Pump died

bob.lehardy

Member
Sep 5, 2018
12
Kapaa/HI
So, my pump failed, rather spectacularly, yesterday.

We inherited this pool when we purchased the home 3.5 years ago. The pool was installed about 10 years ago, and the pump was original. The pump is a Pentair Intelliflo VS-3050, 3 hp. I had noticed some paint failure and corrosion around the bolts that connect the motor to the impeller (wet side). Yesterday the entire motor broke loose and the unit is now in two pieces. (Pics attached).

We are in Kauai, the two pool dealers are closed until Monday. Looking online, it appears that this pump has been replaced by the Intelliflo VS 011018. I'm fairly competent with plumbing and electrical, so is the replacement pretty straightforward? (basically, shut off power, remove the power and water connections, hook everything back up the same way?) Is the VS011018 a decent pump?

And, any ideas on the corrosion issue? The pump is enclosed in an open air, covered shed. It is generally dry, but we are about a mile from the ocean, and salt corrosion is an issue with metals.

Lastly, while I wait for the new pool pump, we are having high winds, which has blown in a good amount of organic debris. I normally rely on the Pentair Kreepy Krauly to vacuum out the debris, but since that relies on the pump, that's not working. What's another way to clean the bottom?
 

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Diesel_24

Member
Dec 18, 2019
6
Tombstone Az.
Wow! The salt air is rough on everything, when I lived back east, just always riding my Harley along the ocean on nice days I would have to clean out the throttle cable every year because it was caked with salt! The 011018 was replaced by the 011028 in early '19 & I believe that was just replaced by the 011056, because Leslie's just installed the 056 this week for me. You can probably find a good deal on a 028 right now. Had to let them do it for insurance purposes. As far as the debris I would try to net out as much as you can until you get a new pump.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
15,899
Bedford, TX
Bob,

I suspect that is not a "salt" issue... We have seen this same issue where there is no salt a few times here at TFP.. It seems to be some type of electrical issue with the pump not being ground or bonded correctly causing some electrical flow in the metal parts.. along with the failure of the paint or coating they are using. I guess it could also be caused by a leaking shaft seal.. Were you seeing a constant wet spot under your pump?

Whatever the cause, it is not typical for the IntelliFlo to do this. I would buy either the 011018 or the 011028 as they are the same VS pump except the 011028 has a control head that can be rotated or mounted on a wall. Both are the Gold Standard when it comes to VS pool pumps.

If you buy on line, make sure the seller does not "give you a better pump" with the SVRS option or a Variable Flow (VF) instead of a VS pump...

I would never install a $1,000 pump without pump unions.. They cost about $30 buck for a set, and make the install and removal so much easier. They also prevent the typical leaks you see at the input and output threads...

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

mguzzy

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2015
930
OV, CA
I agree with Jim.. check your grounds. That was my first thought when I saw your pics. And if there are no unions, they are easy to add when you put in the new pump. And to answer your question, if you are relatively handy with pumping and electrical, its pretty straight forward to plop the new pump in.

In the meantime, you have to switch to "manual mode" on your pool maintenance. Scoop out the junk, add liquid CL (since the SWG is not running now either) and sweep the pool not so much to clean up anything, but to move the water around and stir the CL a bit, otherwise it sits on the bottom since it more dense than water.
 

bob.lehardy

Member
Sep 5, 2018
12
Kapaa/HI
Aloha everyone,

So, no signs of any leaking anywhere on the equipment pad. On windy rainy days, moisture does blow in, but generally, the pad is clean and dry.

Is there a difference between "grounding" and "bonding?" There is one ground wire attached to the pump at this time...but the equipment pad is maybe 40 feet from the pool, and I doubt there is any physical wired "bond" to the pool itself. The ground wire grounds to an area immediately adjacent to the pump. I will improve on that (heavier gauge ground) this go around if you folks think that might be the actual issue.

In reading the original pumps install manual, it says that the 90 degree elbows should be install no less than 10 inches from the inlet. It appears that the "professionals" who did this install disregarded that, as I have about 8-9 inches of straight on the intake side.. and 6-7 inches on the output. I'm assuming that this pump is set up with "unions" as recommended. Are those recommended pipe lengths something I should worry about at this time? (The pool is using 2 inch pipe)

Bob
 

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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
23,730
Laughlin, NV
There is a huge difference between bonding and grounding. See Bonding vs Grounding - Trouble Free Pool

Your piping is fine as is. I doubt you ever run your pump at full rpm. No real reason to. So those requirements do not apply.

You do have unions. Not sure if you will be able to reuse them. I would hope so. Be sure you can remove the half screwed into the pump.

If you replace with a 011028 it should fit with no plumbing changes.
 
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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
17,462
The bare copper wire should be the bond wire and it should be connected to the exterior of the motor at the bond lug.

The ground wire will be inside the conduit and not visible.

I suspect that the seal was leaking.

A small leak is not always obvious.

You might have a stray current.

You can disconnect the bond wire and check for AC or DC voltage between the bond wire and the motor.

You can do the same thing with the ground wire and the motor if you feel comfortable working on electrical things.