Pump burned?

wantang88

Active member
Aug 18, 2018
41
New Orleans
When I started my pump today, I immediately heard noise, saw spark and then smoke from the motor. I quickly turned off. Is my pump burned out? Any suggestions on what to check? Never had something like this before. Thanks very much!

Wan
 

JJ_Tex

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
2,536
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
That doesnt sound good. The first thing I would check would be to make sure there is water in the pump basket and that nothing was blocking the skimmer starving the pump of water.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,200
Is this the old PacFab Challenger pump that you posted about before?

If it says PacFab, it's really old.

How old is the pump?

Is it the original motor?

Did you check the capacitor?
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,200
If the pump is over 20 years old, you will likely need a new pump.

The capacitor is under a cover, so you would probably not be able to see a spark.

Most likely the motor is gone.

Check the capacitor.

Probably time to switch to a variable speed pump.
 

wantang88

Active member
Aug 18, 2018
41
New Orleans
Yes, it is the PacFab Challenger pump. I changed the capacitor last year. Can the failure of the capacitor cause the smoke from motor? The smoke did not look like from place of the capacitor. If I need to change the pump, what is the benefits of a variable speed pump? Thanks very much!
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,200
Probably a bad motor.

A variable speed pump will be much quieter and it will use much less total energy.
 

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wantang88

Active member
Aug 18, 2018
41
New Orleans
Thanks very much, James. This really sounds a good choice. Usually how long will variable speed pumps last? It looks that professional installation is required for the warranty. Any suggestions on this (like service fee and normally how long will it take)?

I checked the capacitor today and it looks fine. I did not have time to take the pump apart yet. Any other common causes of the spark and smoke? When a motor is too old, will it simply stop working or is it common to see the spark and smoke? Thanks again.
 
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