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Thread: My pump keeps shutting off randomly.

  1. Back To Top    #1

    My pump keeps shutting off randomly.

    Last year, I had a couple of times when the pump would just shut off, but now it is doing it more frequently.

    The pump will be running a couple of hours then just shut off. I won't be able to turn it back on until it's sat and cooled for a while.
    On occasion, the breaker is flipped when this happens, but not always. I've been running pump about 8 hours a day, but now it's very unreliable.
    Is this what pumps do before they are about to go bad? It seems to be getting very hot. How hot is normal? Also, this could just be my imagination, but it seems a bit louder than usual.

    Before I pay the pool guy a good small fortune to come out and take a look, I thought I'd see if there is any advanced troubleshooting you might recommend.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: My pump keeps shutting off randomly.

    Sounds like the thermal switch built into the motor is tripping. I'm no "pool" pump expert, but odds are there's something preventing the rotor from turning properly. Whether it is something clogged in the pump itself, or your bearings are going bad, or a short in one or more of the motor windings. I'm sure someone more familar with pool pumps will chime in shortly.
    Rob B
    My $100 pool finally died after 6 years.
    Totally got our monies worth!
    Butterfly made me do it...

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: My pump keeps shutting off randomly.


    I think you may be right. Look at what I found in my pump basket:
    It's rubber and about 3/4" Tall. Looks like a chewed up bearing.

    Also, there is a very sticky fluid that has leaked just under the motor.

    I sure hope this is repairable.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: My pump keeps shutting off randomly.


    Well, my expertise would end at the motor. Not knowing what's inside the pump itself, I'll be of no help. Looks like a bushing of some sorts. Would seem the cheap way to build a pump, using bushings instead of bearings. Save them a buck or two. 'course I'm shootin' from the hip, as I've never had a pool pump apart before.

    I can say, they put the thermal switch in the motor to protect the motor from self destruction. You may just have to rebuild the pump portion and you might be good to go.

    We have a saying in my profession. "Give me enough money, and enough time, and I'll fix anything!"

    Let us know what ya find!
    Rob B
    My $100 pool finally died after 6 years.
    Totally got our monies worth!
    Butterfly made me do it...

  5. Back To Top    #5

    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: My pump keeps shutting off randomly.

    If you found that in your pump basket, it didn't come from your pump.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  6. Back To Top    #6
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: My pump keeps shutting off randomly.

    You should check under the pump stainer basket and see if any debris made it through the basket and is blocking the impeller.

    Sometimes motors will overheat and blow the breaker when the capacitor goes bad.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: My pump keeps shutting off randomly.

    I'll take a good look under the pump and report back.
    What concerns me now is that 3" puddle of sticky clear liquid. Maybe some kind of pump lubricant.

    I feel stupid for continuing to run the pump and use the pool after finding that little rubber bushing in the basket.
    But if it didn't come from the pump,how in the heck did it get in there and what the heck is it?

    More than likely, I'll be letting you all know what the pool guy says. I knew I couldn't make it a full year without having to pay him for something!

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: My pump keeps shutting off randomly.

    No debris or anything under the pump basket.
    The clear liquid under the motor is really sticky. Could that be from a capacitor?

    When I re-attached the pump basket, I had to to reprime the pump. It seemed to run fine after that. I let it run for an hour and it didn't seem to get as hot and actually ran a little quieter. Could it be something as simple as not having a tight seal on the pump basket?

    I will have a pump guy look at it this week.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Shawnee, Kansas

    Re: My pump keeps shutting off randomly.

    I hope I am wrong, because I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I am on my third pump, and this is exactly how the previous two died. I noticed a definite change in noise level as well, but the random shutting off and extreme heat and having to cool down sounds all too familiar. It will eventually lock and fail. I DID NOT have any rubber thing in my basket, and agree with another poster that it did not come out of your pump. Your pump looks exactly like mine and the pump is not even connected (directly) with the impeller that moves the water. The stainless steel band that runs around the large disk separates the two into two disctinct pieces. It is that connection that allows for easy replacement. Like I said earlier, I hope I am wrong, but I doubt it. One last thing, like I said, at least the removal of the old pump this is a owner job and you can take it in for repair at your local pool store. This has saved me two house call charges, so I would recommend doing ar least that much for yourself.
    20,000 gallon, sand filter, IG vinyl

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: My pump keeps shutting off randomly.

    Thanks. I guess that's not entirely bad news, being that the motor section of the pump can be removed from where the impeller is attached with the metal strap.
    It doesn't seem like the pumps are ridiculously expensive, either.

    Thanks for the input.

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Here's what my pool guy says on the pump..

    I most certainly need a new motor. Also, he said it wouldn't be wise to go with a lower HP motor, because my pump is pulling water up a pretty steep hill.

    What I have is a:
    Also a Motor Mod K48M2PA105
    RPM 3450
    FR 48Y
    1.5 HP

    Not much info online about these. I've seen pricing range from $139 to $448.
    My question is, should I really be looking at the same brand considering that this one only lasted 3-4 years?

  12. Back To Top    #12
    spishex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Hillsborough, NC

    Re: My pump keeps shutting off randomly.

    Before you replace it check to make sure you don't have any loose connections in the back, either where the service connects or at the capacitor terminals.

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: My pump keeps shutting off randomly.

    No loose connections that I can see, and the pump was definitely getting too hot. I could smell it, and there is a bit of sticky fluid underneath the motor.

    My wife is going to cry if she can't use the pool the rest of this week. It's her last week before she goes back to school.

  14. Back To Top    #14

    $450 later..

    Brand new pump motor, and it's much quieter and cooler than I can ever remember it being in the past. Pump was about $300 which didn't surprise me, as that's the price I saw on the internet.. $130 for the service and labor charge and $20 for seal kit that came with pump.

    Thanks for all your help.

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