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Thread: Stumped by my pump

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    Stumped by my pump

    Joined this site after reading good feedback from various people. I've been trying to research what the problem is with my pump.

    A few days ago, I noticed that the pump isn't running. Went back to check it out and noticed that every few minutes, the pump will try turn on but will not keep running. It would just turn off after a second or two. I'm going to check the impeller tomorrow morning when it's cooler but the symptoms I've read didn't seem to indicate that would be the problem. Tried searching for that symptom (on for a second then off right away) and other common pump problems but did not yield any good leads. Right now my best bets are either the impeller is clogged/damaged or the capacitor needs replacing. If anyone can shed more light on the problem it would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance

    I have a Hayward Tristar with two speed settings. I think thats called Variable Speed? I never use the low speed though.

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Stumped by my pump

    Most likely the capacitor, but could also be the start/run switch if yours has it. You would find it under the rear cover, around the motor shaft. It is there to switch windings in the motor from the high torque start winding to the normal torque run windings. Most but not all pool pumps have these, the exceptions being the VS and 2 speed pumps.
    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: Stumped by my pump

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    How hot is the motor when it turns itself off? You should be able to leave your hand on it, but I have a motor that went bad and the internal safety thermal switch would turn it off and it was HOT ... like smelling like burning. That usually happens if the bearing go bad. Any odd noises?
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    Re: Stumped by my pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie_R View Post
    Most likely the capacitor, but could also be the start/run switch if yours has it. You would find it under the rear cover, around the motor shaft. It is there to switch windings in the motor from the high torque start winding to the normal torque run windings. Most but not all pool pumps have these, the exceptions being the VS and 2 speed pumps.
    Nope no switch back there

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Welcome to TFP!!!

    How hot is the motor when it turns itself off? You should be able to leave your hand on it, but I have a motor that went bad and the internal safety thermal switch would turn it off and it was HOT ... like smelling like burning. That usually happens if the bearing go bad. Any odd noises?
    Yea I thought that it might have been internal safety thermal switch too but the motor is not. And not really hot in Houston yet. Beginning to think that its the capacitor more and more. Going to open it up today to see if it's dirty/obstructed.

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    Re: Stumped by my pump

    Ok so I took the pump apart and checked the impeller. Surprisingly clean and not much debris so ruled that out as cause. I took the back off and this is

    I took a peek at the switch and it didn't seem to have any build up that I needed to file off. I didn't see a capacitor but then I remembered reading somewhere that sometimes it's in its own housing. That's when I realized it must be in this hump above it. I unscrewed the 4 screws locking it down but due to rust/sealant it won't dislodge. In any case, the more I read about it, I don't think it's the capacitor. It didn't make the hum sound everyone else talked about. So back to square one

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    rlefig's Avatar
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    Re: Stumped by my pump

    that looks like the same motor I have or similar. When I first started it up it ran for 2 hours or so, then shut off for a minute and turned back on. Stayed on for 5 minutes and then repeated the cycle. The longer it did the this the shorter the "on" time. Mine was never hot to the touch and flow was always good.
    1971 Gunite 31x16 IG Kidney shape pool approx 18000 Gallons
    EcoFinish Blue Lagoon
    Sta-rite System3 S7M120 Cartridge Filter
    A.O. Smith 3/4 HP motor, starite pump
    TF100 test kit

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Stumped by my pump

    Since the switch appears to be good, and you don't have the usual symptom of loud hum when it kicks off indicating capacitor (which may still be bad regardless), it could be the thermal overload gone bad. If you can find it, just as a test, take it out of the circuit and see if the pump runs for more than 10 min.
    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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