Technological advancements have made it possible to produce efficient pool pumps. Despite this, all pool pumps eventually develop problems that need quick fixing. Sadly, some of these issues require nothing other than a replacement. The pumps feature many components.
These include gaskets and seals, the housing, lid, seal plate, impeller, diffuser, and motor. Each component plays a crucial role hence needs special attention. For example, how you remove the motor is different from what you do to change a lid or seal plate. Because of this, it is important to know how to replace a pool pump motor.
Step-by-Step Procedure for How To Replace a Pool Pump Motor
Know the Manufacturer
The first step is to know the brand of the pool pump that you are dealing with. That is easy enough to do since you only need to check for the name of the manufacturer. Some of the most common manufacturers include Pac-Fab, Pentair, Sta Rite, Hayward, and Jacuzzi to mention a few.
Secondly, you should familiarize yourself with the model too. Again, examples of models you are likely to find in the market include WhisperFlow, Max-E-Glas, Dura-Glas, Super II, Super Pump, Max Flow, and Magnum among others. You will find this information on the pump’s housing, especially close to the basket.
Look for Model Number
Next, look for the pump’s model number. Similar to the first step above, you are still looking for and obtaining as much information as possible. Apart from model number, you should also look for horsepower (HP), Amps, Volts, Revolutions Per Minute (RPM), and SF. Is this information relevant?
Yes, it is since you need it to know the exact type and model of pool pump motor to buy. Otherwise, your desire to know how to replace a pool pump motor properly would not amount to much. With such information, you would also know what to do to resolve specific problems afflicting your pump motor.
Replace the Shaft Seal
Now the serious work starts. First, you should never attempt to replace the pump motor if you have no intentions of changing the shaft seal. Old shaft seals are rarely compatible with new pump motors. If you ignore this golden rule, then you would have nobody to blame except you when leaks become the norm.
Typically, a new shaft seal costs $15-$20. Others cost more but compensate for that by providing more value for money. Example of such a brand is Go-Kit, which is popular for the bang it offers for your buck. Look for one that comes with other accessories too such as gaskets, O-rings, and lubricants.
Prepare the Right Tools
Additionally, you have to be ready with all the tools you would need for this job. First, it is worth mentioning that you have the option of hiring a technician to handle the work for you. However, consider doing-it-yourself to save money and improve your skills too. One of the most important tools you require for this job is silicon gasket lubrication.
Avoid using petroleum jelly, though. Secondly, you also need a 7/16 inch open-end wrench. In addition to that, you should never proceed with such projects without either strap wrench or channel wrench. Other supplies needed for the work include:
- 9/16 inch socket wrench
- Screwdrivers – mostly Phillip head and flat
- Clean soft cloth
- Seal replacements
Disconnecting the Motor
The next step is to disconnect the pool pump motor. This stage is a bit complex and requires you addressing a few essential areas. First, you have to worry about disconnecting bonding wire. Next, you should educate yourself on the process to follow to separate the pump motor from the rest of the pump assembly.
Lastly, it is vital to remember that the pump has numerous electrical connections. You cannot afford to be careless with this as the damage to the pump or the entire system that keeps the swimming pool functioning optimally could be extensive. Therefore, learn to disconnect all electrical components carefully before proceeding.
Following that, you should turn off all power to the pump. This move is critical for your safety since you will be working around electrical connections that could injure you. Turn the power off right at the motor’s circuit breaker. With that done, you now have to relieve the pump off the pressure that usually builds up when it is running.
Go to the top of the filter counter and turn the relieve valve you see there clockwise. Initially, you will see water spraying out as the pressure gauge moves to 0psi. Unfasten the bonding wire, which is made of heavy copper with pliers if necessary. With this done, the next steps should be as follows:
- Removing the motor pump assembly from its wet housing
- Sliding the motor assembly out of the housing on the pool pump
- Place the motor upright to access the wiring at the back
- Unscrewing the cover screws to remove the cover
- Shorting the capacitor out by placing a screwdriver across its two leads
- Noting the configuration of the wires, especially when replacing a motor with a similar one
- Disconnecting the wires running into the motor via a conduit
- Disconnecting the conduit from the pump by unscrewing its collar
- Pulling the wires through the metal elbow
- Removing the front end units (motor plates, impeller, and diffuser) from the motor shaft
- Pulling the diffuser away from the rest of the assembly
- Removing the impeller ring by twisting it in an anticlockwise motion
- Removing the capacitor to access the shaft’s end
- Securing the shaft so it stops rotating
- Twisting off the impeller anticlockwise
- Removing the seal plate by lifting it off
- Removing the bolts that keep mounting plate attached firmly to the motor
- Lifting the mounting plate off
- Unscrewing the conduit elbow
- Swapping the old motor with a new one
- Removing the back cover from the new motor to access its back end
- Unfastening the capacitor
- Bolting the mounting plate to the new motor
- Setting the seal plate on the mounting plate
- Screwing the impeller clockwise
- Replacing the capacitor
- Returning the diffuser
- Lubricating the diffuser
- Screwing the metal electrical collar in place
- Inserting the new motor into the pump
- Reconnecting the wires to the motor terminals
- Screwing the electrical conduit collar in place
- Replacing the electrical cover
- Lubricating the housing gasket
- Bolting the motor assembly
- Connecting the bonding wire to the bonding lug
- Removing the gasket cover
- Turning the pump on right at the circuit breaker
- Closing the relieve valve
Our Final Thoughts
As shown above, it takes plenty of practice to know how to replace a pool pump motor properly. Nevertheless, as is the case with all DIY tasks, it takes plenty of practice and tons of patience to get everything right. If you suspect that you might make a costly error, feel free to contact a technician to handle this project for you.
It will not take you too long to remove the old pump motor and replace it with a new one. However, you have to do it right considering the amount of screwing and tightening that is involved. After all, the last thing you need is a loosely fitted motor pump.