Do I Need New Pump?

BethRobertsMay 24, 2011

Hello All,

We opened our pool this week, and are experiencing problems with our pool pump. We have an inground 16x32 rectangle pool, with depths ranging from 4 ft to 8 ft. The pump is an AO Smith 1 hp pump (the label says 110/220 V, max load 15/7.5 amps) connected to a Hayward sand-type filter. The pump is connected to a 15-amp circuit breaker, located right next to the pump outside, which is in turn connected to a 20 amp breaker inside the house.

Here's the problem: when turning on the pump via the breaker switch outside, the pump will turn on and prime fine for a while, but then it will trip the switch within about 20-30 minutes. It never trips it right away - sometimes it trips within 5 minutes, but usually within the 20-30 minute range. The weird thing is, like this morning, it will go on for hours until it trips. But so far this year, it trips eventually. Last year I remember we had intermittently a similar problem, although never this frequent - it would run fine for days. The pump is almost brand new - a pool technician installed it end of last year because apparently we didn't have a GFI (we bought this house recently) and whenever there was a thunderstorm the pump would surge and seize right up. We now have a GFI.

The pressure gauge on my filter is currently reading 12 psi - when I turned it on early this morning it read 8 psi, so it seems to be steadily increasing - which may be normal. I don't know what the typical psi should be - this is the first year we are maintaining the pool ourselves, we had a pool guy do it last year.

Additional info: I backwashed and rinsed the filter twice. The pump feels quite warm to the touch - not too hot to touch for a moment, but definitely painful if I keep my hand there for longer than 5 seconds.

Before turning on the pump this morning I cleared around the pool pump some shrub and bushes that were close to it, just to give it more ventilation - perhaps it's overheating and shutting itself off? Is that why it's running ok now?

Anyway - I'm lost why this happens. Any advice would be helpful - thank you!

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golfgeek

bethroberts,
Could be the capacitor on the motor overheating.
Best to call service tech to check. At worst you might need a new motor, but sounds like there may be simpler solution. Have a pro check it.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 11:52AM
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womanowned

I don't know if it is still the case, but Hayward was having problems with some of their pumps. A 1 HP seems undersized for a pool your size. If the pump is new, call Hayward for a service call.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 10:19PM
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muddy_water

When you say trips the switch are you referring to the breaker or the overload in the motor? It almost sounds like you have a wiring issue not a problem with the motor.
12 psi is ok for your pressure.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 6:33AM
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trhought

bethroberts...sorry I can't help with the symptoms you describe...as muddy suggests, I would solicit local professionals to help troubleshoot...my initial reaction was the same as muddy's...a run capacitor problem on the motor.

womanowned...a 1HP pump on a pool this size is actually oversized for basic filtering and chlorination duties. We use a 2 speed pump on our 35K gallon pool and it does most of the work at low speed which is 1/3 HP.

Higher horsepower is only needed for cleaning and skimming tasks which is when we use the high speed for a couple hours each day.

The "bigger is better" one pump philosophy is not true with pool pumps. Multiple smaller pumps is a better solution in my opinion.

bethroberts...sorry for the off-topic response.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 2:53PM
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