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Thread: Pump/Motor Overheating Scenario

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    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Phoenix, Arizona
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    Pump/Motor Overheating Scenario

    Hi TFP, I’m new to the board and would appreciate anyone’s advice, I’ve always maintained my own pool and I can’t count how many times I’ve come here and found great information. I have some limited experience with pools, but I’m still somewhat of a novice when it comes to diagnosing problems with the pump/motor.

    A friend of mine has been having a couple pool issues (Phx, AZ). We are having a pool guy come check it out, but I thought I’d seek the advice from this site as well. He just moved into his house (4 days ago) and he has an 11,000 IG play pool with an attached hot tub, both run off of a STA-P4E6G2 HP Max-E-Glas Pump, sand filter (the pool figures in my signature don’t apply to this situation, I’m sure I’ll be back for advice on mine soon). When he moved in, the spa looked terrible, completely brown and it looked like the water hadn’t been circulated in months. He noticed that the 3 way Jandy valve for the spa inlet was turned to off, so he turned it to the middle so the pump would pull from both the pool and spa skimmers.

    When the pump automatically turned on that night it was much louder than normal so he ran out and shut the system off. He couldn’t be exactly sure, but didn’t think it was running like that for any more than a few minutes. He said it was so loud he could hear it over the A/C inside the house and when he was outside he had to yell to hear his fiancé, and that it sounded like the pump was running dry. He shut it off, and noticed that the pump (or motor? He wasn’t sure) smelled hot, but it wasn’t smoking or leaking.

    I’ve personally never had a spa and pool running off the same plumbing, so I’ve never had to deal with it, but I remember reading one time that you only want to return water to connected spas so it over flows into the pool, you don’t want to have the pump pulling from the spa. I could be wrong but I thought that may have been his issue, the pump couldn’t pull enough water from the spa, and that ran it dry. But the valve was set to run from both the pool and spa tho (I’m not very familiar with his system yet)

    He knew I was somewhat familiar with pools so I came out, primed the pump and reset the valve to the pool skimmer before I turned it on. It struggled for a few seconds, but it primed it after about 15-20 seconds and seemed to be running fine. Nothing was leaking, smoking or anything like that, I didn’t even notice a smell.

    I checked all the returns and the skimmer, and everything was pulling and returning like it should. My friend’s fiancé thought that it sounded louder than before. I had heard the pump the first day he moved in (I helped him move), and it does seem slightly louder, but I don’t trust my memory. Not a rattle or whine, just louder than before the night it got hot. My (inexperienced) guess is that when the pump/motor was dry and got hot, the shaft seal went out, thus causing the pump to sound louder. If this is the case, I want him to get that replaced before it burns the motor out or causes other damage.

    I took pictures of his setup today, but I can’t find my camera’s USB cord. I’ll get pictures of the setup by tomorrow afternoon if needed. I really appreciate anyone’s advice or insight. I’m always trying to learn more. If you need clarification on anything just let me know. Thanks.
    1) 10,000 Gallons
    2) Cartridge Filter
    3) IG
    4) Pebble
    5) Hayward NorthStar Self Priming pump and a Hayward Swimclear Cartridge Filter

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Pump/Motor Overheating Scenario

    Nothing was leaking, smoking or anything like that, I didn’t even notice a smell.
    That's surely a good sign. Most pool pumps can run for a bit without water and there are some reports on the forum of them running overnight....apparently dry. There are also reports of some of them burning up within a couple of hours.

    It really sounds like he suffered no damage and I would say to simply operate it normally and be observant for any changes.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Pump/Motor Overheating Scenario

    A noisy pump is never a good thing but it may not be bad enough to do anything about it yet. If it's not much more noisy than it was to start with I'd just keep an eye on it and not worry about it.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Phoenix, Arizona
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    Re: Pump/Motor Overheating Scenario

    Great! Thank you for the quick responses, I'll be keeping an eye on it. One last question, This is his setup, I can't figure out what this line/piping to the very left is connected too. The one that comes out to the side of the pump and motor but meets up with the main intake line after the pump/motor.

    [attachment=1:bmzktk5h]Brandon Setup Top View Opposite.JPG[/attachment:bmzktk5h]

    Here another view, its the piping in the top right corner that I'm asking about

    [attachment=0:bmzktk5h]Brandon Setup Top View.JPG[/attachment:bmzktk5h]

    Thanks again!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    1) 10,000 Gallons
    2) Cartridge Filter
    3) IG
    4) Pebble
    5) Hayward NorthStar Self Priming pump and a Hayward Swimclear Cartridge Filter

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Pump/Motor Overheating Scenario

    Have you opened the valve toward that direction to see where the water comes out of?
    It's most likely either a drain to lower the water level or a line for a pressure cleaner.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    3

    Re: Pump/Motor Overheating Scenario

    I did open the valve once to try and figure out what it was but the pump and motor really started straining when I did it. I'll give it another shot todnight when I'm over there. I appreciate your advice Bama!
    1) 10,000 Gallons
    2) Cartridge Filter
    3) IG
    4) Pebble
    5) Hayward NorthStar Self Priming pump and a Hayward Swimclear Cartridge Filter

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