How To Replace a Pool Motor Shaft Seal

Written by:  Danny Rhodehamel

If you see water leaking out of the bottom of the pool pump assembly, it's a good indication that you may have to replace the shaft seal within the motor pump assembly. As shown in the pool pump cut away, the shaft seal is located in the motor pump assembly behind the impeller. Although this description is specific to a Hayward pool pump, many of the steps can apply to other models of pool pumps.

Tips & Warnings


Things You'll Need

Step by Step

Step 1

The first step is to turn off all power to the pool pump. For maximum safety turn off the power at the circuit breaker to the motor.

Step 2
motor pump assembly

Next you will want to remove the motor pump assembly from the wet end housing. Remove the four 9/16" bolts that bind the motor pump assembly to the housing. Note: some Hayward pool pump models have six bolts.

Step 3
pool pump housing

Now pull the assembly apart from the pool pump housing.

Step 4
pool pump diffuser

After the assembly is out, you should see the pool pump diffuser and diffuser gasket on the end of the assembly. If you do not see the diffuser or its gasket, check inside the housing.

Step 5
pool pump impeller

If the pool pump diffuser came out with the assembly, pull the diffuser off the assembly. You may have to pry it off gently with a screwdriver. Now you will see the pool pump impeller. The shaft seal is behind the impeller so you will now have to remove the impeller.

Step 6
pool pump impeller

To remove the pool pump impeller you will twist the impeller off in a counter clockwise motion. The impeller cannot be freed from the motor shaft without first securing the motor shaft.

Step 7
pool pump assembly

Move to the other end of the motor shaft in the back of the motor assembly. Take off the two screws that hold the back cover onto the pool pump assembly.

Step 8
pool pump motor wiring

You will see the pool pump motor wiring and capacitor. You will have to remove the capacitor to gain access to the end of the motor shaft. Capacitors store power. To avoid a possible shock, lay a screwdriver across the two leads to short out the capacitor. These capacitors sometimes burst when shorted out, so it is a good practice to place a cloth over the capacitor and to wear eye protection.

Step 9
pool pump capacitor

Now unscrew the single screw that hold the capacitor in place and push it out of the way. No need to disconnect capacitor from leads.

Step 10
pool pump motor shaft

Place a 7/16" wrench on the flat end of the pool pump motor shaft to secure the shaft from rotating.

Step 11
pool pump impeller

At the pool pump impeller end, twist off the impeller, counter clockwise. You may have to use a strap wrench to gently free up the impeller.

Step 12
motor shaft seal

Now you will see the motor shaft seal. One half on the pool pump impeller and the other half in the seal plate on the shaft.

Step 13
pool pump impeller

Inspect the threads on the inside of the pool pump impeller. If these are badly worn, you will have to replace the impeller.

Step 14

Stand the motor up on end and gently remove the white ceramic seal inside the seal plate. You may have to use a small screwdriver to gently pry out the seal. If the seal plate lifts off, it may be simpler to push the seal out of the seal plate from the other side.

Step 15
seal plate

Set the new seal on the shaft inside the seal plate - white side up. Be very careful NOT TO TOUCH the white ceramic side of the seal with your hands. If necessary, gently seat the seal with the blunt end of a screwdriver.

Step 16
pool pump impeller

Grab the seal on the pool pump impeller and twist it off. Make a note of how the seal is positioned on the impeller so you know how to place the new seal. It is possible to place this seal upside down. Note: You may have to also have to remove the metal collar if the new shaft seal also has one. Several people have written in saying that the new seal won't fit because they were trying to place the new collar on top of  the old one.

Step 17
pool pump seal

Now push the other half of the new seal onto the pool pump impeller. Place the new seal on in the same postion noted above. Again, DO NOT touch the bearing (top) surface of this seal.

Step 18
pool pump shaft

With the wrench securing the back end of the motor shaft, screw the pool pump impeller back onto the shaft (clockwise). Hand tight is sufficient.

Step 19
pool pump diffuser gasket

Inspect the diffuser gasket for wear. Replace if required. Put a thin coat of lubrication on the gasket.

Step 20
pool pump diffuser

Snap on the pool pump diffuser - no screws are required. Ensure that the part of the diffuser labeled "TOP" is aligned with the "TOP" labeled on the seal plate.

Step 21

Slip the motor assembly into the housing.

Step 22
pool pump bolts

Replace the four bolts evenly. If bolts were numbered 1 though 4, replace bolts in this sequence - 1, 3, 2, 4 - to ensure that the motor is set properly inside the housing. Loosely tighten bolts in this sequence, then go back and tighten them down again in this sequence. If pool pump has 6 bolts, replace bolts in this sequence - 1, 3, 5, 2, 4, 6.

Step 23
pool pump capacitor

Replace the capacitor on the backside of the assembly. Make sure the plastic strip is in place between the clip and capacitor so that the capacitor does not short out.

Step 24
pool pump cover

Replace motor cover and secure with two screws.

Step 25
pool pump strainer lid

Prime pump by removing strainer lid and filling strainer with water. Replace lid.

Step 26

Reset circuit breakers and start pool pump.

Comments (1 to 40 of 74)

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User: Inyopools

No flow - Generally when something isn't working it has to do with what you just changed. Go back through your steps and check the parts that your removed to make sure they are good and that you placed them back like they were.


I just replace the shaft seal for our Hayward motor. The basket is full of water but it is not filling up the filter and circulating back into the pool??? Any suggestions

User: Inyopools

TheChlorinator - Did you replace the shaft seal with a new one? If so and you used all new gaskets, check and see if you have a crack in the pump housing where the motor and housing come together.

User: TheChlorinator

Hello - So I just went through and replaced the gasket, impeller, seals, etc. via a maintenance/go kit. I used your video which helped me every step of the way. Turned on the pump, still behaving the same. I had to work up enough water between the skimmer and drains/jets to get the pump to work, but the water is still coming out of the bottom pretty heavily, not dripping. It's more of a stream of water than a drip. Any ideas what I should try next? It's really hard to see where the leak is coming from since it's on the bottom, but it's definitely what seems like in the area of the bolts that connect the motor and stuff. Sorry I'm not so pool savvy. Any ideas?

User: Inyopools

Newpool owner - Try applying a soapy solution on all the suction line connections [between the intake port of the pump and the pool]. If you see any bubbles being sucked in, you have a suction air leak.

User: Newpoolowner

When I open the pool this year the pump stated to suck air. It's fine for about 20 secs and then again air bubbles inside the pump strainer. I didn't have this problem last year. I hope it's not a cracked line, I am also not losing water. That I can see.

User: Inyopools

starite seal plate leak - Sounds like a good place to start, but if the pump is "very old", you might better put that money towards a new more cost efficient pump. Look for EE [Energy Efficient]. Saves about 20% in operating costs.

User: starite seal plate leak

I have a drip between motor and pump, and replaced the shaft seal and all O rings, but drip continues. Could it be a "warped" seal plate (it's very old)? If I buy/install new seal plate kit including shaft seal, is it likely to fix drip? Sta Rite dura glass/maxe glass pump. Seal plate kit C203-193P?

User: Inyopools

Craig - You don't have to lubricate the motor shaft seal. And definitely don't lubricate the surfaces of the shaft seal that come into contact with each other.

User: Craig

I didn't order any lubricant with new my shaft seal. Can I lubricate the pump motor shaft seal with silicone grease?

User: Inyopools

SAMUEL JOYE - Make sure all the gaskets are installed - like the diffuser gasket. If applicable, check the union on the suction side of the pump to make sure the o-ring is in place. Fill the strainer basket with water before you turn the pump on.



User: Inyopools

new to this - If the leak is between the motor and the pump and you can see it spraying or dripping out at this junction, your housing gasket probably needs to be replaced. With this kind of leak you can still run your motor. If you have water dripping out of the bottom of the motor, your shaft seal is leaking and spraying water inside the motor. You should not run your motor with a bad shaft seal. See our guide on "How To Replace Pool Pump Gaskets" for more information.

User: new to this

My pool stopped pulling water. The repair person replaced something to do with the impeller, but now there is a leak from the bottom between the motor and the pump, which sounds like a shaft seal problem. The repair person says he cannot come until Monday (4 days from now)!
QUESTION: Can I run the pump with the leak so my pool doesn't turn green while waiting for the repair person?

User: Inyopools

GinaBeena33 - If the pump ran dry for any period of time and water is leaking under the motor, the shaft seal is probably damaged and will have to be replaced.

User: GinaBeena33

My husband forgot to put enough water into the pool and while I was away the pool pump ran without enough water. Since I've been home, I have tried to reprime the pump. Right now, the pump turns on and it have plenty of water in the strainer housing. The pump is not sucking in water and not pushing it to the sand filter. I've noticed water leaking from the bottom of the pump coming from the metal spinning rod thing (sorry to get technical. Does this seem like a shaft seal situation, or should I be looking for something else? Thanks!

User: Inyopools

mnyrk - Here's the seal kit for your Leisure Bay Cyclone 200 pump. See this link. I would try replacing the seal first, but it sounds like you may have bearing problems that may also have to be replaced.

User: mnyrk

I have a Leisure Bay Cyclone 200 Pump/Filter assembly. The pump was hard starting this spring. I broke it free with pliers to get it spinning. Its working fine now, but the pump has a high pitched whine to it and it is leaking a tiny bit of water. Is there a seal in that pump/motor set that can be replaced to stop the noise?

User: rgholloman

Thank you yet again

User: Inyopools

2428dakota - No, the motor shaft seal is different for each pump. Half of the seal is mounted into the seal plate of the pump. After you have identified what pump you have by manufacture and model, go to our website and look up the replacement parts for that pump. It will list the specific shaft seal required for your pump.

User: 2428dakota

I am replacing my main seal shaft on my AO Smith motor. Is this a standard part that is the same on all pool pump motors? I have looked everywhere for an AO Smith part, to no avail.

User: InyoPools

Chuck - Unfortunately the only way to remove the shaft seal is to remove the motor. The shaft seal is on the shaft of the motor.

User: Chuck

I'm replacing a seal on an older Hayward Powerflo pump. Is there a way to get the ceramic part out without removing the motor? The motor bolts are corroded stuck. Alternatively, can I replace the black part of the seal without replacing the ceramic white part if the white part seems fine?

User: InyoPools

istillhatepoolpumps - The V-shaped part on the electrical end of your pump is called a stationary switch. If you have a AO Smith motor, the part number for this switch is 5270-64.

User: istillhatepoolpumps

What is the "V"-shaped part that sits right beside the capacitor and what does it do? Because I'm pretty sure we broke it when trying to secure the motor shaft. Can it be replaced?

User: InyoPools

Ihatepoolpumps - Check to make sure the shaft spins freely. If not your bearings may be bad or your shaft seal may not be seated completely and may be binding. Also check that the leads to your capacitor did not come lose when you moved it to get at the back end of the shaft. Then check to make sure your capacitor is still good. See our guide on checking and replacing a capacitor.

User: Ihatepoolpumps!!!

Okay so we did all of this step by step. When we put the back on we flipped the breaker back on and turned the pump on. All it did was give us a slight buzzing noise and the pump never kicked on. Is it possible that the capacitor just needs to recharge? Or did we definitely disconnect a wire or mess up something else electrical?

User: InyoPools

jose - Your motor bearings may be going and generally when the motor gets to that point, people replace the motor. Also check to make sure something is not caught in the impeller that might be rubbing on the inside of the motor.

User: jose

I have a Super pump from Hayward and I notice a noise like from the pump because the motor was working good.then, I turn off the motor,but I dont know what it can be.I am going to do step by step the how to replace...but I dont know what it can be or that I can be aware of.thank you

User: InyoPools

Manfred - Looks like you have the correct shaft seal, but it looks like its the generic version. You might try the OEM seal and see if you have better luck. Our PN is SPX1600Z2.

User: Manfred

I have a Hayward Super Pump 1 1/2 hp since June 2009. After two years it started leaking between motor and pump housing. I replaced the shaft seal as disribed without touching the ceramic parts and the impeller. The pump was running well and started to leak again after 3 month. The shaft seal was worn. I replaced it and it worked fine again for another 3 month and so on. Now it's leaking again and it would be the 4th shaft seal to be replaced. What could be wrong? The pump and motor is otherwise running well and makes the regular noise. The shaft seal is from U.S.Seal MFG.PS-201. Could you please help me out? I'm getting tired of replacing the shaft seal every 3 month. Thank you.


Really hated to get started on this but after reviewing the instuctions even though I really didn't want to do it it was a breeze. I'm no mechanic but it was great after looking at these instructions a couple times.

User: InyoPools

haden - 30 years is a very long lifetime for a pump. It is probably time to buy another one. The new designs are generally more efficient so you will probably save money in operating costs.

User: haden

I have replaced the shaft seal twice on my pack fab challenger I have not touched seal,used lub provided by pool supply store, and it continues to leak even with two different motors. I cannot see any cracks in housing. do I need to buy a new pump? this one is over 30 years old

User: InyoPools

stuck impeller - If you have an old pump that has never been serviced, it may be corroded and parts may not come apart as easily as shown here. Try using WD-40 or a similar product to help free up the parts. Also be aware that some impellers are also held on with a set screw that has to be backed out before the impeller will come off.


What do you do if the impeller doesnt come off as simply as your pictures show.Your pump looks as if it has been taken a part many times mine isnt painted like yours.

User: scott

Fantastic diagram(s) and instruction, thanks for this site, it saved me a ton of trouble and money.

User: InyoPools

Paul - Yes the black shinny surface of the shaft seal on the impeller side is supposed to come in direct contact with the white ceramic surface of the shaft seal in the seal plate side.

User: Paul

I have a question:
Replaced the seal in my Hayward super pump. However I am confused on which way the shaft seal is to be seated in the seal plate. One side of the ceramic is grooved. Is this side exposed or is the grooved part facing the rubber gasket. In other words when you look at the seal plate is the shaft seal surface smooth side up or groove side. ALSO on the seal assembly with the spring that goes on the impeller, is the black plastic piece supposed to be in dirrect contact with the white ceramic shaft seal? If so I cannot understand how this would not cause a leak. Thank you so much in advance for your response and time.
pittsburgh, pa

User: InyoPools

George - I would take the motor out of the pump and check that the impeller is not broken or clogged with debris that jams the motor. It the motor shaft moves easily when you have it out, you may have a bad motor that will have to be replaced.

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Tips & Warnings

Do not touch the white ceramic surfaces of the new seals during installation

Short out capacitor before handling to avoid shock.

Remember to turn off power to the motor at the circuit breaker prior to working of the motor pump.

Please Note:

Inyo Pool Products is not responsible for any injury or damaged equipment
while using our guides. Using our guides is doing so at your own risk.
These guides are suggested use of your pool or spa equipment and may vary
depending on which product you are using.