16 January, 2010

My Forte

Unsuccessful repairs. Oh, sure, I'm successful at repairing most things I come across, being reasonably handy. But, once in a while, when it absolutely, positively, has to be successful... Guess what?

Case in point. My swimming pool has a Hayward pump for it's main pump. It's a two-horsepower job. Well, it's had a leak for a while.
My Hayward Pump Motor (Rear Cover Off)
I was unable to stop the leak, so just let it continue. Finally, the leak got bad enough that every time it ran, huge amounts of water would be all over the floor of the pump house. Not that the pump house is large, mind you, it's about 30 square feet, or less.

So, I was forced into action. First, I disconnected the pump and had Joe, my electrician, install a seal kit which a friend of mine was kind enough to bring back from the States. That stopped the leak, but made it apparent that the motor bearings were on their way out.

Ok. I spent a couple of days researching the pump motor on the Intertubes, and was able to amass a small pile of information, including directions on disassembling the motor.

Yesterday, I decided to give it a go. I digress. It was necessary for me to disassemble the motor as that is the only way you can see the motor bearings and read the numbers for the front and rear bearings. You need the numbers to be able to order the correct replacement bearings.

So, I leapt in and started disassembling the motor. It went reasonably well to a point. First, I had to find out how to remove this and that - mostly that. It took lots of consulting the diagrams and instructions and user manual and stuff like that.
Motor Showing Wrench Placement
The wrench was needed to stop the shaft from turning to be able to loosen the impeller - the thing that slings the water with gusto down whatever pipe you connect to the pump. I was able to get the impeller off successfully.
This Piece Goes Just Behind the Impeller
Same with the next two or three pieces behind the impeller. Then suddenly, you're just left with the motor.
Last Piece and the Motor
So, now, you still have to open up the motor so that you can slide the shaft out and look at the bearings. Not only look at them, but read the numbers on them. Front and back bearings may be different, there's no way to tell without actually looking at them.
Where Are the Through Bolts?
To open the motor, you have to remove four 'through bolts'. these run the entire length of the motor. I was expecting bolts. You know, something fairly thick, that looked like a bolt. Not so here. What there was, was four tiny (¼" diameter) heads with a body of about an eighth of an inch. No slots for a screwdriver and barely enough room to get a ¼" socket head on them.

The first two came off with no undue problem. The third was reluctant. So reluctant, in fact, that it broke just after the threads at the front end. The last one wasn't much better. the head stripped. That is, its head became rounded so the socket head merely spun.

Well, that effectively ended my repair of the pump motor. A nice afternoon project up in smoke.

What to do, what to do? For now, the only thing to do was to carefully put everything back together. I was able to do that successfully, with no left over parts (other than the broken through bolt, which I didn't reinstall).

I took it back down to the pump house and hooked it back up. Thankfully, I was able to get it running. In fact, it seems to run a little smoother than it has for quite a while.

And then, this morning. I checked several pool supply websites and finally ordered a replacement motor along with another seal kit. Now, I can do all the work myself. I just hope the current motor holds up till the replacement arrives.

I'm also trying to locate some spare through bolts so I can continue to try and rehab the current motor (maybe just knock the rounded head off and then remove the shaft to get the numbers, and maybe remove the remainder of the broken bolt). It would be nice to have a backup motor, just in case.

It's just like remodeling a house - nothing ever goes quite according to the plan.

Like I always say, "If it was easy, it wouldn't be any fun!" Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!


BingoBabeTalk said...

You have the same sort of "success" I have with everyday Honey-do's. You win some, and some you down right can't win!
BTW you didn't have any earth shaking event?

Dave Rider said...

As far as I know, no earthquake was felt in Belize. We also had no tsunami, not even a watch or warning. I suspect, once the time passed for a tsunami at Cuba without one, there was no need to push the warnings out further. A non-event for us. Of course, that's not to say it hasn't gotten folk's attention here.
A strong kinship feeling exists because of the Caribbean Community and, I've heard, there are quite a few folks here of Haitian descent.
There is a strong movement throughout the country to contribute to the relief effort.

RICK said...

It sounds like you got most of the repair right but you'll want to get those through bolts replaced so you dont wipe out your impellar and brand new seals. I have extra bolts laying around that I can send you. I would need to know which hayward pump model you have and the motor frame model. Let me know if I can help. Im sharkman009 on the belize blog or you can email me at Rick Lewis

Dave Rider said...

Hi Rick, Welcome to the Forums, BTW.

My pump is a Hayward Super II pump, energy efficient, model # SP3020EEAZ.

The motor is an AO Smith ST1202, 56J frame, 2hp 230V, 1-speed job.

If you do have some extra through bolts laying around, I could really use them.
I'll send you an email.

Julian in SC said...

Just how long has the pump been in action, Dave? I had a pool for 10 years and never touched the pump. I did shut down the pool from Oct to March but still 10 years.

Maybe they just don't make as good as they used to... good luck with the spare idea!

Dave Rider said...

Hi Julian,

I've had the pump for right around a year. Sounds like a warranty job, but no go for it down here, unfortunately.

Right Hand Prop said...

You could try using 1/4-20 threaded rod cut to length
with lock washer and nut. Brass or stainless would be best but zinc coated will work. I have had success doing this before on motors. These are things which should be available in Corozal.

EDROGERS said...