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Thread: Pump Motor Lifespan

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    Join Date
    Jun 2014

    Pump Motor Lifespan

    To all you seasoned pool guys out there, what has been your experience with pump motor lifetime for A) normal AC motors and B) Variable Speed ECM motors?

    - Assume the electronics are part of the variable speed ECM motors
    - Do not include motors damaged by lighting or power company issues
    - Do not include the wet end of the pump

    I'd be surprised if pump motors last more than 5 years. Hopefully I'm wrong.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Ellington, CT

    Re: Pump Motor Lifespan

    The bearings on my pump motor went bad in it's 7th season, most likely because of a leaking shaft seal. I replaced the bearing and shaft seal and it's now in it 10th season.
    30,000 gal, 20 x 40 ft vinyl, IG, installed 2006
    1 HP WhisperFlo pump, 60 sqft Pentair Quad D.E., Liquidator(8 gallon) with 3/8 upgrade,TigerShark cleaning robot
    TFTestkits TF-100 with SpeedStir
    A proud practitioner of TFP since 2013

  3. Back To Top    #3
    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Pleasanton, CA

    Re: Pump Motor Lifespan

    Pump motors can last a very long time. Mine are going on 10 years and I know of others that are much longer.

    The primary reason that motors fail (based upon posts) is because the pool owner fails to notice that the seal is leaking which then leaks water onto the motor bearing which then causes the bearings to fail after some time. Keep the maintenance up on a motor (clean out debris from the air vents) and the pump seals (make sure they are not leaking) and a motor could last well over 20 years with an occasional capacitor change. There is little else to fail except the windings and those tend to fail because of the extra load bad bearings can present which it turn are caused by bad seals. I think you get my point. Forgot to mention centrifugal switches which do have a lifetime but they should be over 10 years and can be replaced.

    As for VS/VF drives, that is a different story. These drives have very high power electronics in the drives and the number one reason for failing is power surges (not necessarily lightning) that can easily take them out. If you use surge protection, then the drives should last more than 5 years but probably less than 10 years because there is still thermal fatigue in the electronics. But there are various levels of surge protection too.
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater, ThePoolCleaner

  4. Back To Top    #4

    In the Industry

    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Wildomar, California

    Re: Pump Motor Lifespan

    I used to be a rep for AO Smith and their actual rating for their pool motors was 22,000 hours. Seems like a lot but here in California most people run their motors around 5 hours a day which equals around 1800 a year or 12 years. Of course, rain leaking seals, etc: It'll be less.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Pump Motor Lifespan

    My AO Smith 2hp single speed motor lasted 9 years before a power surge nuked it. The identical replacement lasted 1 year and 2 weeks before another power surge (lightning storm again) got it. I had kept the old motor and got it rebuilt for 1/2 the cost of new since the windings were still good. The newer one had too much damage to rebuild

    Any tips on power surge isolation for pool equipment?
    16K gal w/ 7ft. spa, plaster, Jandy CS200 cartridge, Waterway 2hp pump, Raypak P-R405BL heater, Polaris 280 w/pump, retired Nature2
    Magical 2ft wide waterfall cascading over a built-in bench seat with the lawn boy's name on it

  6. Back To Top    #6
    morzh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Jackson, NJ

    Re: Pump Motor Lifespan

    If after the season (in case of AGP pumps connected by hoses) you can disconnect the pump and move it to a garage or a shed, it will last long time. If not.....depends on brand, I'd say 6 years.
    Seasonal World rectangular pool, 27K gallons (data sheet), 25.3K calculated
    Jandy Stealth JHPU 2.0 PUMP, 2HP
    Jandy CL340 cartridge filter
    Pentair C320 inline chlorinator
    AquaComfort heatpump heater

  7. Back To Top    #7

    In the Industry

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Re: Pump Motor Lifespan

    Have a customer with an Intelliflo vs that is all original and is 9 years old this spring and still going fine
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
    Certified in Hydraulics

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