Removing a pool pump impeller is pretty standard, but knowing how to remove stubborn pool pump impellers is a different story. So, what do you do when the impeller just won’t seem to come off? Do you break the impeller off or just throw the whole thing away?
If you’re reading this article, the odds are that you’re in the same predicament. In fact, you’ve probably been scouring the web all day searching for tricks on how to remove it.
Well, scour no more. INYO has you covered.
Keep reading to discover tips and tricks on how to remove stubborn pool pump impellers.
How To Remove A Pool Pump Impeller
For the most part, it is fairly simple to remove a pool pump impeller. In fact, it is something we recommend all pools owners do themselves.
However, if you’re not confident or don’t feel comfortable doing it by yourself yet, don’t worry. We also have a how-to video that shows you how to replace a pool pump impeller step by step. You can watch this video below.
Why Won’t My Impeller Screw Off?
OK, so what happens if you watched the video, followed all of the instructions, but still can’t get the impeller off?
Let’s explore the reasons that might explain why your impeller isn’t coming off.
First things first, did you remove the impeller lock screw?
In some instances, pumps may have a bolted impeller. This is especially true for the older pumps. Originally, the impeller screw was the only thing keeping the impeller in place.
When manufacturers changed the design of the motor, it made the impeller lock screw obsolete, or unnecessary. The reverse thread of the impeller tightens the impeller as the motor turns.
If this is the case, first, remove the impeller screw by turning clockwise.
If you’re having problems removing the screw, inspect for corrosion or calcium buildup. A heavily corroded impeller screw can make it difficult to remove. Use WD40 or another rust removal aid to loosen the screw before trying to unthread.
Sometimes, there may also be a cover over the bolt in front of the impeller, making it difficult to locate.
Stabilizing The Shaft
Next, did you stabilize the shaft to prevent it from moving?
Without securing the shaft, your motor will keep spinning with your impeller. Before attempting to remove the impeller, make sure you remove the motor cap on the backend.
When the cap is off, you have access to the capacitor and to the end of the motor shaft. After shorting the capacitor leads, carefully place a 7/16″ wrench on the flat end of the shaft. Similarly, this prevents the motor from spinning.
Sometimes, you lose your grip trying to turn the impeller. A lot of pool owners take a piece of cloth to help grab the impeller securely. If you’re using metal tools to grab the impeller, be careful.
Rubber Strap Wrench
Now, even after stabilizing the shaft, the impeller still won’t budge. If you are in this predicament, you might want to consider using a strap wrench.
By using a strap wrench, pool owners can gently loosen the impeller and make it easier to unthread.
Depending on the model of the pump, the shaft may vary. Some pumps provide a slot on the end of the shaft to secure with a screwdriver. Often times, you can access the slot by removing the motor cap.
We also have a how-to guide showing pool owners how to remove an impeller off of a Sta-Rite pool pump HERE
Corroded Motor Shaft
A corroded motor shaft will make it nearly impossible to remove the impeller. Once the shaft corrodes, it expands and locks to the impeller sleeve. When this happens, you have to cut off the impeller and chip all of the plastic away from the brass nut before you can remove the nut with a wrench.
Afterward, tap the remaining impeller sleeve out of the back of the pump housing piece by piece.
Typically, a leak from a faulty shaft seal causes the threads to corrode.
Stripped or Broken Impeller Threads
Unfortunately, if your impeller threads strip or break, replacing it is the only option. Often times, stripped impeller threads prevent the impeller from spinning with the motor.
In many cases, the impeller comes off easily. However, in many other cases, it is the exact opposite. If the stripped threads are preventing you from removing the impeller, the only solution might be to break off the impeller.
If you strip the impeller hub, break the old one-off, and remove the hub from the shaft. At this point, you’re not losing any money by breaking the impeller. However, don’t forget to check your old impeller for a part number before tossing it.
In short, when uninstalling your impeller, check for broken or stripped threads. If you can discern whether or not you have a broken or stripped impeller, you can easily choose your method of removal.
Moreover, if you managed to get your impeller off but not sure how to find your replacement, give us a call. We’re always happy to help pool owners enjoy their pools.