If your motor is smoking of cycling on and off, it is severly overheating. This guide discusses some of the conditions that cause your motor to overheat. If this problem isn't corrected, it will burn out your motor's windings and cause it to fail.
Note: A running motor that is too hot to touch is not necessarily overheating. If the automatic protector is not tripping and the actual running amps do not exceed the maximum amps on the nameplate, the motor is not overheating.
CLEAR DEBRIS - Clear away all debris in and around the motor's air vents at the base of the motor.
CHECK WIRING - Compare connections to wiring diagram on the label of the motor. Make sure motor is connected correctly for applied voltage.
MEASURE SUPPLY VOLTAGE - Use a multimeter to measure the voltage to the motor. Voltage should be + or – 10% of nameplated voltage. If it is higher that +10% call the local power company. If lower than –10% of the nameplated voltage check wire size from the service fuse box or circuit breaker.
Note: Electric demand on the power company varies. If the motor is nuisance tripping because of low voltage it may only trip during the part of the day when electrical usage is the highest. Do your voltage checks at that time of day.
CHECK AMBIENT TEMP - Pool motors are usually designed to operate up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. Artificially high ambients can occur if a motor operates in a confined space and recirculates the same air or circulates air from another motor next to it.
CHECK AMPERAGE - If the amps are higher than nameplate amps but the voltage is acceptable, WITH THE POWER OFF, inspect the motor and the pump for mechanical obstructions that could cause an overload. A common obstruction is a clogged or worn impeller.
CHECK WINDINGS CONTINUITY - Check for continuity of the motor windings for damage or shorting.
CHECK CAPACITOR CONTINUITY - Check for continuity of the capacitors. Some motors have two capacitors, a run capacitor and a start capacitor. If the start capacitor has failed, your pump motor will not run.
CHECK MOTOR SIZE - Make sure the motor is not undersized. Remember, when replacing a pump or motor, the total horsepower is horsepower times service factor. The total horsepower must be equal to or greater than the pump/impeller rating.
CHECK MOTOR START SWITCH - Check the motor start switch and governor (if applicable) to make sure it is adjusted properly
and is operational. Governors on some motors will often stick in the open position.