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Thread: Polaris PB4 pump issue

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    Polaris PB4 pump issue

    I replaced my pool plumbing with a Triton TR100 and Pentair Whisperflo WFE-3. I added my Polaris PB4-60 booster back into the system and am now experiencing a strange problem. When I start up the booster, it is having a very difficult time turning over. I immediately suspected debris so I turned the shaft from the back of the pump to help it get started, there was no debris but the water pressure seemed to be fighting the rotation). The pump is running but is pulling over 20 Amps (I have a device called a Kill-a-Volt to monitor amps/hz) Since the pump has a listed operating amperage of 12.6, I thought there must be something internal to the pump. So, I went out and bought a new Polaris PB4-60 booster pump identical to the first pump. This new pump is having even more trouble turning over and is pulling about 24 amps before the 20 Amp fast blow fuse that I put into the wiring blew.

    I have the input to the Polaris booster (center hole) driven off a 1 1/2" "T" downstream of the multiport. The output from the "T" is then reduced to about a 1/2" barber male fitting to connect to the garden hose size pipe) The output from the booster goes into a dedicated return pipe back to a single outlet for the creepy.

    There is a restrictor in the creepy vent/connector that limits pressure to the creepy. Could it be that this restrictor is fighting the output of the booster and making the pump strain thereby increasing amps?? Any ideas??? THANKS

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Polaris PB4 pump issue

    I was actually going to ask if the cleaner was hooked up. A pressure side restriction decreases water flow which decreases the amp draw of the motor. Given that it's drawing 2x as many amps as it should be, are you sure it's not set up for 110v and hooked up to 220v?

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    Re: Polaris PB4 pump issue

    Thank you for the reply, I am certain that the pump is wired in accordance with the pump placard for low voltage and the input voltage on the line is 120V. I don't want to change the pump wiring to the high voltage configuration because I think it wll burn it up

    Btw, doesn't a restrictor add back pressure making pump work harder?

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Polaris PB4 pump issue

    Yes and no. It makes it harder for the pump to move water, but that means less overall work. The amp draw (when properly wired) is proportional to the amount of water being moved.

    If you changed the motor to 220v setting and only have 110v service then you'll just get an underpowered motor. It's the opposite (set to 110v with 220v service) that will cause a problem.

    Try running the motor offline. Remove the volute housing so you're just looking at the impeller. Then turn the motor on and see if it's still drawing too much power. If so it would have to be an issue with the electrical service. If not, it's hydraulic.

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    Re: Polaris PB4 pump issue

    I am making some progress. I reconfigured the Polaris PB4-60 as a 230V booster pump although still supplying it with 120V. As expected, the pump ran at about half speed while pulling 11.5 AMPS (which is about double what it should be running). The input flow to the volute on the PB4 booster goes to the center hole and the output from the booster comes from the top of the volute and goes to a devoted pipe running to the creepy powering vent. The interesting thing is, turning on the booster almost seemed to DECREASE pressure out of the vent that powers the creepy. When the booster is turned off, the pressure from the main pump is almost enough to drive the creepy. The creepy slowly moves on the bottom but doesn't have power to get up the incline. When I start the booster, the creepy sits there motionless as if I turned off the vent. Another interesting thing, with the booster running, I can put my hand over the booster powered creepy vent and stop the flow with moderate hand pressure, you can hear the booster really start to strain as it tries to hold pressure. I double checked that the booster is rotating correctly (counterclockwise facing the pump inlet and in accordance with the direction arrow). SO, the last issue that it can possibly be has to be hydraulic. Either there is not enough water coming into the pump (not likely), too much water pressure coming into the pump from the 1 HP Pentair Whisperflo (most likely).

    So, the question is, why would pressure decrease with the booster pump running and how do I test/correct if there is too much pressure entering the booster inlet???

    Thanks for the replies

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Polaris PB4 pump issue

    Do you have a valve on the inlet side of the booster pump? Maybe there's enough water flowing through when filtering that the impeller is getting spun the wrong way. You could take the cap off the back of the motor and watch the back of the shaft when the booster is off but the filter pump is on just to see. Apparently you can get a motor spinning backwards that way (if you turn it on while it's being turned). So maybe that's what's happening?

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