04 January, 2018

We're Back in Business

Last post I discovered all kinds of badness with the existing pump motor, a 2Hp behemoth that had reached the end of its working life. All kinds of damage from decayed plastic and electrics in the back end of the pump.

I didn't discover the damage till I opened the back of the motor so that I could secure the motor shaft in order to remove the broken impeller. I had to unscrew two electrical pieces, a switch assembly thing and the main starting capacitor for the motor. As I loosened the screws, the plastic pieces just all began falling apart. Apparently, they were staying in place simply because the screw was there. Nothing else was holding them together.

The - not sure what it's called - the spindle that was part of the impeller, was extremely tight on the shaft and was quite hard to get free. That effort was all for naught, what with all the broken electrics.

From there, it was apparent that I had to get a new motor. I wasn't sure what my options for getting that new motor were going to be. I could order it from the states, Inyo Pool Supplies always comes to mind in that regard, or I could see if maybe Island Pool Supply happened to have one on hand.

Complicating matters, was this was Christmas weekend. Neither place would be open. Oh, I could probably order it online from Inyo, but nothing would happen until humans came back to work after the holiday. Even if the pump qualified for Inyo's free shipping, there was still additional expenses getting the motor to Corozal. That would involve Easy Shipping to Belize's shipping fees, Belize Custom's duty, GST, etc., that would be tacked on. Since the motor is rather large in its box, and it weighed in the vicinity of 45 pounds, shipping was not going to be cheap. That and the other costs were going to come close to doubling the cost of the motor. Not to mention the time frame for shipping. I wanted a quick solution, and chances were, this would not be quick.

On the other hand, if Island Pool Supply had one in stock, I would pay more for the motor, but the international shipping, duty, taxes, etc., would all be figured into that cost. The only tangible cost that would accrue, would be shipping from San Pedro to Corozal, either by Tropic Air or by Thunderbolt. And, I really didn't know if Island would be opened after Christmas and Boxing Day, or if they were taking a long vacation and not opening till after New Years. Regardless, this would most likely still be quicker that coming from the states.

I sent Kevin an email telling him what model, etc., pump motor I was looking for. I just hoped he would open after Christmas and answer my email. Oh, and that he would have the exact motor in stock that I needed.

Luck was smiling on me. Kevin answered my email first thing Tuesday morning. Boxing Day isn't such a big holiday when you're in business for yourself. He had it in stock and could get it on Tropic or the Thunderbolt by noon,

The only problem was, I needed to deposit some money into my bank account in order to transfer money to his account before he would turn loose of the motor. That meant waiting until Wednesday morning when the bank would be open. They religiously pay heed to holidays, as banks tend to do.

Bright and early Wednesday morning, I was sixth in line at Atlantic. Made my deposit, and back home, transferred the money to Kevin's account and told him to send it via Tropic.

About 1:30 PM that same day, I went up to the Corozal Airstrip and retrieved the motor from Tropic's freight office. Forty-five pounds weight is expensive when it comes to shipping by air. $30.00 BZD and I had my motor.

Back home, I opened the box on the dining room table. The packaging was impressive. It was held in an expanded foam cocoon, plus there were various cardboard bits that protected the shaft from damage, along with a glob of blue plastic that protected the threaded shaft end from damage. As you can see below, it's all shiny-shiny.
Our New Pool Pump Motor

The new motor arrived in flawless condition. But, by that time, I was pooped and it was time for a break. I would tackle putting the pump and motor together in the morning.

Showing the Motor Back End

I laid out all the parts and that went together like clockwork. I forgot to have my camera nearby so there are no photos of the assembly. Assembly took place on the dining room table, which also does double duty as the crafts table for Dianna. I guess, triple-duty since I used it as my alternate workshop for this project.

Pump Back Panel and Wiring
This motor, a US Motor, which is from an alternate supplier, NIDEC Motor Corporation (, and not the standard A.O. Smith motor that Hayward uses with their pumps. Not that there's anything wrong with A.O. Smith motors, it's just that the US Motor I have is a touch better from an engineering perspective.

For example, the rear panel of the motor unbolts easily from the back of the motor. The layout of the electrical bits inside is a lot more user-friendly. Other than replacing a capacitor or something, the only reason you need to open up the back of the motor is to use a wrench to keep the motor shaft from turning while you spin on the impeller at the other end of the motor.
Wiring Protection

The connection points for the power cord (which you have to attach as the motor doesn't come with a power cord - not unusual) are likewise easy to reach and connect.

I did have to add a large radius elbow that screws into the motor housing, and I added about 10-inches of Polyducto (plastic) orange tubing to help prevent the wire from bending too much and possibly breaking.

Pool is Working Again
After the assembly, I carried it down to the pool pump house and hooked it up. It works great. You can tell that by the ripples evident on the pool surface at left.

However (There's always one of those, isn't there?), on the suction side of the pump, that is the side of the pump where the water enters the pump, I have a leak. The good bit of that is the leak is only when I have Huey (the vacuum cleaner) running.

Possible Leak Sources?
There is the possibility that the two connectors (the white one and the gray one in the photo at left) could be leak sources, possibly sucking air into the system. I doubt they are leaking because if the pump is running without Huey working, no bubbles, and probably more telling, no water dripping when the system is idle.

More likely is that the leak is in the hose that connects Huey to the piping. At this time of year, that presents a problem.

Could Be A Leaky Hose?
To find the leak in the hose, I really need to be in the pool playing with each section of hose to find the leak. The pool is kinda cool right now, thanks to the cold temps pushing down from the states.

I was in the pool yesterday, picking up five chlorine tablets that fell out of the floating chlorine dispenser because I didn't securely fasten the lid on it when I threw the dispenser into the pool.

I left the tablets lay there for a few days, but Huey, being the good vacuum that he is, managed to suck one up and jam his intake, necessitating my braving the elements getting into the pool and retrieving the tablets. Getting in, was a shock, as the water is only about 74°(f). After you freeze your nerve endings, it doesn't feel so bad till your teeth start chattering.

I do have a small leak on the pressure side of the pump. You can see it in the photo at left. This will be easy to fix. Probably several more wraps of Teflon tape should do the trick.
Definitely a Small Leak

There's not much else that could be leaking as bubbles only occur when the vacuum is working.

Hopefully, when I do find the leak, it's in the hose, and only in one section of the hose at that. I suppose there is one other possibility of leakage. If the vacuum line under the pool deck is leaking... but, I'm not even going to think about that being a possibility.


Wilma said...

Hope you get to enjoy your pool soon!

Winjama said...

Hi Wilma,
Thanks for the comment. You and me both on using the pool soon. I don’t think it will be any too soon. Warmth seems to have become a precious commodity.