Just a small electrical fire, no big deal

MiaOKCMay 14, 2012

We finally had our home-warranty-supplied pool repair guy out today (ONE MONTH LATER). Really liked him, even though he was a total hippie :) Reminded me of my dad in that way, actually. His chill attitude was a nice balance to my crazy neuroses!

He spent an hour with me going over all our equipment, what was good, bad, indifferent, etc. Educating me above and beyond his job description - kind of like ya'll! All was going well until I tried to show him how the hot tub jet pump somehow pumps water onto the deck through the deck air holes instead of the air holes sucking air into the hot tub. Then there was a loud banging noise and when he went back to the equipment, it was a "shut it off, SHUT IT OFF!" moment. By the time I got back there, it was all black smoke and no flames, but that pump is a goner.

Question - the breaker didn't flip during the pump's dramatic flame out. Is that a problem? I wonder if I need the home warranty co to send out an electrician in addition to the pool guy.

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Yes they will and yes you should have it checked...

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 6:46AM
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I can see the breaker surviving but the whip that feeds the pump power is likely to have been toasted at the pump connection. It would cost less than the service call to fix the electric if you can do it.

Is the pump or the pump motor toasted? Pump motors cost less if you are replacing them with similar a motor. Don't forget the seal set. This keeps the pool plumbing out of the equation. That is also a Home Warranty win for the tech as it keeps the HW costs down too.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 7:01AM
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Thanks. I believe it will actually be two new motors and not complete pumps. The first bad pump, he pulled the strainer out and stuck his hand in (presumably to feel the impeller?) and said "yup, frozen," so had it on the list to be replaced before the other one decided to get all dramatic.

I am going to contact the home warranty co about the electric again. I'd mentioned it before the pool tech came out, and the home warranty co thought the pool tech should be able to service it. I told them that in my state (OK) I think there are pool people and electrical people but they are not the same people. Home warranty co disagreed. I brought it up with the pool tech, and he said he is not an electrician and is not licensed to do more than hook up the pumps to what is there. And while he couldn't be sure anything was wrong with the wiring, there were definitely things that were "hinky" with the whole electrical set-up. Many of the wire conduits are unscrewed from the pump body, exposing the wires inside the conduit sleeve. There is a total rats' nest of wires with connector nuts resting on the concrete pad in front of the pumps, sitting in the water that is leaking from the pool pump's bad seal. He surmised that there used to be a junction box with switches at the equipment pad, but at some point it was taken out and the wires were all just wired up with connectors and left laying out. The breaker panel is located at the equipment pad, so maybe the owner figured it was just as easy to use the breakers to control the switches.

I'm not sure what the warranty co will cover with regards to the electrical. Contract says "above ground plumbing and electrical." Got good news today that they will cover two new pump motors and three sets of seals. That will fix leak in pool pump, plus replace the spa circ pump and spa jet pump. Once that gets going, we can see if the heater and filter for the spa are operational.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 4:41PM
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