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Thread: Pump rear seal question: how to seat?

  1. #1

    Pump rear seal question: how to seat?

    I have a Challenger pump.

    Pool store "A" tells me that the biggest killer of pump motors is rear seal failure. They point out that the place where it seats has some circular grooves in it. I can feel the grooves, but can't see them. They tell me that it came from the factory smooth, and they suggest replacing the entire rear plate to the pump body.

    I don't show interest in spending $ on it, so he proceeds to assemble it. He takes a glob of silicone grease and put it between the rubber of the rear seal and the surface that he said was worn, then presses it in.

    Pool store "B" doesn't use any silicone grease. They say that pushing it in place is sufficient and the rear seal is a spring design, and the impeller + seal assembly keeps it pressed in place. They say grease would actually lubricate and help the seal to spin, more so than it would offer a more water-tight seal.

    I'm personally thinking I should silicone calk the rear seal in place if this is really a significant concern.

    Thoughts?
    13,300 gallon pool
    2"Ø suction with Kreepy Krauly (1994-1999 model)
    1-1/2"Ø discharge with 4 jets
    Pac-Fab Nautilus NS36 DE filter
    2-speed 3/4 Challenger High Head pump with Emerson EB980 motor and 35-5187 impeller
    Hasa 8-gallon liquidator with 1/2" tubing
    Researching an evil Ionizer with a K-1730 Taylor copper test kit
    Planning installation of Jandy levelor water leveler. (Need sensor.)

  2. #2
    Senior Member frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Pump rear seal question: how to seat?

    I would get on the horn to the Mfr. with a quickness and stop talking to pool stores. They are not pump experts, the Mfr. is.

    I'd ask H the pump guy... but he's snoring. Sorry! FWIW... he likes to seal everything with that o-ring goo although I couldn't speculate about a real pump seal.

    I do know the seal is your #1 main concern insofar as wear and you should not abuse it. If that goes, you're sol. H is always concerned about seals when talking pumps.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
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  3. #3
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Pump rear seal question: how to seat?

    I wouldn't have used the grease but I'm not sure it hurt anything. Pool store "B" synapsis of the grease hurting rather than helping is correct but probably not a big concern in the real world. Since the seal is a rubber to plastic seal on the plate side it's not imperative that the seal plate mating surface be perfect. The place on the shaft where the rotating part seals is much more important that it be smooth and free of wear.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Pump rear seal question: how to seat?

    Are you sure it was silicone grease and not silicone sealant? I kinda agree with pool store B if it was grease but I know lots of guys who use silicone sealant on the rear seal. I don't really care either way but I think removing a seal that has had silicone sealant is a pain in the butt. I don't think you need to replace the whole plate. I would just use a bit of sealant if you are worried about it leaking.

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  5. #5

    Re: Pump rear seal question: how to seat?

    I never knew silicone sealant existed. I just saw him grab a small fingerful of clear goop and I immediately assumed it is the same clear goop that I am using everywhere else in my pool equipment. I was standing right in front of him and it didn't have an ammonia smell like calk does. Why do the pool stores sell silicone grease for the gasketed points instead of sealant? Does silicone sealant dry like calk does?
    13,300 gallon pool
    2"Ø suction with Kreepy Krauly (1994-1999 model)
    1-1/2"Ø discharge with 4 jets
    Pac-Fab Nautilus NS36 DE filter
    2-speed 3/4 Challenger High Head pump with Emerson EB980 motor and 35-5187 impeller
    Hasa 8-gallon liquidator with 1/2" tubing
    Researching an evil Ionizer with a K-1730 Taylor copper test kit
    Planning installation of Jandy levelor water leveler. (Need sensor.)

  6. #6
    Junior Member In the Industry

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    Re: Pump rear seal question: how to seat?

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveAZ
    I never knew silicone sealant existed. I just saw him grab a small fingerful of clear goop and I immediately assumed it is the same clear goop that I am using everywhere else in my pool equipment. I was standing right in front of him and it didn't have an ammonia smell like calk does. Why do the pool stores sell silicone grease for the gasketed points instead of sealant? Does silicone sealant dry like calk does?
    Must have been grease (most likely magic lube) if he put it on his finger. The sealant smells like vinegar/superglue. When its dry its not hard like superglue, but a little more flexible.

    Florida Pool Service Guy
    15k Kidney Diamond Brite
    Hayward C-1200 Cartridge Filter
    Sta-Rite Dura-Glass 1.5hp Pump
    Pentair Rainbow 320 Chlorinator
    Heliocol Solar Panels

  7. #7
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    Re: Pump rear seal question: how to seat?

    You shouldn't place silicone on the shaft seal. It will eventually burn off a leave a residue. They do recommend placing a temporary lubricant called shaft seal lubricant for pressing the seal in the pump; however, dish soap can be used.
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  8. #8

    Re: Pump rear seal question: how to seat?

    I installed it without doing anything about the grease. Do you think it is worthy of taking it all apart, cleaning it up, then pressing it in with some dish detergent, or should I leave it alone?

    It wouldn't be difficult or take me very long at this point.
    13,300 gallon pool
    2"Ø suction with Kreepy Krauly (1994-1999 model)
    1-1/2"Ø discharge with 4 jets
    Pac-Fab Nautilus NS36 DE filter
    2-speed 3/4 Challenger High Head pump with Emerson EB980 motor and 35-5187 impeller
    Hasa 8-gallon liquidator with 1/2" tubing
    Researching an evil Ionizer with a K-1730 Taylor copper test kit
    Planning installation of Jandy levelor water leveler. (Need sensor.)

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