Pumps & Motors (cont.)
pumps have seals to prevent water from
leaking out along the motor shaft.
When these wear out due to overheating,
vibration or a sudden change in water
pressure - you will need to replace
shaft seal. The first thing to
do is to turn off the electricity to
the motor at the circuit breaker.
access this seal for replacement,
remove the four bolts that hold
the pump halves together, it
is not necessary to remove the
entire pump from the plumbing
the motor and pull it and the bracket
away from the pump
Wiggle it slightly from side to
side as you pull back to help break
your pliers or a wrench and hold
the shaft extender to prevent it
from turning. Unscrew the impeller
from the shaft extender using an
impeller wrench. You can also wrap
a rag over the face of the impeller
so you don't cut yourself and twist
it off by hand. As a last resort,
hold a large screwdriver against
the impeller and tap it gently
with a hammer. Use care not to
damage the impeller. Use even more
care that the screwdriver doesn't
slip and damage you.
the four bolts that hold the
bracket on the motor. If needed,
use a hammer to gently tap the
bracket away from the motor.
both halves of the old seal. Notice
how each half is installed so you
get the new one back in the same
way. One half is in the back of
the impeller and is easily popped
out with a flat-blade screwdriver.
The other half is in the seal plate
and motor bracket unit. Lay the
bracket on your workbench with
the seal on the bottom. You will
see the back of the seal through
the hole in the seal plate. Using
the flat-blade screwdriver once
again, put the tip on the back
of the seal and tap it with a hammer.
It will pop out easily.
the new seal. First, look up
your pump in the manufacturer's
literature or supply house (Poolcenter.com!)
catalog to determine what model
seal you need.
Clean out the seal plate and impeller
where you have just removed the old
seal. Use an emery cloth or a small
wire brush and water. Dry each area
and apply a small amount of silicone
lubricant to help the new seal slide
into place. Install each half of the
seal the same way you removed the old
one, white ceramic of one half facing
the glazed carbon ridge of the other
half. Use care in installing not to
damage, nick or soil the face of either
When you break apart a pump,
the old gasket usually won't
reseal. Clean all of the old
gasket off of the seal plate
and volute. Scrape it clean if
needed with a flat blade screwdriver.
Now reassemble the pump the same
way you took it apart, placing
gasket between the pump halves.
for leaks by starting the pump
and let it run several minutes.
A fresh paper gasket might leak
for a few minutes until it becomes
wet and swells to fill all the
gaps, but it should stop leaking
after a short time. If your job
does leak, take it apart and
go over each step again, making
sure the seal halves are seated
all the way and that there is
no corrosion or debris left in
the impeller or seal plate that
might prevent the new seal from
seating completely. You may add
some Blue RTV silicone sealant
to help a paper gasket.
some pumps where the parts are assembled
differently, you follow the same steps.
The clamp is removed to disassemble the
pump halves, and you must remove the
diffuser to get to the impeller. To remove
the impeller you can grip it with your
hand and twist it off, but the trick
with these units is to stop the shaft
from spinning as you twist off the impeller.
There are air vents in the motor on the
end closest to the pump itself. Look
in and you will see the motor shaft.
Place a flat-blade screwdriver in one
of the air vents and wedge it against
the shaft to keep it from turning.
you can remove the end cap and look inside
as you twist the impeller. You will see
the back end of the shaft, with the start
switch attached. Since this switch is
fragile, you must remove it (one screw)
to access the slotted screw in the back
end of the shaft. Place the screwdriver
in this screw to keep the shaft from
turning as you remove the impeller. Or
use a 7/16" wrench on the back of
of a gasket,
some pumps use an O-ring.
Clean this and lubricate it
before reassemble. If it has stretched
and it seems like there is too much O-ring
for the channel in the volute, try soaking
the gasket in ice water for a few minutes
to make it shrink a bit.
pumps use a plastic impeller with a housing
that holds half the seal in place. If
the pump has run dry and overheated the
pot, this housing might be warped and
the seal will not fit tightly. The only
solution is to replace
the impeller. This is a common problem
with automatic cleaner pumps, which are
to use only non-hardening silicone lube
Lube on all pool and spa work. Make
Sure not to use Vaseline or other lubricants
that are made of petroleum, which eat
away some plastics and papers.
your pressure is high, your filter is
dirty, right? When your pressure is lower
than normal, your pump basket is dirty.
If the basket is clean, yet pressure
and flow is still low or surging, you
may have an air problem or the impeller
may be clogged. Something prior to the
filter is obstructed. To unclog an impeller
follow these steps:
off power, remove motor and seal
plate from pump. Sometimes this
is one clamp that holds the motor
to the pump, or some pumps have
nuts or bolts to remove.
motor on it's end, remove any diffuser
or impeller shroud, and using needle
nose pliers or a thin screwdriver,
remove the clog. Run some heavy
wire through the vanes of the impeller.
pump snugly and tightly. Fill pump
pot with water. Restart pump. Pressure
then should rise.
an Air Leak...
sure the strainer lid is on tight, with
a clean, lubed o-ring.
Also check that all plugs are tight. A good
trick in locating an air
leak is to shut off the motor
when it's under full pumping head pressure,
and look for water to spray back out of
the void where the air was entering. You
have to be quick to catch this spray-back!
This void will always be before the impeller.
After the impeller is what we call "the
pressure side." Any leak or
void here will leak water out. Any leak
or void prior to the impeller (in front
of the pump impeller) will draw air in
when the pump is on. The pump will "pump"
air if it can, it is the path of least resistance.
So, your system needs to be almost airtight
to run properly. When you find this void,
patch with epoxy
putty or silicone,
or replace the
part if needed.
that didn't work, you can do this...buy
King at your local hardware store (or
we can send one for $20.95 + S & H).
This connects to a garden hose and puts
the line under pressure. Putting this in
the skimmer, you can turn on the hose and
pressurize the line backwards (Also Great
for clearing clogged pipes).
Remove the pump lid and use a plug at the
pump entrance. This will allow pressure
to build up in the line and squirt out
at the leak. Many suction side leaks found
in this manner are then repaired with pool
putty, or a more permanent plumbing
repair / pipe replacement can be made. (continued........)