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Thread: Burned up pump motor

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    Burned up pump motor

    Earlier this week I realized the pool pump was not running when it should be. Went to the equipment area and found the pool equipment breaker tripped. I reset the breaker and started the system, immediately I saw an arc flash on the underside of the pool pump motor just ahead of the wiring connections. Tried it a couple times and same result. Disassembled motor from pump and found a dead fried lizard inside the motor, he apparently went in through the cooling holes and was starting a nest in the motor. I removed the fried lizard from the motor then vacuumed through the cooling holes to clean up the motor as well as possible, the shaft spins freely, the pump section looks fine. I then reassembled everything in hopes that the arcing was a result of the lizard creating a temporary short with no permanent damage to the motor. When I restarted the motor I did not see the brilliant flash but the motor made a humming sound and then tripped the breaker, although it actually tried to rotate prior to tripping. At this point I ordered a replacement motor which I'll have on Monday to install.

    Now, I just want to make sure that the lizard I found was the actual cause of the damage and not a red herring. I don't want to connect the new motor only to burn it up. One recent change to the system is that about 2 weeks ago I changed out a failed power module on my Autopilot pool pilot system, though I don't see how this could affect the pump since I believe all the system does relative to the pump is cut the power on and off to the pump based on the timer schedule, I don't believe it could alter the voltage or anything (assumption on my part).

    Next I tested the voltage at the wires that connect to the pump motor and at the supply into the pool pilot, both tested at 245 volts. This sounds high to me but I've never tested it before. As a double check I tested the voltage going to my clothes dryer and it is 245 volts as well, we haven't had any problems with it. Is 245 volts within the acceptable range of my pool pump motor? I'm wondering if this high voltage could have caused the pool pump power module failure and now the motor failure. (though the pool pilot power module failure is a common and known issue).

    Any input from someone much more knowledgeable than me would be greatly appreciated.

    Equipment info:
    Autopilot Pool Pilot DG220 system
    Pentair WHisperflo 1 1/2 HP pump 177475-20 motor, voltage rating says 230/115

    Thanks and sorry for the novel,

    Kevin Gobeil

    I have a 1 1/2 HP Pentair Whisperflo pump that is av

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    bobodaclown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Murrieta, CA

    Re: Burned up pump motor

    Do you have an ohm meter to check the motor windings? ... nuity.aspx
    Murrieta, CA. 15K (Est) pool/spa. Hayward Tristar SP3220EE 2.70HP pump, Hayward Swimclear Cartridge filter C4025 425sqft (PA106), Pentair Mastertemp 400 heater. TF-100/Speedstir

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    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Southwest Tanches, GL

    Re: Burned up pump motor

    I know this is an old thread but I just found it. Exactly the same thing happened to me (except that I have an automatically resetting internal overload rather than an extrnal breaker). Regrettably, the lizard is the culprit.

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