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Thread: Perplexed by plumbing and pump

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Perplexed by plumbing and pump

    Last October I bought 2 new "serviceable union ball valves" and decided to hold off on the installation until warmer,drier weather. Well, today I decided to install the valves but I'm perplexed. I can't turn the valve handle on either valve, and I can't separate the two pieces. I can unscrew the nut that holds the two pieces together, but I've tried pulling and twisting and that union does not come apart! Also I can't tell how the valve works since the inside is completly smooth. Any ideas how to proceed?

    On to the pump... I replaced and installed the pump in October as well. It has been working fine except that in December it became very loud even on low speed. I have talked with the Pentair people and was told to check the impeller. Today I did that and it turns freely and I can't see any debris in there. I did see some rust on the shaft and the beginins of rust on the bottom of the motor casing. Could the rust be the problem? How can I prevent further rust? Rust killed my last pump and it was only 5 years old.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Perplexed by plumbing and pump

    A ball valve has a ball inside that has a large hole through it. When off the ball is turned so the hole is at right angles to the water flow, and both ends are blocked off. When on the ball is turned so the hole lines up with the water flow. Sometimes putting a piece of pipe into each of the slip joints can give you enough leverage to get it apart (with the nut off obviously). It sounds like the gasket has become stuck against the ball. Opening it up is you best approach to getting the handle/ball to turn again.

    Once you already have rust there isn't a whole lot you can do about it. The best thing is to prevent it from rusting in the first place. You can do that by covering the pump if it is outside, so it doesn't get wet, and by making sure that any exposed bare metal surfaces are covered with a thin layer of oil or grease.

    Loud noises can be any of several things. Something stuck in the impeller will make noise, bad bearings will make noise, and cavitation can make a lot of noise. Cavitation seems unlikely, and you checked the impeller, so problems with the bearings seem most likely. Bearings tend to fail if they are consistently getting wet.
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Perplexed by plumbing and pump

    If those unions on the valves are tightened too much they press against the ball and you can't turn them. A couple of pair of big pliers will remove the unions. They use o-rings on the valve block so the unions don't have to be real tight to seal.
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Perplexed by plumbing and pump

    Thanks guys! I was able to get both of them unstuck with a few whacks from a rubber mallet. That's one of my two last ditch solutions, either wrap it with duct tape or whack it with a hammer!

    Turns out I was able to repair the the current ball valve union so I'll just keep these as spares. I did a minor pad remodel yesterday and raised up the pump platform. I also used rubber washers to raise the pump off the platform about 1/2" and put an extra drain hole under the pump. We'll see how that works.
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Perplexed by plumbing and pump

    The Pentair guy decided to send me a new motor and it arrived today. Next question is, how do I properly swap out the motors?
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    Re: Perplexed by plumbing and pump

    Hey Zea

    Swapping out the motor shouldn't be too hard for a 'duct tape and mallet wielder' like yourself

    Your gonna want a new shaft seal assembly - they frequently fail when switched to a new motor

    What you want to do is separate the pump housing so you can remove the impeller and take the back-plate off the old motor. Put the plate on the new motor, reattach the impeller (with a new seal assembly) and connect the wires to the new motor.

    I'd give you more detailed info, but I'm a Hayward guy and will trust one of our Pentair guys to give specifics. If you could post a model # and/ or pic, I'm sure it would help.

    If you need ANY help with this, I'll give you my best (we 10/19-ers gotta stick together )
    Luv& Luk
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Perplexed by plumbing and pump

    Thanks Ted! I plan to tackle this Saturday, provided the weather is good and my flu is gone . I will be sure to post lots of pictures before then. Is the seal something I need to order or should a full service pool store carry those?
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    Re: Perplexed by plumbing and pump

    If your pool store is associated with the dudes that built your pool, they ought to have a seal assembly in stock. Be sure to tell them the model of your pump

    I know what you mean about the flu, I'm suffering through the same thing
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    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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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Perplexed by plumbing and pump

    1st question. New pump did not come with a power switch! Pentair guy says I need to take the switch off the old motor and install it on the new one. How do I do that, and should I do that before switching the wet end to the new pump?
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    Re: Perplexed by plumbing and pump

    What I've usually done in the past is to attach the back of the pump housing to the new motor, put on the new seal assembly and replace the impeller, then do the electrical connections [/u]before[/u] putting the housing back together. It usually works out to maximize the room you have to play with the various parts before having to get down on your knees to put the housing back together.

    Good luck with this! Post pics if you get into any 'trouble' and feel better
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    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

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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