My pump makes a higher pitch winding type of noise pretty much all the time and has all year. I assume this is a bearing that needs replacing. The pump is a 2HP Hayward/A.O. Smith, it is programmable and claims it is two speed, but when it goes to low through the programming, it just turns itself completely off. There does not appear to be a way to directly put the pump on low. The pump came with the house I bought in June and was left out in a pool shed over two Chicago winters. It was leaking badly (gasket) and also the impeller was broken so I replaced those back in early July and it made it all season for me and seems to work fine save for the noise and lack of a low speed. I do not want to chance that it will last through next year and have to make an emergency repair mid-season.
So, my questions:
1) Does this indeed sound like a bearing that is on its last legs? Is there a way to confirm?
2) What is the approximate cost of bearing replacement if I do it myself and what is the level of difficulty?
3) Given that I don't know the exact history of the pump, might I just be better off purchasing a new one and having this on hand for an emergency back-up? (Seems 2HP for my pool is a bit of overkill)