How To Troubleshoot a Pool Pump Motor - Motor Shuts Down

WRITTEN BY:  Inyo Pools

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If your pool pump motor starts but shuts down unexpectedly it is probably overloaded and the thermal overload protection device has tripped. This guide discusses what to look for to correct this issue.

Step by Step

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Step 1

CHECK VOLTAGE - Measure the voltage level to the motor terminal. It should be within 10 percent of the voltage listed on the motor label. If it is too high call the local Power Company. This picture shows measuring the voltage across the two output lines to the pump.

Step 2

CHECK AMPERAGE - Measure the amperage to the motor terminal. If high, find out if the pump impeller was recently replaced (it could be sized incorrectly). Remember, motor horsepower times the service factor = total horsepower. Total horsepower must be equal to or greater than the impeller rating. If the impeller is too large for the motor, it will be trying to push more water than the motor can handle and the motor will overload, get hot, and shut down.

Comments

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(1 to 40 of 80)

Frustrated  Posted: 11/1/2018 

I have a Hayward Proline panel box and a Single speed pump motor. The motor has started shutting off after about 15 minutes. We thought it was the motor since it was quite some yrs old but the new motor is doing the same thing. The turbo cell is also showing no flow. It was working fine before we had a hurricane on Oct 10th. I flipped the power off before the storm and then after turning on and back washed about 4 times during vacuuming sand out of the pool. After this it started shutting off after 15 minutes. I am pulling my hair out trying to figure this out.
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InyoPools Product Specialist Robert M.  Posted: 11/2/2018 

It's a good possibility that the pump motor is alright and that the problem is in the configuration of the ProLogic.  If 'flow monitoring' is enabled in the configuration then this is a frequent occurrence.  To disable 'flow monitoring' of the pump, follow these steps at the ProLogic's front panel:Press the menu button until 'Config Menu' displays.  The screen will say 'locked'.Press and hold both the left and the right arrow together for about five seconds.  The screen will show 'unlocked'Press the right arrow until 'Filter Config' displays.  Press the plus button once.Press the right arrow until 'Flow Monitor' displays.  It will show 'Enabled' if this is the cause of the problem.To toggle 'Flow Monitor' to 'Disabled' just press the plus button once then press the menu button once to exit.When the filter pump restarts it should run for a full timed cycle.
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Shea Harrell  Posted: 11/2/2018 

Thank you Robert. I will try this and let you know if it worked (fingers crossed).
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Shea Harrell  Posted: 11/2/2018 

Robert - You are worth your weight in gold. I did exactly what you said and the pump is still running and has been 3 1/2 hours and it looks like the chlorinator flow is also working. Were these instructions suppose to fix the no flow on the chlorinator also?
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InyoPools Product Specialist Robert M.  Posted: 11/5/2018 

We're glad to hear everything is working. Yes, the fix to the no flow on the chlorinator would be a byproduct of the pump working correctly.
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InyoPools Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 9/25/2017 

Doug - If it worked well before being submerged and doesn't now, the water probably damaged some of the electrical circuits. Try taking the motor into a pool store to see if they can test it for you. Here is a guide on "How To Replace AO Smith Motor Parts - Overview" that shows you what electrical parts may be involved. Also, look at our guide on "How To Use a Multimeter to Test a Pool Pump Motor - Winding Resistance" to check out the motor windings.
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Doug  Posted: 9/23/2017 

I have a roaring river 1hp pump that when its under load it shuts off after 4 sec when not under load runs fine the pump is 3 months old it ran dry during the hurricane and got submerged for two days pulled it out dryed it out now it comes on but shuts off under load worked fine before the storm
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InyoPools Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 7/30/2017 

Charles - If your motor's thermal breaker is tripping frequently, this is an indication that your motor is running too hot and its current level is too high. Look for easy fixes first like blocked air vents or a bad capacitor. See our guide on "How To Troubleshoot a Pool Pump Motor - Motor Overheated". However, if this overheating issue has been a problem for awhile, chances are high that it has caused shortages in the windings which escalate the current problem and eventually leads to total failure.
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Charles  Posted: 7/28/2017 

I have a jandy 1 1/2 HP single speed pump. I have gotten so the thermal breaker is tripping. The unit is 3 years old and runs year round in that we have water features with our pool. We also have an electric Heat pump heater as well as a Solar Attic Solar system in the loop. we have had no issues with the system until recently. I am thinking of making a change to a 2HP 2 speed system (Jandy flopro) ... What would cause the current motor to trip. I have cleaned the filter checked the flow etc.
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InyoPools Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 7/27/2017 

Carol - Check that your new motor has the same total HP [HPxSF) as the old motor. They could both say 1 HP but if the product of HP times service factor (SF) is not the same, you might have substituted a smaller motor into your pump. Since the impeller did not change, it would be trying to push the same amount of water through the pump as the bigger motor, and it would overheat.
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Carol  Posted: 7/26/2017 

Just replaced motor on pool. Hayward super pump 1.0 to a new pump with same specs. Motor keeps overheating and shuts down. Volt and amp are good. Ideas?
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InyoPools Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 7/9/2017 

Al - If it is humming, you may have a bad start capacitor. Try replacing that first. See our guide on "How To Replace a Pool Pump Capacitor". If that doesn't work or your pressure is still high, see our guide on "How to Reduce High Pressure in Your Pool System".
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Al  Posted: 7/4/2017 

I have a Hayward powerful LX pump. It ran at the start of the season but the pressure was too high and it was really difficult to bump.i took it apart and cleaned the fingers, replaced it and it ran for about 20 seconds and shut down. It tripped the breakers and every tone I try to restart it it continues to trip . Any ideas? Now it just hums then trips
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InyoPools Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 6/30/2017 

brainfart - If your motor was running dry for three hours, it may have been permanently damaged. It does have a thermal protector that shuts the motor off as it heats up then allows the motor to restart after it cools. If this cycle happened many times over the 3 hour period, it finally stops working. I'd take the motor into a place that can check it to see if it is damaged beyond repair.
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brainfart  Posted: 6/28/2017 

I took my TurboCell in for testing (it's dead) and did not disengage the auto on switch before my motor. I was planning to put it right back on but didn't get to it until this morning and the pump had been attempting to run for about 3 hours. It was doing nothing when I went out there and now with the TurboCell back on, the motor starts and shuts down after about 20 seconds. Am I screwed? It seems like it is trying to run as normal for those 20 seconds.
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InyoPools Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 6/24/2017 

Anonymous (stuck motor) - I'd check the capacitor again. Also, check that the governor is not stuck open. It disengages the start switch when the motor gets up to speed. See our guide on "How To Replace the Governor on an AO Smith Motor". Then, do a continuity check on the motor winding to make sure they don't have a short in them.
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Anonymous  Posted: 6/22/2017 

I am having a problem with my motor, it just hums and won't start. However if I turn the shaft it will start up and run all day. I have changed the start capacitor and verified that the starter switch is working fine. I am at a loss, the motor ran fine last year when I bought it, this year it ran fine for a couple of weeks than all of a sudden it would not start. Nothing is jammed, the shaft spins freely. Anybody got any ideas ?
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InyoPools Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 5/30/2017 

charles - You probably should have changed the pump's impeller and possibly its diffuser. When you downgraded your pump's motor that had a total HP of 1.125 (3/4 HP x 1.5 SF) to a motor with a THP of 3/4 HP (3/4 x 1.0) without changing the impeller, the smaller motor had to do the work of the larger motor and probably failed. Not sure why this occurred when you changed filter modes. Did you remember to turn off the pump before you changed modes?
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charles  Posted: 5/30/2017 

I recently replaced my pump. Now when I switch from one setting to another (rinse / backwash / filter) the fuse trips. From previous comments it sounds like the impeller. I didn't change the impeller. The old pump was 3/4HP with SF of 1.5. The new pump is 3/4HP with SF of 1. Do I need to change the impeller?
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InyoPools Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 5/29/2017 

DAVID - I do not understand the correlation between the multiport valve (MPV) on the filter and the pump shutting down. The pump should be off when you rotate the handle on the MPV. When you try to turn the pump back on after changing to backwash, does it fail to start?
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InyoPools Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 5/29/2017 

Smoked - Check the gauge of wire between your pump and the circuit breaker. If you have a long run, you may have to go up a gauge of two. If that's good, you may have to invest in a new motor.
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DAVID  Posted: 5/27/2017 

We have an Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX 1.5hp pump. When I go to backwash the filter pump shuts down. I replaced the pump thinking it was bad. The new one is doing the same thing. We have a sand filter and no pressure gage. Any idea's as to what could be the problem?
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Smoked  Posted: 5/26/2017 

I have a 1.0 HP Hayward Superpump that's about 5 years old or so. Recently, it got hot and shut down. It's plugged into a GFCI, which was blackened around the plug. The wiring inside the junction box at the pump got hot enough to melt one of the wire nuts in half, causing it to fall off. I cut the wire back and re-wired the pump. It clicked a few times and then was silent. Is it fixable or is it more cost effective to replace the pump motor?
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InyoPools Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 5/3/2017 

JR - If you replaced the impeller recently, I would concentrate on that. Make sure you have the correct replacement impeller. It has to match the total HP calculated for your motor, not the HP. Total HP rating is calculated by multiplying the listed HP on the motor label with the motor's Service Factor (SF). If the impeller is a size larger than the original, it will require greater torque than the motor can deliver and overheat quickly. Also, check that the new shaft seal was seated correctly. If it is not on straight, it will add friction to the rotating motor and cause it to overheat.
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JR  Posted: 5/2/2017 

Have a Century AO Smith B849 that was replaced about 3 years ago, and the impeller was replaced just a couple months ago. Pool ran fine for a while then recently it started doing a start loop. It tries to start up, I can immediately see water moving in the clear top pump filter basket, but then stops within a few seconds. Then it tries again in a few minutes, but never gets actually running. Pool man says I need a new pump, but the first pump lasted 16 years, and the same pump (B849) the 2nd time lasts only 3 years? Doesn't seem right?
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InyoPools Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 3/6/2017 

Voltboy - Sounds like an issue with your Jandy RS control board. You will probably have to call Jandy (now Zodiac) on this one. Their number is 800-822-7933.
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Voltboy  Posted: 3/2/2017 

Ok check this out. When my epump starts up on its normal daily time it knocks my RS control panel offline. at the end of the time it turns off like normal and shows my panel back online and I can use any of the other pumps of features again. but while my main pump is on I can't do a thing on my iaqualink or the board. Wifi is showing still connected on the iaqualing box.
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InyoPools Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 1/25/2017 

MickeyGzzz - If your motor just hums and won't turn over, it's probably due to a bad start capacitor. I would replace the start capacitor. If that doesn’t work, you may have a short in the motor windings.
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MickeyGzzz  Posted: 1/25/2017 

I have a pump with a start capacitor on the rear end of the motor and have a run capacitor on the top of the motor.
I swapped out the run capacitor on the top motor gets juice but only humming. Impellers are free moving
Would my next step to replace the start capacitor?

Thank you
Mick
 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 10/11/2016 

Bob - Sorry for the delay. we had a system issue. The replacement speed controller for your VS JEP1.5 pump is not in our system yet. I will see if is available and get back to you.
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InyoPools Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 10/11/2016 

glurge - Does the motor just hum when you turn it on? If so, you may have a bad start capacitor. See our guide on "How To Replace a Pool Pump Capacitor".
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Glurge  Posted: 10/10/2016 

I have a US Motors 1081 Pool Motor 1.0 HP Model C55CXKMB-5012. It is fairly new only a few months in service. Today I tried to run it and it comes on for a few seconds, sounds like nothing is spinning and then cuts off. Any idea what is happening. It was working fine the previous day??
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Bob  Posted: 10/4/2016 

I just spoke with Jandy tech support. They said there's no replacement parts in the speed control box on the motor. It's a Gen II model JEP 1.5, by the way. Also said the speed control is now available without the motor, and to see about getting one installed. Would not sell me one. It's a recent release, part number R0688600. Can you give me a quote for one? I included my email address. Thanks again!
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InyoPools Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 10/3/2016 

Bob - Your pump problem could well be that you run capacitor is starting to fail. They are fairly inexpensive. I would try replacing it. As the capacitor fails, the terminal end of the capacitor starts to bow out.
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Bob  Posted: 10/1/2016 

I have a 1.5 HP motor Jandy Stealth pump with an AO Smith motor, about 4 years old. It was running fine, but then started running at varying speeds and stopping. It does not trip any breakers. If left alone it will start and run and pump, then stop after about 45 seconds. I've checked and there are no blockages, it seems electrical or controls related. Could this be due to the run capacitor going out? Thank you for offering all the advice to everyone!
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InyoPools Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 9/7/2016 

pump stumped - Check to make sure you are getting 220V to the pump motor. If you have an older pump, it might be time to replace it. However you only have to change the motor. According to your specs, here is a link to your replacement motor.
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pump stumped  Posted: 9/5/2016 

I have a 1.5 Hp xp2 flow-master 220 volt pump . This is the main circulation pump in my bull Frog Spa. The pump is getting very hot and cycles off and back on once it cools down. I have switched the power from pump 1 and 2 on the circuit board and the other pump works fine so I have ruled out a relay I am guessing. Is their anything else I can do before I replace the entire pump? Any info would be appreciated .
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InyoPools Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 8/30/2016 

1.5 HP impeller - If the pool service guy thinks it's the impeller, I would have that looked at first. They are relatively easy to replace and much cheaper than a new motor. See our guide on "How To Replace A Pool Pump Impeller".
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Anonymous  Posted: 8/29/2016 

My pool motor Hayward C4812N134C1 1.5 hp was put in 4 years ago, now not working my pool service guy said it is the impeller but said it is better to replace than repair as it may be something else. I changed my filter to 150 SQF clean and clear 3 months ago. Any suggestions if should consider fixing or replacing pump?
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InyoPools Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 8/16/2016 

2HP Jandy pump - When you shelter the pump, leave enough room around it for ventilation. Also, you might consider elevating the pump with additional pavers to help keep the motor vents free of debris. One customer did this and found a significant reduction in motor heat.
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