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Thread: New Member with a Pump Question

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    New Member with a Pump Question

    Hello! I just first wanted to say how blown away I am by the information on this website. A friend suggested I check out this site when I told her I wanted to open my pool on my own this year. I'm sure glad I did! What a wealth of info and a great community!

    My most immediate question is on my pool pump. Late last season, my pool pump sounded like it was making more noise than when we first bought the house and moved in. It may have been a little higher pitched, but basically it was just louder. Could this be an indication a bearing was going, or the motor is just on its last legs? If so, does it make sense to replace it now before the season starts, or ride it out until it dies? And if I am replacing it, what are the recommendations? From reading so far, the multispeed pumps will make a big difference in the energy bills. Any particular favorites?

    A little background. We bought the house and moved in July 2013. The pool and motor was originally installed in 2001. I do not know if this is the original motor or if has been replaced since then. The owners from 2005 till we bought it kept meticulous records on the rest of the house, so I would believe they would have documented a new pump purchase.

    I've read through Pool School and intend to make the complete switch to TFPC from here on out. My pool is closed right now drained about a foot below the skimmer. My test results as of this week are:

    FC - 0
    CC - 0
    pH - 8.0
    TA - 60
    CH - 170
    CYA - 60

    My plan is to adjust the pH, TA, and CC as recommended by the pool calculator once I open. I will then SLAM the pool all while keeping the pump running constantly and sticking with liquid bleach (no more chlorine tabs!). I think my CYA will be much closer to 40 once I fill the pool back up with water, but can also drain another foot or more of water out of the pool before I open to "water-down" the CYA.

    Any other "newbie" mistakes to avoid? Thanks again!
    New home owner (Fall 2013) that enjoys DIY projects and slow-cooking pork shoulders.
    25,000 gallon plaster kidney-shaped IG pool built in 2001 with a Purex Triton DE filter rated for 125 GPM and a Pentair Ultra-Flow Pump Up-Rated, (model number 38448600) pump with a 2 HP Century Centurion AO Smith motor. Also has a Raypak RP2100 digital natural gas heater.

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: New Member with a Pump Question

    Just out of curiosity, what test kit do you have?

    You can take a video with sound, and post it to YouTube, then link it here. That would be the way that others here can better help you.

    Oh, a hearty WELCOME! to the best pool community on the net!
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: New Member with a Pump Question

    I've got a Taylor K-2015. Not sure on how old it is, came with the house in the shed. Those test results were analyzed by the pool store because some of the test kit parts were missing or empty.

    On the pool pump issue, once I get the pool opened up, I can definitely upload a video with sound to youtube and link it here. I was interested in anyone's thoughts on biting the bullet early and paying to replace the old motor now, or riding it out till it no longer runs. Any suggestions from the pool vets out there?
    New home owner (Fall 2013) that enjoys DIY projects and slow-cooking pork shoulders.
    25,000 gallon plaster kidney-shaped IG pool built in 2001 with a Purex Triton DE filter rated for 125 GPM and a Pentair Ultra-Flow Pump Up-Rated, (model number 38448600) pump with a 2 HP Century Centurion AO Smith motor. Also has a Raypak RP2100 digital natural gas heater.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New Member with a Pump Question

    Motor bearings tend to get a bit louder several years before they actually fail, so you probably have a fair bit of time left on that pump.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: New Member with a Pump Question

    Thanks, I'll hold what I got and see how she runs this season. I wasn't cleaning my filter out much last season and that may have exacerbated (or caused) the pump working so hard. Will see how it works out!
    New home owner (Fall 2013) that enjoys DIY projects and slow-cooking pork shoulders.
    25,000 gallon plaster kidney-shaped IG pool built in 2001 with a Purex Triton DE filter rated for 125 GPM and a Pentair Ultra-Flow Pump Up-Rated, (model number 38448600) pump with a 2 HP Century Centurion AO Smith motor. Also has a Raypak RP2100 digital natural gas heater.

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    Re: New Member with a Pump Question

    As JasonLion said, even if the bearings are making noise, the pump still has some life in it. If you are willing to live with the noise, I would let it go until it dies. Its going to cost you the same to have it replaced tomorrow as it will at the end of the season. The only real risk is that if it goes mid-season, you won't be able to circulate water or filter until it is fixed. You could run the risk of an algae bloom.

    I personally would take my chances with the pump. You might get quite a bit of life out of it yet. If you notice a sudden change, or start to have problems with the pump starting, it might be time to replace it, otherwise there is no reason you can't live with a noisy pump.
    TreeFiter

    Pool Technician
    Saugerties, NY

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: New Member with a Pump Question

    How would you rate yourself as a DIY'er? Overhauling a pump (bearings/orings/seals) can be done if the pump has no issues with the housing or windings.
    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: New Member with a Pump Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Smykowski View Post
    How would you rate yourself as a DIY'er? Overhauling a pump (bearings/orings/seals) can be done if the pump has no issues with the housing or windings.
    If you aren't up for a pump rebuild yourself, there are companies out there that will rebuild them for you. Its usually significantly cheaper than buying a new pump.
    TreeFiter

    Pool Technician
    Saugerties, NY

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    Re: New Member with a Pump Question

    So I opened up the pool this weekend and the motor fired right up. However, the noise is definitely louder than what it was when we bought the house. Coming back from a morning run, I could hear the motor a block and a half away. It doesnt sound rough or high-pitched, and the motor is not heating up (I can lay my hand on it fine without a problem). From what JasonLion said, I'm guessing its just getting on in years.

    When it comes to my DIY-rating, I was a Surface Warfare Officer in the Navy, so although I understand the CONCEPT of pumps, I haven't taken any apart. I've got the tools, time, and motivation to give it a shot but how likely am I to completely break the pump? Any good guides out there on how to do it? I'd like to give it a shot, but if I break the pump, my pool will be without circulation till I can get a new pump bought and installed.

    The pool itself is a recovering disaster. Paid the pool store guys to close it last fall, and when I opened it on Saturday, the water was swamp green. As seen in the above numbers, the CYA was high so I drained about 30% out to start the season. The pH, CH, and TA are now all in standards and I'm SLAMing now to defeat the algae. We're already to a teal blue in just three days and hopefully will move towards clear soon as the filter continues to do its work!

    I live in northern VA and will be calling around this afternoon to get some quotes on buying/installing a new pump and rebuilding the old motor. I'm not opposed to buying a new whiz-bang variable speed pump, but if I can get some more life out of this pump with some elbow grease or paying for a rebuild, I'd love to do it. We're new home owners and as you know there's always extra costs, everywhere.

    Thanks again for all your help and this amazing website. It's a great resource that's really empowered me to take care of my pool correctly.
    New home owner (Fall 2013) that enjoys DIY projects and slow-cooking pork shoulders.
    25,000 gallon plaster kidney-shaped IG pool built in 2001 with a Purex Triton DE filter rated for 125 GPM and a Pentair Ultra-Flow Pump Up-Rated, (model number 38448600) pump with a 2 HP Century Centurion AO Smith motor. Also has a Raypak RP2100 digital natural gas heater.

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: New Member with a Pump Question

    Thank you for your service, Sir!

    ( I haven't found a salute smiley, yet!)
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New Member with a Pump Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie_R View Post
    Thank you for your service, Sir!

    ( I haven't found a salute smiley, yet!)
    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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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: New Member with a Pump Question

    Any chance you can post a video with the noise? If it is bearings, it's an intermediate DIY job, but it's pretty cheap; less than $40 for a pair of bearings and a shaft seal.

    If there's no decrease in performance (which based on what you say seems to be the case) and you're not up for doing it yourself, I think it's worth trying to find a shop to do a rebuild for you.
    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: New Member with a Pump Question

    Had some problems uploading the video this morning, sorry. Will get to it tonight. I've called around and I can get the pump rebuilt for about $130 not far from where I live. Will take about a day so looking at about a day and a half with no circulation in the pool. I'm leaning towards that solution because I do not have a bearing puller and am concerned about scrapping the motor in the repair attempt. 130 bucks seems steep, but I've called around to other pump or mechanical shops and gotten a lot of puzzled responses. "Pool motor? I've never done one of those. Maybe I can fix it. Bring it in!" If I'm going to take this guy out of the housing, I dont want to shop it around.

    I'll keep you guys updated on the process. In other news, I can see the bottom of the pool now, and all the algae is dead. The filter is slowly clearing up all the cloudy water and my chemical levels are finally all in range. Thanks again to all the help!
    New home owner (Fall 2013) that enjoys DIY projects and slow-cooking pork shoulders.
    25,000 gallon plaster kidney-shaped IG pool built in 2001 with a Purex Triton DE filter rated for 125 GPM and a Pentair Ultra-Flow Pump Up-Rated, (model number 38448600) pump with a 2 HP Century Centurion AO Smith motor. Also has a Raypak RP2100 digital natural gas heater.

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