basement also tripped.

    My neighbor, the electrician, is out-of-town of course. Can't raise my brother on the phone either thanks to the holiday. I went to HD and picked up a new plug (my current one had brown around one of the blades before -- now that blade has black around it). The guy suggested that I replace the recepticale also as he thought that it was most likely to have caused the problem, which makes sense. So I bought both and will replace them when it gets a little cooler tonight or tomorrow morning. But before I do, I wondered if I should change the type.

    Sue


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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Pump / Electric question

    I agree with replacing the receptacle also. You should stay with the type you have now.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Pump / Electric question

    It looks like you have a 230 volt 20 amp circuit feeding your pump.
    Plugs and receptacles are sized for the application. That is a NEMA L14-20, which is rated for 250V/20A. The four-wire plug carries the 2 hot wires, a neutral, and a ground. It is a twist-lock design to avoid accidental removal or loosening.

    If you replace either the plug or receptacle or both, you'll need to replace it with another L14-20.
    L14-20P = plug,
    L14-20R = receptacle.

    Oh yeah, the L = locking
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    Re: Pump / Electric question

    Thanks so much for the quick replies!

    Should there be a switch nearby?

    There's only a shut-off valve for the bottom drain. I have to plug the return and skimmer, and there's no shut-off between the pump and filter either. Not sure what's supposed to be near the pool to make things easier to work on.

    Thanks again, and hope you're having a great holiday!

    Sue

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Pump / Electric question

    A switch is not required by code since the twistlock plug is considered a disconnect device but if it were me I'd install one near the pump for convenience.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Pump / Electric question

    One thing I noticed from your picture. The green coloring on the three unburned prongs of your plug indicate water intrusion and damage. It is code to have an in-use cover over your receptacle. That's the bubble looking cover that flips up to access the receptacle and back down to cover the mated plug and receptacle to protect it from rain or splashing. You may want to check to see if you have one installed and if so if it's closing properly.

    Also, I believe you posted in another thread that you thought your pump motor was shot. Damage to the plug, like seen in your picture above, or to the wiring just inside of the plug can cause the pump to not operate and sometimes hum.
    18'x24' (10,000 gal) above ground pool, 19" Proline sand filter (45 GPM), Jacuzzi 1.5 HP 2 speed pump

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    4JawChuck's Avatar
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    Re: Pump / Electric question

    For this kind of service I don't recommend plugs, a hard wire install is much more durable inside a sealed IP65 rated switch box. Unplugging while the pump was running caused your arcing and done often enough will ruin a plug and receptacle. The corrosion on your connectors blades should be reason enough to go with a hard wire installation if you ask me. Unless you remove the pump to prevent freezing in the winter this type of installation is the safest (separate disconnect near the pump), a IP65 rated switch and enclosure will prevent corrosion.

    Ideally this is what you should have on the wall if the connection is outside and you want to retain the plug, this model is rated at 32A for 220VAC service.


    You need to check your local codes to see whats applicable in your area but up here in Canada a plug like that outdoors is not legal...you can see why.
    55 Kilolitre in-ground 18'X36' vinyl lined kidney shape, 1HP pump, Jacuzzi 250lb sand filter, RayPak Delta T 200K BTU natural gas heater. New PoolWerks "Blue Diffusion" liner on May 26th-2011
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    Re: Pump / Electric question

    Thanks all! My pump motor had to be repaired -- it didn't work at start-up this Spring. It was working fine as of yesterday morning.

    The receptacle does have a bubble cover but I agree that it appears that some water had clearly intruded at some point, or perhaps it was just badly stored. It was like that when I got it 2 years ago. The pump / filter was new in 2006 and was used 1 month then stored in place for about 20 months. I've removed the pump in the fall and stored it inside.

    With holiday festivities (thankfully not here!), I haven't had much time to fiddle with it. I still have to replace plug and receptacle (and of course did not plug it back in), but did turn the breaker on this morning -- it immediately tripped. The only thing on it is the timer, also in the basement. I turned the time off and the breaker stayed on until I turned it off. When I open the receptacle box, I'll probably know more.

    The electrical configuration that's currently out there did comply with code when installed but I don't know how long ago that was or if code here has changed since then.

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    Re: Pump / Electric question

    Code changes every three years. Once your installation passes final inspection you no longer have to "keep up with" code, you're grandfathered in. The important thing is making sure you have a safe and reliable system.
    18'x24' (10,000 gal) above ground pool, 19" Proline sand filter (45 GPM), Jacuzzi 1.5 HP 2 speed pump

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    Re: Pump / Electric question

    Agreed: safe and reliable is a good thing.

    Also would like convenience, hence the question about a switch. This pool is not plumbed for convenience either (with nice convenient shut-off valves). Whenever I have to work on it, it's a pain. But it runs just fine normally.

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    Guest

    Re: Pump / Electric question

    Just replaced the receptacle, turned on the timer and then the breaker and it stayed on! So hopefully I'll be up and running shortly.

    It's about 100* outside, so I was waiting for the shade to come over the pump area. I put an umbrella over it earlier today but that really didn't do such a great job -- still too hot to work there. My thermometer is reading 106* in the sun. I've been taking dips in the pool and coming out and working in between running into the nice air conditioned house with all the pets!

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    Re: Pump / Electric question

    It works!

    I turned the face of the bubble cover away from all water -- it was facing at an angle towards the lower opening on the filter, which I always thought was kinda silly. I like the new plug, it's much tighter than the old one. Pool looks good; it stayed in good shape because it was already well-balanced and I brushed it several times and added some bleach. So being down for 1-1/2 days wasn't a problem at all. I added more bleach, fresh DE and hopefully it will continue to run well.

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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Pump / Electric question

    Congratulations! Thanks for the update. And good call on that cover orientation.
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