"Electrical" buzz coming from motor...

peter.bastian

Active member
Feb 28, 2009
32
College Station, Texas USA
My otherwise quiet pump motor started making what i can only describe as an "electrical" buzzing noise today. Everything else seems fine. Water is moving, chemistry is fine, pressure on top of filter reads 12 psi. Impeller was recently cleaned out, and new o-rings installed, and I know what a clogged impeller sounds like. This is not the case now. The noise is not unlike what you hear when you are around "buzzing" electrical equipment.

Pool is about 8 yrs old; bought the house 3 yrs ago, so I cannot speak to maintenance on the motor itself.

Any thoughts from you guys?
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
23,036
SouthWest Alabama
Most electrical buzzing is caused by something in the magnetic field being loose. I'd start by tightening al the bolts and screws you cin reach and see if that helps.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,423
Pleasanton, CA
Try what Bama suggests but if the arcing is not caused by the terminal block, other reasons could be that it is occuring between the windings or the capacitor plates (Northstar uses a PSC motor) usually due to a break down in insulation. Neither is a good situation and would indicate that the motor is on the way out. Just in case, I would start shopping for a new motor or pump so you can pull the trigger if needed.
 

peter.bastian

Active member
Feb 28, 2009
32
College Station, Texas USA
Thanks to both of you for the reply. I cycled the pump power on and off and I now would say this is mechanical. When it winds down it has a mechanical sound that also winds down. This is looking like a bearing issue, perhaps?

I will call my local service co. and see what they say.
 

Ohm_Boy

TFP Expert
May 1, 2007
1,344
Orlando, FL
Might want to make sure that there isn't something caught in the impeller. Shut the power off, remove the pump strainer basket, and reach as far as you can into the mechanism to see if you can feel the impeller. It should turn freely and have no leaves or sticks in it.
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
23,036
SouthWest Alabama
If it winds down with the mechanical motion of the pump it's definitely not electrical.

I agree with Ohm Boy, check the impeller first.
 

peter.bastian

Active member
Feb 28, 2009
32
College Station, Texas USA
It isn't the impeller. Pool company service tech came out, detached motor from pump enclosure and impeller, and ran the motor by itself. Same noise, from just the motor spinning. Replaced motor with new A.O. Smith Century Centurion 1 HP motor (FYI, there is a sticker on the motor that says Total HP=1.4, but the metal "specs stamp" on the motor clearly says 1 HP), impeller and mounting plate on motor.

The new motor is working fine, except now, on the suction side, ahead of the strainer basket, where the skimmer line and drain line come into the basket, there is a slushing/slurping noise, like there is a lot of turbulence in the line. If I place my hand on the lines, you can feel the vibrations from the turbulence. This is not caused by air. There is no evidence of any air in the system. There is water in the skimmer basket, and there is no air being sucked in thru the skimmer.

This "turbulence" was not present before with the old motor. I also gained about 4 psi on the filter pressure gauge. It is now at 16 psi. I did a backwash, but pressure is still at 16 psi.

Any thoughts on the source of this "turbulence" that came up all of the sudden?
Why would the filter pressure go up all of the sudden? Is this just a sign of inefficient operation by the old motor?
Is there any harm in the increased filter pressure?
Should I change my idea of the "operating range" of the pressure gauge with this new motor and the new pressure on the filter gauge?

Thanks.
 

Rangeball

Well-known member
May 25, 2007
785
Most likely the new motor is moving more water and you are hearing friction in the pipes. If I were you I'd go with the new psi # as normal, and backwash when it increase by 10. As long as both are below your filter psi rating (I bet a dollar they are well below), you should be good to go.
 

BennyMG

Member
May 4, 2010
10
I know that this is an older post but just wanted to give you a heads up for the future. The bearings in my motor just went out and everybody told me that I needed a new pump motor. After separating the motor from the pump, I was able to easily remove the end caps from the motor and gently remove the old bearings. I found that Ace Hardware carries the exact same spec bearing for my motor at a cost of $12.59 each. I cleaned everything up and even repainted my casing before putting it all back together. It runs like a champ and quieter than it has in a very long time. Putting new bearings in a motor may sound like a difficult job, but it really isn't at all.
 

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