Replacing a pool pump and motor is relatively easy for do it yourselfers if you are mechanically inclined and have some plumbing & electrical experience. If you were to do this job yourself you would save about 50% of what a pool contractor would charge for the total job. This is not a step by step installation guide to follow but rather an overview of how to repair or replace a pool pump or motor and to evaluate the tasks involved in doing it yourself. When a pool pump is going bad look and listen for the following; a squealing noise from the motor that continues for few minutes after startup, excessive heating up of motor, water leaks around the pump housing, water leaks around motor housing or the pump losing its prime – no water in the view basket or goes dry. If you hear the squealing noise it is most likely the motor or bearings. If water flow is not steady and the pump motor is running it is most likely that the pump or impellers are failing.
There are two ways to approach the repairs for each of these symptoms. You can replace just the broken or worn parts and seals if you are limited on funds or replace just the motor or pump housing separately, this requires taking apart the two pieces to install the new components and seals. The second choice is to replace the whole pump & motor assembly with a new one put together by the manufacturer. If your pump and motor is 7 – 12 years old I would recommend changing the entire assembly, if just 1 part is changed there will most likely be a strain on the other older parts which may cause them to fail shortly after you replace the current parts. In the long run purchasing a complete motor & pump assembled from a manufacturer will give you a factory warranty on the motor and pump, a few years of carefree service and solve the problem of searching for discontinued replacement parts for an older pump.
If you wish to replace the entire pump motor assembly here are some tips to remember. Before you actually do the replacement, turn off the pump and look for the manufacturers tag on the motor and pump and write down all the information, manufacturer, voltage, HP, 110/220v, phase, pump pipe size at inlet and outlet and model number and check to see if it is the right size pump to handle your pools volume. Now do the rest of the research from this information and check all of the PVC fittings, valves and connections to and from the pump for leaks and make a list of new parts needed to complete the job. Once you have all of the parts you are ready to start. Safety first, locate the circuit breaker in your electric panel for the pump and turn it off and tag the breaker or tape over the switch with red tape so no one energizes the pump breaker as you are working on it.
Next, tag & disconnect the power and ground wires from the motor. Now remove the supply and return piping from the pump. If there are no pipe unions inline on the supply and return lines this would be a good time to install them for ease of future service to the pump. The same goes for replacing any leaky ball valves or connections to pool heater or chlorinator, this is the time to make all piping repairs. Set the pump/motor assembly on a supplied base or wood, level the pump and align the inlet and outlet position to make the connections. After all of the piping is done reconnect the power wires to the motor as labeled in the manufacturers wiring diagram. Do not start up pump at this time. Realize that although PVC connections seem to set very fast at time of assembly the joints still need to cure for a few hours before pressure is applied to the pipe, follow manufacturers instructions for curing time.
Before starting the pump for the first time, fill the view basket chamber on the pump with water so the pump has water to prime itself when started. Do a visual check of connections and check that threaded pipe connections are tightened. Make sure the shut off switch near the pump is off and go to the breaker panel and remove tagging and reset breaker to the on position. Go to the location where the pump is and turn on the service switch momentarily to check for power and correct wiring. If the pump started with no noise turn power on again and let the pump run for a few minutes while checking the new pipe connections and joints. If there are no leaks and the pump/motor are running smooth and quiet then you have completed the installation correctly. If there are noises or leaks turn off the power and make the repairs and repeat startup procedure. Always follow the manufacturer’s installation manual supplied with the pump.