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Thread: WhisperFlo Pumps are real quiet - When the pump motor dies!

  1. #1
    Member GTGallop's Avatar
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    WhisperFlo Pumps are real quiet - When the pump motor dies!

    I made this post here last night with the anticipation that I would be posting some questions soon:
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/my-on...le-t40734.html

    I just didn't know that I'd be posting questions in less than 12 hours. Unfortunately sometime in the night, my pump gave up the ghost and died. It had been making noises like the bearings were going soon so I was anticipating this failure. We inherited the pool from the previous home owner and their maintenance schedule seemed somewhat lacking. The Lexan cover on the pump was cracked and allowing air into the system. That was changed and fixed the air problem, but the pump had run lean on water a few times by the time I discovered that issue. The pump is also 15ish years old and I know they don't run forever.

    I just shocked the pool yesterday and added new tabs to it, so I'm good on chlorine. That and the cooler water temp (not much direct sun right now) should keep the water clear and buy me some time but I don't want to be down for any more than a month at most.

    So... The question is...

    Should I replace the motor only or the whole pump?
    If I do only the motor, do I go OEM, or are there other motor manufacturers out there?
    Can I upgrade to a more efficient motor? I know appliance efficiency doubles every 10 to 12 years so I'm hoping that applies to pools too.


    I've looked at the variable rate / variable flow pumps and motors. Mine is connected to an in ground pool cleaning system with pop up heads that sweep the pool (Care Taker 99). I think lower flow would mean lower pressure and may mean that I need the full flow rate to make the cleaner work.

    Obviously if budget were no issue I'd go slap on a $2000 pump and have it installed. Since there is a budget, I'll be doing the install myself and rolling that savings into the pump or motor.

    Your astute wisdom and feedback is GREATLY APPRECIATED! Many thanks in advance!



    2nd Time Pool Owner - 1998 In Ground, Gunite/Plaster, 24' long x 19' wide x 4.5' deep, 20,000 Gallon, Chlorine, 2 Hp Hayward Ecostar with Sand.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/my-on...le-t40734.html
    Cave Creek, Arizona

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: WhisperFlo Pumps are real quiet - When the pump motor di

    Probably the most efficient, cost effective thing you can do is to replace just the motor with a 2-speed. Inspect the wet end and if it's in good shape I'd just replace the motor and seal set.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 1.5hp Dynamo pump. 24" Pentair Sand Dollar Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit
    You can stop SLAMing your pool when you pass the OCLT (You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & You have .5ppm CC's or less) & your water is clear.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: WhisperFlo Pumps are real quiet - When the pump motor di

    What is it doing?

    That big bump on top of the motor has a capacitor in it that will fail often and keep the motor from running. $20 fix.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: WhisperFlo Pumps are real quiet - When the pump motor di

    Just replace the motor and wet end seal. The cheapest way is a single speed motor. If your budget allows put on the two speed. But it would be good if some of the other answers read your post. If it was making noise a capacitor probably isn't gonna help at all.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
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    Senior Member Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: WhisperFlo Pumps are real quiet - When the pump motor di

    I recommend you do what I did. Take the motor/impeller assembly out of the housing. No pipes to cut! Then take it to a pool store and see what they have to say. The hardest part was diisconnecting the wires, and that was just an access problem, not that it was complicated. If you don't like their estimate, take it to another store and see what they say.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: WhisperFlo Pumps are real quiet - When the pump motor di

    Here's an AO Smith 2 speed 1 1/2 HP replacement motor for your pump:

    http://www.inyopools.com/Products/00200 ... hwodlQgPIw

    Should be an easy, in-place fix without needing to do any plumbing.
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

  7. #7
    Member GTGallop's Avatar
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    Re: WhisperFlo Pumps are real quiet - When the pump motor di

    I saw the AO pump. I wasn't sure if it was a reputable replacement or not. Do I need anything special to take advantage of the double speed or does the motor switch on demand? Right now I just have a simple timer on it. Do you think the lower power will push enough pressure to operate the infloor cleaning system?
    2nd Time Pool Owner - 1998 In Ground, Gunite/Plaster, 24' long x 19' wide x 4.5' deep, 20,000 Gallon, Chlorine, 2 Hp Hayward Ecostar with Sand.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/my-on...le-t40734.html
    Cave Creek, Arizona

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    Re: WhisperFlo Pumps are real quiet - When the pump motor di

    AO Smith is a good company. You will need a switch of some type to make the two speed work. On low speed it most likely wont have enough flow to make the floor system work. A two speed timer might be the way to do that. Personally I would just put the single speed on for now.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
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    Re: WhisperFlo Pumps are real quiet - When the pump motor di

    AO Smith will be changing their name to Regal Beloit in August from what I was told

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    Member GTGallop's Avatar
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    Re: WhisperFlo Pumps are real quiet - When the pump motor di

    Thanks for all the good advice. I just found out that in my area a single speed motor isn't "up to code" and that apparently either Arizona, Maricopa County, Phoenix, or APS is now mandating a 2 speed or variable speed unit. My pool guy thinks he can repair the motor "maybe." The price for a fix is $150, the single speeds (if I decide to stick it to the man) are running $300 and the dual speed is $450.

    If there is any rebate or incentive, I'll probably throw down on the dual speed. No incentives, single speed.
    2nd Time Pool Owner - 1998 In Ground, Gunite/Plaster, 24' long x 19' wide x 4.5' deep, 20,000 Gallon, Chlorine, 2 Hp Hayward Ecostar with Sand.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/my-on...le-t40734.html
    Cave Creek, Arizona

  11. #11
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    Re: WhisperFlo Pumps are real quiet - When the pump motor di

    Hmm. That AO Smith dual speed I provided a link for is $329. If you want to upgrade to a 2 HP, that is around $450 or so. Were you including labor with that? Personally, I'd go with a new motor as they are generally more efficient than your current 15 y/o model.

    I'm not sure if there are mechanical methods (other than using two separate timers for each speed), but there are several automation systems you can use to program your pump to come on a different times and speeds. I'd suggest maybe a couple of hours for cleaning at high speed and then 6-8 hours for circulation. This could be a full-blown automation system or something as simple as this replacement for an Intermatic mechanical timer:

    http://www.amazon.com/Intermatic-P1353M ... m_sbs_ol_4
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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    Member GTGallop's Avatar
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    Re: WhisperFlo Pumps are real quiet - When the pump motor di

    CraigMW - That $450 price was with timers and seals and tax. Install is my responsibility.
    The AO Smith pump you put up there (much appreciated) will be $377 to my door plus seals and timer. So it's comparable and in the range.
    2nd Time Pool Owner - 1998 In Ground, Gunite/Plaster, 24' long x 19' wide x 4.5' deep, 20,000 Gallon, Chlorine, 2 Hp Hayward Ecostar with Sand.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/my-on...le-t40734.html
    Cave Creek, Arizona

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    Re: WhisperFlo Pumps are real quiet - When the pump motor di

    My read of this rebate form for your area is that you need a new pump, not just a new 2-speed pump motor:

    http://www.aps.com/_files/mktg/poolsrebateform.pdf

    I could be wrong, so you should call them to tell this this would be a new "eco-friendly" 2-speed motor and see if they'll go for it. There are also variable speed motors out there. Here in CA, some utilities provide rebates on motor upgrades too. The point is to reduce electricity usage, so it would seem that either should work. In any event, you could get a $100 rebate for a 2-speed pump and a $200 rebate on a variable speed pump. Considering that electricity here in SoCal can cost upwards of $0.27/kwh, we opted to replace our WhisperFlo with a new IntelliFlo (with built in controls), and we have received a $200 rebate from SoCal Edison. The price for the pump and PVC plumbing to replace was a little over $900, and we're already seeing about $80/month savings, so we should break even in less than a year. I'm not sure what your electric bills are like, but these pumps can definitely help you save money in the long run. Plus, they have some very nice features like a built-in timer, auto-priming, etc. The pump can even tell if it needs to shut down due to loss of prime, or turn on for freeze protection. Ours also allows you to program a schedule with different pump speeds programmed for different functions (e.g. cleaning, skimming, circulation). So, you don't even need a timer anymore.
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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    Member GTGallop's Avatar
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    Re: WhisperFlo Pumps are real quiet - When the pump motor di

    That's kinda what I'm thinking about.

    There WAS a rebate on motors but it ended 01-01-12 since they are now mandated. If I want the rebate (up to $200) I have to buy a full pump.
    There is however a rebate on 2 speed timers of $70 that is still in effect. So I will be eligible for that.

    We file our taxes this weekend, so unless Uncle Barry gets greedy, I'll probably get a new 2spd motor and timer to add to the whisperflo pump.
    2nd Time Pool Owner - 1998 In Ground, Gunite/Plaster, 24' long x 19' wide x 4.5' deep, 20,000 Gallon, Chlorine, 2 Hp Hayward Ecostar with Sand.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/my-on...le-t40734.html
    Cave Creek, Arizona

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    Member GTGallop's Avatar
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    Re: WhisperFlo Pumps are real quiet - When the pump motor di

    Uncle Barry was a benevolent and generous soul this year. Looks like new motor, pump, timer, and I'm more than likely going to replumb the PVC to be more efficient. I think I can knock out about 3 90-deg elbows and replace some other ones with 2 45's that have about 3" to 6" between them.

    Our summer electrical bill is in the $500 to $600 range. Spending a little more here may pull that down to a more reasonable level. Can I get it to $400 max - maybe?
    2nd Time Pool Owner - 1998 In Ground, Gunite/Plaster, 24' long x 19' wide x 4.5' deep, 20,000 Gallon, Chlorine, 2 Hp Hayward Ecostar with Sand.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/my-on...le-t40734.html
    Cave Creek, Arizona

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    Member GTGallop's Avatar
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    Re: WhisperFlo Pumps are real quiet - When the pump motor di

    Ok - Pool guy left and gave me an estimate.

    All plumbing is good. No worries there.

    He wants $1375 (after rebates) to put in a new variable speed pump.

    Or I can put a two speed motor on for $400ish after tax, shipping a little PVC, etc.

    Let the voting begin!
    2nd Time Pool Owner - 1998 In Ground, Gunite/Plaster, 24' long x 19' wide x 4.5' deep, 20,000 Gallon, Chlorine, 2 Hp Hayward Ecostar with Sand.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/my-on...le-t40734.html
    Cave Creek, Arizona

  17. #17
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    Re: WhisperFlo Pumps are real quiet - When the pump motor di

    I bought an IntelliFlo 010118 for about $850 and about another $100 in plumbing parts that were needed and did the swap out myself. If it weren't for the fact that the previous WhisperFlo was plumbed without unions and right next to the vacuum manifold, it would have been an easy swap. Nevertheless, the new plumbing fixed that and other issues. You should be able to do an in place swap, since the other pump looks like a Pentair. However, as it appears unions were not used, you will need to do a little plumbing as well. You should try to use screw on unions at the intake and output ports of the pump to make repairs and replacement easier down the road. I really like our variable speed pump and at around $0.31/kwh at the highest tier, it's definitely helping to reduce our electrical bills. Plus, we received a $200 rebate from SCE. But, you might find comparable savings with a 2 speed unit. If you are handy, you should be able to set it up yourself. If you go with the motor, you won't need to do any plumbing work. I think the 1 1/2 HP 2 speed motor replacement is probably the best way to go, at least for the short term. Check out the following for tips on replacing the motor:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsCrynRNIpQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuLtT_fe ... re=related

    BTW, you will want to purchase a "Go Kit" to replace the seals and o-rings when you do the motor replacement such as:

    http://www.a1poolparts.com/-strse-876/P ... Detail.bok
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: WhisperFlo Pumps are real quiet - When the pump motor di

    The rule of thumb is that if your power cost is below 20ยข per kwh it's usually not worth it to go with a variable speed pump. Unless, your locality offers rebates on VS pumps only.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 1.5hp Dynamo pump. 24" Pentair Sand Dollar Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit
    You can stop SLAMing your pool when you pass the OCLT (You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & You have .5ppm CC's or less) & your water is clear.

  19. #19
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    Re: WhisperFlo Pumps are real quiet - When the pump motor di

    when thinking of a variable speed pump you have to take into account the other benefits that it offers besides power savings..

    -prime protection
    -freeze protection
    -integrated timer
    -Totally enclosed, fan cooled.
    -Aluminum motor construction

    All this leads to longer life and less hassle.

    **as a side note...I've recently heard of one ecostar on here and one at a customer's house take a dump from running dry/half prime. I'm not sure how either of these happened with the prime protection and the supposed TEFC construction, but apparently it can. I know the intellipro at my house is constantly shutting itself down from the amount of leaves that get into the skimmer every day. Maybe the ecostar has different parameters in respect to the prime protection.
    25K aggregate IG, Intellipro, FNS48, Polaris 360, PG2000 fiber optic light source

  20. #20
    Member GTGallop's Avatar
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    Re: WhisperFlo Pumps are real quiet - When the pump motor di

    Well - Pool guy comes tomorrow to put the pump in. He came down to $1100. And I'm still in the orthopedic boot because of my torn tendons in my foot. Wife won out.

    My Off Peak usage is 6 cents /KWH (7 pm through the night and all the way around to 12 noon).
    My peak usage cost is 21 cents /KWH (noon to 7 PM)

    Neeeedless to say - That pool will NOT run between noon and seven.
    2nd Time Pool Owner - 1998 In Ground, Gunite/Plaster, 24' long x 19' wide x 4.5' deep, 20,000 Gallon, Chlorine, 2 Hp Hayward Ecostar with Sand.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/my-on...le-t40734.html
    Cave Creek, Arizona

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