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Thread: Spa circ pump ran dry due to leak, now it's groaning. Is it pooched?

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    zedcaster's Avatar
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    Question Spa circ pump ran dry due to leak, now it's groaning. Is it pooched?

    Over the past weeks (it's winter so I wasn't checking) the tub sprang a slow leak. As a result the circulation pump ran dry. It still works but now instead of purring quietly it's howling. Has been for a couple of days at least. Am I hooped? Should I shut it off? Is the motor doomed?

    My maintenance guy charges me $100 to ring my doorbell so I'm reluctant to call him in if I can fix it myself.

    Pacific Spa (local firm) hot tub. 2 jet pump motors and one circ pump.

    Difficulty: Spa repair newbie, although I have done some tinkering with our inground pool systems.

    Any thoughts?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    New to pool/spa ownership dealing with;
    In ground gunnite pool recent plaster and coping- 1970's vintage. Comes with a mystery skimmer, capped main drain, two pressure jets, Sand filter, one pump, natural gas heater.
    Pacific Spa Hot tub 2 pump, and circ, electric heat w/ Gecko in.xe spa pack

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    Re: Spa circ pump ran dry due to leak, now it's groaning. Is it pooched?

    What make model circ pump?
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    zedcaster's Avatar
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    Re: Spa circ pump ran dry due to leak, now it's groaning. Is it pooched?

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW View Post
    What make model circ pump?
    Sorry for the delay but life broke out yesterday,
    Anyway it's a Waterway pump.
    IMG_1359.jpg

    The more I investigate the more it appears that the bearing is the source of the noise. I'm thinking I'll shut off the circ pump and the heater. The complicating factor is that the topside display has also failed over the winter so I can't check any status indicators.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    New to pool/spa ownership dealing with;
    In ground gunnite pool recent plaster and coping- 1970's vintage. Comes with a mystery skimmer, capped main drain, two pressure jets, Sand filter, one pump, natural gas heater.
    Pacific Spa Hot tub 2 pump, and circ, electric heat w/ Gecko in.xe spa pack

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    zedcaster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Delta B.C. Canada
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    Re: Spa circ pump ran dry due to leak, now it's groaning. Is it pooched?

    I guess my question is, it better to replace after a pump has run dry for an indeterminate length of time? Does running dry harm the motor or could it just be the bearing(s)?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    New to pool/spa ownership dealing with;
    In ground gunnite pool recent plaster and coping- 1970's vintage. Comes with a mystery skimmer, capped main drain, two pressure jets, Sand filter, one pump, natural gas heater.
    Pacific Spa Hot tub 2 pump, and circ, electric heat w/ Gecko in.xe spa pack

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    Re: Spa circ pump ran dry due to leak, now it's groaning. Is it pooched?

    Probably a bad shaft seal caused water to get to the bearings.

    You can try a new seal and bearings or a new motor or a new pump.

    The bearings can be difficult to replace. So, you have to factor in the time and effort involved.

    Maybe run the pump to a local motor shop and let them do it.
    Support the site

    Trouble Free Pool is a free resource. The people who answer questions are volunteers. If you find the site to be a good resource, please consider making a donation to help support the site. Thanks.

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    zedcaster's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
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    Re: Spa circ pump ran dry due to leak, now it's groaning. Is it pooched?

    Cheers, thanks. It looks like a new pump is $150ish, so if I can't find someone who can fix it for less I'll just replace. I've shut the tub off until I can resolve this.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    New to pool/spa ownership dealing with;
    In ground gunnite pool recent plaster and coping- 1970's vintage. Comes with a mystery skimmer, capped main drain, two pressure jets, Sand filter, one pump, natural gas heater.
    Pacific Spa Hot tub 2 pump, and circ, electric heat w/ Gecko in.xe spa pack

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