pool pump makes humming noise and does not pump

michmike

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 11, 2011
110
Houston, TX, USA
hey guys,

i came back from vacation the other day and noticed that my pool pump is no longer working. when i turn it on, it makes this low humming noise and nothing seems to move. this is very similar to the noise i used to hear when our garbage disposal was stuck. The garbage disposal could just be turned once and it started again. is that something i can do with the pool pump as well and make it run?

if i had to replace it, any suggestions for a good pool pump that won't break the bank?
Current pump is pretty old and is
<<
Century Centurion model
switchless motor with no governor
1hp
RPM 3450
>>
 

Dalandlord

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 15, 2011
251
Many pump motors have a plastic cap on the back end that exposes the end of the shaft. The shaft may have a slot in it that allows you to stick a large screwdriver in it and you can spin it. If it is not locked up spin it in the right direction and let someone else hit the switch quickly and see if it starts. If it does it is most likely that capacitor. If any of your friends or neighbors an a/c guys they can check a capacitor for you. If it does start when you do that you can let it run till you can get the capacitor.

If the motor is stuck, check good to make sure it's not a stick or something that got by the basket and is blocking the impeller.
 

michmike

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 11, 2011
110
Houston, TX, USA
i couldn't reach the impeller from the strainer lid, so i disassembled the front of the motor and exposed the impeller. i was able to *easily* spin the impeller in both directions, clockwise and counterclockwise.

I looked online and found some good articles like this one on how to proceed. will try that this weekend. http://www.inyopools.com/HowToPage/how_ ... citor.aspx

in the meantime, my salt water pool is now green :( :(
 

msgtdan

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2011
654
SW MO
Does sound like the capacitor. I just rebuilt the wet end of a pump, it wouldn't turn free until I disconnected the pump housing from the motor.
 

michmike

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 11, 2011
110
Houston, TX, USA
i got the capacitor out this weekend and Leslie's didn't have a replacement for it (the kid that was at the counter could not find a single capacitor to even order). after some searching, warehouse pool supply said they would test my capacitor and have in stock to replace it. Would any generic 25MFD work here, or i have to get the exact replacement?
 

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msgtdan

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2011
654
SW MO
Try appliance parts stores they usually sell start and run capacitors for a variety of motors, also HVAC contractors. Take it with you to the store and I'll bet the can match it up. MFD, voltage and physical size are going to be your primary parameters.
 

Dalandlord

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 15, 2011
251
If you have Grainger supply near you they may have it too. I have always found something there that would work electrically but sometimes physically to big to fit under the cap. I have always had good luck with electric motor repair shops and the A/C supply houses.
 

michmike

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 11, 2011
110
Houston, TX, USA
hey guys, everyone here was spot on. i bought a capacitor for $20 and that fixed my pump.
So the pump is working perfectly now, but i had also taken off the screws that expose the impeller. when i put them back on last night, i noticed my pump is leaking a little bit of water.

I am sure i tighten them pretty week. should i be putting some silicone or plumpers thread anywhere on the screws or the impeller assemply to prevent this?

thanks!!!
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
24,189
SouthWest Alabama
You should lube the o-ring before you put it back together. Maybe a little tightening will stop it. If not then take it back apart and check and lube the o-ring.
 

mrafal

LifeTime Supporter
Nov 2, 2007
69
Austin, TX
Be sure not to over tighten the bolts. If all of the seals/o-rings are in good shape and lubed, it should not take a lot of torque to avoid leaking. If the bolts screw into threaded inserts embedded in the plastic body, they are very easy to pull out.
 

msgtdan

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2011
654
SW MO
If you have an insert come loose sometimes you can enlarge the hole and put the insert back in with JB Weld. Just be sure the insert is below the mating surface and the surface is smooth. We've done this on the copiers I work on, usually as a temp fix until we can get the part in for a proper fix, it's usually a pretty strong fix if you let the JB Weld cure properly.
 

csn

Silver Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 23, 2012
42
Houston, TX
Walked by my pool to get into my car and go to work this morning and noticed the pump wasn't running (Centurion B855 2HP), but there was a hum. Within minutes I find this thread (once again TFP to the rescue). I guess I know what I'm doing tonight...
 

Lpeterso15

New member
Sep 14, 2013
1
I would not suggest using your hand to spin the impeller from inside the basket when the pump is making humming noise and not running. I don't normally post messages but I have gotten a lot of good info from this site and I didn't want anyone to get hurt. I decided to spin my impeller from the pipe that goes to the motor from the strainer lid (open up the lid and remove the basket) and see if it would kick on. I got this idea from reading the info below and watching the suggested YouTube videos. It started my pump up but my hand got sucked up into the pipe/impeller and was pretty cut up and bruised. :hammer:

Again, I would not suggest using your hand to spin the impeller inside the basket. When it starts, it sucks immediately so if you do this you need to hold tightly to whatever you're using to spin it and DO NOT DO THIS WITH YOUR FINGERS. That being said, it did start my pool pump running again which confirmed that I probably need a new capacitor. This did not work until I filled the strainer area up with water. It never really fills up with water but the pipe going to the impeller needs water for this to work and I let it run back into the pipes leading to the pool for about a minute. I only have a 1 HP pump so I can't imagine what would have happened had the suction been stronger.

Another note is if it is your capacitor, when you turn off the pool pump you will need to spin the impeller again to start it. It's a temporary and dangerous fix if done the way I did it. I did see some other suggestions below that sound a lot safer.
 

linen

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 30, 2010
8,649
Twin Cities, MN
Welcome to tfp, Lpeterso15 :wave:

Wow, I hope you hand is okay!

That is why the first responder (Richard320) said:
Richard320 said:
Kill the power, open the strainer, pull the basket, and see if you can't spin the impeller with your fingers.