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KenR7A 06-17-2008 07:15 PM

New pool pump trips breaker?! New home owner needs advice.
Hello all, I found this forum through Google and it looks like a great place to get some help. (Me being a 1st time home buyer.:whistling2:)

Well, my new house came with a pool and the existing pump turned out to be shot (well, I think it was broken). The old pump would hum for a few seconds and then turn off, then hum again and turn off, over and over etc.

So, my home warranty :thumbup: replaced the filter and pump with new Hayward equipment for free! It came with AO Smith 1hp 115v 12a pump that uses your normal 3 prong cord.

I go to power it up and IT hums, too, for a few seconds BUT this one trips the breaker in the sub panel in the garage.

What could be going on here?! Is the wiring ran by the previous owners undersized? They added a sub panel in the garage fed by what looks like 220 (dual 30A breaker in the main panel) from the home. In the garage, there is one 220v and 3 110 breakers in the sub. The pool has a dedicated line from the breaker. It runs approx 25-30ft ft to an outlet sticking out of the ground next to the pump. On the line is a switch + one GFCI outlet.

Any help is appreciated. If you need more from me to help better formulate and answer, let me know please! I can post pictures if you like. This pool is becoming more pain than its worth. :mad:

Speedy Petey 06-17-2008 08:06 PM

Who installed the pump? Didn't they check it before they left?

KenR7A 06-17-2008 10:16 PM

It was just a plumbing contractor who was sent by the home warranty people to replace the pump and filter. I'm afraid, though, that any electrical issues might not be covered under a home warranty. :(

gregzoll 06-17-2008 10:25 PM

What are you reading for Volts on the outlet between Hot & Neutral when you check it with a Volt Meter? When the pump fired up, did you get any magic smoke?

KenR7A 06-17-2008 10:57 PM

I was planning on purchasing a multimeter tomorrow on my lunch break. I will get that answer to you soon. Thanks for replying.

No magic smoke though!

Does anyone else have their 2 cents to spare?

wirenut1110 06-18-2008 06:23 AM

Was the pump primed prior to starting/testing? I've seen those pumps lock up in 2-3 seconds of running with no water. Either that or the pump is wired for 240 and getting 120 or vice versa. Since you haven't seen the magic, hopefully that's not the case. I just did a quick search and the only motors they have that are straight 120 are fractional HP, all the 1HP's are dual voltage. Check to make sure it's wired correctly.

KenR7A 06-18-2008 07:44 AM

The model is the Power Flo Matrix SP1592:

The site says its 115v 1hp. Am I reading something wrong? As for priming, I believe all that is needed is for the strainer basket on the pump to be filled with water. It was full this entire time while trying to get it working. I did notice these guys crossthreaded the strainer cover, but I fixed that last night. Everything that I can see is properly setup.

Are you saying there might be a switch on it that has a setting for 220 / 110 like on the back of a computer's power supply?

I'll get the voltage reading later today.

wirenut1110 06-18-2008 08:06 AM

I clicked on that link you provided and the 1592 is the only one that doesn't have 115 as the voltage. Look on the motor data plate and it'll say 115 or 115/230. Did the cord come already hooked up or did the plumber put it on?

KenR7A 06-18-2008 08:14 AM

I can confidently state that the label on the motor says 115v (No 115/230 or anything). Is there some place else I need to look on that label? They installed it all while I was at work. I did not witness any of the install process, sorry. :(

wirenut1110 06-18-2008 08:17 AM

If it says 115 then that's what it is. The owner's manual say's
Motor Hums, But Does NOT Start – Check For:
1. Centrifugal switch stuck in OPEN position.
2. Binding of motor shaft.

As has been said, you need to check the voltage at the receptacle. Look also, where the cord was connected to the pump, they could've done something in there. There's not alot of room in there so it could just be something as simple as a wire off or something.

KenR7A 06-18-2008 08:22 AM

I will speak to the plumbers about those two things, thanks. Would it be safe to assume that if, say, one of those two things is the cause, then (as a side effect) the breaker would trip? I would expect the motor to just shut itself off, then attempt to turn back on similar to the old motor. Thanks for helping me out wirenut.

Do you think it would be a good test to try the pump on a good extension cord to a known good working outlet? Just to confirm that the pump itself is setup properly?

OK, I bought a multimeter....I'll get the readings in a few hours when I get home. Thanks guys.

KenR7A 06-18-2008 06:00 PM

Ok the Voltage at the outlet reads a steady 119.5V. I have taken some pictures to help you visualize the area. The wire is 12/2 Romex with Ground.

Its the Grey wire in this image: (Coming out the sub panel in the back corner of the garage.)

It leads up and out the back of the grarage.

down through the GFCI outlet + Switch:

Underground to the pool. (You can get a good idea of the short distance it travels.)

What do you think guys? Is that 12/2 wire enough? Is the 15A breaker enough or possibly "wearing out"? Or could the pump just be installed / wired wrong? I dont know where to turn next.:(

Also, i apologize, the pump is NOT model 1592. DOH


BillyD 06-18-2008 06:05 PM

Try the good extension cord would be the fastest and simple way. If it still doesn't work call the installer back out. If they refuse call the BBB and file a complaint.

BillyD 06-18-2008 06:06 PM

Better yet plug something else in the outlet and see if it works.

KenR7A 06-18-2008 07:54 PM

I just did both. I plugged a 1875W hair dryer into the outlet and it worked fine. I then hooked the pump up to a nice extension that ran to a plug that runs off the house circuit. The pump hummed (for a few seconds longer this time!) and tripped the breaker in my house basement. I guess all signs point to the pump either being installed wrong or defective???

Can someone just confirm for me that 12/2 romex through its own dedicated 15A breaker is sufficient for the pump? I guess I just want to know that the electric part of all of this is not to blame.

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