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Thread: need advice on spa pump problem

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    need advice on spa pump problem

    I have an older Catalina spa that has 2 pumps. One is a 2 speed 4 hp waterway pump and the other is a single speed 4 hp waterway. The single speed waterway is the pump that is giving me problems. I had both these pumps apart to replace the impeller bearings and seals before I started it up with new filters installed. I did notice that the rotor was not in pristine looking condition on the single speed pump when I had it apart but the bearings seemed fine after they were replaced and the rotor turned freely by hand. So I put her back together and started the pool and found that this single speed motor would pump water although at a low flow rate it seemed and in short order I would find it in an over heated condition and turned off by the overheat protection device built into the motor. Since the bearings have been tested and found to be fine and the pump is not kicking the breaker but simply causing the overheat protection to shut the motor down what would you think is the cause of the heating? Could the winding be causing some resistance and therefore heating without causing a breaker to kick? I am going to take the pump out today and ohm out the circuits in the winding to see if they are ok but I don't know of any other cause of this problem. Any suggestions?
    27 foot round above ground

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: need advice on spa pump problem

    what would you think is the cause of the heating?
    Interference. There is extra load on the motor which is causing the thermal limiter to trip and it is usually the bearings or the impeller.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: need advice on spa pump problem

    I am hopeful that it is one of those things as they can be replaced. The issue here is that the impeller and bearings have been checked or replaced and should be fine. Are there issues other than these two things that could be the problem? Thanks Jim
    27 foot round above ground

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: need advice on spa pump problem

    I did notice that the rotor was not in pristine looking condition
    Are you talking about the impeller here? Did it look like it was scuffed up as though it was rubbing on something?

    When you put the pump back together, did you make sure the seal was installed in the correct direction?

    The excess friction/load must be somewhere along the motor shaft.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: need advice on spa pump problem

    Actually I mean the shaft /rotor assembly that turns that the impeller is attached to. I did replace the impeller when I had the motor out previously so I know that is ok baring something that got sucked into the pump and may be impeding the impeller from having free motion. The pump actually does pump for a brief while before the overheat turns it off in about 20 seconds. It does feel very hot at that point. It looked like maybe water had intruded into the motor from the seal gone bad as there was some sign of rust on the rotor that turns with the shaft inside the stater. Not much mind you but it was there. I'm just wondering if the motor winding may be shot. I just need time to get it out and lay eyes on it again.
    27 foot round above ground

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: need advice on spa pump problem

    Are you sure you replaced the impeller with exactly the same one (i.e. matched part #s & and not just HP)? Sometimes it is not clear between an up rated vs full rated version. That would explain the overload.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: need advice on spa pump problem

    Yes I am reasonably sure about the replacement impeller being the right one. I do have the pump removed from the tub and the impeller seems to be turning freely and not binding in any way. I'm going to check the capacitor first as the easiest thing to check I guess. Not really sure how to test the winding. anyone with any suggestions is welcome to chime in here. Thanks Jim
    27 foot round above ground

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    Re: need advice on spa pump problem

    When capacitors and winding's fail, the motor will not run at all so I don't think that is the issue.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: need advice on spa pump problem

    Well sometimes we just don't think of the obvious! LOL So what else could be making the motor overheat like this? I know you mentioned the impeller and I am sure it is not causing any excess resistance and is the right impeller for the motor. I replaced both impellers on the motors(the 2 speed running through the heater and the single speed) both used the same impeller and the two speed works fine. These are identical motors except for the 2 speed and single speed. The difference in the operation of the two is the single speed may turn slow(I don't know this to be a fact) and overheats. It did not seem like the pump was actually pumping at full force when operating and was most definitely overheating. The shaft seems to turn freely by just spinning the wet end impeller with a finger in the intake which to me would indicate no excess resistance in the impeller of bearings. I have not checked the voltage to the motor and guess I should make sure that it is 230 being supplied. Can circuit boards be wired to run either voltage? I did get the spa with the motor removed and don't know if the wiring was changed on the motor or not or on the board. I guess I should check the supply and see if it is correct. Don't know what else it could be. Any thoughts? Thanks Jim
    27 foot round above ground

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    Re: need advice on spa pump problem

    In most cases, if a motor is wired for the incorrect voltage, it will trip the breaker but it is worth checking.

    But it still sounds like the motor is experiencing some extra friction. When you spin the motor shaft by hand and then let go, does the shaft go for at least one more revolution?

    Also, there should be a service factor listed on each motor. Is it the same?
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: need advice on spa pump problem

    It looks like the impeller is experiencing some drag once I took the cover off the wet end and could give it a good spin. So I may be looking at bearing issues I guess. Glad to see it may be something I can fix though. I hope. Something is definitely dragging though. I just need to remember how I got the wet end off before.
    27 foot round above ground

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    Re: need advice on spa pump problem

    Well it looked like the shaft that the impeller threads to is rusting from a previous leak that occurred due to a bad seal. I guess I neglected to get all the scale off the shaft and some scale had fallen off and was causing a binding of the shaft. I tried to clean it up as best I cold and am going to re-install it and see how it goes. I seem to remember thinking that this may be a future source of trouble when I had this pump off the first time. Thanks for redirecting my thoughts to the right direction. Jim
    27 foot round above ground

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: need advice on spa pump problem

    Hopefully that fixes it.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: need advice on spa pump problem

    It did not. Unfortunately. I hope I have the pump plugged into the right spot on the main board. Tee pump was not in the spa when I got it but I was told where to plug it in. On the auxiliary port. There is a circulation port on the other side where the other motor plugs in but I don't know if that is right and can't find any information to confirm my suspicions. I'm going to check the voltages on the ports and see if they are right for a 240 volt motor and maybe try it if so. At any rate the pump is still cycling like before but it does seem to have better flow. Only thing that bothers me is there is a lot less flow of air coming from the back of this motor than the 2 speed one.
    27 foot round above ground

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: need advice on spa pump problem

    When you took the pump apart originally, did you replace the seal? That is always a good idea when taking apart an old pump.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: need advice on spa pump problem

    Well I think I got it fixed but certainly not before I chased my tail around needlessly for days it seems. After inspecting the main board ports there was a place labeled PUMP 2! I never looked because the previous owner told me where it plugged in... WRONG. Well I must admit it made all the difference in the water action when all 4 additional hp was applied to the other jets that were not working. Ahhhhhh the sweet smell of success! Thanks for all the help and pointers. I think I would still be looking for a way to test the winding without your helpful advice. Thanks Jim
    27 foot round above ground

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    Re: need advice on spa pump problem

    NOW I am getting the FLO error message and no pumps will activate. Nothing will activate at all. From everything I have read I must have a pressure switch malfunction. It is either bad or not adjusted properly. It sure did react suddenly to the new pump beginning to work. It worked fine for the day it worked but the next day was just dead with the FLO error. I am going to try and turn off the main breaker for about 15 minutes and see if the thing resets itself. Any suggestions? Thanks Jim
    27 foot round above ground

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: need advice on spa pump problem

    Are you sure the pump is still running?
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: need advice on spa pump problem

    nothing is running at all now.All indications on the top side touch pad are indicating the activation of eash device but the lights or pumps or blower or radio do not come on. The display reads FLO and then 87 the current temp.
    27 foot round above ground

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    Re: need advice on spa pump problem

    Have you checked the pump breakers? They are usually separate from the rest of the equipment.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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