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Thread: Is it the pump or is it me?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Is it the pump or is it me?

    I've just had a new motor installed on my Superpump, a 1hp. This is the 5th motor in 6 years. With this one, I decided I would have it installed rather than doing it myself, trying to rule out ME as the failure point. The problems we've had with them have pretty much always been that they get extremely loud, bad seal.

    After installation, I asked the installer what I've been doing wrong, and how long these things can typically be counted on to last. He told me they can last 10 years without an issue and the main thing that contributes to success or failure is how well you take care of it.

    I asked him for some details. He told me when we close the pool, to remove the lid and basket, shut the valves coming from the pool, have someone stand at the switch while the other person stands at the pump. Then turn on the pump and once the water is out, spray WD-40 into the impeller, then shut it off. Also spray a whole bunch of WD-40 into all the vent openings on the motor body. Then wrap the whole thing in a garbage bag and keep it tight with some duct tape.

    Any of this sound like a good idea? Anyone ever heard of this before? My parents and another couple on our street have both had their current motors for 8 and 11 years with no issues and they do none of this.

    I really appreciate any input anyone can give!

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Is it the pump or is it me?

    All of those things are good things, but they don't normally make the difference between 1 year and 10 years. Those kinds of things can make the difference between 7 years and 10 years, but not 1 year, if you follow what I mean.

    99% of the time, a pump that only lasts one year is getting water inside. That usually happens from a sprinkler system, or nearby leak, spraying water inside the pump. It is also possible for a bad shaft seal to get water inside the pump, but the shaft seal should have been replaced every time the motor was replaced, and so not caused repeated failures.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Is it the pump or is it me?

    Jason is 100%

    What kills me is 5 motors in 6 years! I would be checking other points of failure. Unless you are installed the seal and shaft I would rule out you. I personally want to enclose our pool workings so we can prevent such a thing. If we ever get any rain
    Newbie in Hampton, Virginia
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  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Is it the pump or is it me?

    Well, maybe it is me. The first motor died the first summer we opened the pool (existing pool on a house we bought). It might have been as old as 8 years, not sure. So I replaced the motor. At that point I knew very little about them, and had no idea about the shaft seal. Just bolted the new one on. So that would explain water getting in and killing it. I think it was on the last motor when I finally started asking questions about what was happening and the guy at the store told me the seal was probably bad. I have a feeling I may have put the seal on wrong though on that last motor.

    So, if that is the case, and the first few died due to age and then no seals, and the last died due to a bad seal install... maybe the new motor installed correctly with the seal installed correctly will last a while. Hoping it does anyway.

    And it sounds like doing the WD-40 trick would be OK? Or should I give it a year just to see if I can get past that magic mark?

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Is it the pump or is it me?

    I wouldn't do the WD-40. It is not a good corrosion preventative.
    I would cover it with a tarp over the winter if taking it out and storing it is not an option. I would be afraid to wrap it up tight with a garbage bag and duct tape because of condensation.

  6. Back To Top    #6
    frogabog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Portland, Oregon

    Re: Is it the pump or is it me?

    FWIW, pump alignment can make or break the installation. Commercial/Industrial pumps are never started up till the alignment is completed and verified. It voids the warranty.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
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    X-PertPool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Exeter, PA

    Re: Is it the pump or is it me?

    I don't like the idea of WD40 and wrapping the motor. Personally I believe that wrapping a motor will lead to trapping humidity inside the motor which will lead to corrosion. The best way to prolong the lifespan is the not expose the motor to outdoor conditions. A pump house is the most ideal way but not always feasible depending on your setup or surrounding. A simple roof structure with open sides will stop the pump from getting rained on yet it will provide airflow so condensation won't build up from humidity. Also if you live in an area where you have an off-season. Another great thing to do is to plumb unions onto your pump and also have the electric cord designed so you can simply unplug the pump. By doing this you can essentially easily remove your entire pump & motor for the winter and store it indoors (like a closet, garage, [non-damp basement]) If you do this your pump & motor is literally only exposed to about half the outdoor weather it used to be. Also keeping your pool chemistry in order should prolong the lifespan of the seal. Keep an eye out for any water coming from the motor; finding a leaky seal early will save your bearings from getting corroded.
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  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Youngsville NC

    Re: Is it the pump or is it me?

    +1 !!

    When I put in the new pump (a Pentair Superflo 1.5 HP) , I redid my electric side so I can easily unplug it. The plumbing has always had unions, so starting this season - I intend to take the pump out and store out of the weather when I close and cover the pool for the winter.
    16x32 IG 19,000 gallons, Pentair 1.5 hp Energy Efficient Superflo pump (348024),vinyl liner, Chlorine dispenser, Hayward S-244T sand filter

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