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Thread: Brand new SuperFlo 1HP noise (video included)

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    Brand new SuperFlo 1HP noise (video included)

    Hi Everyone!

    This is my first post to TFP, but I've been reading this forum religiously since I bought a house with a pool in April. The pump that came with the house was in pretty bad shape (it was rusting to pieces and very very loud, but still pumped water), so I decided to replace it with a Pentair SuperFlo. I also did some plumbing work to make the equipment pad more elegant and I'm pretty proud of myself. I finally got to the point of firing up the new pump. It sounded fine at first (much quieter than the old beast), the suction seemed good, pressure seemed fine, ran cool, etc. Then after about a hour of pumping it starting getting louder with a rhythmic hum/rattle coming from the back of the motor.

    I posted a video on youtube for your listening/viewing pleasure: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2QXk9CG_bQ

    This can't be normal for a brand new pump. I have friends with pools and their pumps are almost silent. Did I get a defect? It's still under manufacturer warranty - should I send it back? I feel like I did a pretty good job installing it, but maybe I did something wrong? Has anyone heard this kind of sound before?

    Thank you thank you!
    16x32 vinyl in-ground; 20k gal; Pentair SuperFlo pump; Pentiar Sand Dollar filter w/ClearPro; 1.5" plumbing; leaky solar heating; 1 main drain, 1 skimmer, 1 return with 2 inlets; BBB; and 1 giant beach ball and about a dozen noodles

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    bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: Brand new SuperFlo 1HP noise (video included)

    Hello,
    Yeap, it doesn't sound normal. It doesn't look like its primed (no water in basket). Are the valves opened? Have you primed it? How does it sound when there is water in it?
    17K Kidney Shaped Pool Concrete (Diamond Bright) Pool, 3/4 hp 2 speed 115V Sta-rite Duraglas PEA5D-180L/P2R5D-181L (Impeller C105-92PS Diffuser C1-216P), 1.5 piping, Pentair CC100 Filter , Heat Siphon 100K BTU Heat Pump Pool Heater, Flow meter Blue White Flowmeter Model No. F-30150P, Hayward Astrolight SP0581N, SWCG CalimarTitanium Edition TE45 , Dolphin Nautilus Plus with CleverClean, Lakeland Florida

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    Re: Brand new SuperFlo 1HP noise (video included)

    It sounds like the pressure or suction is closed. Double check the pressure and suction to make sure that they are not closed, or otherwise obstructed. What pressure are you getting on the filter?

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    Re: Brand new SuperFlo 1HP noise (video included)

    Yep, the valves are all open and the pump is primed even though it doesn't look like there's water in the basket in the video (it fooled me too). The pressure on the filter reads about 16 PSI. Is that a good number?

    Here's some info about the pool - it's a 16x32 inground vinyl, about 20,000 gal (I think), 1.5" plumbing, sand filter, 2 jets, 1 main drain, 1 skimmer, and the equipment pad is about 45 feet from the pool.
    16x32 vinyl in-ground; 20k gal; Pentair SuperFlo pump; Pentiar Sand Dollar filter w/ClearPro; 1.5" plumbing; leaky solar heating; 1 main drain, 1 skimmer, 1 return with 2 inlets; BBB; and 1 giant beach ball and about a dozen noodles

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    Re: Brand new SuperFlo 1HP noise (video included)

    At the back of the motor, in the center, there is a small hex cap covering the shaft. Turn off the pump, remove the cap (unscrew) and see if the shaft turns easily.

    Also, check to make sure that nothing is blocking the skimmer suction hole.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Brand new SuperFlo 1HP noise (video included)

    To me, it sounds more like vibration noise from something that is loose. If you press down on the pump housing and/or motor, does the sound get quieter?

    16 PSI is about what I would expect from the pump on 1.5" plumbing, two returns and 3/4" eyeballs so I don't think there is any blockage.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Brand new SuperFlo 1HP noise (video included)

    How long have you been running it without water?

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Brand new SuperFlo 1HP noise (video included)

    JamesW - Alright, I took off the cap to the shaft and was able to rotate the shaft relatively easily. I'm not exactly sure how much resistance I should feel, but it seemed pretty smooth. It never got stuck at any point while I was turning it by hand.

    mas985 - I thought the same thing about vibration but it doesn't seem to make any difference if I put my weight on the motor. It seems like the sound is coming from the very back of the motor. What does that end cover protect? I can't tell, but it almost seems like the sound is coming from there. I haven't taken it off yet to see what is hiding inside and I'm not sure if it's even worth doing so.

    PoolGuyNJ - It took about 1.5 to 2 minutes for the pump to prime for the first time, but once the pipes were full of water and the system was circulating, the pump never lost its prime. In the video, the pump is full of water the entire time. Even now with the pump off, the strainer basket is full to the top with water (it almost looks like there isn't even water in it because there isn't a single air bubble).

    Thanks guys for your replies! Tomorrow I might try to take that back cover off to see if there's anything rattling around in there. I just don't want to do too much tinkering if it'll void my warranty. Tell me what you guys think. Thanks!
    16x32 vinyl in-ground; 20k gal; Pentair SuperFlo pump; Pentiar Sand Dollar filter w/ClearPro; 1.5" plumbing; leaky solar heating; 1 main drain, 1 skimmer, 1 return with 2 inlets; BBB; and 1 giant beach ball and about a dozen noodles

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    Re: Brand new SuperFlo 1HP noise (video included)

    To me, it sounds like the suction might be clogged. Is the pressure 16 psi while the pump is making the noise? Does the pressure gauge go to zero when the pump is off?

    Also, double check that the voltage supplied to the pump is correct for the way the pump is wired. Can you check the current (amperage) of the pump while it is running?

    Check the impeller for any debris.

    You might have to disassemble the pump to check inside and to see how it runs with no load. Are you getting strong water flow while the pump is making the noise?

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Brand new SuperFlo 1HP noise (video included)

    Quote Originally Posted by creativour
    mas985 - I thought the same thing about vibration but it doesn't seem to make any difference if I put my weight on the motor. It seems like the sound is coming from the very back of the motor. What does that end cover protect? I can't tell, but it almost seems like the sound is coming from there. I haven't taken it off yet to see what is hiding inside and I'm not sure if it's even worth doing so.
    I believe that motor uses a centrifugal switch, located in the rear of the motor, which can sometimes make that type of noise if it isn't balanced properly. Something may have come loose back there and worth a check.

    Also, with 16 PSI and no bubbles in the pump basket, I can almost guarantee there is no suction side blockage.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Brand new SuperFlo 1HP noise (video included)

    A centrifugal switch is used with a start capacitor. This one uses a run capacitor. I think that the motor is most likely a Permanent Split Capacitor type motor, which does not use a switch.

    I am not sure that the 16 psi is necessarily accurate.

    Creativour, what does the motor label say for "Type"? (A. O. Smith uses “CX” to identify its PSC switchless design).

    Also, can you make a second video, but this time take the pump lid off and turn the pump on for about 20 to 30 seconds?

    It might be a defective pump with bad bearings, or something, but it's too early to tell yet.

    What is the model number of the pump?

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Brand new SuperFlo 1HP noise (video included)

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW
    A centrifugal switch is used with a start capacitor.
    Two speed motors also have centrifugal switches even if they are PSC motors and since most SuperFlos are purchased as two speeds, I assumed that the new pump was a two speed pump.

    Check out the AO Smith Wiring Diagrams at the end of the manual.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Brand new SuperFlo 1HP noise (video included)

    I don't think that the pump is a two speed. Also, I think that most of the new two-speed pumps have a solid-state switch instead of a mechanical centrifugal switch.

    The poster's motor is similar to the motor on the left. That type does not have a centrifugal switch. The motor type on the right does show a start capacitor and a centrifugal switch. The type with a start capacitor and a centrifugal switch usually has a large end cover that allows access to the rear components.


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    Re: Brand new SuperFlo 1HP noise (video included)

    Thanks for all the replies. Here's some more info.

    The pump is a single-speed 1HP SuperFlo model 348023.

    Here's the label on the side of the pump:


    Also, I made another youtube video. In the beginning I show the pump priming and the pressure reading, then at the end I take off the strainer lid and turn the pump on for a few seconds. Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYt8tsltDpQ

    One thing i'm not quite sure about is why the pump loses its prime right around 1:08 in the video. That wasn't happening yesterday. Air in the filter? Air leaking into the multiport? I dunno...

    Also, the voltage at the timer reads about 240v and I'm pretty sure I wired the the pump correctly (it appeared to already be wired for 230). I don't have a way of checking amperage though.

    Anyway, thanks again for all the help.
    16x32 vinyl in-ground; 20k gal; Pentair SuperFlo pump; Pentiar Sand Dollar filter w/ClearPro; 1.5" plumbing; leaky solar heating; 1 main drain, 1 skimmer, 1 return with 2 inlets; BBB; and 1 giant beach ball and about a dozen noodles

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Brand new SuperFlo 1HP noise (video included)

    Given it is a single speed, it most likely doesn't have centrifugal switch. However, given the second harmonic beat frequency in the sound of the motor, it still sounds like an imbalance to me. It could be in the impeller but given the filter pressure reaches 16 PSI, I doubt it would be a clogged impeller although a small rock stuck in one of the vanes would cause an imbalance without restricting flow much. An impeller inspection might be in order.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Brand new SuperFlo 1HP noise (video included)

    The air in the pump at 1:08 comes from compressed air in the filter pushing back into the pump when the pump was turned off. That's normal if the air has not had enough time to clear the filter or if the air has not been bled off using the air relief valve.

    It does come pre-wired for 230 volts, so that is correct.

    I agree with mas985 that it sounds like some sort of imbalance. Perhaps the shaft or impeller is vibrating either due to bad bearings or perhaps due to being out of balance from something stuck in the impeller. After making sure that the pump is off at the breaker, and can't turn on (like from a timer), you could remove the pump basket, and feel in the impeller for any debris caught in the impeller.

    It might be something to do with the way it is mounted.

    Since this is a brand new pump, you might want to consult with the seller before doing anything to the pump since there might be a warranty issue.

    Otherwise, I think that the next thing to do is to open the pump and see if everything looks OK.

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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Brand new SuperFlo 1HP noise (video included)

    2nd harmonic or 2x vibration is usually indicative of a bent shaft. True (static) imbalance will appear as 1x.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

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    Re: Brand new SuperFlo 1HP noise (video included)

    I think it's sounding more and more like I should just cash in some warranty service.

    Ohm_Boy - could you explain a little more what you're talking about? Can you tell what type of vibration is happening from the video?
    16x32 vinyl in-ground; 20k gal; Pentair SuperFlo pump; Pentiar Sand Dollar filter w/ClearPro; 1.5" plumbing; leaky solar heating; 1 main drain, 1 skimmer, 1 return with 2 inlets; BBB; and 1 giant beach ball and about a dozen noodles

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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Brand new SuperFlo 1HP noise (video included)

    Sorry, I was responding to Mark's comment of a second harmonic vibration.

    See, I used to do vibration analysis, whereby I would analyze readings from rotating machinery using an accelerometer, and extract out the frequency components of the captured waveform. Identifying any high amplitude frequencies gave insight as to the health of a rotating machine. If there is a high amplitude at the rotation frequency (for instance, if a motor runs at 1680 RPM, its rotation frequency is 28 Hz), it is imbalance. A peak at 56 Hz for the same example would indicate a bent shaft or misalignment. 84Hz (3x rotation speed) probably indicates both imbalance and misalignment, possibly something loose. Rolling element bearings make for really high frequency noise, dependent upon whether flaws are on the outer race, inner race or rollers/balls. Anyway, it's a method used to predict failures in motors and gearboxes, mixers, calendars, chippers, blowers, cutters, etc. But you need some specialty instruments to actually determine what is going on. Oh, wow - I certainly do ramble, don't I? I'll stop now.

    Going back and listening to your video, I can tell that Mark was referring to the beat frequency, which occurs when two slightly different frequencies are combined. The result in this case is audible as the difference between the two. Kinda sounds like something might be loose somewhere. Regardless, I think you're on the right track with the warranty. When you buy a new pump, it should run smoothly.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

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    Re: Brand new SuperFlo 1HP noise (video included)

    Can you describe what the pump is mounted to? What is the black thing that the pump is sitting on and how tight is it bolted down?

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