Spa Repair Thread - Pump bearing, leak, and new cover. With pics!

RDspaguy

In The Industry
Mar 21, 2020
998
Cabool, Mo
You would.
Maybe you said already, but why did you replace the pump? Did the old one behave similar?
Most skimmer filters have a bypass valve that allows water flow from the footwell suctions to feed the pump when the filter gets clogged. These valves can fail and block off part of the water the pump needs to run. This is obviously more apparent on high speed, and can burn up a motor.
Also, many tubs also have a check valve between the pump and diverter valve on the pressure side that can close off flow when failed with similar effect. How does the flow from the jets look?
 

jseyfert3

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I replaced it because the old one started sounding like it had a bad bearing. It otherwise functioned normally with full jet power. After two or three weeks of noise I heard it make a different noise while we were watching TV and wrnt outside and it was just not turning anymore. As this point I shut off the tub and ordered the new pump. After removing the old pump I can rotate by hand but it definitely feels like a worn out bearing. That or something is loose in the motor.

During high speed operation both footwell inlets have had suction since I've had the tub (most of the water goes through the filters though). Perhaps they jammed while the tub sat empty for over a week until I finished installing the pump? Can these be pulled for inspection from the inside of the tub?

The flow from the jets is weak. If I set the diverter valves so each pump is only flowing to half the jets connected to that pump, the new pump jets feel about half the strength of the other (old style) pump. Nowhere near as powerful as they should be.
 
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jseyfert3

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Also this tub has suction safety switches. If the flow was being reduced on the suction side enough to cause this much reduction in flow wouldn't the switch trip? I suppose it's entirely possible the switch is old and stuck too though.
 

jseyfert3

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Okay, I got in and checked, both pumps are drawing some amount of flow through the footwell inlets when on high. I again removed the filter, no change in flow out of the jets. Perhaps this is just not a great pump?
 

ajw22

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Your old pump has a big label saying it is 6 BHP. It looks like your new pump motor says 5 HP.

Can you post all the labels on your old and new motors?
 

jseyfert3

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The new pump is 12/4.4 amps, the old one is 13/2.7. It on second thought I don't think it's half as powerful, but it certainly is less powerful than the old one. And when you're in the hot tub you really can't tell it's louder cause the jets are closer your ears. Except on low, the hum on low is louder than the old one.

Both pumps are 240 volt pumps.

I'm thinking it's just not as good as the old pump unfortunately. I'm planning on rebuilding the old pump, if I can find new seals (I figure new bearings you can always find).
 

ajw22

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Do you have an ammeter to measure if the new pump is running at the rated amps?
 

jseyfert3

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Unfortunately not. That's a good idea, I can probably borrow a current clamp from work over the next weekend.
 

jseyfert3

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So I haven't borrowed a clamp yet, but after using this on two different weekends, I've come to the conclusion that it just sounds different, and a bit louder, and is not quite as powerful. But it still is fine when you're actually sitting in the seats, and you can't tell it's louder when you're sitting in the seats cause the jets themselves are louder. You can only tell it's louder from outside the tub. So I'm going to call that good and move on to trying to locate these leaks. Starting with that one on the tee in the equipment bay I haven't fixed yet...
 

RDspaguy

In The Industry
Mar 21, 2020
998
Cabool, Mo
Improper pump voltage, damaged bearing or cracked face from shipping, sticking relay (maybe we checked that already), miswired motor (at install or factory), faulty start switch, partial flow restriction, damaged impeller, suction leak, :unsure: give me a minute and I'll think of 2 more...
But maybe it sounds worse on my phone via your video than it does in person. Because it sounds like a bench grinder with a square wheel to me.;)
 

jseyfert3

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So, I have not done much else yet, not even measured for a cover. But I’m pretty sure the second pump is also going now. What fun!
 

jseyfert3

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I think the bearings are failing just like the first pump, as it seems to be getting louder when running.
 

RDspaguy

In The Industry
Mar 21, 2020
998
Cabool, Mo
Now's the time to get the bearings done. You seem like a handy guy, it's not very hard with a bearing puller, but kinda tough without one. The tricky part is the centrifugal switch. But probably much cheaper than new one to just have it done at an electric motor shop. Some pool places will also do bearings pretty cheap. Put in a new shaft seal while you have it apart.
A good trick for removing a stuck impeller on a side discharge pump without breaking it is to bend a metal coat hanger or similar heavy wire in half then into a Z shape about 4" tall. One leg of the Z goes down the pump output to hook into the impeller fins and the other hooks over the top. Then you can get on the motor shaft and unscrew it without squeezing the impeller to pieces.
 

jseyfert3

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Now's the time to get the bearings done. You seem like a handy guy, it's not very hard with a bearing puller, but kinda tough without one. The tricky part is the centrifugal switch. But probably much cheaper than new one to just have it done at an electric motor shop. Some pool places will also do bearings pretty cheap. Put in a new shaft seal while you have it apart.
Well I have that pump I took out earlier and replaced. The one on the left here. My goal was to try and open it up, replace the bearings, and keep it as a spare. I just didn't have intentions do do that right now. Lol


That removed pump is identical to the pump that now seems to be getting louder, so if I replace the bearings on that I could swap it with the one in the spa. If I do it soon enough, like start today, it might even be ready by the time the other pump dies and I wouldn't have to drain my spa...(well assuming that the valves on that pump actually seal)

Are there any bearings in the pump itself or just a shaft seal?
 

jseyfert3

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Update: Ordered a new cover, finally, from BeyondNice based on @cowboycasey's recommendation. Got the 6" to 4" taper, upgraded foam density and vapor barrier and the other stuff. Came out to $600. They said they currently estimate production at 4-6 weeks, and delivery appears to be around 2 weeks on average. So I may have this by the end of February. That's what I get for putting stuff off!

Based on their guidance I measured this as 92 7/8", in both directions.


For the corner radius I said 8.5"
 
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