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Thread: Do I need to replace the whole pump assembly or just the motor?

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    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Keswick, Ontario, Canada
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    Do I need to replace the whole pump assembly or just the motor?

    I have a concern about someone who has been servicing my mother's pool, and I'm trying to do some research to confirm it. Last week the pump motor gave out; when given a few twists by hand with the power on, it would start up, but then fail within an hour. I told mom it either needed to be serviced or, most likely, replaced.

    So she called someone, and this person came over and replaced not just the pump motor but the whole assembly it was attached to and some of the piping, amounting to much more than the ~$200 motor. Apparently, the technician claimed it was not possible otherwise. The pump itself was about 6 years old and the new one looks more or less identical -- certainly it is the exact same motor. I am I right to believe that it did not need replacing at all, and just the motor would have been sufficient?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: How standardized are pool pumps?

    I think you are mixing up "pump" and "motor". The motors are very standardized and are easy to find replacements for. Pumps are not very standardized and do occasionally get discontinued and parts can become rare, though that tends not to happen as quickly as 6 years. The word pump is further mixed up by naming just the wet end or the combination of the wet end and the motor. Motors come in a couple of variations, four of five mounting plate sizes/shapes cover almost all pool pumps.

    My interpretation of what you said is that they replaced the entire pump (wet end and motor), when they could have simply replaced the motor. It certainly is possible that this was done unnecessarily. It is also possible that there was actually something wrong with both the wet end and the motor. My suspicion is that the tech didn't happen to have the correct motor in his truck, and instead sold you what he had available. But who knows.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: How standardized are pool pumps?

    Yeah, you're right -- I meant the motor, I've corrected the question. I had thought the motor contained the pump too but realized the "A.O Smith Century Centurion" isn't a pump, it's an electric engine.

    I believe the service company's intention from the very beginning was to replace the whole unit, because when they had mom on the phone, she asked me to get the model of the pump, and (in my confusion of pump and motor) I said "Century Centurion", and the person on the other end told mom that's not it, we need the actual pump, etc -- but I still think they were exploiting something in doing so and could have explained the difference at that point.

    I was not here when the technician was, so exactly what he said is a bit garbled, but it seems to be more or less, "I had to do all this because I couldn't just replace the motor".

    Would you say that is reasonably normal, or it would it be more standard practice to just replace the motor (which is obviously what was failing, I think)?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need to replace the whole pump assembly or just the motor?

    Replacing just the motor is certainly fairly common, that gets recommended here all the time. And likewise a fair number of people replace the whole pump when they could have replaced just the motor because it seems simpler to do it that way. A pool tech should certainly know about replacing a motor, and doing that is always possible unless the wet end is broken in some way or incredibly ancient. On the other hand, I can easily see the tech not bringing the correct shaft seal to do a motor replacement for your particular pump, and just replacing the whole pump because that would be cheaper for you than having to charge you for going back to shop to get the right shaft seal.
    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: Do I need to replace the whole pump assembly or just the motor?

    I had an aggravatingly loud pump, so I just replaced the pump motor for $150. I had a Hayward super pump 3/4 hp.
    25,000 Gallons Inground, Gunite
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