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Thread: Hayward pump shaft seals

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    Hayward pump shaft seals

    I don't know if I'm the only one consistently having this problem or not. This is the second year (and third pump) that I'm having shaft seal problems with.

    Fall of 2008, I bought a Hayward Max-Flow 1HP pump for our pool to replace an old Marlow pump that was past the end of it's life. I bought online from one of the pool supply companies to get it cheaper than I could at my local pool store. No problems installing it and the end of the 2008 swim season was fine.

    I installed it last year after opening the pool and soon ended up with a shaft seal leak. Not wanting to be without a pump long enough to send it in for warranty service, I went online and learned how to replace the shaft seal. After less than a week, I had a new leak. I then replaced all the seals (using Jack's Magic lube to seal them up good) and within a week, I had another leak.

    I talked to the local pool store and their story was that the Max-Flow was really for above ground pools and that it was under powered for my pool. We decided to stop messing with the Max-Flow and bought the Hayward Super Pump 1HP from the local store -- more to have a local place we could call if we had problems than anything else.

    About a month after installing it, the shaft seal started leaking on it. The local pool company came out and swapped out the pump. The story then was that some motors were made in China and some in Mexico. The ones from China were having problems, so they made sure the new one was one of the motors made in Mexico. The rest of the 2009 season went fine.

    This year, less than a week after opening the pool and getting the pump out of storage (winterized - no water, plugs removed, stored inside), the shaft seal was leaking. Pool company came out and installed new shaft seal on Friday. Yesterday I go out and it's leaking again. They open at 10AM this morning and I'm going to call them back out. They're not giving me any problems doing the warranty work, but what the heck?

    Is anyone else having recurrent issues with the Hayward pump shaft seals?

    As far as water chemistry goes, nothing has been far enough off that I would suspect it, but here's my numbers:

    FC - 11.0 (finishing up an opening algae shock)
    CC - 0.5
    TC - 11.5
    pH - 7.5
    TA - 90
    CH - 80 (vinyl pool, but raising soon for fiberglass steps)
    CYA - 50 (just raised it last night from ~20 - 25)
    Temp - 65
    32x16 ft Grecian rectangular vinyl pool 8ft on deep end - 19000 gal. 18" Hayward S-240 sand filter. 250K BTU Pentair MasterTemp heater. Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward pump shaft seals

    I haven't heard of any recurring problems with seals. Unless the motor has a lot of end play or shaft runout the seal should last a long time. It would be interesting to know what the guys say is wrong with this one.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Hayward pump shaft seals

    what is the filter on the pool?
    some of the earth filters (ec-65 or 75) the internal check valves go it will kill the seals in your pump

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    Re: Hayward pump shaft seals

    It's a Hayward S-240 300lb sand filter. FWIW, sand was replaced in '08 and cleaned this spring (just hose and water, not chemically cleaned.)
    32x16 ft Grecian rectangular vinyl pool 8ft on deep end - 19000 gal. 18" Hayward S-240 sand filter. 250K BTU Pentair MasterTemp heater. Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump.

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    Re: Hayward pump shaft seals

    where are you putting your chlorine?
    are you vac up any sand from the bottom?

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    Re: Hayward pump shaft seals

    I pour the chlorine in at the return on the deep end. It's about 16 feet from there to the skimmer. Right now I'm vacuuming blind since the pool is still cloudy, but unless there is much debris, I vacuum with the filter on and the skimmer basket in place with a lid that has a fitting for the hose.

    I haven't noticed any sand from the filter on the bottom of the pool in the previous seasons. I have dead algae I've been vacuuming, but other than that, nothing other than normal leaves and maple seeds coming up right now.

    Hope that answers what you were asking about.
    32x16 ft Grecian rectangular vinyl pool 8ft on deep end - 19000 gal. 18" Hayward S-240 sand filter. 250K BTU Pentair MasterTemp heater. Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump.

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    Re: Hayward pump shaft seals

    than i must say im all out of ideas
    never has happened to me all the years i have done pools
    sorry i could not help more

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    Re: Hayward pump shaft seals

    The only time I've seen a Super Pump seal assembly go within a week is when one was installed backwards by a homeowner.
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: Hayward pump shaft seals

    Well, that could have explained the first one on the Max-Flow I replaced, but as much as I read before doing it, I'm pretty darn confident it was installed right (but I guess we engineers would think that no matter what.) The guys that were here working on the pump have been with the store for quite a while and I've never had any problem with their equipment knowledge in the past.

    Not to wish anyone else bad luck, I was kind of hoping others were having a similar problem and Hayward was doing something about it. Figures it's just me.

    -- Pete
    32x16 ft Grecian rectangular vinyl pool 8ft on deep end - 19000 gal. 18" Hayward S-240 sand filter. 250K BTU Pentair MasterTemp heater. Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump.

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    Re: Hayward pump shaft seals

    Ahh, the ongoing saga continues. Since May 10th, I had the seals replaced once a week until this past week. They finally decided to replace the pump (again.) It turns out that last year, they didn't replace the entire pump, just the motor. AND they put a 3/4 HP motor on a 1HP Super Pump body. I don't know if they changed the impeller or not when they did that, but I don't have any reason to think they did anything other than swap the motor out. Funny thing is, after they replaced the motor last season, I didn't have any problems until after opening this year.

    This time they replaced the entire pump with a 3/4 HP Super Pump. I'm fine with the downsizing, as I think it's a better size pump for my sand filter. Anyway, it's been 24 hours and it's not leaking yet. Hopefully this fixes it for more than one season. I'd really like a new pump to last a few years.
    32x16 ft Grecian rectangular vinyl pool 8ft on deep end - 19000 gal. 18" Hayward S-240 sand filter. 250K BTU Pentair MasterTemp heater. Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump.

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    Re: Hayward pump shaft seals

    And the saga continues. Yesterday I inspected the new pump installed June 2nd and the shaft seal is leaking. Again. My pH has never been under 7.2 and is normally 7.5. I talked the head of the service department at the pool store and he's coming out Tuesday to look at what might be causing it. We discussed electrical issues, but since I don't have any scaling or corrosion on any metal parts around the pool and haven't felt any tingling or shocks, plus the pump is plugged into a GFCI, he's thinking electrical problems are unlikely.

    He did mention hydraulic issues. I have two 1 1/2 lines coming to the pad, the skimmer and the deep end drain. They come up into Ts and essentially make a 90 degree bend into one 1 1/2 line. That line travels about a foot and make a 90 degree turn into the pump. That was how it was for the first 13 years with an old Marlow pump, but since it died and I've replaced it with Hayward pumps, I've been blowing shaft seals way to often.

    Hopefully they'll find the problem. I haven't seen enough other people having recurring problems with the Hayward pumps to think it's an ongoing manufacturing issue, so I have to think there's something in my setup that's just not right. Anyone want to come troubleshoot it?

    I'll post what they find Tuesday. Crazy as it sounds, I hope they find something. I'd rather replumb everything than keep dealing with the shaft seals leaking!!
    32x16 ft Grecian rectangular vinyl pool 8ft on deep end - 19000 gal. 18" Hayward S-240 sand filter. 250K BTU Pentair MasterTemp heater. Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward pump shaft seals

    How are the seals failing? Is it face problems or spring problems?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Hayward pump shaft seals

    Good question. The sad answer is "I don't know." All I know is that it's leaking from the shaft seal, they replace it and it stops (for a time). I'm not sure if the guys looked at it closely enough to tell before tossing the seals. I'll ask this time.

    Can I ask what it might mean one way or the other?
    32x16 ft Grecian rectangular vinyl pool 8ft on deep end - 19000 gal. 18" Hayward S-240 sand filter. 250K BTU Pentair MasterTemp heater. Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward pump shaft seals

    It will give us an idea of what could be happening. If the faces are being ruined then it's possible that the suction pressure is great enough to starve the seal and it's running dry and spalling the faces. If it's the spring failing it could be bad bonding or grounding issues.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Hayward pump shaft seals

    Bama raises a good point (at least for me) - any chance the suction lines are compromised or the pool water is too low and you're loosing prime at times? The heat generated by running the pump ~dry will kill a seal assembly rather quickly.

    Please keep us informed as to what the pool dude says - I'm intrigued
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: Hayward pump shaft seals

    Very little chance it's running dry, my office is at home and I'm a little obsessed with the pool (probably only one on this board that suffers from that
    ).

    Not sure what you mean by suction lines compromised. The pump basket is always full and I can turn off the skimmer or the bottom drain and still maintain a full basket. Could there be any obstruction? Possibly, but it's not enough to restrict flow so much that the basket doesn't fill and it maintains the same pressure on the gauge no matter which way I have it set. Of course it's normally set with both the skimmer and drain fully open.

    Could it EVER be running dry (at night, or at times I'm not watching it), of course, but I've never seen it in that condition.

    I'm lost. I'm interested in the service folks coming out and checking things out further than just replacing the seals. I like that they've been willing to just come out and replace them up to this point, but I'm ready to be done with it.

    Thanks for your interest and if there is anything I can check further, PLEASE let me know!!
    32x16 ft Grecian rectangular vinyl pool 8ft on deep end - 19000 gal. 18" Hayward S-240 sand filter. 250K BTU Pentair MasterTemp heater. Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward pump shaft seals

    Even if it's not running dry that you can see the seals could be losing liquid a little while during prime or if you have low discharge head loss.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Hayward pump shaft seals

    The pool store service guy is bringing something to test the lines, but I don't know how he plans on doing it. After he gets here Tuesday, I'll post what I learn. Thanks for the interest and hopefully between what the pool store learns and what folks on here know I can finally get this taken care of.
    32x16 ft Grecian rectangular vinyl pool 8ft on deep end - 19000 gal. 18" Hayward S-240 sand filter. 250K BTU Pentair MasterTemp heater. Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump.

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    4JawChuck's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward pump shaft seals

    Here are only a few things that can cause mechanical seal failure;

    1) Loss of prime or cavitation, a pump running dry for even a few seconds can destroy the seal facings. Surge or cavitation can cause seal failure if it is continuous, have you checked the pump for correct rotation?

    2) Excessive preload, the spring pressing the carbon face onto the ceramic running surface needs a specific preload to function. This preload is typically built into the design of the seal cavity so that installation of the seal properly will correctly preload the spring. It is possible the wrong seal has/is being installed and the preload is incorrect but it is rare. Many times this type of failure can be traced to using a gasket where none is required or the wrong thickness gasket or housing not being square to the impeller shaft once torqued in place.

    3) Since this is a pool slurry erosion is not likely an issue but it should be mentioned.

    4) Seal contamination, the running surfaces cannot tolerate contamination with any kind of grease or oil. Grease or oil will prevent creation of a proper water seal forming on the ceramic/carbon faces, essentially the surface tension prevents water from lubricating the seal interface and the seal fails. Even touching the seal faces with your hands is not recommended as it leaves an oily film. It is usually recommended to lubricate the rubber umbrella portion of the seal which contacts the shaft with silicone grease to ensure it slides freely but excessive use can contaminate the seal faces.

    5) Excessive shaft runout or imbalance can cause seal failure, unusual vibrations while in operation would be obvious however.

    There is plenty of info available on the net regarding mech seal faliure but without a macro closeup picture it is impossible to diagnose, can you post a pic?
    55 Kilolitre in-ground 18'X36' vinyl lined kidney shape, 1HP pump, Jacuzzi 250lb sand filter, RayPak Delta T 200K BTU natural gas heater. New PoolWerks "Blue Diffusion" liner on May 26th-2011
    Avatar is my pool!

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    Re: Hayward pump shaft seals

    The pool store service guys and service manager came out to look at the pump this time. They looked for scaling along the coping and rails and found only two or three spots that could be attributed to splashout since it was only at one part of the exit rail closest to the pool. Each spot was much smaller than a pencil eraser, probably a quarter to half that size (I need to post some pics, which I'll try to do soon.) The service manager didn't think that electrical noise was likely.

    They put a pressure gauge on the suction side of the pump. At startup, it would pull -30 lbs for a fraction of a section and then settle in at 1 - 2 lbs. The did that on filter, backwash and rinse. I'm clueless about what it should be, but he was happy with the results, but confused about what could be causing the problem. When they pulled the pump apart, they felt like there might be minor scaling at the seal and asked that I do three things:

    1) The pump wasn't bonded because the bonding wire from the old pump wouldn't reach the new pump. I'm bonding it today.
    2) The heater wasn't bonded when installed. I'm bonding it today.
    3) The gasket on the underwater light is not totally water proof. We don't use the light because it lets in just enough water to blow the GFCI, but not enough to fill the housing. They want me to completely pull the light for now in case there is any voltage getting into the water from there.

    The service manager put a call into the regional Hayward rep, but I haven't heard anything from that (all repairs are still being covered under warranty, I have to give the pool store major props for how they're trying to take care of things.) After I get everything bonded and remove the light, we'll wait and see how the seal holds. It's little inconvenience to me to try to rule anything out at this point (especially since I was expecting hydraulic issues that required plumbing. I'm happy that's not it, but would have been just as happy to know what was going on finally!!)

    I'll try to get pictures of the setup on here and the suspected scaling as well soon.

    FWIW, my number are pretty consistent.

    FC - 8 ppm
    CC - .5 ppm
    pH - 7.5 (never lower than 7.2, drifts down, aerate to raise)
    TA - 90 ppm
    CH - 110 ppm
    CYA - 60 ppm (I did this on purpose for daily FC loss control, running it this way for this season)
    32x16 ft Grecian rectangular vinyl pool 8ft on deep end - 19000 gal. 18" Hayward S-240 sand filter. 250K BTU Pentair MasterTemp heater. Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump.

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