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Thread: Replacement Motor for Pentair WFE-3

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    Replacement Motor for Pentair WFE-3

    It's been a while since I've posted here. You guys have taught me well.

    The other day I noticed my Whisperflo WFE-3 pump had not been running. The breaker had tripped. I reset the breaker and the motor just hummed loudly.

    I'm assuming the motor is shot. 2 Questions:

    1. Would the motor going deep 6 cause the breaker to trip?
    2. If the motor is shot, what is the equivalent AO Smith motor? It is 3/4HP 1.25SF.
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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Replacement Motor for Pentair WFE-3

    Either a shorted motor winding or a bad start capacitor can cause the breaker to trip. If the breaker trips instantly, you have a shorted out winding.
    Humming in the motor could also mean the bearings have seized up. THis can be checked by removing the cowling at the end of the motor and seeing if you can rotate the armature shaft by hand. If you can then its good. If not, then at minimum, bearing replacement or new motor.

    If its just humming, it likely could be just a bad capacitor, which is a easy DIY fix. The start capaciter is under that big hump cover on top of the motor.
    here is video on how to check the capacitor. As a note, you dont need to remove the pump like in the video.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-cVgpz7GYQ
    Divin Dave,
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Replacement Motor for Pentair WFE-3

    The start switch is another possibility. Start capacitor is simplest to test. If it is the start switch, it usually only needs cleaning which is also easy to just do just in case.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Replacement Motor for Pentair WFE-3

    Thanks guys. I was able to pop the back cap off and the shaft did turn with channel locks. I'm not even close to handy with a multimeter, so I'll have to figure out how to test the capacitor or where to bring it.
    21,000 gallon Diamond Brite Blue, Hayward Star Clear Plus 1200 Cartridge filter, Polaris 280, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Replacement Motor for Pentair WFE-3

    Quote Originally Posted by Divin Dave View Post
    Either a shorted motor winding or a bad start capacitor can cause the breaker to trip. If the breaker trips instantly, you have a shorted out winding.
    Humming in the motor could also mean the bearings have seized up. THis can be checked by removing the cowling at the end of the motor and seeing if you can rotate the armature shaft by hand. If you can then its good. If not, then at minimum, bearing replacement or new motor.

    If its just humming, it likely could be just a bad capacitor, which is a easy DIY fix. The start capaciter is under that big hump cover on top of the motor.
    here is video on how to check the capacitor. As a note, you dont need to remove the pump like in the video.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-cVgpz7GYQ
    Just watched the video above. Very detailed. Thanks for posting the link.

    I'll pull the start capacitor and test it tonight.
    21,000 gallon Diamond Brite Blue, Hayward Star Clear Plus 1200 Cartridge filter, Polaris 280, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Replacement Motor for Pentair WFE-3

    Just in case the capacitor testing does not work out, I did a little homework.

    The correct replacement would be the B661 from A.O. Smith. Begin your price shipping with a look at the below link. These motors are relatively common and easy to get.

    http://www.inyopools.com/Products/00200017039436.htm

    And don't forget the shaft seal! PSR1000 type

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Replacement Motor for Pentair WFE-3

    A better choice would be a B2981 (115v) or B2980 (230v). It is a high efficiency two speed motor.
    Mark
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    Re: Replacement Motor for Pentair WFE-3

    Grrr. The capacitor tested fine. For $200 I'll probably get a new motor. I'm not concerned about the energy efficiency as I won't be in the house more than 2 years.
    21,000 gallon Diamond Brite Blue, Hayward Star Clear Plus 1200 Cartridge filter, Polaris 280, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Replacement Motor for Pentair WFE-3

    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Just in case the capacitor testing does not work out, I did a little homework.

    The correct replacement would be the B661 from A.O. Smith. Begin your price shipping with a look at the below link. These motors are relatively common and easy to get.

    http://www.inyopools.com/Products/00200017039436.htm

    And don't forget the shaft seal! PSR1000 type
    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    A better choice would be a B2981 (115v) or B2980 (230v). It is a high efficiency two speed motor.
    Is the only difference between these motors that the B2981/2980 is more efficient?
    21,000 gallon Diamond Brite Blue, Hayward Star Clear Plus 1200 Cartridge filter, Polaris 280, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Replacement Motor for Pentair WFE-3

    That and the B298x series are two speed motors vs the B661 which is single speed.
    Mark
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    Re: Replacement Motor for Pentair WFE-3

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    That and the B298x series are two speed motors vs the B661 which is single speed.
    Mind, that to control those two speed motors suggested you will need a dual speed timer to control the speeds and on/off. Which is another cost on top of that if it not already in place. If you are not staying in the house for much longer, stay simple with a single speed.

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    Re: Replacement Motor for Pentair WFE-3

    You don't really need a two speed timer. I normally recommend using a plain vanilla timer and a simple manual speed switch, which typically costs less than $5.

    A two speed motor typically saves 50% of your electrical costs, which will pay off the minimal extra up front costs very quickly.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Replacement Motor for Pentair WFE-3

    IMG-20110923-00055[1].jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    You don't really need a two speed timer. I normally recommend using a plain vanilla timer and a simple manual speed switch, which typically costs less than $5.

    A two speed motor typically saves 50% of your electrical costs, which will pay off the minimal extra up front costs very quickly.
    I have a simple manual Intermatic timer. Where would the manual speed switch go? I also have a Polaris 280 with a booster pump. Will the low speed be an issue with this combination? Would I simply use low speed unless I needed additional circulation? Sorry for the extra questions. I'm comfortable doing the work myself. At least the pool is pretty stable this time of year. The picture is from 3.5 years ago, and I know the hose is disconnected.
    21,000 gallon Diamond Brite Blue, Hayward Star Clear Plus 1200 Cartridge filter, Polaris 280, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Replacement Motor for Pentair WFE-3

    You can mount the speed switch directly on the pump, or at the junction box where the flexible conduit to the pump terminates, or just about anywhere else nearby that seems appropriate (with appropriate conduit and switch box). You want to protect the switch from direct exposure to the weather, so that may limit where it goes in some situations.

    The Polaris will be fine when the main pump is running on low speed.

    Correct, you normally leave it on low speed all the time except for priming the pump, manual vacuuming, and speeding up algae cleanup.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Replacement Motor for Pentair WFE-3

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    You can mount the speed switch directly on the pump, or at the junction box where the flexible conduit to the pump terminates, or just about anywhere else nearby that seems appropriate (with appropriate conduit and switch box). You want to protect the switch from direct exposure to the weather, so that may limit where it goes in some situations.

    The Polaris will be fine when the main pump is running on low speed.

    Correct, you normally leave it on low speed all the time except for priming the pump, manual vacuuming, and speeding up algae cleanup.
    Thanks. Found this on Ebay. No tax, free shipping. Can you provide a link to the proper switch? And do I need to replace the seal Citizen mentioned above? http://www.ebay.com/itm/CENTURY-B298...item3396e617d5


    Also, can I donate some of my savings to the site?
    21,000 gallon Diamond Brite Blue, Hayward Star Clear Plus 1200 Cartridge filter, Polaris 280, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Replacement Motor for Pentair WFE-3

    For the switch, you can use something like this one. That switch is for mounting in an electrical box. For mounting to the pump you would use something more like this one.

    Yes, any time the motor and pump are disconnected you need to replace the shaft seal.

    We are always happy to get donations
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Replacement Motor for Pentair WFE-3

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    For the switch, you can use something like this one. That switch is for mounting in an electrical box. For mounting to the pump you would use something more like this one.

    Yes, any time the motor and pump are disconnected you need to replace the shaft seal.

    We are always happy to get donations
    Can we start a tip jar? lol

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