Pool Motor failed after 3 weeks. Company won't replace motor because it shorted due to being wet.

TD7TD&

New member
Oct 1, 2019
4
Mesa az
I live in Arizona and just had my 2hp pump replaced. We had some severe storms and the pump ran while it was raining. The Century motor shorted out and the tech who came to troubleshoot told me it was not covered because water can enter through the cooling vents and the pumps shouldn't be run in the rain. I've never heard of this and would like to get some educated opinions, thanks in advance.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,598
Do you have pictures?

The pumps are made to be used outside and run continuously.

People run pumps in the rain all the time with no problem.

Does the pump manual say don't use in the rain?

Did the installer say don't run the pump in the rain?

Something is off with the installation.
 
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RMcGirr83

Gold Supporter
Nov 19, 2018
433
Tuscola, TX
the tech who came to troubleshoot told me it was not covered because water can enter through the cooling vents and the pumps shouldn't be run in the rain.
That tech is a putz. The vents are there to dissipate heat. With the vents on the bottom, water doesn't flow up unless forced that way (it will always seek the lowest point).
 

setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
1,595
Stuart/FL
Hard to tell from the photo but looks like the connection on the bottom may not be tight. Either way, if the label indicates the appropriate motor was used I'd look for a different tech and call the manufacturer of the motor. I've run my pump through hurricanes.

Chris
 

nuttyp

LifeTime Supporter
Nov 23, 2014
11
Naples/Florida
This thread is perfectly timed for my question, thanks all for replies to date. My question might be rhetorical because I suggest an answer below, but why in the world are so many popular pumps built with motors that have sets of vents that so easily expose the windings to splash-up from a hard rain? I guess I am referring to what the industry calls ODP motors - Open Drip Proof. I too have run such pumps in several homes without problems, for many years. But today I took apart a failed pump and motor that I removed from a friend's place (Waterway SMF-110 with 1.25HP 56Y motor). As in many motors, the windings are within an inch of all the vents. The internal rotor mounted fan on the pump side shields the windings a bit, but on the wiring side there is zero winding shielding. In this case I found the pump seal in decent shape, and both bearings working fine. But the rotor was seized to the stator laminations. When I pounded it out of there, all I could find was heavy rust on both the rotor and stator laminations, and the windings are roasted. It just failed a week ago, so it's not the case that it sat around and rusted up. Of course it's hard to be certain about the failure mode but it seems likely that rust buildup caused rotor/stator contact and drag, heat, and additional current draw - and the sum total of all that roasted the windings. Or the rust caused seize-up with the same result (so much for the (Electrik brand) 3 terminal overload protector - which, as an aside, seems to save motors about 5% of the time). I think eventually it rains hard everywhere, surely here in Naples almost every day in the summer, and it's often wind driven rain. And everyone runs their pool pumps with no regard for weather, so I think that tech is bat-guano crazy saying you're supposed to turn them off in the rain. LOL Even if that were so, you would never know when the windings have dried sufficiently to turn the pump back on, assuming you were even home for any of those steps. It seems to me that wind driven rain must eventually splash up into the windings. If I place my face 3" from the deck (resist jokes please) during a driving rain, water will splash on my nose - I'm just sure of it :)

For solutions, I suppose the best is the TEFC motor (Totally Enclosed Fan Cooled) to drive the pump. Slightly pricier but perhaps the best solution. Aqua magazine posted an article about it in 2016, here: You are being redirected.... Alternatives include the aforementioned snap on metal cover, which I'm thinking should help a lot. Then we have some free solutions, like being careful with the garden house and power washing equipment in the area of the pump, reminding vendors of same, and keeping irrigation heads from watering the pool pump - all this regardless of whether or not the pump is running, because you just don't want water inside electrical appliances. Perhaps I answered my own question - price is perhaps the reason we have motors that are exposed. And if one is more cynical, the industry might love for us to just keep replacing motors more often than necessary.

Other thoughts or ideas?