Does it make sense to repair my pool motor?

Does it Make Sense to Repair My Pool Pump Motor?

When it comes to a failed pool pump motor, the pool owner is faced with that eternal question, “repair or replace?”

Blog Image - Warranty (200 x 200)The first thing to check is if it’s still under warranty.  For a pump that still has the original motor, you would contact the manufacturer of the entire pump.  If you have already replaced the motor before, you would contact the manufacturer of the motor.  As most pump and motor warranties are only 1 year, you might be out of luck but it’s worth double checking the purchase date.

Assuming you are out of warranty, you have a decision to make.  A replacement motor is generally going to cost you in the neighborhood of $150 – $300 depending on the horsepower.  Add another $15 – $30 for the absolutely necessary, non-negotiable new shaft seal.  Can you repair it instead for less?  Probably.  Is it worth it?  Maybe.

click here to find your replacement pool pump parts

Blog Image - Tools (200 x 200)Here’s the deal with repairing pool motors.  You have to figure out the actual problem first.  Is it the capacitor, the bearings, an electrical short?  If you’re mechanical and handy and know your way around a pool pump, then it could be fairly easy for you to diagnose the issue and even repair it yourself.

If you’re none of the above, you will need to have a tech come look at it or take it to a motor shop – and that alone could cost you before any parts are even replaced.  You also need to find a repair person that you trust so you can be confident the real issue is being addressed.  From what we hear from pool owners across the country, that’s a rare find.

Blog Image - Money Scales (200 x 200)Another thing to weigh out is the age of the motor and if it’s worth investing any money into it.  Age is relative to where you are located.  A pump running 365 days a year in warmer climes is going to be “older” than the same pump with the same installation date in a colder region where pools are closed most of the year.  So if it’s over 2 – 3 years old in the Sun Belt or 5 – 6 years old up north, most likely it will not pay to repair it.  Many pool pump motors last less than 5 years; the last thing you want to do is put $100 worth of repairs into a motor that was destined to die in 6 months anyway.  Plus none of your replacement parts will carry a warranty whereas a complete new motor will.

Blog Image - Motor (200 x 200)Especially with online motor prices being more competitive these days (remember, free shipping from Inyo Pools!), it is definitely worth a few searches and a few phone calls to compare prices for replacement vs. repair.  I’ve heard of pool owners getting motor repair quotes locally that are $100 more than the cost of a new motor and seal.  I’ve also heard of handy DIYers who buy a few bearings on the cheap, replace them, and get up and running again.  It really is a case-by-case scenario as there are so many variables affecting each individual pump.

The bottom line – I believe in general you will get more value and longevity out of replacing the complete motor.  Motor replacement also presents you with the opportunity to upgrade to a more energy efficient system – perhaps a lower horsepower if your pump is over-sized as so many are, or a dual speed or variable speed.  In many cases, you can easily recoup your motor expense through energy savings.  To get an idea of variable speed pump savings, try Pentair’s Savings Calculator.  This calculator is based on their IntelliFlo pump but will give you a general idea of energy efficiency’s  impact on your wallet.

If you are in the throes of the repair / replace debate and want one of our techs to chime in, please feel free to call us at 877-372-6038.

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85 thoughts on “Does it Make Sense to Repair My Pool Pump Motor?

  1. If you have a above ground Harris pump 1-1/2 hp it’s manufacture by XtremepowerUS pumps. The parts are interchangeable. All parts are sold by or 1-866-616-1270

  2. Hello, my pool pump, Pentair 2 HP approx 10 years old started leaking yesterday and so did my cleaner hose and then the Polaris 280 cleaner came off in the pool. I know, I lot going on. A pool tech quoted me, without first seeing it firsthand, 10 dollars for the seal, 45 dollars for the hose kit and 150 dollars for labor. Does that sound right?

    1. The cost of the products is not bad, but the labor is ridiculous. Changing a shaft seal takes about an hour, if you run into any trouble. Those hose sections take about 5 minutes to replace.

  3. Hi Mr Simmons.
    Thank, for all your help and answers you have gave to people trying to identify what’s going on with their pool equipment .Now it’s my turn to ask you about my Pentair superflo single speed 1HP ,pool motor pump
    I bought it around 13 months ago new one ,everything was fine until at the end of last month .The motor doesn’t priming at all ,the pool motor pump it running but there is not suctioning water from the pooI checked every single PVC conecction to identify any leak; as well I checked the rubber seal around the cap but everything look normal .I make sure the impeller was free of any debris .I anticipate my thank to you for your advice regard this issue

    1. Unless your water level was too low, you may have missed the air leak somewhere in the line. There isn’t much else that would cause a pump not to prime besides a blockage in the pipe.

      In this guide, How to test for suction side air leaks we show a couple of different methods on how to find the leak. I suggest giving the soap water or incense method a shot.

  4. I just replaced my capacitor and now when powering my motor back up it is running fine just a lot louder than I remember it ever being. Any suggestions?

    1. If it is a grinding sound, then you will need to replace the bearings. If it is a humming sound, then it could be a faulty or incorrect installation of the capacitor. It all depends on the sound you are hearing.

  5. I just replaced my capacitor on my pump motor and now I have a loud whining type noise. Any suggestions? It’s working just louder than I ever remember it

  6. I am in the process of replacing my 3-year old 1-HP Pentair Pump and motor combo. We built this pool 11 years ago and the failed pump and motor is #3. The new one is #4. I have previously scrapped the old gear, but given that the mean time to failure is averaging 3 years, does it make any sense to get it rebuilt as a spare? And if so, how do I find a place to rebuild the motor and the pump as one unit, considering the leaky seal was likely the culprit here. Thanks!

    1. My first thought is, why are you replacing the motor AND the pump every time? A pump housing can last a decade or more without much fuss. If the motor fails, then you just need to replace the motor and shaft seal. It sounds like you have been throwing a lot of money out the window by replacing the whole pump.

      When it comes to finding local service shops, Google is your best friend. “Electric motor shop” “Electric motor repair” are just a couple of things you can type into google to find a suitable result.

  7. Received a quote of $1,685 to replace my pool pump “Installing Hayward Variable Speed with a four year warranty”. I live in northwest Florida. This seems high to me. What are your thoughts?

  8. Hi Matthew,

    My pool motor keeps blowing apart a shooting water out. I have had the bearings replaced and a pool technician come out and try and repair it unsuccessfully. It’s almost like it builds backpressure until it comes apart at the seal and sprays water everywhere.

    Do you have any recommendations?

    Can I send you a video?



  9. I live in Virginia and have an outside pool pump motor that is 16 years old. It runs, but I’ve had to kickstart it the last three seasons after winter as the shaft was initially hard to turn until I worked it loose with a wrench. Should I try replacing the shaft seals before I go with a new pump?

    1. It sounds like you need to replace the bearings in the motor if you have to tug on it with a wrench. Replacing the shaft seal at this point is putting a bandaid on an axe wound. I would replace the bearings (and any other necessary parts) or the motor, to go with a set of new seals.

  10. Hi , my pool pump stops turning on , when i remove the cap on impeller shaft , its hard to turn and can only turn using a wrench couple of times and then when it feels that it turns little easy , the. It will turn on upon switching the electricity.
    Can you please suggest i live in tampa, fl and its been just 2 years that i replaced which costed me around 400$. Shall i keep relacing motors in fl every 2 years.?

    1. If the motor shaft is hard to turn, then it is likely the bearings. These are replaceable of course. My concern with your situation is that you keep replacing these motors every two years. This type of cycle leads me to believe there is something amiss in the pump or in the area around the pump. Most of the times I have seen bad bearings, the issue is with improper shaft seals. Either the seal was installed incorrectly, or it wasn’t replaced when the new motor was installed. Either of those will cause a leak into the motor, rusting bearings and anything else the water gets exposed to. If the shaft seal isn’t the problem, then I would look to outside sources of water, like spray from sprinkler heads, rain runoff or splashing from the pool itself. The motor can be covered to help negate these issues in the future.

      Single speed motors are naturally more sensitive than variable speed motors. The single speed requires vent holes, whereas the variable speed is totally enclosed. Plus the mechanisms that run the respective engines are different, making the variable speed more reliable, durable, and efficient. You might want to look into getting a variable speed

  11. Hello, I have a 3/4 Hayward Pool pump that starts, runs quiet then will stops after 30 seconds and I see some smoke coming from the front of the motor

    1. This is an excerpt from one of our motor troubleshooting guides:

      Motor gets hot and shuts down – Generally due to low voltage or being overloaded. Check that the motor is wired correctly. If the motor is configured for 230V and has 115V coming in, it will shut down after running 3-5 minutes. Check for loose connections. Check for undersized wiring. For a hook-up to the circuit box of under 50′, pumps of up to 2HP wired for 230V need No. 14 size wire, For pumps wired for 115V, the wire size must be No. 14 for 1/2 and 3/4 HP; No 12 for 1 HP; and No. 10 for 1 1/2 and 2 HP. Check that the motor is not overloaded. Does the pump have the correct impeller and diffuser for this motor? Is the impeller worn and rubbing on the diffuser.

  12. Hello, my F1500C Pump is not working nor making any sound at all. I have checked the plug. The GFCI reset nor the test will make it work and it makes no sound at all when plugged into a good outlet. Can you help me determine what I need to do, buy a new one, take it apart…?

  13. We just opened our pool and we went to turn on the pump and all you hear is a quiet humming and nothing works! I would assume its the motor? The whole pump is about 500-600 and a replacement motor is 130 but we think it might be bearings and the pump froze up? my husband said he might try and replace those? im not sure if its worth it?

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