Is my pump dead?

FlaPoolGuy

Gold Supporter
Oct 5, 2019
103
Florida
Hi everyone, and thank you all for your awesome pool knowledge!

I came home from work today, and I noticed my pool wasn't running. It is set to run from before I return until about 10 PM, local time. I went outside to the pool pump/filter area, and I hear a strange humming. It was coming from the pump. The pump was too hot to touch for more than an instant. Then the noise stopped and a few seconds later it started again. Like it was resetting itself or something. There was also a burning smell coming from the pump. I turned off the pump at the intermatic timer and removed the timing screws so it can't turn itself on anymore.

I have not done any maintenance on the pump other than occasionally emptying the filter basket (rarely has enough in it to even cover the bottom), and lubricating the seals from time to time.

Is there something I can do to fix it/test it? I've been meaning to upgrade for awhile, but I'm not excited about having time pressure to get it done.

Thanks for your help/advice in advance!
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
33,463
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
17888
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
There are a few possibilities:
- Something wrapped around your impeller (tangled) and is preventing the motor shaft from moving freely. Check with power OFF.
- A capacitor is going (or has gone) bad.
- Motor winding are worn and motor simply giving out.

How old is your pump/motor?
 

Diggy77

In The Industry
Sep 3, 2021
46
Glen Carbon IL
Pool Size
11000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
With pump power off, try manually turning the motor shaft. Accessible on the rear of many pool pumps. Did it feel stuck, then turned after you gave it some strength?
 

FlaPoolGuy

Gold Supporter
Oct 5, 2019
103
Florida
With the pump powered off, it removed from the end of the pump a plastic piece labeled "shaft access". Under it was I assume the shaft (its the metal piece of the left of the first picture?). It turned easy peasy. No resistance. I turned the pump back on and got that buzzing sound again for 1 second before turning it off again.
image0000001.jpg
Next, I took off the two screws (they both broke off unfortunately), over what appears to be the power access area (picture above, right side). These wires look a bit dirty but in pretty good shape overall.

Next, I looked at the top. Here's a close up of the very large capacitor under the top cover piece:
image0000002.jpg

I think the capacitor itself looks ok as there is no burning, bulging, or discolorations on it, but I haven't tested it. Also, I note the brown "looks like it burned" area to the right of where the capacitor cover screws onto the motor area. There's a matching "burned brown" area on the other side.

image0000003.jpg
Here is the cover for the capacitor back in its original position (resting there, not screwed back in place). This view below shows the opposite side as the above. (there's the "pentair pool products" sticker on this side):
image0000004.jpg

So I have "burned brown" stuff on both sides of the capacitor cover. Does that mean there was a some kind of fire or something inside the motor compartment?

Thanks again for your help everyone!

-FPG
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
33,463
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
17888
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
Burned or rust. Hard to tell. That pump/motor has seen its better days, but you certainly can try to replace the capacitor(s) is you want. They are fairly cheap. You have one on top and might have one at the rear of the motor as well.