Jandy (A.O. Smith) Pumps & Motors

jtwraceJanuary 10, 2013

I've been through 2 pumps (motors) in the last 3 yrs. I thought it was an issue with the install but my friend who has Hayward pump (A.O. Motor) has the same exact problem. Every two years they start to make noise b/c the bearing has gone bad on the motor. It appears to be a seal issue between the pump/motor but Jandy doesn't say anything about a remedy.

Does anyone know if there is a hidden fix for this? It's pretty pathetic that I keep a spare pump assy in my garage for when it starts to make noise.

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How often does the system turn on and off per day?
How many day a year are you running the system?
What size is the pump?
What size is the plumbing?
What other equipment in the plumbing?
How long are you running the pump per day?

When a motor croaks, the only thing that normally needs replacing is the motor and seal set, not the whole pump. That will save you significantly in dollars. Bearing usually go when the seal set fails.


    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 9:59AM
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Thanks Scott.

The motor isn't dying...it's the bearing in the motor that is going bad from the seal failing.

The pump runs 8 hrs during the summer and 4 during the winter and sometimes more when freeze protect kicks in. I'd say it's about 2,700 hrs total per year.

Plumbing is 2" (I think) and I have a 400k BTU Heater and the filter cartridge system from Jandy and this is a salt system.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 10:29AM
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Replacing the motor and seal set is the normal fix. If the impeller is scored, replace it too. If, after the repair, water still gets past the seals, replace the seal plate.

Motors typically last several years. Your usage doesn't seem excessive that it would fail this soon.

Replacing bearing can be done but it is a royal PITA as it takes time and finding a decent motor shop that will work with small motors is a hassle.


    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 2:40PM
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A couple of other things that can cause premature seal failure:

Improper winterizing of your pump

Imbalanced impeller - you might want to replace

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 2:52PM
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jtwrace.....also check to make sure you're not losing prime.

If the pump runs without water flow, the motor/bearings will overheat causing premature failure.

Your failures sound excessive for the duty you have placed on your pump.

As a comparison, I have 4 Jandy pumps of various sizes 1HP through 3 HP. Two of them are 2 speed pumps.

No failures after 7 swim season and they run year round here in Louisiana. The 2 speed pumps run at low speed about 6 hours per day during the winter and 18 hours per day during the summer.

But, I'm obsessive about any leaks or plumbing problems that would cause no water flow.

When the plumbing system is adequate and free of air leaks and obstructions, there should be a very small air pocket or no air pocket at all when looking through the clear pump basket lid when the pump is running.

At high speed, there should be absolutely no air bubbles or air pockets observed when looking through the pump basket lid.

At low speed, I do get a small air pocket...not sure why...but it disappears as soon as high speed kicks in.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 3:37PM
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Thanks for the input guys. Yes, I know how easy it is to replace as I've done it twice and the PB has done it once (replaced the whole pump) and I still have this issue. We even measured the head and it's within range. No bubbles or air pocket either in the pump basket when looking through the lid.

The seals go bad, leak onto the bearing and the bearing goes bad. Luckily I've been albe to press a new bearing onto the shaft and replace the seal and it works fine. The one time the entire pump/motor was replaced it still happened after a year. Strange.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 8:54PM
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Rack Etear

Most conventional motors made these days (in china) are complete crap. We have had massive failures in many of the front bearings (the bearing away from the wet end) which I can't ever recall having in the past. The only pump motors that seem to be reliable have been the ones on the intelliflo pumps. Out of 500+ personally installed we have only had to replace 1 motor.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 1:40AM
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Thanks very much for the input. I knew there has to be a design flaw. After speaking with Jandy last week I was informed that there was a redesign in late 2008. Sadly, the issue in my opinion still isn't fixed. Oh well. The good news is that my dealer has a 3 yr warranty as some dealers have 2 yr warranties.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 8:02PM
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