Help! Circuit breaker won't push back to ON position

monfresh

Active member
May 30, 2018
38
Vienna, VA
Pool Size
28500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60 Plus
Hi. We had lots of rain last night, so I wanted to drain the pool back to normal levels, and just my luck, the Intermatic T101R timer that's hooked up to the filter pump + SWCG was just a bit before the time it was supposed to turn off, and I couldn't manually turn it off. The lever was stuck.

I didn't want to wait for it to turn off by itself, so I switched off the circuit breaker, then removed the tripper pins, and then I was able to turn the lever to the OFF position. I then put the trippers back on, and then I switched the breaker back ON, but when I switched the timer ON, nothing happened. Uh oh!

So then, I switched the breaker back OFF again to make sure it was fully in the OFF position, and turned it back ON, but same thing: no power when turning the timer back on. I tried a few more times, but now, the breaker is stuck in the OFF position. I can't push it back ON anymore. There's a lot of resistance and I don't want to push really hard because I was able to push ON earlier, so it seems like something is wrong.

Has anyone experienced this before? Does this mean there's a short circuit? I've been trying to call electricians but they're all closed. I'm gonna keep looking for emergency electricians.

In the meantime, any ideas what I can safely try on my own?

I've attached a picture of the breaker panel that's by the pool equipment. The one in the middle is the one that won't turn back ON. This is a picture I took a few days ago.
 

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Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,173
NY
the breaker is stuck in the OFF position. I can't push it back ON anymore. There's a lot of resistance and I don't want to push really hard because I was able to push ON earlier, so it seems like something is wrong.
2 choices.

1). Push breaker hard to off. Not just flip it to off and let it stop itself in the off position. You have to manually reset it ‘Off’ with force. Then it may reset to ON.

2). Something is faulted on the load side and it won’t let you turn it back on.
 

monfresh

Active member
May 30, 2018
38
Vienna, VA
Pool Size
28500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60 Plus
It looks like it was the breaker. I got a new one and it solved the problem. The only new thing I noticed was that when I turn on the filter pump (via the Intermatic timer), it makes a humming noise for a few seconds before it starts pulling in the water. This is the first time I've heard this happen. Before, as soon as I turned it on, I could hear water starting to fill the pump basket.

Could this be a sign the motor is on its way out? It's at least 9 years old. The previous owners left their paperwork for us, but I don't see any receipts or registration cards for the A.O. Smith motor. I see that the Pentair DE filter was purchased in 2012 and that it replaced a Nautilus DE filter. Is it possible the Nautilus used the same motor?

Is it time to start shopping for a new motor, maybe a more efficient one?
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,173
NY
It looks like it was the breaker. I got a new one and it solved the problem
Sweet !! Glad it was easy and you’re back in business.
it makes a humming noise for a few seconds before it starts pulling in the water
Sounds like the start capacitor is on its way out. The humming you hear is the motor getting power but not having enough to turn. The pump needs a blast of energy to get to priming speed and the capacitor is a battery like doohickey that accomplishes that. Maybe it was the reason for the breaker. Or there was a power surge that took them both out. They are cheap and easy to swap out, but give it the respect it deserves because that blast of energy will not feel good if you touch the wrong combination of parts. :)
Is it time to start shopping for a new motor, maybe a more efficient one
With prices and supplies as they are you’d probably do better next season or as long as this one lasts.
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
3,111
Spring Valley, NY
Just did a capacitor on Friday as the one removed although looked normal actually tested very bad. $11 later it's a running pump without issues doing what it's designed to do.
 
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monfresh

Active member
May 30, 2018
38
Vienna, VA
Pool Size
28500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60 Plus
Thanks for the tip! I ended up getting a capacitor from Leslie's, which is down the road from me, and it was reasonably priced at around $11. The pump is back in business now.
 
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monfresh

Active member
May 30, 2018
38
Vienna, VA
Pool Size
28500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60 Plus
I spoke too soon. It sounded fine yesterday, but I just checked on it and while it still starts up right away, it maintains a buzzing sound while running that’s louder than in the past. I don’t think this motor has a separate run capacitor. What else could cause this? The V switch?
 

swamprat69

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2019
590
Las Vegas, NV
A start capacitor in a pump will be in a cylindrical black plastic case and is usually taken out of the circuit after the motor comes up to speed by a centifugal switch on the end of the motor shaft. A run capacitor will be either in a round or oval metal case and remains in the circuit continuously. Many pumps will have both a start and a run capacitor.
 
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