Broken wire fitting on pump motor

Ed LaCrosse

Member
Jul 31, 2022
8
Ft. Worth, Texas
Hello,

I just discovered today that the plastic fitting through which the pump wires pass is broken off, exposing the wires, which are insulated, but perhaps more importantly, the internals of the motor, to moisture. I've attached a picture for clarity.IMG20220731124909.jpg

It seems like a significant effort to replace the plastic fitting, and I'm wondering if that is required. I thought of using some marine sealant to seal up the hole and prevent moisture from entering the pump internals and then maybe taping the wires or something like that to protect them. But I thought it best to seek advice from experts before I do anything.

Thanks for any help!
 

VinnyinNJ

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Jul 20, 2022
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Although I am a firm believer of fixing something like that correctly right from the start you could try to use waterproof epoxy. I think the fitting is called "sealtight" connector and working with the power off it may not be that big of a job if you remove the wires from the pump end. Bring it to an electrical store and they should be able to help you get the right one.

As for the waterproof epoxy, I have used the putty stuff on a cracked plumbing part in my hot tub and it worked great. I don't know if it sticks to metal or not. I got it at Home Depot. If you go this route do not epoxy up the part that unscrews on the wiring sheath. Typically they unscrew and it has a cone shaped grommet in there to seal it up good. Also take a photo of which wire went where for reference.
 

Texas Splash

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There are a variety of connectors that can go on the end of a "whip" cable like that. Below is just one example. The main effort is removing the back plate to the motor so you can disconnect the wires (take a pic first), remove the broken plug, the attach the new end fitting, and reconnect the wires.

Grainger Whip Cable Fitting
 

Ed LaCrosse

Member
Jul 31, 2022
8
Ft. Worth, Texas
Thanks for the quick replies.

The pump is in an awkward, tight spot, and removing the back plate without pulling the motor from the pump could be a painful exercise. To top that off, the temperatures around here have been in the 105 degree range during the day for several weeks, with no end in sight. In short, the correct fix here will likely be a miserable job.

Perhaps an epoxy fix will work in the near term, then when the temperature moderates, I'll either try to fix it properly myself or engage one of the local companies to do it for me.

Regarding the proper fix, I took a picture of the back of the motor and attached it here. I think I circled the metal plate that has to be removed to effect the proper fix.

Based on what you've said, I think I effect the proper fix by cutting the power, removing the plate (two screws), disconnecting the two wires after taking a picture, removing the wires from the back of the pump, removing the broken fitting with an extractor tool, then replacing that fitting with one that will fit the unbroken (female) piece, re-inserting the wires, attaching the wires and replacing the metal plate. Do I have that right?

I think I'll use the extractor I use to remove broken plastic sprinkler risers. I'm pretty sure that will fit into the opening.

Again, I'll do a simple, quick, fix first then followup with the proper fix.

Does that sound like a plan?

Thanks very much!

Inkedback.jpg
 

ajw22

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Yes, you remove the screws on the access plate to get to the pump wiring connections.

I think your risk with an epoxy fix is the epoxy will flow into the area and make it more difficult to remove the broken screwed in fitting. Your short term fix may mess up getting the long term fix in place.

I would just get sweaty and skinned knuckles and replace the whip.
 

VinnyinNJ

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Jul 20, 2022
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I agree with ajw22! I wouldn't epoxy it as you probably won't get the epoxy off and have a bigger issue. Yes, that's the area to remove to get to the screws . AC people use umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun . Nothing you can do about the heat but sweat and drink a ton of water.

Once the wires are out that threaded part may come out really easy just take your time, take photos of anything you're unsure of and it should go smoothly.
 

Ed LaCrosse

Member
Jul 31, 2022
8
Ft. Worth, Texas
Thanks Vinny and ajw. You've convinced me that an epoxy fix is a bad idea On the other hand, I'm not ready to approach he proper fix right now for a couple reasons: First, it's just too hot. I think I can do this job, but I just don't want to tackle it in the heat. It hasn't rained here for many weeks, and it's unlikely to do so for many more weeks. Moreover, when rain does threaten, the temperatures will likely moderate, making for a more pleasant experience. Since it's really dry, my guess is that there is little risk in leaving the motor open as it is (but see below).

Second, I am a klutz, and I know that from abundant experience. If I undertake this job right now and it goes bad, there is a chance that I'll end up without a pump at a critical time of the year that will require an emergency fix. My guess is that, without a pump, I'll have algae in two days. None of the pool companies in this area would be available in a couple days. Most importantly, my granddaughters would be very disappointed if they couldn't go swimming!

I'm now thinking about a different temporary fix, with no risk of screwing things up for the proper fix. I'm going to look for a couple of corks that I can use to plug the holes on either side of the wires. These should provide a fairly good seal against water, and the corks will pull right out when I get ready to fix it properly.

Thanks again for your help. I've very glad I stopped by here before mucking things up with epoxy!
 

ajw22

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Wrap a plastic bag around the open hole and wire and duct tape it to the pump housing and power cable. Don't block any vents on the pump. Just put the plastic bag over the side with the hole. That should keep water out until you get to the fix.
 

VinnyinNJ

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Wrap a plastic bag around the open hole and wire and duct tape it to the pump housing and power cable. Don't block any vents on the pump. Just put the plastic bag over the side with the hole. That should keep water out until you get to the fix.
Great idea! The other thing that might work is HD sells self sealing electrical/plumbing tape. It works by stretching it and it sticks onto itself. I might try putting the broken piece where it belongs and using that if for some reason the plastic bag doesn't work.
 

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ajw22

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Great idea! The other thing that might work is HD sells self sealing electrical/plumbing tape. It works by stretching it and it sticks onto itself. I might try putting the broken piece where it belongs and using that if for some reason the plastic bag doesn't work.

Even if you do the tape I would put a plastic bag over it.
 

Ed LaCrosse

Member
Jul 31, 2022
8
Ft. Worth, Texas
C'mon, man, you can do it in probably 10 minutes - tops.

:D
I wish!

I appreciate the suggestions, and it looks like we're on to something, but I need to expose my ignorance further and seek further guidance. Note that there is no purchase on the motor side to wrap anything like a bag around or to tape anything to. If there were a chunk of plastic sticking out of the motor, then I get the tape fix, but there isn't. And I still don't get the bag fix.

I apologize for my ignorance, but what am I missing?
 

VinnyinNJ

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Jul 20, 2022
92
New Jersey
Pool Size
13500
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Vinyl
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Ed,

Not ignorance if this isn't your thing! There may be a simpler way to this until you can get to repair it correctly. I have used Gorilla waterproof tape successfully underwater. This is not electrical tape or the other tape I suggested but it could possibly be used like a tent around the hole. Water won't travel up the wire but if it rains the hole could get water in it. If you go to the HD website (I don't know if I can link to other sites on here) and look for it you'll see it. Just make sure the way the wire is facing in the photo is the same so if it rains the hole will be protected and the rain will run down to the ground.

I actually used it to repair my AG pool steps that were developing cracks after about 18 years of use. I didn't want to splurge on new steps as the pool was getting old and I knew it had a finite life left. It actually stayed great until we got rid of the pool.
 

ajw22

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I would take a gallon size ziploc bag that is pretty heavy plastic. Slit it on the sides so it is more a plastic sheet.

Cover the area I highlighted in red. Duct tape it to the side of the motor above the hole. Drape it down the back and duct tape it to the access panel. Wrap it around the cable and secure it with some tape.

You should end up with the hole covered and the plastic wrapped around the cable.

Let your kindergarten arts and crafts creativity out.

074D8558-C29F-433D-8378-0AA3746F7903.jpeg
 

wireform

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Ed LaCrosse

Member
Jul 31, 2022
8
Ft. Worth, Texas
I would have used plumbers puddy readily available in any hardware or big box store. Remains soft forever and will seal well and can be removed very easily too. Just to note that connector broke due to pressure from the whip going the other way. You should replace it with the 90° seal tight fitting instead. https://www.homedepot.com/p/1-in-90-Degree-Non-Metallic-Liquid-Tight-Push-On-Connector-NMLT9010-1/202284605 SKU# 202284605
Ah, well, if this happens again, I'll keep the plumber's putty idea front and center. I thought that stuff dried hard. It never even occurred to me to use it.

I was wondering why the connector broke, and your explanation makes sense, but the old pump had the same type of connector installed and it was in place for around 10 years and never broke. I was thinking that the installer over-tightened the connector and cracked it on installation, and it just finally broke loose. Regardless, note that I did not install the pump or motor; I had a tech do that for me. You may have heard that we had a severe winter storm here in February 2021. We were without power here in our place for 75 hours straight, and with temperatures below freezing for a week, there was considerable damage to pool equipment throughout Texas. Our main pump housing and heater manifold cracked. We couldn't get a replacement housing unless we also bought a pump and motor as well. I bought what I could get just to get it running again. We were lucky to get the hardware at all; our pool was fixed and working by mid March before the water got warm. Many people around here were out of luck until summer, resulting in algae and all manner of problems.

The bottom line on reflection was we ended up with an under-powered motor and, it seems based on this experience, an improper connection installation; it's been less than two years since that was installed.

As I said, I'll leave he Gorilla Sealer on for now and do the proper fix, maybe with a different angled connector, when things cool down.
 

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