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Thread: Arcing flash behind timer

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    Join Date
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    Arcing flash behind timer

    So yeah, after a solid summer of no problems, I have one now. My main pump won't fire up. I found the timer stopped in the on position and the breakers in the off position. When I set the correct time on the timer and try to start up the pump, I see an arc of electricity behind the timer and the pump is humming. Sounds very much like a short.

    I had a similar problem with the other pump and ended up re-wiring the whole thing from the timer to the pump and that fixed it. This pump is not very old, maybe a little more than a year.
    IG Pebbletec Blue Tahoe; Paddock Pool PCC 2000 pop-up; 22,275 gal 32' x 16' Diving with Auto-Fill
    Pentair 420 Cartridge filter; 3 hp VS Whisperflo Main Drain, 1 1/2 hp Whisperflo Running Pop-Ups; Jandy AquaPure 1400
    1 1/2 Whisperflo dedicated to Rock Waterfall; TF-100; Taylor K-1766; Pool Built in 1997

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    Re: Arcing flash behind timer

    The timer contacts are probably corroded/damaged. You might be able to clean them up, but you might need a new timer mechanism.

    What timer do you have?

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    Re: Arcing flash behind timer

    Intermatic...I will try to clean up the contacts as you suggest.

    I have some extra capacitors laying around, I'm going to try that and if that doesn't work then I'm going to rewire the pump to the timer. If that doesn't fix the problem then I guess I'll address the timer. Thanks for your response.
    IG Pebbletec Blue Tahoe; Paddock Pool PCC 2000 pop-up; 22,275 gal 32' x 16' Diving with Auto-Fill
    Pentair 420 Cartridge filter; 3 hp VS Whisperflo Main Drain, 1 1/2 hp Whisperflo Running Pop-Ups; Jandy AquaPure 1400
    1 1/2 Whisperflo dedicated to Rock Waterfall; TF-100; Taylor K-1766; Pool Built in 1997

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    Re: Arcing flash behind timer

    The timer mechanism is usually pretty easy to remove once you disconnect the wires.

    With the arcing, I would recommend checking the timer contacts before doing anything else.

    Note: Make sure that the breaker is off and you have verified that the wires are not live before servicing the timer.

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    Re: Arcing flash behind timer

    I checked the contacts at the timer. They actually looked good but gave them a good sanding and wiped them clean. Put it back together and no luck. Like I said, I had thought it was very similar to what I had with the other pump. So I unscrewed the cap piece that protects the wiring at the back of the pump and noticed one of the wires a little loose. Pulled it off, crimped it down and put it back on and bingo! Pump is now working again. I was ready to go to Home Depot and get new wire to just rewire it but I saved myself the work and a little bit of money.

    Back up and running after adjusting for high PH and low Chlorine (8.1 PH and 3.0 CL). I don't think the pump was down for more than a day. Usually I am outside during the morning hours and give the pool a cursory look but somehow my busy schedule last week kept me from doing that. Good thing I keep a log and always check all values every Sunday evening with my TF-100. The low CL and high PH caused me to investigate when I tried to flip the pumps on for a half hour or thereabouts so I could add some Muriatic Acid. Before finding this site, I probably wouldn't have known about the shorted out pump until I encountered an algae bloom. +1 for TFP!
    IG Pebbletec Blue Tahoe; Paddock Pool PCC 2000 pop-up; 22,275 gal 32' x 16' Diving with Auto-Fill
    Pentair 420 Cartridge filter; 3 hp VS Whisperflo Main Drain, 1 1/2 hp Whisperflo Running Pop-Ups; Jandy AquaPure 1400
    1 1/2 Whisperflo dedicated to Rock Waterfall; TF-100; Taylor K-1766; Pool Built in 1997

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Arcing flash behind timer

    Great job!!
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Arcing flash behind timer

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    Great job!!
    Thanks Tim, I've always been a hands on guy and it seems that this year almost everything concerning the mechanics of the pool has had issues. Since November of last year, I've spent a little over $2,400.00 on valve bottoms and tops, new cartridges, some pipe work to fix a small but annoying leak, a new pressure relief valve, new valves to go with the bottoms and tops and two new pumps. I also put in a new salt cell. I think I saved a boat load of money from not contracting the work out. The only work I called a PB for was the installation of the valve bottoms and glad I did that as even he said it was a tough job because of the shortness of the piping. Oh yeah, I put a new light in the niche and had the original pool contract to verify that it only needed 50 ft of wire. It was not as easy as I thought it would be but hey, the wife and I teamed up on that one and put it in ourselves. We really feel good about all the work we put into our 17 year old pool. I'm glad three years ago I took out all the pop-ups and cleaned them up. No telling what might've happened had I not done that.

    So as I look out now and see my pumps running my crystal clear water through the filter, I know with the folks here at TFP, I'll never have to SLAM my pool, EVER!
    IG Pebbletec Blue Tahoe; Paddock Pool PCC 2000 pop-up; 22,275 gal 32' x 16' Diving with Auto-Fill
    Pentair 420 Cartridge filter; 3 hp VS Whisperflo Main Drain, 1 1/2 hp Whisperflo Running Pop-Ups; Jandy AquaPure 1400
    1 1/2 Whisperflo dedicated to Rock Waterfall; TF-100; Taylor K-1766; Pool Built in 1997

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    Re: Arcing flash behind timer

    Update:

    I thought I had the problem solved but alas, I encountered a continued pump failure after crimping down the wires. So, I worked feverishly to discover the source of my problem.

    I first looked at the capacitor and found that it was working. I then rewired the pump and still, I could not get the pump to fire. Finally, I took the pump apart and after taking off the diffuser tried the pump and to my amazement, it fired up. I then took the impeller off and found that the washer on the reverse screw had almost disintegrated. This was my fault as I had gone to Home Depot and put a round washer on the screw instead of the stock "squared off" washer. The impeller had "worked" itself out and was rubbing up against the diffuser causing it to stall the pump. I had a stock washer from another parts buy in between the time that I had worked on the pump so I used that after I sanded off the impeller and cleaned up the inside of the diffuser. The impeller had plastic lopped over its sides and was quite irregular.

    After all this trouble shooting I learned a very valuable lesson. Always get the correct parts for your pump! It didn't cost me much at all, just the wire and the washer that I had in my spare parts bin. I am grateful that I didn't call in a pool boy or Leslie's or the like. I KNEW I could fix it and in the end my wife gave me props for sticking with it.

    I'm posting this to let you all know that sometimes it is not the most glaring (i.e. capacitor, wiring) that is your problem. I made a mistake and paid for it with time served.
    IG Pebbletec Blue Tahoe; Paddock Pool PCC 2000 pop-up; 22,275 gal 32' x 16' Diving with Auto-Fill
    Pentair 420 Cartridge filter; 3 hp VS Whisperflo Main Drain, 1 1/2 hp Whisperflo Running Pop-Ups; Jandy AquaPure 1400
    1 1/2 Whisperflo dedicated to Rock Waterfall; TF-100; Taylor K-1766; Pool Built in 1997

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Arcing flash behind timer

    Well, I guess this calls for another Great Job!

    Sometimes something gets under your skin and you have to see it through...
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
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    Re: Arcing flash behind timer

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    Well, I guess this calls for another Great Job!

    Sometimes something gets under your skin and you have to see it through...
    Many of those nights I would think it through over and over and over...

    Thanks for the kudos again Tim.
    IG Pebbletec Blue Tahoe; Paddock Pool PCC 2000 pop-up; 22,275 gal 32' x 16' Diving with Auto-Fill
    Pentair 420 Cartridge filter; 3 hp VS Whisperflo Main Drain, 1 1/2 hp Whisperflo Running Pop-Ups; Jandy AquaPure 1400
    1 1/2 Whisperflo dedicated to Rock Waterfall; TF-100; Taylor K-1766; Pool Built in 1997

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