Pool Info: Pumps & Motors - Page 4
Pumps & Motors (cont.)
All 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 your pump shaft seal. The first thing to do is to turn off the electricity to the motor at the circuit breaker.
In 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.
Alternatively, 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 the shaft.
Instead 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.
Some 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 not self-priming.
Remember to use only non-hardening silicone lube like Magic 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.
When 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:
Locating an Air Leak...
Make 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.
If that didn't work, you can do this...buy a Drain 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........)