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Thread: I Think I Have a Pump Problem...

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    I Think I Have a Pump Problem...

    ...And I know I have an owner-operator problem. Relatively new pool owner entering into 2nd season with SWG pool that is about 5 years old (we moved in about 18 months ago).

    Had a problem with leaves in pool over the winter which coincided with a Polaris malfunction. Got Polaris repaired and it's running fine now. Picking up all the trash that I couldn't scoop out with my net. Now that temperature warming up I've become more focused on getting the pool ready.

    Yesterday I opened up the cartidge filter and cleaned it while I also cleaned my Hayward T15 SWG cell with acid. Put Humpty Dumpty back together again and noticed a problem with very weak water pressure as I bled the air out of filter. Also, you might notice that gauge, which had been consistently showing around 11 psi last year now is sitting pretty much on zero.


    Polaris is running fine but am getting very concerned about the pump. Thinking to myself..."Did leaves get into pump?" rapidly followed by..."Did I really screw this up bigtime?" and "How can I fix this?".
    Here's my pump set up and detail.


    and



    At this point, both skimmer baskets are empty and Polaris is getting the last remnents of organic solids still in pool. I am checking Polaris about every hour or 2 and keeping it empty.

    Any suggestions about how to troubleshoot and repair would be much appreciated. Thanks.
    Howard
    20,000 Gallons
    Cartridge/SWG
    Gunite
    Memphis, TN

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    Re: I Think I Have a Pump Problem...

    FYI, neither image is appearing.
    20k gal, IG Vinyl, IntelliFlo VF Pump, 60 GPM sand filter, Jandy Aquapure Ei 35, 2 skimmers, one main drain, two returns, Dolphin Diagnostic cleaning robot, Taylor K-2006 test kit

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: I Think I Have a Pump Problem...

    There's a good chance the pump impeller is clogged with leaves. Try killing all the power, empty the strainer basket and remove it, and try to stick your fingers up inside to check.

    You might have a bad gauge. Does tapping on it with your finger cause it to change?
    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: I Think I Have a Pump Problem...

    Richard, thanks for the tip. I think you're definitely onto something.

    I emptied the strainer basket, but couldn't quite reach the impeller with my fingers. So I took a suggestion from another thread I had read and tried using a pair of needle nose pliers. I removed several batches of mostly chewed up leaves, along with a piece of plastic about an inch long that had cracked off of the top of the strainer basket itself.

    Then when I fired it all up again I got a much stronger stream from the filter while bleeding it. Unfortunately, I think the gauge is bad as it's not moving at all. Not even when I tap it.

    Sounds like I at least need to replace the gauge.

    Question 1) Is replacing the gauge a hard job, or are there any tricks to it?

    Question 2) Do I get a gauge at the pool store?

    Question 3) Other than looking at the numbers with a new gauge, is there any other way to tell if I've cleaner the impeller enough?

    Thanks so much. Look forward to your answers.
    Howard
    20,000 Gallons
    Cartridge/SWG
    Gunite
    Memphis, TN

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: I Think I Have a Pump Problem...

    Replacing a gauge is easy. Just unscrew it and then screw the new one in. May want a bit of Teflon tape. Can get them at a pool store or hardware store.

    I would suggest splitting the wet end of the pump open and inspecting the impeller to be sure you got it cleaned out.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: I Think I Have a Pump Problem...

    OK, so I replaced the gauge and my pressure is steady at 4 to 5 psi, down from what I observed last year (although who's to say that the reading of 11psi on the old gauge last year was right). At least that side of things is pretty much set.

    Now on to the impeller... I have 3 more questions.

    1) Which end is the "wet end"?

    2013-04-07_10-44-39_148 by hlothrop, on Flickr

    2) Do I need any special tools or other supplies to either tear down or rebuild?

    3) Anything I need to especially be careful of or watch out for while doing this...like parts that will come tumbling out that I will have no idea how to reassemble?

    Sorry for the step-by-step whining but I'm a pool pump virgin. Thanks.
    Howard
    20,000 Gallons
    Cartridge/SWG
    Gunite
    Memphis, TN

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: I Think I Have a Pump Problem...

    In your picture, the left side is the motor side, and the right side is the wet end. The dividing line is where the screws are, just to the left of the outlet pipe. The wet end is basically the side of the pump that comes in contact with the water. Nothing special about taking it apart, just take your time. No special tools, and the only supplies you would need is anything that would have to be replaced, but you won't know until you get in there. Your pump manual probably has a parts explosion in it that will make it all make a little more sense. What kind of pump is it?
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: I Think I Have a Pump Problem...

    It's a Sta-Rite Model MPRA6F-148L 1 1/2 HP pump

    So I'm assuming that I unscrew the bolts on the left, and remove the collars on the right and top?

    Update...located manual online http://www.pentairpool.com/pdfs/DynaGla ... umpsOM.pdf
    20,000 Gallons
    Cartridge/SWG
    Gunite
    Memphis, TN

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: I Think I Have a Pump Problem...

    I think you just need to pull the 6 bolts and the pump should separate. Motor will stay attached to the left half and you will not expose the shaft seal.

    So should just be able to inspect and put back together.

    Watch for a plastic collar on the impeller that you can put it back together correctly.

    Loosen and tighten the bolts in a start pattern like lug nuts.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
    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
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  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: I Think I Have a Pump Problem...

    One more dumb question before I tear my pump apart. Do I need to close any/all of the valves leading in /out of the pump before I take it apart? Thanks.
    Howard
    20,000 Gallons
    Cartridge/SWG
    Gunite
    Memphis, TN

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: I Think I Have a Pump Problem...

    If the pump is above the pool, then that is not a concern, although the filter could drain down that way. Safest to just close everything off.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
    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
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  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: I Think I Have a Pump Problem...

    OK, have taken the step of removing the 6 nuts but am running into an obstruction. If you look at the picture above on the left side by the brick wall you will see a PVC pipe and a wiring conduit that seem to be in my way. They are impeding the freedom I have to maneuver the pump motor. I don't think I can get it far enough to the left to clear the bolts. I will try again, but what's "Plan B"?

    1) Do I then remove the collars above and to the right?

    2) Does that greatly increase my degree of difficulty in dealing with this repair?

    Any words of wisdom/advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
    Howard
    20,000 Gallons
    Cartridge/SWG
    Gunite
    Memphis, TN

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: I Think I Have a Pump Problem...

    Quote Originally Posted by HowardL
    OK, have taken the step of removing the 6 nuts but am running into an obstruction. If you look at the picture above on the left side by the brick wall you will see a PVC pipe and a wiring conduit that seem to be in my way. They are impeding the freedom I have to maneuver the pump motor. I don't think I can get it far enough to the left to clear the bolts. I will try again, but what's "Plan B"?

    1) Do I then remove the collars above and to the right?

    2) Does that greatly increase my degree of difficulty in dealing with this repair?

    Any words of wisdom/advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
    Howard
    If you have to, you can undo those collars. That's what they're there for - ease of removal. If the couplers weren't there, you'd have to cut the pipes!

    Replace the gasket when you reassemble it all.
    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!

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: I Think I Have a Pump Problem...

    Update: I slid the pump motor as far to the left as possible. Can't get motor completely out of way, but can start to see inside.

    Stuck my fingers through gap between motor and pump and manipulated the impeller. I can't see it clearly but when I put my fingers inside that big yellow beast I can freely turn it and I don't feel any obvious obstructions.

    Is this sufficient or do I need to go "Plan B" and remove the collars? Thanks.

    Howard
    20,000 Gallons
    Cartridge/SWG
    Gunite
    Memphis, TN

  15. Back To Top    #15
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: I Think I Have a Pump Problem...

    Quote Originally Posted by HowardL
    Update: I slid the pump motor as far to the left as possible. Can't get motor completely out of way, but can start to see inside.

    Stuck my fingers through gap between motor and pump and manipulated the impeller. I can't see it clearly but when I put my fingers inside that big yellow beast I can freely turn it and I don't feel any obvious obstructions.

    Is this sufficient or do I need to go "Plan B" and remove the collars? Thanks.

    Howard
    I'd still look at it. If the vanes are full of debris, they won't grab any water no matter how fast they spin. Imagine a room fan. Replace the blades with a dinner plate. How much air will that thing move?
    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!

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: I Think I Have a Pump Problem...

    Richard...thanks for the good advice. I didn't really want to do it (afraid of my own mechanical limitations) but it was definitely the right thing to do. Impeller was indeed full of leaf debris, but probably worse it had some bits of wood and plastic that were really clogging things up.

    I will fully clean it our and then start the process of reassembling this thing. Thnaks again.
    Howard
    20,000 Gallons
    Cartridge/SWG
    Gunite
    Memphis, TN

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: I Think I Have a Pump Problem...

    Hey glad to see that this will end up being a simple cleaning job. Nice work ... and now you know more about your pool equipment and plumbing
    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!

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: I Think I Have a Pump Problem...

    Well, I certainly appreciate the supportive advice, but I'm way too early into things to be claiming victory just yet. Give me an hour to put things (hopefully) back in their rightful places and then we'll see how it goes from there. Thanks again.
    Howard
    20,000 Gallons
    Cartridge/SWG
    Gunite
    Memphis, TN

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: I Think I Have a Pump Problem...

    OK, I put it all together, turned on the power and let it run. Here's the dismal result of attempt #1.

    1) Leak at top collar
    I guess if you have a leak anywhere, it's going to be on that pressurized line going out from the pump. Other than a new gasket, any suggestions?

    2) Looks like a leak or 2 near the bottom of the pump itself.
    I've tightened the nuts pretty tight, at least by my standards. Last thing I want to do is break something from overtightening.
    Is this simply a brute strength battle, or do I need to apply some sort of seal to this joint? There is an "O" ring inside but I'm pretty sure I got it back in the right spot.

    Any help appreciated. Thanks.
    Howard
    20,000 Gallons
    Cartridge/SWG
    Gunite
    Memphis, TN

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: I Think I Have a Pump Problem...

    Great work so far! Post back when you're all done.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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