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Thread: Pump output pipe leaking

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    Pump output pipe leaking

    I have been benefiting from this great site for some time now and this is the first time I've needed to register and post. So, up front, thank you.

    I have a number of issues with my pool that I'm working through as I find the time and motivation--which are often absorbed by other demands. It has really gone downhill since I had to discontinue my pool service back in 2010 when I finally realized the recession had caught up with me.

    I don't have test results to report today because the pool is green and red and I like to beat that back to a milky white or gray before I start sticking my hands in there. Not sure that's warranted, but there it is. The pool has been green for about a year and a half I'd say, maybe two years. Using the guidance here I have beaten it back to being mostly clear and sparkling, but not quite clear of algae, on a few occasions, but never quite to swimmability. I tried to hire someone to get it back in shape but they wanted to acid wash it, and I don't think the finish can take another (second to date) acid washing, so I'd rather just get it clean and then turn it over to someone. Anyway, I could be wrong but I don't think test results are relevant to this question.

    I have known for some time that my pool pump was leaking water somewhere. I previously thought it was at the seal. However, I noticed today that there was a fairly significant flow of water dribbling from behind the sleeve on the output pipe at the top of the pump.

    Any suggestions on how I'd further diagnose and correct the issue?

    Thanks!!
    ~9500 gal, IG plaster (Florida gem), Sta-Rite System 3 PLM150 cartridge filter, Dura-Glas 1.5 HP single-speed main pump (circulation), Dura-Glas II 2 HP single-speed pump (spa jets only), built 2003, spa & two bubbler water features ~1.5 feet above pool level

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Pump output pipe leaking

    The best way to find all the leaks is to fix any that are on a common line and then move on to the next one. Continue until you have them all fixed
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: Pump output pipe leaking

    Can you point me in the right direction of how to fix a leak now that I've isolated one of the major ones? Water is coming out from behind the PVC collar at the pump output, so I'm assuming either the pipe is cracked behind the collar or there is a bad connection between the pipe and the pump output. Any suggestion as to how to proceed?

    I'm not too familiar with PVC plumbing but I'm guessing I somehow have to break the connection to the pump, get the collar off somehow (maybe all that is is unscrewing), and perhaps relubricate the connection? Then plumbers putty or pipe dope to reconnect?

    Thank you!
    ~9500 gal, IG plaster (Florida gem), Sta-Rite System 3 PLM150 cartridge filter, Dura-Glas 1.5 HP single-speed main pump (circulation), Dura-Glas II 2 HP single-speed pump (spa jets only), built 2003, spa & two bubbler water features ~1.5 feet above pool level

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Pump output pipe leaking

    It looks like all the pipe joints are glued and there are no unions (fittings that unscrew). If that is the case you will have to cut the pipe, replace the damaged piece, and glue it back together. This video of a pump discharge pipe repair is a little sloppy but it shows how to get the job done!
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Pump output pipe leaking

    Quote Originally Posted by zea3
    It looks like all the pipe joints are glued and there are no unions (fittings that unscrew). If that is the case you will have to cut the pipe, replace the damaged piece, and glue it back together. This video of a pump discharge pipe repair is a little sloppy but it shows how to get the job done!
    Thanks! That actually looks semi-doable!
    ~9500 gal, IG plaster (Florida gem), Sta-Rite System 3 PLM150 cartridge filter, Dura-Glas 1.5 HP single-speed main pump (circulation), Dura-Glas II 2 HP single-speed pump (spa jets only), built 2003, spa & two bubbler water features ~1.5 feet above pool level

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    Re: Pump output pipe leaking

    Another more immediate problem has arisen. My pump is no longer pulling water. The motor is still turning, though a couple of weeks ago I had to budge it with vice grips to get it working again. It worked for a couple of weeks and now this. I have pulled off the basket lid and filled the basket with water, but that water does nothing but vibrate when I turn the pump on.

    The motor is still turning. I'm assuming I need to see whether the impeller is also turning with the motor. I've searched around these forums and I'm still at a bit of a loss as to how to do that. There's a strap/ring with a knob where the motor meets the basket (pictured above). Do I take that off?
    ~9500 gal, IG plaster (Florida gem), Sta-Rite System 3 PLM150 cartridge filter, Dura-Glas 1.5 HP single-speed main pump (circulation), Dura-Glas II 2 HP single-speed pump (spa jets only), built 2003, spa & two bubbler water features ~1.5 feet above pool level

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    Re: Pump output pipe leaking

    With the lid off the pump strainer and the basket full of water... what happens when you "bump" the power switch on the pump? Does it suck it dry?
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Pump output pipe leaking

    Quote Originally Posted by techguy
    With the lid off the pump strainer and the basket full of water... what happens when you "bump" the power switch on the pump? Does it suck it dry?
    No. I turned it on with the lid off and the water filled to the level of the input pipe, and nothing visibly happens to the water other than surface vibration.
    ~9500 gal, IG plaster (Florida gem), Sta-Rite System 3 PLM150 cartridge filter, Dura-Glas 1.5 HP single-speed main pump (circulation), Dura-Glas II 2 HP single-speed pump (spa jets only), built 2003, spa & two bubbler water features ~1.5 feet above pool level

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    Re: Pump output pipe leaking

    That indicates to me that the impeller is not drawing the water in. Is the impeller attached correctly?
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Pump output pipe leaking

    Quote Originally Posted by techguy
    That indicates to me that the impeller is not drawing the water in. Is the impeller attached correctly?
    I haven't changed anything but maybe it detached somehow. How do I check? Take the unit apart? Or try to stick my fingers in there and move it (with the power off of course) while holding the end of the motor shaft?

    Thanks!
    ~9500 gal, IG plaster (Florida gem), Sta-Rite System 3 PLM150 cartridge filter, Dura-Glas 1.5 HP single-speed main pump (circulation), Dura-Glas II 2 HP single-speed pump (spa jets only), built 2003, spa & two bubbler water features ~1.5 feet above pool level

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    Re: Pump output pipe leaking

    Unscrew the knob on the stainless steel band clamp, remove the band clamp, and then separate the pump casing. There may be a diffuser screwed over the top of the impeller that you can remove to gain access to the impeller. When you reassemble the pump, make sure the large o ring is in place correctly.
    16' x 32' IG vinyl liner w/ hopper bottom (12,500 gal), Single-speed 1 HP Sta-Rite pump, and 300# Cristal-Flo sand filter, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Pump output pipe leaking

    Quote Originally Posted by nedchavez
    Unscrew the knob on the stainless steel band clamp, remove the band clamp, and then separate the pump casing. There may be a diffuser screwed over the top of the impeller that you can remove to gain access to the impeller. When you reassemble the pump, make sure the large o ring is in place correctly.
    Thank you!

    Okay, the part of the impeller that attaches to the motor shaft, is broken, which explains things. I guess I need to go buy a replacement impeller and I should be all set in that department.

    I notice that the other end of the motor shaft is difficult to turn by hand but can be turned using vice grips without too much difficulty. Is that normal?
    ~9500 gal, IG plaster (Florida gem), Sta-Rite System 3 PLM150 cartridge filter, Dura-Glas 1.5 HP single-speed main pump (circulation), Dura-Glas II 2 HP single-speed pump (spa jets only), built 2003, spa & two bubbler water features ~1.5 feet above pool level

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    Re: Pump output pipe leaking

    Also, the diffuser was fastened with only three screws (one missing the lock washer) instead of five. I'm guessing that is inconsequential, though.
    ~9500 gal, IG plaster (Florida gem), Sta-Rite System 3 PLM150 cartridge filter, Dura-Glas 1.5 HP single-speed main pump (circulation), Dura-Glas II 2 HP single-speed pump (spa jets only), built 2003, spa & two bubbler water features ~1.5 feet above pool level

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    Re: Pump output pipe leaking

    Quote Originally Posted by jsa
    I notice that the other end of the motor shaft is difficult to turn by hand but can be turned using vice grips without too much difficulty. Is that normal?
    You also mentioned in post #6 that you had to initially free up the motor with vice grips, so I would say no, it's not normal.

    If your pump leak got water into the motor bearings, the bearings could be on the verge of seizing up.

    You could take the motor to a shop and have the bearings replaced, or try to replace them yourself, if that's something you're comfortable doing. I would at least set the motor vertically and let some 3 in 1 oil soak into each bearing to try and loosen them up. I would hate to see you spend the money on a new impeller only to have the motor seize up shortly after.

    Also, your photo shows a close up of the pump fitting that is leaking. We can't see the pump discharge line where it goes into the filter. Maybe there is a union there that you can disassemble instead of cutting the PVC.

    Lastly, if you do go with replacing the impeller, it would be a good idea to replace the shaft seal.
    16' x 32' IG vinyl liner w/ hopper bottom (12,500 gal), Single-speed 1 HP Sta-Rite pump, and 300# Cristal-Flo sand filter, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Pump output pipe leaking

    Quote Originally Posted by nedchavez
    Quote Originally Posted by jsa
    I notice that the other end of the motor shaft is difficult to turn by hand but can be turned using vice grips without too much difficulty. Is that normal?
    You also mentioned in post #6 that you had to initially free up the motor with vice grips, so I would say no, it's not normal.

    If your pump leak got water into the motor bearings, the bearings could be on the verge of seizing up.

    You could take the motor to a shop and have the bearings replaced, or try to replace them yourself, if that's something you're comfortable doing. I would at least set the motor vertically and let some 3 in 1 oil soak into each bearing to try and loosen them up. I would hate to see you spend the money on a new impeller only to have the motor seize up shortly after.

    Also, your photo shows a close up of the pump fitting that is leaking. We can't see the pump discharge line where it goes into the filter. Maybe there is a union there that you can disassemble instead of cutting the PVC.

    Lastly, if you do go with replacing the impeller, it would be a good idea to replace the shaft seal.
    Thank you so much for all the thoughtful advice.

    I've never done a bearing replacement, so I think I'd prefer the shop route. Is that something pool shops do, or some sort of motor repair shop? Or does it make sense to try the oil first?

    I will take another picture from another angle of the discharge line. Incidentally, I would not have thought that leak would have compromised the motor any more than rainfall would--but maybe based on its location it would. Anyway, I am a novice at this stuff.

    Thank you again.
    ~9500 gal, IG plaster (Florida gem), Sta-Rite System 3 PLM150 cartridge filter, Dura-Glas 1.5 HP single-speed main pump (circulation), Dura-Glas II 2 HP single-speed pump (spa jets only), built 2003, spa & two bubbler water features ~1.5 feet above pool level

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    Re: Pump output pipe leaking

    Quote Originally Posted by jsa
    I've never done a bearing replacement, so I think I'd prefer the shop route. Is that something pool shops do, or some sort of motor repair shop?
    A motor repair / rewind shop would be the place to try. Unfortunately, some might charge as much to repair as a replacement motor would cost, so you would have to check around.

    Quote Originally Posted by jsa
    Or does it make sense to try the oil first?
    I probably would, but I would be comfortable judging the condition of the bearings. You could take it in and ask at a repair shop, but I'm sure if there was any question, they are going to recommend new bearings or new motor.

    Quote Originally Posted by jsa
    Incidentally, I would not have thought that leak would have compromised the motor any more than rainfall would--but maybe......
    Depends on motor construction. Would need a clearer picture of it.
    16' x 32' IG vinyl liner w/ hopper bottom (12,500 gal), Single-speed 1 HP Sta-Rite pump, and 300# Cristal-Flo sand filter, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Pump output pipe leaking

    Before I received your response I had called the local Leslie's who in turn referred me to a local mom and pop shop that does those types of repairs. They said they could do it but would recommend a new motor since I thought mine was at least 4-5 years old, maybe more. They also said I could downsize to a 1 HP. Their price for a new 1.5 didn't seem deadly, under 300, so maybe replacing makes sense? However I will try to find some a repair rewind shops in the area to see if their pricing makes repair a potential good option.

    I'm attaching some more pictures. I've had to compress them for posting so hopefully they are still clear. The closer pump is the pool pump when both are visible.
    ~9500 gal, IG plaster (Florida gem), Sta-Rite System 3 PLM150 cartridge filter, Dura-Glas 1.5 HP single-speed main pump (circulation), Dura-Glas II 2 HP single-speed pump (spa jets only), built 2003, spa & two bubbler water features ~1.5 feet above pool level

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    Re: Pump output pipe leaking

    I am not sure if I should add to my existing thread or start a new one.

    Last September, I ended up having a tech from Leslie's come out to replace the motor. He ended up being able to fix it. However, the fix only lasted about six months or so.

    When I had them come back out to look at it, it was a different tech who did pretty much zero diagnosis and recommended a whole new pump (because they don't make these anymore, or some other malarkey). I went in to the store to discuss whether I needed a whole new pump or just a motor, and they suggested based on my experience that I have a different tech come out and re-check it. Well, that tech also did zero diagnosis (except seeing that the breakers were tripped), and suggested a new pump due to the pump age. However, based on what I've read around here, and my discussion with the guy at the store, I can probably just replace the motor and be fine.

    Would you guys agree it's worth trying to just replace the motor? That I think I can do myself and would cost a lot less than a whole new pump install (which sounded like it would be about $700 including labor).

    If so, my next question is, what do I replace it with? It's been suggested to me a few times over the years that the 1.5 HP pump might be overpowered for my size pool (about 9500 gallons including the spa and water features), so should I downsize to a 3/4 HP? Is a variable speed worth considering here?

    Thanks. Any help is really appreciated.

    Edit: Looking at the pump sizing article, I am thinking even a 1/2 HP would be large enough, for circulation, but since this pump circulates the water through the bubblers and spa, will the waterfalls be pathetic at a slower rate? With the 1.5 HP pump, I left the valve for the bubblers partly closed because they were getting too much flow, but so I'm thinking those will be okay. Not sure about the spa's waterfall. Of course after about 4 years of struggling with algae, maybe waterfall volume should be the least of my worries.
    ~9500 gal, IG plaster (Florida gem), Sta-Rite System 3 PLM150 cartridge filter, Dura-Glas 1.5 HP single-speed main pump (circulation), Dura-Glas II 2 HP single-speed pump (spa jets only), built 2003, spa & two bubbler water features ~1.5 feet above pool level

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    Re: Pump output pipe leaking

    I have done some investigating around the equipment and updated my signature.

    I thought it also might be helpful to add a picture to show an idea of the bubbler size. I don't think they need a lot of volume to get the intended effect, and too much volume will just end up splashing on the deck.

    Also, TLDR on my previous post: My pool motor is dead. Can I replace just the motor or do I need to replace the whole pump given that it is 11 years old?

    IMAG1389.jpg
    Last edited by jsa; 07-19-2014 at 01:01 PM. Reason: Summarize current Question
    ~9500 gal, IG plaster (Florida gem), Sta-Rite System 3 PLM150 cartridge filter, Dura-Glas 1.5 HP single-speed main pump (circulation), Dura-Glas II 2 HP single-speed pump (spa jets only), built 2003, spa & two bubbler water features ~1.5 feet above pool level

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    Re: Pump output pipe leaking

    If you can afford it, go with a two speed pump that will save on the electric bill. If not, just a motor replacement should be enough.
    12000 Gallon IG Plaster built 2/15/2014. Jandy 340 sg ft 127 gpm filter, Jandy 1 HP stealth pump. Circupool RJ-45 SWG (overkill). TF-100 with Speed Stir.

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