“I think we might need some help in our pump room.”

That is the quote from a facility owner who asked us to come down and visit his facility that was being fully renovated.   Boy was he right.   He had a real mess on his hands and, as unbelievable as the picture seems, it is not uncommon to find pump rooms just like this in facilities throughout this area.

I have attached a picture that we actually use when talking to facility managers that find themselves thinking the same thing and wondering where to start or who to call to fix this problem. We can help you.

The picture:

 

Pump Room Work

The picture in the upper left shows what we found, the lower left shows where we started, and the picture on the right shows where we left the owners after renovation of their pump room.

Unfortunately, most pool designers don’t think about working on pool equipment and most builders don’t deviate too much from what the designers planned out. What you end up with is a placement of equipment that is not arranged or installed with future maintenance needs or even daily operation needs in mind.

A repair technician or pool operator needs to be able to operate their pool equipment without tripping all over piping or having to figure out a “spaghetti bowl” of unlabeled and poorly laid out plumbing. The system valving, piping, and equipment placement should have a logical layout and should be clearly labeled so that any operator with a base level of competence could walk in and operate the pool system.

In terms of maintenance and repair is does no good to cause yourself further expense and aggravation to have to cut away components of a system just to access the components needing maintenance and/or reparir.

Finally, if you see multiple cuts in plumbing, excessive replacement fittings, messy priming or glue joints, or (believe it or not) used equipment or fittings, do yourself a favor and call in a professional.

Let’s face it, from the pictures above, which pump room would you want to work in?

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Pump Seal Installation

You typical swimming pool pump acts as the “heart” of your swimming pool circulation system and is the piece of equipment that provides the flow of water to and from your pool.

One of the key components of your pool pump is the pump seal. This is the part that separates the water flowing through your pump from the motor that powers it. A failure of this part usually results in a breakdown of the pump itself either in very short order or through damage to the motor itself over time.

Here is how the pump seal works:

Pump Seal

The two portions of the seal, as seen above fit together, on the shaft of the pool pump motor (as seen below) and must be placed in a specific way to operate correctly.   A typical pool pump spins at approximately       3450 rpm and thus creates a significant amount of friction/heat. The ceramic and the graphite portions of the seal are placed facing each other and help to create a complete pump seal.

Pump Seal 2

So, what happens when the pump seal is placed “backwards” or incorrectly – meaning the graphite and ceramic portions are not facing each other? The motor will spin normally and will still create a great deal of heat/friction but, ultimately, the seal itself will fail due to the melting of one or both of the seal parts (see picture below). This meltdown or seal failure results in water entering the motor itself and causes damage to the bearings or other parts of the motor which ultimately will cause the motor to sieze. Alternately, the seal could melt to the point that it damages the impeller, diffuser, seal plate, and/or other components of the pump body which could also cause the pump to sieze.

Pump Seal 3