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Thread: Oh no! Impeller is sticking

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    Oh no! Impeller is sticking

    I noticed when I opened my pool last month that my pump wasn't quite working right...I have a Whisperflo 1hp Pentair pump.
    I figured out that the impeller (which is all plastic, by the way) wasn't rotating, so I removed the bolts and forced the impeller to turn manually, then re-assembled the pump and voila-it worked. I'm on a timer, and I noticed today that the problem had returned (probably has been there all along, but I haven't had much time to observe it until today). In fact, after about 30 seconds something tripped and the pump turned itself off.
    I know I've probably just about ruined my pump, but is there a way to lube the inside of the pump, or the impeller, to squeeze a little more life out of it?
    Thanks
    Todd
    --------------
    Pool: 16x36, 16,800 gal., vinyl, sand filter, SWG & AquaCal Heat Pump
    Spa: Hot Springs Sovereign, 355 gal., ozone/ion
    The most helpful tool you'll ever have for your pool:
    http://www.poolcalculator.com/

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Oh no! Impeller is sticking

    Sounds like it could be either a starting capacitor or maybe some bad bearings but the bearing would probably make a lot of noise. I would try replacing the capacitor to see if that works.
    Mark
    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

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    In the Industry

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    Re: Oh no! Impeller is sticking

    Be sure to also check to see if you didn't damage the impeller or melt the shaft seal. I've seen that a lot!

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    Re: Oh no! Impeller is sticking

    Just a quick follow up on the impeller sticking...I have my pump coming on (by timer) several times a day, and I noticed last night that when the timer powers up, the impeller will stick and the pump will hum (like it's sticking) for a few seconds, then trip off. It will then (after it cools down, I guess) try again and again until the impeller releases, and the pump will then stay on for the duration.
    Still sound like a starting capacitor? thanks again for the help.
    Todd
    --------------
    Pool: 16x36, 16,800 gal., vinyl, sand filter, SWG & AquaCal Heat Pump
    Spa: Hot Springs Sovereign, 355 gal., ozone/ion
    The most helpful tool you'll ever have for your pool:
    http://www.poolcalculator.com/

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Oh no! Impeller is sticking

    My 3/4HP Whisperflo (WFE-3) ran dry and I just took the motor off two days ago to inspect.

    The thermal breakers on these motors will shut down, cool and restart by itself, which imo, is dumb!

    These pumps are great, powerful and quiet but getting to that impeller can be a pain in the ***...

    To replace the shaft seals you need to take off the big seal plate. The bottom 2 stainless steel bolts were frozen solid on mine. I had to get some heat to those bolts, some liquid wrench and a breaker bar to these to remove. Be very careful or you'll break the heads off and then you'll need to buy a new seal plate.

    The motor was fine (no damage to bearings or shaft) so I replaced the ceramic shaft seals and the seal plate gasket.

    If the motor wasn't making loud noises, maybe you should do the same as I and see if there's a bunch of stuff wrapped around the impeller or the impeller is chipped or cracked and a piece is jamming the rotation.

    If the motor turns easy with little effort and the impeller is undamaged, I'd replace the shaft seals, seal plate gasket and the capacitor then reinstall.

    Note: To remove the impeller on the Magnetek motor, you need to pry off the little 1 1/2" diameter shaft cap at the back of the motor and block the shaft from rotating with a vice grip. Don't try to remove the entire motor end cap. I made that mistake and broke one of the four cap bolts. URGHHHH!

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    frankthailand's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
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    Re: Oh no! Impeller is sticking

    Hello Todd
    Here is post about changing the seal on a whisperflo, but not the bearings.

    Good luck
    happy swims
    Frank
    pentair-whisperflow-seal-replacement-how-to-w-photos-t10763.html?hilit=seal%20whisperflo
    Hello all from the land of smiles. Thailand. 5mx9mx1.5 63000L 16300 gall, pebbletex,
    pentair 1hp whisperflow, tagelus TA60 SF, swg monarch esc24 {a bit small for the tropics} 3 returns, 1 skimmer, 2 astral 100watt lights. Planned and built by me
    an AUSSIE expat living thailand for 18 years.

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    Re: Oh no! Impeller is sticking

    OK great, thanks so much for the help, guys!
    Todd
    --------------
    Pool: 16x36, 16,800 gal., vinyl, sand filter, SWG & AquaCal Heat Pump
    Spa: Hot Springs Sovereign, 355 gal., ozone/ion
    The most helpful tool you'll ever have for your pool:
    http://www.poolcalculator.com/

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