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Thread: stuck skimmer bobber burned out pool pump (what should I do?

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    stuck skimmer bobber burned out pool pump (what should I do?

    Hi everyone, I am new here, but I have researched this topic for a few hours. Found a bunch of great posts but nothing that answers my main questions.

    I have a 16kgal IGP run by one 1hp 1.25 SF Pump (Pentair Whisperflo) wf-24 A.O. smith motor

    My wife and I built the pool back in '04 and started having problems with the skimmer immediately. We went out of town after the pool was built and came back a few days later to find the motor had gotten much louder. Apparently the poor pump had been running all weekend with no water due to the skimmer bobber sticking and not allowing water in. The pump motor started screeching when it would start. But it would run, loud, but run.

    It kept running for years. I kept using the skimmer bobber mainly because it would do a good job at cleaning the surface ****. It would stick every morning but I would be there to un-stick it. When we would leave I would take the bobber off.

    3 days ago, I had to leave early and my wife had just had surgery so she could not get to the pump but she heard it. I got home around 1pm and saw the pool water was still and the pump was not running. The timer was working fine. I touched the pump motor and it almost burned my hand. It was very hot and I could smell burned rubber smell. The pump would not come on at all. I have seen this before on other pumps, usually they start after they cool. Mine however, would not start. After allowing it to cool for an hour it would only make an electrical hum. Humming noise.

    I have spent the last three days researching this. Found a great post about taking my pump apart here: pentair-whisperflow-seal-replacement-how-to-w-photos-t10763.html

    My impeller shaft spins very freely, although it does make slight scrapping noise and I sometimes hear the sound of dropping BB's if you can imagine that.
    The motor seal seems to be fine, no visible damage. I have heard that I could replace the starting capacitor, but I just don't think its going to work. I really think the motor has gotten burned out.

    I was just wondering about a few things.

    I live in FL, its kind of hot here but not bad in November. My pool is starting to get cloudy and dirty. How long do I have before I need to get water moving?

    Should I waste the 12 bucks on a starting capacitor? I really think that the motor is gone, given the burned out smell. Even if I get this motor running again, its going to be loud and will probably be inefficient. Still $12 is better than $250 I would spend on a new motor, seal kit and shipping.

    I have read about the horrors of a pump motor rebuild, so I am going to probably have to sink a few extra dollars into a replacement motor. My question: Does anyone have any experience with inyopools.com? Is there a better site to order from?
    Should I buy an EE (energy efficient) motor ?

    Thanks everyone! I appreciate any and all help. I am going to try to scrape some bucks together tomorrow and make a move, so quick answers would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

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    4JawChuck's Avatar
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    Re: stuck skimmer bobber burned out pool pump (what should I do?

    Considering the circumstances I would replace the entire motor and put in a new mechanical seal. This gives you the least chances of making a mistake and repairing a motor with a shorted winding and gives you warranty on the new motor. Assembling the motor onto the existing pump housing is something any DIY'er can do in an afternoon, replacing the mechanical seal is just additional piece of mind that the assy is going to last like a new install.

    Lots of cheaper ways to do it but they all depend on whats actually wrong with your motor to begin with and who knows how long it could take to repair (especially if the armature is shorted$$$) and if you have time to do it yourself. If I were you I would order the motor and seal/rebuild kit and take the entire works to a competant local motor shop and have it back the next day and be back up an running, it would be a shame for the pool to go south on your while you try to save a few bucks rebuilding it yourself etc.

    Good luck.
    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: stuck skimmer bobber burned out pool pump (what should I do?

    Yes, that's exactly what I am thinking 4JawChuck. I don't have the bux to have a motor shop put the seals on a new one. I guess I will try myself and see what happens. There is a great dyi seal replacement post on the forum, it is mentioned above, I will go back to that post for sure.

    The main decision I have now is on the actual replacement motor. Do I go with the a.o. smith b853 or b863se? The b863se is more expensive but is supposedly "energy efficient"

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    4JawChuck's Avatar
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    Re: stuck skimmer bobber burned out pool pump (what should I do?

    I would get the higher price model to get the lower electricity usage rate and lower amp draw, the small price difference will pay for itself in no time.
    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
    Avatar is my pool!

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: stuck skimmer bobber burned out pool pump (what should I do?

    Until you get your pump running again get some liquid chlorine and pour it around the perimeter of the pool, then brush the pool to mix it in. That will keep you pool from going green until you get the pump running again. Just be sure and test to see how much chlorine to add. I would not use a powdered chlorine since it will sink to the bottom before it dissolves.
    TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: stuck skimmer bobber burned out pool pump (what should I do?

    Welcome to TFP.

    I have a couple of observations. 1) Your sticking weir didn't cause the problem you have with your motor. A sticking weir would have caused the shaft seal to fail and it'd be leaking severely. 2) it sounds like you got a bad motor from the beginning and I'm surprised it's lasted this long.

    I agree that the best way to go is replace the motor. However, I would spring for the 2-speed version of that motor.
    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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    Re: stuck skimmer bobber burned out pool pump (what should I do?

    Thank you for the replies, answers and the welcome to the board Dave. Its day five without pump and the pool is still blue and clear, I know it won't last long so I am off to obtain some bleach right now. We have had a few cloudy days here but I am sure that won't last long.

    It would not surprise me that the motor was bad from the beginning, but it was actually very powerful and only started to get loud after it ran dry for that weekend. Funny thing is, the shaft seal looks perfect. When I spin the shaft, I can hear the bearings bouncing around in there, so I guess they need to be re-packed.

    Thank you for the info on the EE model. I was worried that the numbers would be off. The model I am looking at is an A.O. Smith B863se up rate, it has a higher rpm than my old model. I will check out the two speed. Thanks.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: stuck skimmer bobber burned out pool pump (what should I do?

    It says 3600, and in a perfect world it would be, but due to slip etc. it's going to actually run closer to 3450.
    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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    Re: stuck skimmer bobber burned out pool pump (what should I do?

    Pic of the seal plate with shaft seal. They look OK. I have been reading more about seal replacement and it seems many people are having more problems after replacing the shaft seal. Would I be crazy to leave the old seal?
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: stuck skimmer bobber burned out pool pump (what should I do?

    In order to tell if the seal is bad we need to see the other side. But, I'd replace the seal whenever the pump is apart. If you are careful NOT to touch the sealing surfaces and to install it exactly like the instructions say to you won't have a problem. I use a new pair of gloves every time I replace a seal. Don't bump it or drop it.
    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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    Re: stuck skimmer bobber burned out pool pump (what should I do?

    Thanks Dave, I appreciate the tips. I have a new motor and seal ordered, should be here tomorrow. Pool is still blue but is slowly sliding into an greenish opalescence... gotta get that water moving, especially with a sunny day coming tomorrow.

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    Re: stuck skimmer bobber burned out pool pump (what should I do?

    The pump motor arrived, I had to get the b853 as my funds are limited. As my luck goes, the motor seal was not included in the shipment. Very windy day down here, the pool is still blue but I am net skimming every hour. Here is a shot of the wet side of the seal, it looks ok. I guess I will have to buy another seal from a pool store.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: stuck skimmer bobber burned out pool pump (what should I do?

    I can't tell what shape the sealing surfaces are in but if you're sure they look good then you could put it back together and try it. Worse case scenario is that it leaks and you have to disassemble the front end and replace it.
    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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    4JawChuck's Avatar
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    Re: stuck skimmer bobber burned out pool pump (what should I do?

    Dilute some chlorine with water in a bucket and get some FC in that pool and wait for the seal, why do it twice. You can add Fc without the pump running to keep the pool from going south, it will disperse on its own without circulation.
    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
    Avatar is my pool!

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    Re: stuck skimmer bobber burned out pool pump (what should I do?

    Thanks Jaw and Dave,

    The seal was in the box, it was actually smaller than the stryo peanuts they packed with. Problem I am having now is that I cannot find the L shaped slide connectors to wire the motor leads. I have been everywhere. I heard there is a marine supply co. down the road from me so I guess I'll check them out before driving 20 miles to Grainger. Then I will have to find the lubricant for the seal and shaft.

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    Re: stuck skimmer bobber burned out pool pump (what should I do?

    The new motor is installed in working great! I had to use a hammer and a knock pin softly on the old seal to get it out, but otherwise it went great. Many thanks to the forum and the support.

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