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Thread: Filter Pump Electric Motor Problems

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    Filter Pump Electric Motor Problems

    I have an A.O. Smith type cx FR.y56y 1.0 HP motor on my sta-rite filter pump giving me problems.

    I notice the pump was not running. So I shut off the timers, cylced the breakers, pump motor still did not start. I have a Jandy service panel that controls all the switches/breakers for my filter pump, water fall pump, spa pump, and cleaner booster pump.

    I turned on the switch (in service mode at the panel) and the pump motor would bump a bit but not start. Turn off, then on, nothing. Pump motor turned freely by hand so I put a new capacitor on it, no change. I bumped the switch off and on a few times, the pump motor would start, run for about 2-3 minutes then shut off. No breakers were tripped, the light at the swithch panel showed on, and I checked the voltage at back of the pump motor, 120 v on the black wire and 120 v on the red wire.

    So I powered down everything and pulled the motor and took it to the local pool store to be checked. They benched tested it and said it was fine. I reinstalled the pump motor yesterday, same results. If I bumped the switch a few times the pump will finally start. It ran for 2-3 minutes and quit again. I checked all voltages again and all seemed fine. I got the pump motor to start again and this time it ran for 5 hours. Then I manually shut it off. It would not restart again.

    So I am thinking it has to be the pump motor. I show voltage at the back of the motor and the motor is not spinning. Odd that it is not kicking breakers. I could try hooking up the motor to one of the other pump switches in the service panel to verify that it is not the switch, not sure they are 230 volt. I am thinking it is not the switch becacuse I see 120 v. at each wire on the back of the pump.

    So I have convinced myself I need a new electrical motor. Any Opinions based on similar experiences?

    Charlie
    30,000 gallon in ground pool, Jandy 1400 SWG, Jandy valves and controls, Sta rite cartridge filter, Just added solar panels and Starite Inellipro variable speed pump

    I spent a lot of money on drag racing, good whiskey, and expensive cigars. The rest of my money I just wasted.

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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Filter Pump Electric Motor Problems

    I checked the voltage at back of the pump motor, 120 v on the black wire and 120 v on the red wire.
    I assume, based on this info, that you tested between each terminal and the ground? You should check with the meter between the black and the red, and make certain it reads 220v.
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    Re: Filter Pump Electric Motor Problems

    I assume, based on this info, that you tested between each terminal and the ground? You should check with the meter between the black and the red, and make certain it reads 220v.[/
    quote]

    Yes, between each terminal and ground. I will check voltages between the black and red wire tonight.
    Thanks.

    Charlie.
    30,000 gallon in ground pool, Jandy 1400 SWG, Jandy valves and controls, Sta rite cartridge filter, Just added solar panels and Starite Inellipro variable speed pump

    I spent a lot of money on drag racing, good whiskey, and expensive cigars. The rest of my money I just wasted.

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    Re: Filter Pump Electric Motor Problems

    Well the voltage between the black and red wires is zero, not 240 volts as you suggested. I checked the voltage between the black and red wires coming in to the circuit panel (from the main house box) and the voltage between red and black are zero.

    So what does that mean?

    Charlie.
    30,000 gallon in ground pool, Jandy 1400 SWG, Jandy valves and controls, Sta rite cartridge filter, Just added solar panels and Starite Inellipro variable speed pump

    I spent a lot of money on drag racing, good whiskey, and expensive cigars. The rest of my money I just wasted.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Filter Pump Electric Motor Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Sanger440
    Well the voltage between the black and red wires is zero, not 240 volts as you suggested. I checked the voltage between the black and red wires coming in to the circuit panel (from the main house box) and the voltage between red and black are zero.

    So what does that mean?

    Charlie.
    Normally that means both lines are connected to the same phase, but I don't know that the motor can run if it were wired that way.
    TFP Moderator
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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Filter Pump Electric Motor Problems

    That means that the breakers feeding them are on the same phase. Any two adjoining full-size breakers should provide 220v between them, due to the way that the phases alternate through the box. Sounds like either someone used a dual (mini) breaker to feed both wires, or the wires are not connected to adjoining breakers.
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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Filter Pump Electric Motor Problems

    ...I don't know that the motor can run if it were wired that way.
    No, it cannot.
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    Re: Filter Pump Electric Motor Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohm_Boy
    ...I don't know that the motor can run if it were wired that way.
    No, it cannot.
    Well the pump has been running this way for 10 years. I have owned the house for 2 years and it started acting up about a week ago. Even tonight, if I fiddled with the breakers, rolled the pump motor by hand one way or the other, the motor would eventually start and run for a while. While it was running, no voltage difference between the red and black wire.

    But maybe the breaker on the main box on the house is doing something weird, I am not sure about all this "phase" stuff. So I guess my next move is to get a electrician over to my house to check out the problem.

    Charlie.
    30,000 gallon in ground pool, Jandy 1400 SWG, Jandy valves and controls, Sta rite cartridge filter, Just added solar panels and Starite Inellipro variable speed pump

    I spent a lot of money on drag racing, good whiskey, and expensive cigars. The rest of my money I just wasted.

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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Filter Pump Electric Motor Problems

    Hmm, one leg may simply be open. Like a bad connection at the main box, a faulty breaker, a broken wire, or a burned/bad connection.
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    Re: Filter Pump Electric Motor Problems

    Newsflash: I am a moron. When checking voltage between the red and black wire, I forgot to set my ohm meter to a higher setting, it would not read 230 volts when set to the 200 v setting. It hit me last night laying in bed LOL!

    So I ran out this morning, turned on the pump (it started first time which it hardly ever does) and checked the voltages with the 750 volt setting, and viola I have 240 volts as expected between the red and black wire.

    So now I am back to square one, it must be the electric motor wearing out. I have read that some motors have a little breaker mechanism (like points in older cars) that might wear out or corrode a little and act up during start up of the motor. But I cannot find any schematics for the A.O. Smith square flange motor that shows something like this. Only other thing I can see that might be a problem is the thermal protection in the motor may keep tripping and resetting at start up do to a bad motor or a bad thermal part.

    Maybe I will pull the pump/motor and disassemble the motor and see how everything looks. If I do not see something obvious, I am going to have to get a new motor.

    Charlie.
    30,000 gallon in ground pool, Jandy 1400 SWG, Jandy valves and controls, Sta rite cartridge filter, Just added solar panels and Starite Inellipro variable speed pump

    I spent a lot of money on drag racing, good whiskey, and expensive cigars. The rest of my money I just wasted.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Filter Pump Electric Motor Problems

    Some motors have a centrifugal switch depending on the age and style of the motor, and on those, the contacts will corrode/wear over time and not make contact. You can usually file (with an emory board) them and get a little more use out of them.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Filter Pump Electric Motor Problems

    Good suggestions. Your motor will have 3 windings, and one of those is just for starting, i.e getting the motor to start spinning. You need a good capacitor and a start switch to energize the start winding. Once the motor is running, the 3rd winding is switched out of the picture by the start switch. That switch is opened by centrifugal force at the motor gets up to speed on these older motors (newer motors are switchless).

    With the power disconnected you can remove the back cover and see the centrifugal start switch and the points (switch contacts). Gently spread the contacts and swipe an emory board between the contacts to clean the points as Bama Rambler says. Don't deform anything or try to change the springs or contact pressure.
    That might fix it for now and then think about buying a new motor for the future.

    EDIT: The only problem I see here after re-reading your original post is that you stated that it ran for 2-3 minutes and stopped. That is not good. There is possibly a bad internal connection or a bad thermal cutoff..... or the motor is loading up and causing the thermal cutoff to shut it down. Could your pump impeller be clogged? Does the motor sound a bit noisy like it is under load?
    John (DIYer). Concrete, approximately 13,000 gallon in-ground pool with adjoining concrete spa. Approximately 40 years old. Hayward Super II pump for pool and legacy Anthony Sta-Rite bronze pump CF6 for spa, VA-26 filter,(2 sets), Rheem propane heater for spa. HASA Liquidator for pool.

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    Re: Filter Pump Electric Motor Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by hoosierrun
    EDIT: The only problem I see here after re-reading your original post is that you stated that it ran for 2-3 minutes and stopped. That is not good. There is possibly a bad internal connection or a bad thermal cutoff..... or the motor is loading up and causing the thermal cutoff to shut it down. Could your pump impeller be clogged? Does the motor sound a bit noisy like it is under load?
    I did remove the pump/motor and had it bench tested at the local pool supply house. There was nothing in the impeller to speak of. Pump does not making any unusual noises. I can always turn the motor over by hand at the back of it. And yes, sometimes the motor will only run for 30 seconds to a minute and shut off. One time it ran for 5 hours. Other times as I tinkered with it, I would run it for 4-5 minutes, shut it off, try to restart it, and nothing. Sometimes when I hit the switch, the motor will just bump or turn a little and then nothing. No humming when the motor sits there with the switch on. When it first started doing this last week, it would hum, but not anymore. So now I am thinking the thermal switch may be kicking in due to over amping, heat or whatever.

    Looking in the back of the motor, I do not see centrifigal start switch (points). Just the terminal board, so I am not sure this motor has a centrifigal start switch, but I will double check it.

    Thanks for the ideas.

    Charlie.
    30,000 gallon in ground pool, Jandy 1400 SWG, Jandy valves and controls, Sta rite cartridge filter, Just added solar panels and Starite Inellipro variable speed pump

    I spent a lot of money on drag racing, good whiskey, and expensive cigars. The rest of my money I just wasted.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Filter Pump Electric Motor Problems

    If you could check the amps when the motor is running you might be able to tell if it's running over it's rated amps or if it's just a weak thermal cutout.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: Filter Pump Electric Motor Problems

    I did a Google search on "AO Smith switchless motor manual" and found a good manual in PDF format. If you really want to get into troubleshooting and testing the motor, you will find this maual very helpful. The 2nd PDF that came up is the one I was looking at.
    John (DIYer). Concrete, approximately 13,000 gallon in-ground pool with adjoining concrete spa. Approximately 40 years old. Hayward Super II pump for pool and legacy Anthony Sta-Rite bronze pump CF6 for spa, VA-26 filter,(2 sets), Rheem propane heater for spa. HASA Liquidator for pool.

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    Re: Filter Pump Electric Motor Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by hoosierrun
    I did a Google search on "AO Smith switchless motor manual" and found a good manual in PDF format. If you really want to get into troubleshooting and testing the motor, you will find this maual very helpful. The 2nd PDF that came up is the one I was looking at.
    I did see that manual and it does not show a centrifugal start switch (switch less?). Even though my pump motor is 10 years old, is looks to be like the one in the manual.

    A buddy of mine who does HVAC for a living came by today and gave me a "solid state relay and hard start capacitor" made by supco (spp6). He says he puts these on old compressor motors that have trouble starting. It just connects in parallel with the existing capacitor and helps the motor to start. What he told me to do was take the motor apart and make sure the bearings and windings all look good, clean everything up, lube the bearings with lightweight oil if they are not sealed, and throw it back together with the Supco booster capacitor. He said he has nursed various compressors along for years and years this way LOL!

    I might try it this weekend. I still figure I will end up with a new motor, but what the ****!

    Charlie.
    30,000 gallon in ground pool, Jandy 1400 SWG, Jandy valves and controls, Sta rite cartridge filter, Just added solar panels and Starite Inellipro variable speed pump

    I spent a lot of money on drag racing, good whiskey, and expensive cigars. The rest of my money I just wasted.

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    Re: Filter Pump Electric Motor Problems

    Upgrade to a 2 speed time?
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    Re: Filter Pump Electric Motor Problems

    Call me a skeptic, but I just don't 'feel' that you have a problem that a kickstart module is gonna handle, especially since the motor shaft spins freely by hand. Of course, I could be wrong, but I'd really like to know what the voltage at the motor looks like when it tries to start. I'm looking to see if it drops from 220v when the motor starts up.

    Musing... I suppose that if your motor is a capacitor start/capacitor run motor, then it has two caps, and you'll need to make sure that both are good. If the start cap is bad, a kickstart might help.
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    Re: Filter Pump Electric Motor Problems

    You might want to take the motor to an electric motor repair shop. There are many in your area. Some will bench test the motor for a nominal charge and will usually apply the charge towards a repair or a new motor.

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    Re: Filter Pump Electric Motor Problems

    Well, I pulled the pump/motor, took the electrical motor apart, cleaned it up a bit. Bearings looked good, well lubed. Put it back together and installed it with a "hard start capacitor". No change. Sometimes the motor starts, sometimes it just bumps, etc. After a couple of cylces of the switch it usually starts and runs fine after that.

    I am very confident my swithches and wiring is good, who ever had this pool equipment installed used all top of the line stuff. All the voltages seem to check out.

    So I am thinking I have to get a new motor. Now I have to decide if I want a 2 speed motor. I will start another thread for that discussion.

    Thanks for all suggestions.

    Charlie.
    30,000 gallon in ground pool, Jandy 1400 SWG, Jandy valves and controls, Sta rite cartridge filter, Just added solar panels and Starite Inellipro variable speed pump

    I spent a lot of money on drag racing, good whiskey, and expensive cigars. The rest of my money I just wasted.

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