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Thread: Waterfall pump whines but doesn't pump!!

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    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Hacienda Heights, California
    Posts
    24

    Waterfall pump whines but doesn't pump!!

    I have a waterfall feature on my pool that has it's own pump. We have not turned on the waterfall in a few months (at least). Went to turn it on the other day and all it does is "whine" and not actually pump. Definitely getting power. Opened it up and the basket was clean of debris. The water in the basket was green with algae (like I said, hadn't been used in a few months......). Any suggestions on how to trouble shoot it? Here is the details on the pump & motor as best as I can determine, since all the pool equipment was installed when I bought the home:

    On the pump housing:
    Pentair WhisperFlo
    Model # WFE-4, 1 HP

    "Upper" Label on the Motor housing:
    Model WFE-28 C, 2.0 HP
    Service Factor 1.10

    "Lower" Label on the Motor housing:
    M Centurion for PAC-FAB
    Part 8-168787-07
    FR Y56Y
    Type CX
    Form KJM

    Not sure what everything means and really not sure how old the various pieces of equipment are. The pump worked fine last time we used it. Since it is for the waterfall, which we only use infrequently, I really don't want to have to replace the motor or pump. I would much rather repair or rebuild if necessary. I've never rebuilt one of these things, but have researched it a bit and feel confident I could do it if I had to. Any help on what course to take would be appreciated.
    First time pool owner. IG pool & spa combo. Approx. 18,000 gal. White plaster.
    Free-form(ish), roughly 30' x 15'. Titan RPM D.E. Filter (48 sq. ft. filter area).
    Pentair WhisperFlo WFE-6 pump (1.5 HP, 1 speed). Pentair 300K BTU/hr NG heater.
    Dolphin Nautilus robotic cleaner. Plaster & all equipment age: 5+ years.
    TF100 test kit and AquaChek strips.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Waterfall pump whines but doesn't pump!!

    With the power off, check to see if the shaft turns freely. If it is tight, moving it around manually and then trying power again might get the pump running again, at least for now.

    Noise like that is usually the bearings failing. That is a reasonable DIY project, though you might need to buy a bearing puller. The trickier question is why the bearings are failing. One way or another they are getting wet. That might be the shaft seal, which is easy to fix, or it could be something less obvious and thus trickier to fix.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Hacienda Heights, California
    Posts
    24

    Re: Waterfall pump whines but doesn't pump!!

    This may be a dumb question, but how do I manually turn the shaft? Do I have to take the motor housing off to do it? Thanks.
    First time pool owner. IG pool & spa combo. Approx. 18,000 gal. White plaster.
    Free-form(ish), roughly 30' x 15'. Titan RPM D.E. Filter (48 sq. ft. filter area).
    Pentair WhisperFlo WFE-6 pump (1.5 HP, 1 speed). Pentair 300K BTU/hr NG heater.
    Dolphin Nautilus robotic cleaner. Plaster & all equipment age: 5+ years.
    TF100 test kit and AquaChek strips.

  4. Back To Top    #4
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Waterfall pump whines but doesn't pump!!

    It varies, sometimes you can reach in between the motor and the pump, other times you need to remove the end cap of the motor opposite 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

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Hacienda Heights, California
    Posts
    24

    Re: Waterfall pump whines but doesn't pump!!

    Thanks Jason!! I popped the end cap off and used a 1/2" open end wrench (tapping it with a hammer) to get the shaft spinning again. Seems to be working fine now. Another thumbs up to TFP!!!!
    First time pool owner. IG pool & spa combo. Approx. 18,000 gal. White plaster.
    Free-form(ish), roughly 30' x 15'. Titan RPM D.E. Filter (48 sq. ft. filter area).
    Pentair WhisperFlo WFE-6 pump (1.5 HP, 1 speed). Pentair 300K BTU/hr NG heater.
    Dolphin Nautilus robotic cleaner. Plaster & all equipment age: 5+ years.
    TF100 test kit and AquaChek strips.

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