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Thread: Trouble shooting motor issue

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    Trouble shooting motor issue

    Motor was running yesterday, not sure if it ran this morning, but I went out to start it early tonight, and it made a humming noise, didn't suck water, and shut off after 5 mins.

    I checked the outlet and it was working, and the timer box seems to be working (making clicking noises).

    What are the first things to check? Need to get it running asap,, as my wfe is due with our second child any day now. Should I just take it out and take it to Leslie's?

    Thanks in advance for any tips.
    new house: TBDK gal IG plaster pool, filter Titan CM DE filter 36 sq ft , 1.5 HP Pump; Polaris 380

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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble shooting motor issue

    You should check the actual voltage with a voltmeter while the motor is trying to start (humming) to make sure you have full voltage available.

    Humming is usually a symptom of either a stuck motor/pump, or a bad capacitor.
    Start by opening the pump cover, removing the basket, and WITH THE POWER OFF, reach in as far as you can with your fingers into the hole in the back. See if you can feel and turn the impeller. If you find anything clogging it, remove the clog. If the motor turns freely, your problem may be either a centrifugal switch on the back of the motor or a capacitor. If you pop the back cover from the motor, you should be able to see/clean the contacts on a centrifugal switch, but take care with the springs - they may want to take a trip on you and they can be hard to find if they do. Next up, a run capacitor will be nestled under a hump-shaped cover on the motor body. They can be tough to test reliably. The best test of a motor capacitor is a replacement capacitor.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

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    Heckpools's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble shooting motor issue

    ohm- If the motor starts by quickly spinning the shaft by hand/tool then turning the power on before the shaft stops spinning does that pretty much tell you the capacitor is bad?
    [center:3gj9kdnn]Matt Heck
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble shooting motor issue

    Hey Matt, I'm not going to answer your question on here because you should NEVER apply power while working on a motor. Bad things can and do happen. However, since most of the motors we deal with are capacitor start, if there WAS a way to spin the motor in the correct direction when power was supplied and it DID run, it would certainly point to either the centrifugal switch or the cap.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble shooting motor issue

    Gotta agree w/ Bama here. [Aside: as an old Auburn fan, I never thought I'd see myself writing that particular phrase. ]
    Naturally, I cannot endorse these methods, as they can be very dangerous. But if testing shows that the motor will not start on its own, but will run when started, then it is reasonable to suspect the starting elements - centrifugal switch or start cap.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

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    Re: Trouble shooting motor issue

    In the interest of safety, I proffer the following.

    If the impeller turns easily by hand, reprime the pump, seal the lid and try rapping on the motor housing with the butt end of a hammer or a 2X4 while it's humming. If it fires up, it's probably the capacitor or the centrifugal switch.

    If the impeller is hard to turn by hand, there may well be a seal assembly issue (which would show itself as a drip under the motor/ pump housing interface when the pump is running) resulting in a bearing problem


    Keep it safe all! I'm out of here from tomorrow til Sat pm so won't be here to play 'lifeguard'
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    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

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    Re: Trouble shooting motor issue

    I can't reach the propeller through the hole to turn it. I took the capacitor off and tested it and it seems to be fine, but I'll probably replace it to be sure.

    If that doesn't work is the next step tp try cleaning the switches mentioned above underneath the back cover? It doesnt really hum long enough to turn on and then measure the voltage. Nothin has changed with the setup or electrical system out there, it just worked one day and not the next.

    Or should I take the whole unit out and take to my local shop for diagnosis since I am on a time crunch?
    new house: TBDK gal IG plaster pool, filter Titan CM DE filter 36 sq ft , 1.5 HP Pump; Polaris 380

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble shooting motor issue

    If you have a local shop that can look at it, that's probably the best thing to do. They can tell you what's wrong with it and give you some options.
    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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    Heckpools's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble shooting motor issue

    i never said work on the motor with the power on.

    I just meant, some motor shafts can be spun with a flathead screw driver from the rear of the motor. If you spin it, then quickly turn on the power, while no bodyparts and or tools are touching the motor.


    LIke posted above, having a professional look at it for you would be your best bet. Most pool guys i know do not replace parts on motors, they simply sell you a new motor. Not sure about the pool companies in your area, but you may be better off bringing the motor to an electric motor repair shop.
    [center:3gj9kdnn]Matt Heck
    "HECK OF A POOL SERVICE LLC"
    Serving Ocean co. NJ
    COMPANY INFO BELOW
    http://maps.google.com/maps/place?hl=en ... 2995187987[/center:3gj9kdnn]

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    Re: Trouble shooting motor issue

    How long does the motor hum before it shuts off? Your original post says 5 mins, later post says not long enough to turn on & test voltage. The capacitor as mentioned is a strong possibility, the thermal swith is another. The timeframe can make a difference in diagnosis, although either way, you'll probably still have to have someone look at it.
    APSP CST Certified
    17k inground concrete; 1.5hp 2 speed Tristar pump, 300sq.ft. Cartridge filter, AquaLogic PS-4 w/ Tcell-15, Navigator suction cleaner.

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    Re: Trouble shooting motor issue

    Oops, sorry thatxwas supposed to be 5 seconds, not minutes.

    Someone is coming out to look at it, as the way it is positioned I cannot get the fourth bolt out to remove it. The stand is in the way and cannot be slid out due to a piece of rouge concrete from a sloppy poor job.
    new house: TBDK gal IG plaster pool, filter Titan CM DE filter 36 sq ft , 1.5 HP Pump; Polaris 380

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