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Thread: Pool Pump blew up in my face - lucky I'm tall!

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    viking68's Avatar
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    Pool Pump blew up in my face - lucky I'm tall!

    So, I glance out at the pool this a.m. - pump's not on. Hmm...investigate...hmm....timer is stopped - in the power on position...hmm...check outside breaker - not tripped, reset. Nothing. Hmm...reset inside breaker, also not tripped...hmmm.

    Flip power switch. BANG! SMOKE! Then look down:

    20170409_110113.jpg

    20170409_110122.jpg

    Not quite 3 Year old 1HP Pentair SuperFlo.

    Replace motor? Replace pump with Vari-Speed?

    Why does this stuff always happen on the weekend? Water Chemistry is PERFECT thanks to the education I received here.

    Thanks for any/all comments. Think maybe capacitor went, then forced into overload when I reset everything?
    20K gal, IG Free-Form Plaster (1986), 1 HP Pentair Superflo pump, PAC FAB FNS-36 DE Filter, Polaris 280, Screened, Cool Deck.
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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Pump blew up in my face - lucky I'm tall!

    Wow! Good thing you are safe for sure. If you don't have a bunch of water features or spa, you could just replace that motor with a nice 2-speed for efficiency. VS pumps have their advantages as well, but owners usually balance up-front costs to efficiency of managing multiple flow settings to run various areas of the pool/spa. Yes, always on the weekend.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: Pool Pump blew up in my face - lucky I'm tall!

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    Wow! Good thing you are safe for sure. If you don't have a bunch of water features or spa, you could just replace that motor with a nice 2-speed for efficiency. VS pumps have their advantages as well, but owners usually balance up-front costs to efficiency of managing multiple flow settings to run various areas of the pool/spa. Yes, always on the weekend.
    Old pool - pump only runs 3 jets and skimmer, Period. Main drain has been blocked with sand (thank you old, old marcite) for years. Polaris booster bleeds off some for the 280 running around the pool. Can you retrofit a 2 speed onto a superflo pump?
    20K gal, IG Free-Form Plaster (1986), 1 HP Pentair Superflo pump, PAC FAB FNS-36 DE Filter, Polaris 280, Screened, Cool Deck.
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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Pump blew up in my face - lucky I'm tall!

    Some of the others here are really good on pump swaps and such. If you don't get a reply here, you could call Inyopools with your pump info and they'll give you some good dry-end motor replacement options based on required HP, speeds, and flow. They're very good with TFP members.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: Pool Pump blew up in my face - lucky I'm tall!

    Thanks!
    20K gal, IG Free-Form Plaster (1986), 1 HP Pentair Superflo pump, PAC FAB FNS-36 DE Filter, Polaris 280, Screened, Cool Deck.
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Pump blew up in my face - lucky I'm tall!

    Quote Originally Posted by viking68 View Post
    Can you retrofit a 2 speed onto a superflo pump?
    Yes. Is the motor wired for 230v or 115v?
    Mark
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    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Pool Pump blew up in my face - lucky I'm tall!

    Wow! That's crazy. Wonder why that exploded like that?

    Any combustible materials nearby?
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    Re: Pool Pump blew up in my face - lucky I'm tall!

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    Yes. Is the motor wired for 230v or 115v?
    230V -- why? Professionally installed 2014.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW View Post
    Wow! That's crazy. Wonder why that exploded like that?

    Any combustible materials nearby?
    Nope. Flash/Pop/Smoke/DONE.
    20K gal, IG Free-Form Plaster (1986), 1 HP Pentair Superflo pump, PAC FAB FNS-36 DE Filter, Polaris 280, Screened, Cool Deck.
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    Re: Pool Pump blew up in my face - lucky I'm tall!

    My first call tomorrow AM would be to Pentair Tech support asking them where to email those pictures and to whom you should speak to about replacing that pump.....for free.

    I think they will do so quickly and quietly
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Pool Pump blew up in my face - lucky I'm tall!

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    Yes. Is the motor wired for 230v or 115v?
    I can wire a motor (done the Polaris Booster pump twice in the last 14 years); special wiring or timer setup for 2 speed? Pool only has 3 jets and a skimmer - nothing else.

    According to specs, this is an up-rated 1hp/1.25SF or 3/4hp/1.67 full rated. Which the heck motor should I go with for a 2 speed?
    20K gal, IG Free-Form Plaster (1986), 1 HP Pentair Superflo pump, PAC FAB FNS-36 DE Filter, Polaris 280, Screened, Cool Deck.
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    Re: Pool Pump blew up in my face - lucky I'm tall!

    Quote Originally Posted by viking68 View Post
    230V -- why? Professionally installed 2014.
    2 Speed motors are wired for only one of the two voltages. So you will want a B2980 or B2980T (with timer). Plus you will want a SuperFlo Go-Kit to replace all seals and gaskets.
    Mark
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    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Pool Pump blew up in my face - lucky I'm tall!

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    My first call tomorrow AM would be to Pentair Tech support asking them where to email those pictures and to whom you should speak to about replacing that pump.....for free.

    I think they will do so quickly and quietly
    Dave, and here I thought I was so smart! GENIUS! Local builder that built this pool as well as a new pool at my old home is my "go to guy". Never ever thought about going to pentair direct!

    Very weird the way everything happened - NOTHING in the house was affected so I don't think there was any kind of surge/spike, timer was in "on" position (which was very odd) and the pump was off. It wasn't until I reset both breakers and turned time to on position that I "JUMPED BACK, JACK"! Something in the motor is definitely screwy. Less than 3 years old.

    Thanks so much for that kind piece of advice.
    20K gal, IG Free-Form Plaster (1986), 1 HP Pentair Superflo pump, PAC FAB FNS-36 DE Filter, Polaris 280, Screened, Cool Deck.
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    Re: Pool Pump blew up in my face - lucky I'm tall!

    Quote Originally Posted by viking68 View Post
    Very weird the way everything happened - NOTHING in the house was affected so I don't think there was any kind of surge/spike, timer was in "on" position (which was very odd) and the pump was off. It wasn't until I reset both breakers and turned time to on position that I "JUMPED BACK, JACK"! Something in the motor is definitely screwy. Less than 3 years old.
    From the looks of the paint and label on that motor, it looks like it has been struggling for a while, and finally gave up. It died the first time with a wimper, and simply tripped a breaker. I know you said that they weren't tripped, but possibly only one of the poles did, which depending on the breaker can make it look and feel like it was still on. The fact that your timer was stopped says no power. When you reenergized the circuit, the short was in just the right position to provide you with the flash-bang. Still, yeah, it's new motor time...
    Chris | 16' x 34' 16,000 gallon | IG Vinyl | Pentair Tagelus sand filter | Jandy 2hp epump | AquaPro PRO1300 heat pump | Coverstar auto cover | Taylor K-2006 | built August, 2016.

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    Re: Pool Pump blew up in my face - lucky I'm tall!

    Quote Originally Posted by cjpwalker View Post
    From the looks of the paint and label on that motor, it looks like it has been struggling for a while, and finally gave up. It died the first time with a wimper, and simply tripped a breaker. I know you said that they weren't tripped, but possibly only one of the poles did, which depending on the breaker can make it look and feel like it was still on. The fact that your timer was stopped says no power. When you reenergized the circuit, the short was in just the right position to provide you with the flash-bang. Still, yeah, it's new motor time...
    See - that's the funny thing. I looked at the motor just before - all that damage is from electrical flash. It wasn't a "little" pop; blue arc/flame popped up at least 2' - I was looking right at it! I cleaned out the strainer a couple days before and it looked almost like new - its only 32 months old; last motor that this pump replaced, lasted 10 years + on a 16++ YO Sta-Rite Pump. Same 1HP AO Smith/Century motor.

    It's obvious the cap blew too with all that black "drool".

    Per Dave S., contacted Pentair - they are on the case; Now we'll see what they do...I'll update when I hear back.
    20K gal, IG Free-Form Plaster (1986), 1 HP Pentair Superflo pump, PAC FAB FNS-36 DE Filter, Polaris 280, Screened, Cool Deck.
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    Re: Pool Pump blew up in my face - lucky I'm tall!

    Quote Originally Posted by viking68 View Post
    See - that's the funny thing. I looked at the motor just before - all that damage is from electrical flash. It wasn't a "little" pop; blue arc/flame popped up at least 2' - I was looking right at it! I cleaned out the strainer a couple days before and it looked almost like new - its only 32 months old; last motor that this pump replaced, lasted 10 years + on a 16++ YO Sta-Rite Pump. Same 1HP AO Smith/Century motor.

    It's obvious the cap blew too with all that black "drool".

    Per Dave S., contacted Pentair - they are on the case; Now we'll see what they do...I'll update when I hear back.
    This sounds like the cap is the failure. There really isn't anything else in that area that would explode, especially with an arc.
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    Re: Pool Pump blew up in my face - lucky I'm tall!

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    My first call tomorrow AM would be to Pentair Tech support asking them where to email those pictures and to whom you should speak to about replacing that pump.....for free.

    I think they will do so quickly and quietly
    Good advice. I agree...they should try to fix this very quickly based on those pictures. Scary stuff.

    Mention that you were (almost) burned due to the motor explosion and I bet they move even faster to take care of your problem.

    The potential for a lawsuit is a powerful thing!
    18'x36' vinyl - 24k gal - Intelliflo 3hp VSP - Pentair C&C 420 cartridge filter - IC40 Salt - EasyTouch 8 - ScreenLogic - Raypak 406btu NG heater - Intellibrite 5G ligths - 4 deck jets - sheer descent - X-Stream Slide 2 - TF100 kit - opened spring 2017

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    Re: Pool Pump blew up in my face - lucky I'm tall!

    UPDATE:

    Pentair authorized service company is replacing the motor today, gratis. Initially, the repair agent tried to schedule me for NEXT TUESDAY. I replied to Pentair this was unacceptable, i.e.: this is Florida, it's hot, chlorine is likely depleted and pool will be green by next Tuesday. I added that next Tuesday is fine, if they then wanted to pay a local service company to re-balance the water chemistry, etc., etc.

    Suprised by call from repair company this morning: "We'll be out there today!".

    Thanks again to Dave S. - never would have thought to call Pentair direct on an almost 3 year old pump! I love TFP!
    20K gal, IG Free-Form Plaster (1986), 1 HP Pentair Superflo pump, PAC FAB FNS-36 DE Filter, Polaris 280, Screened, Cool Deck.
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    Re: Pool Pump blew up in my face - lucky I'm tall!

    I have never seen an example of that much current flowing through the pump. All's well that ends well!

    TFP is appreciative of your Silver Supporter Badge....,...thanks for helping!
    Dave S.
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    Re: Pool Pump blew up in my face - lucky I'm tall!

    Quote Originally Posted by domct203 View Post
    This sounds like the cap is the failure. There really isn't anything else in that area that would explode, especially with an arc.
    Well, it's obvious the cap failed, but the cap housing is intact. The rear end of the motor BLEW OFF. The wiring is fried on the back - not up top, unless when the cap blew, it went down through the motor and out the back!
    20K gal, IG Free-Form Plaster (1986), 1 HP Pentair Superflo pump, PAC FAB FNS-36 DE Filter, Polaris 280, Screened, Cool Deck.
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    Re: Pool Pump blew up in my face - lucky I'm tall!

    Capacitors contain an impressive amount of energy and when they fail they release all that energy in an instant. Its very likely that the metal top cap contained the blast and directed it down the wiring and out the back cover. Its also likely the cap continued to burn for a while after exploding giving you all that nice brown paint.
    Chuck-
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