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Thread: Pump Clicking

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    Pump Clicking

    Hi all, I'm new to the forums and am opening my pool for the first time since buying the house. The problem i am coming across is that when a turn the pump on it will seem to be operating normally for about 30 seconds and then will start clicking and during that time there is very little pressure 3-4 psi and air coming out of the return jets and the pump becomes quite hot. I am unsure what the issue may be and wondering if i need a new pump entirely. Any help would be aprreciated

    Here is a video of the issue: http://youtu.be/98LA2WcUnto

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    Re: Pump Clicking

    So i was messing around with everything this morning and found that if the pump is not primed (skimmer basket is only half full of water) the pump runs fine; pressure in filter is around 7 psi. i did this by slightly loosening the union on the suction side of the pump. Air is coming out of the returns and i know thats not great and also suction in the skimmer seems not great but i have no idea what it should be. So i am pretty much at a loss if i should just leave my system like this or if something more is wrong.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pump Clicking

    Is the obvious click we hear on the video coming from the pump, or is it coming from the control box/automation system mounted somewhere nearby?

    You also seem to be getting a fair amount of air into the pump strainer basket. There might be a suction side air leak letting air into the system. The obvious places to check first are to make sure the lid of the pump strainer basket is sealing properly, and that the water level in the pool is high enough to prevent the skimmer from forming a vortex and drawing air down into the 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: Pump Clicking

    yea the click is coming from the pump itself. and as far as air is concerned, it seems if the water level in the pump is full the pump starts clicking... once some air is in there the pump stops clicking. the pool volume is high enough its more than half way above skimmer box

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pump Clicking

    You might have a bad thermal overload switch. Pumps have an internal switch that turns off the pump when it overheats.That is about the only thing that would be clicking like that.

    Another possibility, which seems unlikely but worth checking, any chance the pump is wired so it is getting 230 volts but setup to receive 115 volts? That would have similar symptoms.
    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: Pump Clicking

    So after a lot of messing around with the system, ive found that the pump works all day fine when the pump is not fully primed and i let some air get into the system. When i make everything air tight, the pump will prime but it struggles and will eventually over heat and shut off, and it does this quickly. Is it possible there is some sort of block in the skimmer line, or is the pump itself just bad. Its an old hayward super pump 1 hp thats at least 10 years old.

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    Re: Pump Clicking

    I can't trouble shoot the pump but I can say that allowing air in the system is very inefficient and incorrect. Your system should be airtight.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Pump Clicking

    I completely agree with that, but at this current time its the only way to get water moving so i can slam the pool. Just wondernig is its time for a new pump or something else is at play. Everyone Ive talked to is at a loss of whats going on

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    Re: Pump Clicking

    Quote Originally Posted by coldice371 View Post
    yea the click is coming from the pump itself. and as far as air is concerned, it seems if the water level in the pump is full the pump starts clicking... once some air is in there the pump stops clicking. the pool volume is high enough its more than half way above skimmer box
    Maybe I am missing something but, when I watched the video, the pump was clicking with a lot of air in the strainer basket. It seems that the flow to the pump is being restricted.
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    jtaves85mcss's Avatar
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    Re: Pump Clicking

    I would suspect a suction side obstruction or leak along with a motor issue. Your set up shouldn't be losing prime when sitting idle during short periods of down time.

    Watching your video, it sort of sounds like the capacitor is trying to start the motor constantly or the centrifugal switch is not operating properly to completely disengage the start winding.

    You could try things in the following order:

    - Use the valve to direct suction from either the skimmer or the main drain. Does the condition change or improve?
    - Verify the impeller spins freely. Turn motor off insert fingers or short screw driver to spin. This might require removing the motor from the pump basket assembly if something is really lodged in there. If you do that you will probably want to have ready access to a new gasket for the reinstall.
    - Inspect any vent holes on the motor to ensure nothing is clogged preventing air circulation and there isnt a dead rodent in the motor case, these may be at the bottom rear of the motor. Don't stick anything in the vent holes. Just check them using a mirror and flash light if necessary.
    - Check that appropriate voltage is coming to the cut off switch, then timer (if present), then going to the motor. If the circuit is wired for 220v, it is possible that one leg has an issue. Don't try this if you haven't got the tools and knowledge, find someone who does.
    - Ensure the motor is wired/set for either 110v or 220v, to match whatever supplied voltage is present. Don't try this if you haven't got the tools and knowledge, find someone who does.
    - Depending on your knowledge and experience you could test and swap the capacitor and or centrifugal switch.

    If you don't have the knowledge and experience, you could call an electrician to test the wiring, versus calling the pool store. Any motor work beyond replacing the capacitor may require removal and transport to a shop as advised by an electrician. I will recommend correcting this quickly as that clicking starting/stopping is likely going to burn up the unit in short order.
    Pool: IG 22k- 16x32 clipped corners- vinyl liner, w/ a great board. Built in 3/99, new to me 2/2011.
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