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Thread: Pool pump and impeller question...thoughts?

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    CajunGuy's Avatar
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    Pool pump and impeller question...thoughts?

    My pool pump (Pentair Whisperflo) wasn't turning on (would only make a humming noise when I flipped it on), checked the capacitor at Grainger and they said it was good. Went back and pulled the motor from the pump. When I removed it, the seal plate, diffuser, and impeller were still attached. The diffuser looks fine, removed it to view the impeller. I tried turning the impeller/shaft and it was a bit hard to turn, once I removed the impeller the shaft turned MUCH easier. So I tightened the impeller back on and again it was difficult to spin. The impeller seats into the seal plate and on the inside it looks like it has some type of spring in the middle that the impeller sits on/in. Could that spring or something in the seal plate be causing my impeller/shafts not to turn?
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
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    Re: Pool pump and impeller question...thoughts?

    The "spring" is part of the pump seal. One part mounts to rear of impeller and mates to the spring half. Ensure the seal on back of impeller is clean and not damage d. Clean with a clean rag " ceramic side" The impeller bolt is reverse threads.

    10,000 gallons IG Freeform, 8ft raised spa,pebble finish
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    Re: Pool pump and impeller question...thoughts?

    There’s a black rub mark to the right. I suspect that the impeller is rubbing there. This is usually due to the motor not sitting flush with the seal plate. This is usually because one of the grommets that receive the bolts that hold the motor to the seal plate has come loose.
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    CajunGuy's Avatar
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    Re: Pool pump and impeller question...thoughts?

    Rear view of impeller. Not sure what the seal is supposed to look like.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Rear side of seal plate that motor attaches to. Looks pretty old with a good bit of corrosion around the screw areas. Again, not sure what the seal should look like.
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    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin S200 Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
    Resilience PSC3 SWCG

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    Re: Pool pump and impeller question...thoughts?

    That’s the ceramic part of the seal. It’s bad. You’re going to need to replace that.

    The other part of the seal is also bad, you’re going to need to separate the motor and seal plate. Most likely, the bolts won’t come out without taking the grommets with them.

    The seal plate is bad. You might want to consider replacing the pump at this point.
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    Re: Pool pump and impeller question...thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW View Post
    There’s a black rub mark to the right. I suspect that the impeller is rubbing there. This is usually due to the motor not sitting flush with the seal plate. This is usually because one of the grommets that receive the bolts that hold the motor to the seal plate has come loose.
    JamesW, take a look at the areas around the screw holes, the bottom two are definitely cracked, and the top two have a lot of buildup corrosion around it. You think maybe just the seal plate needs to be changed out? It looks to be in pretty bad shape. What about the shafts seal?

    - - - Updated - - -

    JamesW, I've got the seal plate removed. Grommets look terrible. Bottom two are cracked around the grommets. Lots of corrosion. Shafts spends pretty easy once impeller is taken off. So where do I go from here?
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin S200 Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
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    Re: Pool pump and impeller question...thoughts?

    Seal plate is bad and the shaft seal is also bad.

    You can do a new seal plate and seal, but I would consider replacing the pump with something more efficient. That thing is an energy monster.
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    CajunGuy's Avatar
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    Re: Pool pump and impeller question...thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW View Post
    Seal plate is bad and the shaft seal is also bad.
    Anything else I should look for or check to see if something else needs to be replaced? Does the seal plate usually come with the shaft seal included? Is my impeller still good to use? It doesn't look cracked or anything from a visual inspection.
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin S200 Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
    Resilience PSC3 SWCG

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    Re: Pool pump and impeller question...thoughts?

    The seal plate does not come with the seal. A good seal is part number PS-3865. The impeller looks like it has some flaring from heat, but I think that it’s still usable. The old ceramic part of the seal with the rubber boot can be difficult to remove from the impeller.
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    CajunGuy's Avatar
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    Re: Pool pump and impeller question...thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW View Post
    Seal plate is bad and the shaft seal is also bad.

    You can do a new seal plate and seal, but I would consider replacing the pump with something more efficient. That thing is an energy monster.
    I was told that my plumbing had too many "elbows" for a dual or VS pump to run on the lower setting(s), basically it wouldn't have enough flow.
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin S200 Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
    Resilience PSC3 SWCG

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    Re: Pool pump and impeller question...thoughts?

    So the cheapest option so far would be a new seal plate ($55) and a new shaft seal ($11) and use my old impeller and diffuser.

    Is the shaft seal in the gokit32salt the same as the PS-3865 shaft seal? Or is the PS-3865 a more "heavy duty" shaft seal?

    Does the seal plate come with the seal gasket? Should I maybe just buy the gokit32salt and that way I could replace the seal and diffuser gaskets too?
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin S200 Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
    Resilience PSC3 SWCG

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    Re: Pool pump and impeller question...thoughts?

    gokit32salt and a seal plate should work.
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    Re: Pool pump and impeller question...thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW View Post
    gokit32salt and a seal plate should work.
    Is the PS-3865 a better shaft seal than the one that comes in the kit or is it not that big of a difference?
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin S200 Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
    Resilience PSC3 SWCG

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    Re: Pool pump and impeller question...thoughts?

    gokit32salt should be fine.
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    CajunGuy's Avatar
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    Re: Pool pump and impeller question...thoughts?

    Ok one last thing, how tight should I put the impeller on? Hand tight? It also has a screw on the front side (diffuser side), how tight should that screw be on there?
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin S200 Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
    Resilience PSC3 SWCG

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    Re: Pool pump and impeller question...thoughts?

    Impeller should be secure, but not super tight. Same with center screw.
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    Re: Pool pump and impeller question...thoughts?

    Seal plate and the go kit should have everything you need.
    Impeller should be installed snug , remember screw is reverse thread.
    Seal was leaking from rear of motor which likely caused your problems.
    Plumbing elbows are fine for a variable speed pump.....

    10,000 gallons IG Freeform, 8ft raised spa,pebble finish
    FNS 60 Sqft DE Filter,2HP Whisperflow for Pool/Spa filtering
    2HP Whisperflow for Spa jets
    1HP Whisperflow for Waterfall
    Master Temp 400,000 Btu Heater

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    CJadamec's Avatar
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    Re: Pool pump and impeller question...thoughts?

    Who ever told you there were too many elbows for a VS pump to work doesn't understand plumbing very well. You would be fine with an intelliflo or superflo main pump for the pool. It would save you a ton on electricity too.
    Chuck-
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    CajunGuy's Avatar
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    Re: Pool pump and impeller question...thoughts?

    Thanks again you guys for all the help and advice so far! I have another question. I noticed the shaft has a little bit of rust around the portion where the spring part of the seal was (in the seal plate). Would it be OK or wise to clean that rust off with some sand paper or wire brush? Also, should I put a thin coat of Aladdin lubricant on the shaft for rust prevention...or no? Am I suppose to lubricate all 3 seals...the shaft seal, seal gasket, and diffuser gasket?

    Also, because I like to know how things work and the cause of the problem...the reason the shaft/impeller weren't spinning was because the impeller was getting stuck against the seal plate because the housing around the grommets were cracked causing a bad fit (not flush) and water was getting through the shaft seal too?
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin S200 Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
    Resilience PSC3 SWCG

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    CJadamec's Avatar
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    Re: Pool pump and impeller question...thoughts?

    Absolutely no lubrication should be put onto a mechanical shaft seal. Not even onto the rubber cup for the ceramic piece or the rubber that is on the shaft. The face where the ceramic (white disk) and carbon (black disk) should be kept as clean as possible. You shouldn't even touch them with bare fingers if you can help it.

    The bad seal could cause the motor to not spin well. When you put the impeller on it compresses the spring in the seal pushing the carbon and ceramic together. Normally those faces spin against each other and the carbon face will slowly wear away until the seal fails. Which under normal operation will take a very very long time. Things like running the pump dry, cavitation from suction air leaks, and overheating the pump will drastically reduce the life of a seal.
    Chuck-
    15x30 AG, Pentair Superflo VS, 19" sand filter, TF-100 test kit
    Aqua Comfort ACT750 heat pump / 6x20 ground mount solar panel / DIY automation

    Photos of 2016 Build, Inside Your Breaker Panel, Free Copy of 2017 NEC code
    TFP is AD Free and is funded solely by member support click here to help

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