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Thread: pump humms and trips breaker

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    pump humms and trips breaker

    3 hp whisperflo pump for 25K gallon inground circulation humms and then trips breaker. pump installed a year ago, and has worked fine. went on vaca last week, knowing some family and friends would be using pool, cleaned everything up, balanced water before leaving. water was nice and sparkly. upon return, pool was green. i checked panel immediately to see why system was not working. i found pump breaker was tripped. and was probaly off most of the time i was away. i reset it the breaker and started system.

    pump just hummed but didnt engage. then tripped breaker again. after doing some looking online, it was suggested that motor may be bad, impeller may be stuck due to debris, or the start capacitor was bad.

    i cleaned pump basket, it had gathered some stuff, but minor. i just cleaned everything about a month ago, so it wasnt bad, and no breaks in basket to allow for larger debris to get thru to lodge impeller. i reached in and was able to feel around. not debris appeared to be around tip of impeller, and i was able to rotate it a bit with my finger tips. so i ruled out blockage.

    the pump is several years old, but was just put into service on last summer on this pool, and has worked fine. so i am thinking that it may be the capacitor.

    i went out this evening to reset the breaker again, and test it one more time before troubleshooting further, but the duel post breaker would not reset one of the posts. i reset several times over the past day, but for whatever reason tonight, it would not. so now im puzzled.

    i expected to reset breaker, start pump quickly to acknowledge the humm, and maybe that it may start up, before checking the capacitor, and not sure what to do next given the breaker will not reset.

    i have looked at a number of posts, and the imput here seems very knowledgeable. im hoping i can get some direction to troubleshoot further and fix the pump so i can get system running again and get the green out!

    any suggestions would be very much appreciated.
    25K gallon IG plaster with Cartridge, 3HP whisperflo, built 4 years ago, equipment replaced 1 year ago.

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    TFP Guide

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    Re: pump humms and trips breaker

    The first thing you need to do is eliminate the breaker issue. I will surmise that this is a 240 volt motor since you said it is a dual post breaker. How are you determining that one post will not reset?

    If there is a power switch on the motor or somewhere between the motor and the breaker, turn that off first and then reset the breaker. It could be that the inrush current is tripping the breaker. A locked rotor condition or a bad capacitor will cause this. You mentioned that you can turn the impeller so I would rule out a locked rotor condition. If you are familiar and comfortable with electricity a capacitor change is fairly simple. If not, there should be a motor repair shop in town that could handle it for you fairly quickly. There are several good sources on the web that show how to test and replace bad caps.

    As for the green, I will let some of the more knowledgeable pool experts on this forum help you with that.
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: pump humms and trips breaker

    As Dan eluded to, the next step depends on whether the breaker just isn't resetting or if it's immediately tripping.
    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: pump humms and trips breaker

    thank you dan and dave. as far as breaker being tripped, appears to be ok now. it is a goldline aqua logic 8 salt water control panel. the two breakers involved have two 20's each with inner posts connected for a water feature pump. this one functions normal. the outer two 20 posts are connected via a metal bracket for the circulation pump. the top post was tripped. it would not move completely to the off position, nor the on position when i attempted yesterday to reset. the bottom post would on the second breaker. for whatever reason today, after couple attempts, it now moves completely into the on or off position in conjuction with the other post connected with metal bracket. so i can now move both posts simultaneous to on or off.

    when it reset, i moved from off to on and started pump by pressing filter button on control panel. the pump just hummed, but did not fully engage. after few seconds, i pressed filter again to shut off system, and moved the dual pump breaker to off position.

    for your info, i have another exact same 3 hp whisperflo sitting here, not in use. my plan was to swap out the capacitor to see where that takes me. what i dont know is if im looking for poor connections durring the process which may be corrected on the problem pump, or if i just go ahead and swap them out (capacitor) from problem pump and unused pump, or if i should get a new capacitor altogether. how common is this?

    any suggestion, advice or direction from here?
    25K gallon IG plaster with Cartridge, 3HP whisperflo, built 4 years ago, equipment replaced 1 year ago.

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    Re: pump humms and trips breaker

    quick test to ck breaker- swap filter pump wiring to water feature breakers and see what happens.

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    Re: pump humms and trips breaker

    thank you all very much. i checked breaker again at control panel, and it was fine. went on to swap out the capacitor from the unused pump with the problem pump. took about 15 minutes. and it fired right up. hardest part was getting back in there to problem pump to be able to reach where i needed to change it out.

    just cleaned pool and shocked it, so should be back to sparkly water here soon.

    how common is it that the capacitor fails? there didnt appear to be any corrosion or anything on connections, so i assume it just went bad. should i have one on hand for back up? where would i buy one?
    25K gallon IG plaster with Cartridge, 3HP whisperflo, built 4 years ago, equipment replaced 1 year ago.

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    EPCompX2's Avatar
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    Re: pump humms and trips breaker

    I just replaced one on my 1hp (for water feature) and paid around $50, but could have gotten cheaper on line. If you are not in a hurry, shop around.
    10,000 gal gunite standard plaster
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    Jandy AquaLink RS6 PDA w/ SWG
    Pentair VS-3050, 1hp Sheer
    Pentair Clean&Clear Plus 420, Pentair MiniMax 400,000 BTU

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    Re: pump humms and trips breaker

    moisture, power surge and original part quality are factors.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: pump humms and trips breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by need2fixit
    how common is it that the capacitor fails? there didnt appear to be any corrosion or anything on connections, so i assume it just went bad. should i have one on hand for back up? where would i buy one?

    Very common for them to fail.

    You can get one at a pool place or an online pool supplier. You might be able to get one at an electric motor shop as well.

    Heat tends to dry out the cap over time. If you get a spare, I'd keep it in a sealed bag in a basement or someplace cool. They age in storage as well, but not as fast as they do in use. I replaced mine two years ago, and will probably buy a spare next spring when I get the pool ready.
    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: pump humms and trips breaker

    thanks all again for input. tfp is a great site. with the feedback i have received and info from other posts on the site, i was able to get this fixed quick, easy, and cheap, and will be better prepared in future. much appreciated, great site, will definately be a supporter.

    and the references to the pool calculator have forced me to look at my water in more detail than i have in the past, and was certainly helpful in getting my water from green and back to balanced and clear in a very short time since the pump had a problem and stopped.

    i will start a new thread to gain further insight as to the water balance and maintenance.

    kind regards to all. thanks again!
    matt
    25K gallon IG plaster with Cartridge, 3HP whisperflo, built 4 years ago, equipment replaced 1 year ago.

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