Leak in Challenger pump

Illupo

Active member
Jul 3, 2016
40
Scottsdale
For a week or so now, I have a leak in my Challenger pump. Water is coming from in between the volute and back seal plate, up past the steel clamp. I assumed it was the seal plate as I have not replaced it in 10 years and I knew there was a small crack (1/2") in it. Today I replaced the seal plate and it seems that the amount of water streaming out of it now though is not just a drip but like a faucet just cracked open. I have replaced the volute portion some years back due to it bursting, and I can find no defect in it. Does the volute warp over time that may be causing this leak? The steel band is as tight as it goes...it is as if the band cannot bring the volute and seal plate tight enough to form a watertight seal...

Any input from experienced Pentair Challenger high head pump owners would be appreciated.
 

Illupo

Active member
Jul 3, 2016
40
Scottsdale
Yes. I should have mentioned earlier that I did replace the shaft seal, the diffuser seal and the volute seal. I got a repair kit from an online source and I am wondering if the quality of the parts is the same as Pentair parts. When I removed the volute seal, the old one had form fitted to the groove making its shape square. The new seal is completely round and although it has been in there for a month, when I removed it yesterday, it is still round. I just wonder if it makes a good enough seal. I still dont understand why the steel clamp can be tightened until the two ends meet and prevent further tightening, but it still leaks. I took the volute off yesterday and put it under bright light to inspect it further. The only thing I can see on the flange is a faint, 3" long calcium stain. I cannot tell if it is a crack or just staining from where the water sits in the bottom of the clamp due to the leak. On the inside, I can find no corrosponding "crack" or calcium stain to suggest that it is indeed a crack.
 

Illupo

Active member
Jul 3, 2016
40
Scottsdale
OK, here is the answer to this problem. There is nothing wrong with the volute, nor the SS clamp band. The online source that I purchased the seal kit from provided the volute seal, indicating that it was a replacement part for Pentair Challenger pumps, BUT IT IS NOT!!! As I previously alluded to, the previous gasket had a SQUARE CROSS SECTION, NOT A ROUND ONE. The new replacement was a ROUND CROSS SECTION, which I assumed would form fit to the square groove in the volute. WRONG! You all probably knew that, but I did not...
I tried to contact the online source and clicked on their link to complain by e mail so that I could send pictures. Guess what?? This companies option to complain by e mail does nothing when clicked on!!!! I tried it several times, but this company does not want to hear any complaints by e mail. Guess it is too much of a paper trail. As a direct result, I went back to their website and posted an entirely negative review of the part I purchased. I was surprised that they posted a negative review as most companies will not, only positive ones.

My reason for posting my results here to to spare some other person the hassle of buying something that doesn't work, then the insult of being ignored when a problem that the company has created has no resolution.

My advice:

AVOID CHEAP ONLINE SOURCES THAT ADVERTISE A GENERIC, "UNIVERSAL" FIT FOR YOUR EQUIPMENT AND GO INSTEAD TO YOUR MANUFACTURER. THE PRICE MAY BE HIGHER, BUT THE PART WILL WORK AND YOU DONT HAVE TO SPEND A MONTH OR SO LOOKING LIKE A IDIOT WONDERING WHY THE PROBLEM YOU ALREADY "FIXED" STILL NEEDS FIXING!!!
 

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