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Thread: Pump leaking - oversized?

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    Pump leaking - oversized?

    Guys/gals,

    My apologies in advance for not being well-versed in the terms yet, but I am a new pool owner.

    Long story short, I noticed a leak in my pump earlier this week. It seems to have been running fine for the first 3 weeks (just bought the house).

    I called in the problem to the home warranty company, who of course assigned their contracted company to the issue.

    The contracting company did a visual inspection only. The pump is not staying primed. And is letting out a "gulp of air" (his words) when turned off.

    He is telling me that just based on that, there is a crack in the pump. And he is also insisting that it is because the pump is oversized for my pool. Apparently it has a dual-speed 3ph pump. He says that it should have a 1.5hp MAX, and not a dual speed. So of course this description will prevent the home warranty service from covering any of it.

    Something smells fishy to me. But I'm new at this, so I'd like to consult the experts. You guys! Any advice/help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Jason
    20k gallons, Cartridge filter,IG, Plaster, 150 GPM filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pump leaking - oversized?

    IF there is air in the pump basket, then there is likely a leak on the suction side ... no necessarily in the pump itself. It could be as simple as putting some lube on the pump basket gasket or making sure the drain plugs are tight. Or there could be a leak in an underground pipe.

    Is the water staying full in the skimmer as that could draw in air as well if the water is low.

    3HP is big, but once primed and running on low there should be no issues.

    Some pictures could help us help you ...

    I have little faith in home warranties ... did it cost you $50 for the guy to show up and give you that line?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Pump leaking - oversized?

    Do you have any water features like a fountain or a waterfall? If you do your 3 hp may not be too big.
    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
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Pump leaking - oversized?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    IF there is air in the pump basket, then there is likely a leak on the suction side ... no necessarily in the pump itself. It could be as simple as putting some lube on the pump basket gasket or making sure the drain plugs are tight. Or there could be a leak in an underground pipe.

    Is the water staying full in the skimmer as that could draw in air as well if the water is low.

    3HP is big, but once primed and running on low there should be no issues.

    Some pictures could help us help you ...

    I have little faith in home warranties ... did it cost you $50 for the guy to show up and give you that line?
    Thank y'all for the replies thus far.
    * Looks like there may be a little air in the pump basket. When I take off the cover, the water looks like it drains out about half way. Fill it back up with water, tighten the lid, and it will start back up. It works fine as long as you keep the pump running. It just leaks a little, looks like out of the bottom.
    * Runs fine on low and high, once it gets started.
    * Home warranty has its positives and negatives. Their pool coverage is not on the positive side, but it was only a few extra dollars to add. We shall see.
    * Pictures coming in the next post.
    * Yes, other water features. But it looks like they run off of a separate pump. Waterfall, and in-ground spa.
    20k gallons, Cartridge filter,IG, Plaster, 150 GPM filter

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Pump leaking - oversized?

    If one of those uses the main pump (especially the spa) the 3 hp probably isn't to big. If that's the case I'd call the warranty co back and give them the details and ask them to reopen the case. Unless of course, it turns out to be a drain plug or o-ring. Then it's easier to just fix it yourself.
    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
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Pump leaking - oversized?

    First time trying to post photos here. Hope this works.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    20k gallons, Cartridge filter,IG, Plaster, 150 GPM filter

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Pump leaking - oversized?

    Can you post those on photobucket etc, and link them here? They're too small to make out.

    It looks like the pool and spa use the same pump.
    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
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Pump leaking - oversized?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    If one of those uses the main pump (especially the spa) the 3 hp probably isn't to big. If that's the case I'd call the warranty co back and give them the details and ask them to reopen the case. Unless of course, it turns out to be a drain plug or o-ring. Then it's easier to just fix it yourself.
    I think they all use the 2nd pump. This is my first time with a pool, trying to figure out how all this stuff works. Good thing I found this place. Its been a HUGE help so far. Already battled an algae problem, and won (so far).

    I've sent in the request for a 2nd opinion. They charge me $60 for the 'service call', then fix what they are supposed to fix. If its a o-ring or drain plug (dont even know where those are), then that's worth it to me for now. Just need to get someone to actually diagnose it and get something done rather than looking at it and telling me its a cracked pump from an oversized pump. I think he just didnt want to mess with it after I told him he could do the warranty work, and anything else I'll take care of on my own or with my own pool company (I have a friend in the business who I trust 100%). I'll learn this stuff eventually. Lots to do in a new house, and not enough time in the day.

    I dont understand pools and pumps enough to know if an oversized pump can cause it to crack itself, but I'm not the expert here (yet). The thing was built ~1997. I have a giant folder from the previous owners, and need to take some time to review it and see what is what.
    20k gallons, Cartridge filter,IG, Plaster, 150 GPM filter

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    Re: Pump leaking - oversized?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    Can you post those on photobucket etc, and link them here? They're too small to make out.

    It looks like the pool and spa use the same pump.
    Try this: https://plus.google.com/photos/10986698 ... wL7hpLbKZw
    20k gallons, Cartridge filter,IG, Plaster, 150 GPM filter

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    Re: Pump leaking - oversized?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    Can you post those on photobucket etc, and link them here? They're too small to make out.

    It looks like the pool and spa use the same pump.
    Just had a moment to mess around with things.
    - The pool and spa do both run off the same pump. The waterfall runs off the 2nd one.
    - The cover on top of the pump does leak ever so slightly
    - so does the pvc pipe that is going straight into the top of the pump. just a little dribble around the seal.
    - neither of these leaks are the main source of leaking water. It is definitely coming out from somewhere beneath the pump. It flows slow but steadily when the pump runs. It stops when the pump is off.
    - when i shut off the pump, i can see some air ( through the clear lid on top) bubbling into the pump. And the whole setup just sounds like its gurguling. No idea if this is normal.

    Are these signs of a cacked pump? Is my gut on to something thinking that the pool service guy just wanted to collect the $60 and not deal with looking for the real problem, especially after i told him that he could just do the warranty work and nothing more? Am i just crazy?
    20k gallons, Cartridge filter,IG, Plaster, 150 GPM filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pump leaking - oversized?

    Can you tell if the water is coming out at the bottom down by where the motor enters the pump? ... could be the shaft seal.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Pump leaking - oversized?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Can you tell if the water is coming out at the bottom down by where the motor enters the pump? ... could be the shaft seal.
    Cant tell where its coming from unfortunately. 2nd opinion coming shortly.. Will see if they are any better/different.
    20k gallons, Cartridge filter,IG, Plaster, 150 GPM filter

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Pump leaking - oversized?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jclayton
    Just had a moment to mess around with things.

    - The pool and spa do both run off the same pump. The waterfall runs off the 2nd one. That's what I thought. In that case the pump isn't too big.

    - The cover on top of the pump does leak ever so slightly A good cleaning and some lube will probably fix that. That's contributing to your basket filling with air when you stop the pump.

    - so does the pvc pipe that is going straight into the top of the pump. just a little dribble around the seal. That could also contribute to the basket filling with air but it would only happen after the pump stops.

    - neither of these leaks are the main source of leaking water. It is definitely coming out from somewhere beneath the pump. It flows slow but steadily when the pump runs. It stops when the pump is off. That's most likely the casing o-ring or the shaft seal. Neither are too hard to change for a handy person.

    - when i shut off the pump, i can see some air ( through the clear lid on top) bubbling into the pump. And the whole setup just sounds like its gurguling. No idea if this is normal. That's not normal and once you get the leaks stopped that will no longer happen.

    Are these signs of a cacked pump? Not necessarily. Like I said it could just be an o-ring or seal.

    Is my gut on to something thinking that the pool service guy just wanted to collect the $60 and not deal with looking for the real problem, especially after i told him that he could just do the warranty work and nothing more? Am i just crazy? It wouldn't surprise me if that's exactly the case. And you're not crazy!
    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
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Pump leaking - oversized?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    Quote Originally Posted by Jclayton
    Just had a moment to mess around with things.

    - The pool and spa do both run off the same pump. The waterfall runs off the 2nd one. That's what I thought. In that case the pump isn't too big.

    - The cover on top of the pump does leak ever so slightly A good cleaning and some lube will probably fix that. That's contributing to your basket filling with air when you stop the pump.

    - so does the pvc pipe that is going straight into the top of the pump. just a little dribble around the seal. That could also contribute to the basket filling with air but it would only happen after the pump stops.

    - neither of these leaks are the main source of leaking water. It is definitely coming out from somewhere beneath the pump. It flows slow but steadily when the pump runs. It stops when the pump is off. That's most likely the casing o-ring or the shaft seal. Neither are too hard to change for a handy person.

    - when i shut off the pump, i can see some air ( through the clear lid on top) bubbling into the pump. And the whole setup just sounds like its gurguling. No idea if this is normal. That's not normal and once you get the leaks stopped that will no longer happen.

    Are these signs of a cacked pump? Not necessarily. Like I said it could just be an o-ring or seal.

    Is my gut on to something thinking that the pool service guy just wanted to collect the $60 and not deal with looking for the real problem, especially after i told him that he could just do the warranty work and nothing more? Am i just crazy? It wouldn't surprise me if that's exactly the case. And you're not crazy!
    2nd opinion came back much different. Its not a 3hp pump. That confims my suspicion that service guy #1 had other motives for his 'diagnosis'.

    The guy who was sent from company #2 has been around for a long time. Turns out he actually did some of the install work on my pool back in the late 90's. Small world. He thinks its a simple seal in the pump. Going to fix that and then we'll work to identify any other potential leak sources.

    Funny side note: Service guy #1 actually said to me "the guy that did your plumbing should be shot." Service guy #2, having been involved in that plumbing, was slightly offended by that comment.
    20k gallons, Cartridge filter,IG, Plaster, 150 GPM filter

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    Re: Pump leaking - oversized?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jclayton
    Funny side note: Service guy #1 actually said to me "the guy that did your plumbing should be shot." Service guy #2, having been involved in that plumbing, was slightly offended by that comment.
    What did S1 not like about it? I bet S2 was offended, but it sounds like he is doing the right thing.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Pump leaking - oversized?

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    Quote Originally Posted by Jclayton
    Funny side note: Service guy #1 actually said to me "the guy that did your plumbing should be shot." Service guy #2, having been involved in that plumbing, was slightly offended by that comment.
    What did S1 not like about it? I bet S2 was offended, but it sounds like he is doing the right thing.
    In his word, "everything". He went off on a couple of mintue lecture about how awful the plumbing is, how much of it just needed to be completely redone, how beautifully he would do it, how much of a PITA it would be to even work on my pump, how it should have never passed inspection (what inspection I have no idea), etc. Said it was one of the worst plumbing jobs he had ever encountered, and topped it off by telling me that the person who put it in should be shot.
    20k gallons, Cartridge filter,IG, Plaster, 150 GPM filter

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    Re: Pump leaking - oversized?

    Wow those are strong words.

    I am curious, could you post a pic? It sounds like he was fishing for business
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Pump leaking - oversized?

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    Wow those are strong words.

    I am curious, could you post a pic? It sounds like he was fishing for business
    Im sure he was.

    Pics are posted further up in the thread. This link should work too: https://plus.google.com/photos/10986698 ... wL7hpLbKZw
    20k gallons, Cartridge filter,IG, Plaster, 150 GPM filter

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    Re: Pump leaking - oversized?

    forgot the pics were up there.

    I can see somethings that I would have done different, but you have a lot going on there in a small space, so options are limited.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Pump leaking - oversized?

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    forgot the pics were up there.

    I can see somethings that I would have done different, but you have a lot going on there in a small space, so options are limited.
    Indeed. My trusted pool adviser agrees - its not the best, but it works. I'm not sure yet what half of that stuff is. But im slowly figuring it out.
    20k gallons, Cartridge filter,IG, Plaster, 150 GPM filter

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