Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pool Motor Replacement Walk Through

A note before proceeding:
If you are unsure about electrical wiring, it is crucial that you hire a licensed professional to replace your pump. An improperly wired pump can void any warranty, destroy equipment and/or start an electrical fire. Written by
Wine Country Pools & Supplies is not responsible for any damaged cause from the use of this walk through.

The following is not meant as a walkthrough for installing a new two speed pump motor on what was a single speed motor; this is a walkthrough for installing a replacement two speed pump motor on an existing two speed motor pump. The pump in this example is a Pentair WhisperFlo pump with an A.O. Smith motor (being removed and installed). The steps to replace a single speed pump are similar except for the wiring.  The motor being replaced is 3-4 years old and froze shortly after a recent rainstorm.

What you need to replace a motor:
Parts needed:
2 speed motor (A.O. Smith SQS1202R)
Pump Seal (U.S. Seal PS-1000)
Plate gasket (Whisper Flo seal plate gasket)

Tools needed:
Craftsman wrench offset ratchet 14MM
1/4 hex head screwdriver
Allen wrench key 3/32
Phillips head screw driver
Flat head screwdriver
Needle nose pliers
Adjustable wrench 

Additional recommended tools:
Pool Tool impeller wrench (127)
Permatex ultra black gasket maker

Before doing anything, be sure to turn off the breakers, preferably the breakers at the house for all of the pool equipment.

Disconnecting the wires connected to the pump:
Remove the bonding wire (if there is one) from the old motor. This is usually an external wire attached by one screw to the outside of the pump motor. 

Remove the screws at the back of the motor; then, pull off the rear panel. Once the panel is off, make note of all wires and their positions. A two speed pump has an additional wire compared to single speed and variable speed pumps. Note the pump we are working on in this example is wired for 220 volts. 

Using the needle nose pliers, straighten out all wires to ease their movement when we remove them from the motor.

Unscrew the large collar at the bottom of elbow; this could also be a straight connector. Then, pull the collar down and out of the way. 

Pull the conduit out (away) from the elbow.

Push the wires out of the motor while simultaneously pulling on the other end of the wires to remove them from the motor.

To remove the elbow conduit from the motor, there usually is a nut on the side of the pump that needs to be unscrewed. Using a screw driver makes this easier to get started. Once the inside nut is removed, the entire elbow can be turned and unscrewed from the motor housing.

Releasing the motor from the pump frame:
Remove the six bolts on the back of the pump.

Once the bolts are removed, the motor will pull straight back. Note the cone connected to front of the plate.
Place the motor in a location where you can work better on it, preferably a workbench.

Removing the impeller:
The cone can be removed with an Allen wrench. After removing the two small screws on opposite sides that hold this on, the the cone pulls straight off.
Remove the single screw located in the front of the impeller. This can be done with a Phillips head screwdriver. Note that this screw is reverse threaded.

Now the impeller can be unscrewed from the plate. I used the Pool Tool impeller wrench; you may need to use pliers to brace the rear shaft in the wiring compartment if the impeller moves when you try to unscrew it.

Removing the motor from the plate:
Remove the final four bolts holding the motor to the pump plate.

Removing the old and installing the new seal:
Keeping the seal plate face down, a hex head screwdriver can be used to dislodge the old seal. Go around in a circle, slowly tapping the inner edges to break loose the seal.

Turn the plate over.

When installing the new seal, a small amount of gasket maker can be applied to help prevent leaks. This is not required; however, it does help in preventing leaks. 

When placing the new seal, use the hex head screwdriver to sit the seal all the way down. It should sit flush with the back side of the plate.

The impeller has the second part of the seal.  Note the side that faces up. To remove the old seal use a flat head screw driver to pry it out.

The new seal pushes down in to the impeller with the rubber touching the back of the impeller.

Connecting the motor to the plate then to the impeller:
When attaching the motor to the plate, the bottom of the plate is clearly marked. In this particular motor the capacitor sits on the unit’s top side. Press the plate and the motor together then insert and tighten the four bolts that connect the front of the motor to the back of the plate.

The new impeller screws on to the area in the front of the plate. Note that you may need to remove the screws on the back of the motor to stop the shaft from spinning, allowing you to better tighten impeller.
Screw back in the single screw to the center of the impeller again, remembering that this screw is reverse threaded (tighten counter clockwise).

Reattaching the wires to pump:
Remove the back cover from new motor if you have not already done so. 

Screw the elbow connector in to the empty hole in the back of the motor. Because of the limited space, I also screwed in the nut on the inside of the pump while installing the elbow. If there is enough room, screw the nut into the inside of the motor to the elbow.

Push the wires in to the elbow and though to the motor. Once you can start to see the wires, you can gently pull each wire with the needle nose pliers to guide them though.

Once the wires are in, pull the conduit up to the elbow. Then, pull the collar up to the elbow and screw it on.

Some of the wires will need to be reshaped to attach to the pump. Reattach each wire just as you removed them. There four total wires (for a 220 setup) with two power lines, one ground and one common wire.

Reattach the panel/cover to the back of the motor.

Reconnecting the cone and ready the plate:
Attach the cone on to the front of the pump. The cone only fits on one way. Align the screw holes on the cone with the holes on the plate. Using the Allen wrench, tighten the two screws that hold it in place.

Although this next step is not required, it greatly helps. Apply some gasket maker to the grove around the front of the plate where the gasket will sit. This will create a better seal and help to hold the gasket down while placing the motor in to the pump.
Insert the new gasket into the plate. There is a groove on the plate for this gasket. Never reuse a old gasket; when opening the pump housing, always use a new gasket when reattaching the motor to the pump frame.

Connecting the motor to pump:
Push the motor into the pump frame cone first. Once they are pressed up against each other, insert the top two screws in to the back of the plate first to hold the motor upright. Attach all six screws. Only hand tighten first going clockwise; then, tighten clockwise again with the ratchet.
Reattach the bonding wire to the motor (if one is available).
If the gasket maker was used, allow 10-15 minutes for the gasket maker to set before testing the motor.
Turn back on the breakers and startup the motor.

If the pump will not start:
-recheck the breakers.
-Check your time clock options
-If still no power, the wiring needs to be rechecked.
-It is possible the new motor is defective. However, this should be your last guess.

A final note: Again if you are unsure about electrical wiring, hire a licensed professional to replace your pump. An improperly wired pump can destroy equipment, void your warranty and/or start an electrical fire.
Wine Country Pools & Supplies is not responsible for any damaged cause from the use of this walk through.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter system

The following is a review of the Hayward Pro-Grid DE (Diatomaceous Earth) Filter System
The Pro-Grid filter system comes in sizes ranging from 36 to 72 sqft. The 48 sqft filter (Manufacture part number DE4820) was used in this review. Written by

In The Box
The filter system comes almost completely assembled with the exception of the drain cap being unattached and in a bag with the user manual. The backwash valve is required and sold separately; we used a standard 2-inch pre-plumbed valve kit from Hayward (Manufacture part number SP0410X502S). Only if this filter is replacing another Hayward Pro-Grid with an existing working backwash valve is purchasing a new valve not needed.

The Guts
Using a common DE type configuration the unit contains eight filter grids (7 full sized and 1 partial) with a top manifold. The pressure gauge comes with built in markers to mark a clean filter level and alert the user when the system should be cleaned (this needs to be calibrated on first use). The air release is a twist type with a large opening allowing for a reasonable amount air to be released quickly.
One of the negative aspects of this filter that is not an immediate problem resides with the standard Hayward backwash valve that is used with this system. We have many Pro-Grid filters on our pool routes and see similar issues again and again with the backwash valve pistons. The point where the metal attaches to the plastic is its Achilles' heel as over time this becomes weak and warn down, causing the piston to break in the middle with the lower half suck in the shaft.
 (Picture is from a Hayward ProGrid on our route, this type of damage is similar to what we see over time with these pistons)

The Setup and First Run
This Pro-Grid filter is almost twice the size of the StaRite system 2 cartridge filter that it is replacing. Attach the drain plug before doing anything else since once the filter is set in its final resting place ,reaching behind the unit could be difficult.
Inlet and outlet ports are only marked in the manuals, not physically on the filter itself so check that manual instead of guessing! Only two pipes had to be re-plumbed and connected to attach the new filter. This type of install should be simple for anyone with just basic plumbing knowledge.
The DE is not included and must be added to the system once the system is turned on.

While it may not be a great filter, the Hayward Pro-Grid series is a good all around filter with only one (yet glaring) negative. This series is priced comparably with other similar DE units and is even available in a larger 72 sq ft configuration that not all major manufactures offer.  This would be rated higher had the backwash valve design was improved or if there existed a third party backwash valve that could be used with the system and didn’t have the same issues.

-Pressure gauge has built in markers for determining when the filter needs cleaning
-Air release is rugged, a nice change from the previously cheap systems
-Available in a 72 sq ft size
               -Backwash valve sold separately 
               -Poorly designed backwash piston breaks easily
               -Marking inlet/outlet ports on the filter would be nice

Final Score: 6/10