Flooded Pump Box Will pumps be okay?

jalal(z3/Canada)July 14, 2010

We've had 4" of rain in the last 24 hours. I went outside to check the pond at 7 Pm tonight and discovered the pumps were off. Opened up the pump box (in ground) and both pumps were sitting in about 4 inches of water. They were off cause they threw the breaker. Shopvaced the water out and removed both pumps as it started raining again and the pit was filling up slowly as I vacummed. The ground water level is so full that its just seeping up through the ground. Same as the house. Sump pump running every 10 minutes and I just shop vacced about 50 gals off the floor and from the backwater valve box. Water is seeping up throught the concrete floor in the house.

At present no pumps running the pond. Plugged in the Dolphin Air pump just to get some aeration and dropped an airstone down into the waterfall filter--hopefully that will keep the good bacteria from dying.

I have both pumps in the garage with the small heater going in front of them--thinking to dry out the pumps. I'm hoping that they aren't hooped. I have never had water in the pump box before we've just had so much rain.

Any ideas on testing the pumps or is it just letting them dry out? The pump box is 2 x 6 in ground--just a pit lined with green lumber on the sides and bottom with pond liner on the bottom and up the sides. The water was coming up around the pipework from the skimmer where there is no liner. I'm thinking next year I might have to build an above ground pump box--although I'm not sure how to do the plumbing for that.

How long can I run just an airstone in the biofalls and the pond before the good bacteria dies? At least it's not hot so the Dolphin pump is providing lots of aeration for the pond.

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horton(6 b Ontario.)

Patti, normally water would have a difficult time seeping into the windings of the pump's electric motor, as they are sealed up pretty tight.
It probably got in where the cord connects to the pump or the water got into the receptacles that you plug the pumps into, if the receptacles are also down in the pump pit?

What type of pumps are they?
How is the electrical cord attached to the pump via a connection gland or a rubber/neoprene grommet or a connection box on the side of the pump?
A photograph of the pumps showing the cord connection would be helpful.

You say the breaker tripped.
Were the pumps plugged into GFCI receptacles or into receptacles which are fed from a circuit controlled by a GFCI breaker, located in the electrical panel?
Did you re-set the breaker?
If you did, did it stay on?

If you can get back to me with the answers to those questions, it would give me a better idea of what you are dealing with.
I can then give you a couple of things to try and tests to make. I don't want to suggest anything until I know exactly what we are dealing with.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 8:02AM
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mjmcdevitt(South Jersey z6)

I have had the same problem in the past, though not to that extent. It does trip the GFCI breaker and won't stop tripping until the motor is completely dry. I have in the past ran an extension cord from a non-gfci outlet and let the motor runs for a couple of hours to dry out. REMEMBER, if you do this you will not have GFCI protection so do not touch the motor while you do this. After a couple of hours I can reset the GFCI breaker and plug the motor in. Good luck.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 1:43PM
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Hi Horton. It never rains but pours here!
Both pumps have a connection box on the side of the pump with some kind of rubber thing around just where the cord comes out. And yes when I checked the pumps in the garage later there was some moisture right where the cord came out of the box.

They are plugged into a ground fault receptacle at the top of the pump box. The breaker the receptacle is wired to in the house is a GF Breaker (requirred code here). The breaker in the house didn't go off only the little breaker thing on the receptacle and when I reset it it stayed on.

I had to go out for a while yesterday so don't know exactly when they when off. They were on at 4 pm and off at 7.

Both are MDM pumps, a Sequence and a Sequel if that helps.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 1:47PM
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horton(6 b Ontario.)

Ah yes Patti, that is very helpful indeed.
So we can take it that the connection box on the pumps got some water in to them and in turn this caused the GFCI receptacle to trip.

I had to qualify with you whether it was just the receptacle or the panel breaker that tripped, before I suggested anything.

I would not advise you to try running your pumps from an unprotected receptacle, until you are sure the pumps are dried out completely.

On a side note,I'm surprised that you require both a GFCI breaker and a GFCI receptacle on the same circuit, seems like a bit of overkill to me!!??

Anyway that is not important at the present time.
Here is what I would suggest you do.
If it is possible for you to take the cover off the connection box on each pump and let the insides dry off thoroughly, that should clear up the ground fault.
If not keep the heat blowing on the pump for a day or so and then try the following. You can also utilize a hair dryer for this purpose and wiggle the wires around as you dry them out.

To test the pumps prior to installing them back in the pit.

Plug a temporary extension cord into the GFCI receptacle in the pit and then plug the pump into the extension cord.....just in and out quickly..... to see if the pump runs without tripping the GFCI again.
That way you have checked the pumps and the GFCI receptacles at the same time.

If that works okay, you are home and dry (pun intended)

You could if you wish, wrap around the seam of the connection box with electrical tape to keep the moisture out of it in the future. Or you can run a bead of silicone seal around the seam of the box and also where the cable enters to seal out the moisture. Either way will work.
Just be sure both of the pumps are all dried up and running okay before you seal up the connection boxes.

That should keep them moisture proof in the future.

I hope everything goes well for you and that the rain stops and you get back to normal living soon. You are having a wild time with the weather out there.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 3:01PM
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I used the hair dryer on the end and each electrical box on the pumps. Hooked up the Sequence pump first--the electrical box on it is on the top above the motor. It ran no problem--which is good as that one is running the biofalls where all the filter media is.

The Sequel electrical box is near the bottom of the motor and the cord comes out the bottom. As soon as I plugged it in it tripped the breaker. So obviously that one is still wet in there. I suspect this pump is the one that tripped the breaker in the first place as water only has to rise 2" to hit the cord/electrical box on the pump. Reset the breaker and the smaller pump works fine--no whining noise which could mean bearings?

I have to go to work so will leave the bigger pump not running--it runs my sc and bd. Will try your extension cord idea as can run it to a different outside plug that has a GF breaker in the house. I think I will also see if I can find a plastic box to sit that pump in in case I have water issues again.

Will check forum later. Thanks Patti

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 4:09PM
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horton(6 b Ontario.)

Patti, Good news!
I hope the other one dries out soon for you.
Don't forget to give them a lick of silicone to seal them up.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 4:18PM
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horton(6 b Ontario.)

Forgot! you mentioned "no whining sound from small pump, could be bearings?"
I don't believe so, maybe the pump was glad of the short rest and has decided to run quietly!
Keep an ear open,

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 4:24PM
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I have a Sequence pump and this has happened to me a gajillion times- I finally had to install a drainage line to pull water away. If you start hearing noise then it probably is the bearings. Even if the pump stops and won't come back on it's probably still the bearings. I've replaced those at least 3 times in 4 years and the pump runs fine afterwards. Lucky for me I work at a water treatment plant and our maintenance guys know pumps well! Otherwise I would've thought the pump was long gone by now.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 11:05PM
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Got home from work early. Have picked up a few shifts with my old job--am unemployed right now which isn't great. The Sequence is still running and no water in the pit this morning or now which means the water is soaking into the ground. I'm thinking if I leave my pumps in ground that I might need to make some kind of dry well or something beside the pump box if we continue to get these rainfalls we've had this year. We're up to 16" in the last month so the ground is pretty saturated. Usually when I do water changes I pump the water onto my flower bed but my Bearded Iris were turning yellow from all the water so I've been pumping it out to the back down the alley.
Will try the other pump again tomorrow. If it blows the breaker I'll pull it and try to get the connection box open--has weird little nuts on it. I'm also going to look for some kind of plastic container to sit that pump in as the cord is at the bottom of the pump.
Both these pumps run very quiet. The Sequence is a little noisier as has a bent shaft--runs a little noisier on startup. The stupid Dolphin air pump is really noisy. Anyone want one? It's too much aeration for my pond especially when both waterfalls are running and is loud like a compressor running. Will sell if anyone interested.
Koi clay arrived today so am going to dose the pond as really stirred up after all the rain.
Thanks again for your help!
Oh if I silicone around the electrical thing do I have to wait for it to set before running the pump. You said to test it first. It would be a little hard to get silicone around it because of where it's sitting unless I pull the pump again!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 11:14PM
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horton(6 b Ontario.)

Patti, sounds like good news, at least one of the pumps is working okay.
I would say that once the other one dries out it will be okay also.
I meant for you to try the pump before you hooked up the piping, but that's okay, it runs.
The silicone seal will not affect the running of the pumps.
As I said previously, be sure they are well dried out before sealing the connection box/cable entry area, as you don't want to trap any moisture in there.

I sent you an e-mail in regards to the Calcium Bentonite, Canadian source and cost. Anyone else interested in purchasing Calcium Bentonite at a very reasonable cost can e-mail me for the address. I have a source for it in Canada and in the USA.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 7:07AM
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horton(6 b Ontario.)

cweathersby, you said you have had to replace the bearings three times in four years. That is three times to often I would say.
Those bearing should last a great deal longer than that, before ever having to be replaced. Something has to be out of whack between the motor and the pump unit, for bearings to go that often.
I see one dealership gives a four year warranty on their Sequence pumps. I doubt they would offer that if they knew that the bearings would not last for four years??

I cannot understand why the manufacturers cannot seal an external pump's connection box to stop water/moisture from entering and causing a ground fault to occur.
It just doesn't make any sense to me.
If the pump is meant to be sitting out in the open air, where it is subjected to rain/snow, or intended to be installed down in a pump chamber, the electrical connection box/entry gland, should be totally waterproof, one would think.
Some one has missed something when these pumps were certified by the Underwriters Laboratories/ CSA, etc.

I have worked around electric motors and pumps most of my working life and I can say that I have not come across any motor/pump used outside, that was not properly sealed to make it waterproof or classified as moisture proof.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 8:08AM
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These pump have totally enclosed motors on them which means that they are water resistant but not water proof or explosion proof. If you do submerse these pumps to the point that the bearings are under water the bearing may or may not be okay depending on how much grease got washed out of the bearing. It depends on weather the motor was still turning when the water got to the bearing or how many times it has been submersed. Normally the first time that it is submersed if the motor is plugged into a working GFCI the bearing will be fine. The second time the bearing will make some noise. Changing bearings on these pumps is not hard but should be done by someone who knows what they are doing. With all this said the manufacturer will tell you that the motor should be replaced if submersed as it could do damage to the windings and the motor could then short.

These pumps are water resistant and not submersible and as such will not have a problem getting UL approval. As such they have no problem out in the rain and snow depending on how much wind there is. In a hurricane they may or may not make it okay. If they are not running during the hurricane they are more likely not to make it. But they can not be flooded.

Even sealing the electrical connection box will not stop the motor from shorting out as the water is going to get into the motor and short out the open connection inside the motor on the over rev protector on the motor.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 2:02PM
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The good thing is, new bearings are only $8 or so.

Like I said, my pump got flooded over and over. Sometimes for hours at a time. Most of the time the pump was fine afterwards, but occasionally it would start knocking. Changing the bearings fixed the knocking and everything would be good to go after that. After one big rain though, the pump stopped and wouldn't come back on. No knocking, just NOTHING! I figured it was fried. Took it up here to our repair guys and it was the bearings- they had rusted in place.

But, finally got the drainage taken care of, so hopefully this will no longer be an issue.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 2:33PM
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horton(6 b Ontario.)

Mike, I'm fully aware that these pumps are not intended to be submerged in water. That's why they call them external pumps!
I'm also well aware of what a totally enclosed motor is, having worked on installing hundreds them and having repaired hundreds of them through the years.
And it all depends on how long the motor has been submerged and the length of time the water has been in there. Plus it also depends on the quality of the motor.

But that is not what is being discussed here. We are discussing an external pump's electric wiring connection box/ cable entrance taking in water and tripping out a GFIC device. Not about water getting into the inside and effecting the motors windings or the area of the pump where the centrifugal switch is located or into the capacitor, if applicable.

Of course the manufacturers can properly seal any connection box, so that it does not allow moisture in, if they have the mind to.
I have retro sealed many electric motor connection boxes to keep water/moisture out that were not sealed by the manufacturer.
These motor connection (on external pond pumps) boxes/cable glands are classified as being "Moisture Proof",which is a long way from being "Water Resistant" and a longer way from being "Waterproof".

And I'll stick by what I said, if the bearings in an electric motor driven pump, have to be changed three times within four years, there is definitely something wrong somewhere, or some one is making money, out of changing bearings, from an unsuspecting person.

Water would have a difficult time and I doubt if it even could, wash the grease out of a sealed bearing inside a motor.
We used to dry out electric motors that had been submerged in water during floods,etc. We would open up the end bells and put them into a motor windings baking oven, at a low heat overnight and that dried them out. The motors were as good as new after that.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 3:11PM
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I don't want to argue or disagree with you. Unless I am mistaken cweathersby was talking about having to replace the bearing after the pumps were flooded. The bearing are ball bearing in a race and are not sealed. Yes they have two plates to hold the grease in the bearing but will not keep water from getting inside. As you know water inside the bearing is not a good thing and that water will wash some of the grease out or destroy the grease inside the bearing. I am sure that you have worked on hundreds of motors over the years and know an awful lot about motors. I am sure that you know far more then what I know about motors but having worked with Sequence external pond pumps for over twenty years and installed well over a hundred and rebuilt close to a hundred of them I know a little about them. It only takes a few minutes for the water level inside the motor to be the same height as the water level on the outside the motor. If the water level on the outside gets up to close to the shaft on the motor the water is getting into the bearing. If there is a work GFCI that the pump is plugged into then the motor will have shut off by then and the damage will be minimal but if the GFCI is not working these pumps will run under water and normally will not trip the breaker. I can not explain why they don't trip the breaker but I seen it with my own eyes on 5 different occasions with the pumps totally under water and still running.

My comment about the manufacturer telling the customer that the motor needs to be replaced is because the manufacturer can't take the liability on the remote chance that something inside the motor may have been damaged. I have no idea what the legal system in Canada is like but here in the USA that is all a lawyer would have to hear if someone did get hurt or killed. That is why we are lucky to have people like you on this forum that can tell other hobbyist things the manufacturer can't.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 4:15PM
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Okay I opened up the connection box and it had water in it. Removed the end caps on the wires and used my hair dryer on cool to dry them. Probably should replace them as may still have water in. Also took apart the front part (volute) which I normally clean around the impeller each year just to see if I could blow more water out. Also took off the end piece where the fan is to try and get air blown in from that end.
I'm sure the water came in from the electrical box probably by the cord. I've used my shop vac on reverse to try and blow out any water that may be inside. Right now I have it sitting on end to see if any more moisture will drain out. If I do indeed get it running again I will put it in a plastic container as the cord comes out the bottom of the pump. At least the Sequence pump cord comes out the top so takes alot of water to get at the electrical part. Mike I think the pump shut off fairly quickly as the cord comes out near the bottom. Water inside the motor came in with the pump not running--hopefully that's a good thing?

What are end bells? Is that the cover over the fan at the end??? Yes the motor is enclosed but we all know how water can find it's way through the smallest opening!

The manual that came with this pump has instructions on taking it apart but also says if you do remove the seal then you have to use sealant in the bracket bore. I have never removed the impeller part and hope not to now as don't have selant bore. Instructions also say the bearings are greased for life.

It's raining again today so I've been checking the pump box regularly just to make sure it's not flooding. We've now had 5" in 3 days. We havn't had this amount of rain in 10 years which was the last time the river flooded. Many homes in the area have water in the basement. In my house the water is seeping up through the concrete in my furnace room but very little now. Sump pump is running every 1/2 hour.

I'm nervous about starting this pump up again--they are so pricey. If it still won't start I'll probably take it into Harbor Pumps in the city as they repair water pump motors. Wish me luck! I've had an unlucky spring--unemployed, water woes. At least I'm healthy and not homeless and EI is coming but we CD's know how long anything to do with the govt takes.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 4:23PM
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horton(6 b Ontario.)

Patti, it would be a good idea to take your pump into the repair place and let them do a test on it.
If you are not comfortable about plugging it in as is, there is no need to tempt providence and take any chances on being hurt or scared.
Don't get involved with stripping the motor apart as it could be too much of a chore for you if you are not sure about what you are doing.
That by the way is not to say you are not capable of doing it! I'm more than sure you would be. Best to be safe.

Mike, the reason an ordinary thermal breaker would not trip under the circumstances you described, is there was no current overload involved. Ordinary thermal breakers only trip on current overload, brought on when a motor or appliance starts to use more power than it should.
There may have been a voltage leak to ground in that situation, due to the influx of water, but there is nothing in a thermal breaker to pick that up.
If there had been a GFCI tripping circuit incorporated in to the thermal breaker then there would/should be a different result. It would trip because the wet conditions around the electrical parts of the motor, would cause an unbalance in the circuit by leaking voltage to ground.

I once saw several electric motors still running under six feet of water and the wall lights around them were all still lit,even after four days of being submerged.
The breakers did not trip because there was no current over load for them to detect. Had combination thermal, plus GFCI trip, breakers been around at that time, it would have been a different story. The power would have been knock off very quickly.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 6:50PM
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* For the record- never been charged for our guys changing bearings. They fix pumps for a living.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 10:31PM
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horton(6 b Ontario.)

Cweathersby, I have done many of those free-bees for people. It kept me busy on a slow day.
Take care,

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 6:57AM
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Thank you for the explanation. I would have thought that the water would have provided a direct path for the current to draw enough current to trip the breaker. But the more I thought about it the more sense it makes. Pure water does not conduct electricity. It is the impurities in the water that does. This is one of the things that can make a pond very dangerous if there is no working GFIC working on the pond. The pump could be working just fine but leaking all kinds of power into the water. The pond walls keep the power from getting to the ground. Along comes a person and standing on the ground touches the water and completes the circuit.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 10:36AM
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horton(6 b Ontario.)

Mike, you said, "I would have thought that the water would have provided a direct path for the current to draw enough current to trip the breaker"
It doesn't work that easy unfortunately, under certain circumstances.
Say you took the hot wire going to the motor terminal and struck it sharply against the grounded motor case,a supply conduit or any other means of grounding it, the severe rise in amperage, due to that quick dead short (arcing short) to ground,may not even trip a thermal breaker. They are not designed to detect that type of intermittent arc short to ground.
None of these thermal type breakers are fool proof and as I said in the other post, they can fail to trip, even with that kind of serious, on... off, ground short, which can possibly develop a current draw of hundreds of amps to ground in a millisecond, in relation to the voltage present.

That is why to-day, we now have arc short detecting breakers being install in house electrical distribution panels, to protect the bedroom circuits in new homes.
There had been many fires breaking out in homes across N.America, due to faulty wiring that caused these types of arcing shorts, but the thermal type breakers that were supposed to protect people, did not trip the circuit, because it was not designed to detect that kind of fault. Consequently and sadly, people lost their lives.

The scenario of pumps still running under water.
Unless there is a means of detecting the possible leakage of power to ground these thermal breaker stay set.
There must be a ground fault detection circuit in the thermal breaker, to pick up the imbalanced voltage between the hot and neutral wire. The water the pumps are in can be up to the same potential as the voltage supply to the motor, but if there is not a device built into the supply circuit to detect that leaking voltage, the breaker stays set and the power stays on and the leaking voltage flows to ground and/or though the first person who touches the water.

So now there are available on the market these days....
The original thermal breakers, meant for circuit overload protection.

The Arc detecting breakers, which detect intermittent arcing faults that could cause fires, plus circuit overload protection. Installed in household electrical panels to protect bedroom circuits (and in some jurisdictions other parts of the home) against arc faults in the wiring.

And third, but not least, the GFCI panel installed breaker, for protecting people and animals, from possible electric shock or death, in a damp or wet location, while handling an electrically powered device.
The GFCI breakers also have circuit overload protection built in to them.
But not so a GFCI receptacles (wall plug) they only detect ground faults, not current overloads (or arcing shorts).

Sorry if I went blathering on too long about this.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 4:07PM
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Tried pump not plumbed briefly as Horton suggested--didn't trip breaker and ran. So I plumbed it back up. It's working but making a whining noise that sounds like its coming from the fan at the end--may not have put the cover on right. It's like a low pitched buzzing sound that I can only hear when I am right beside the pump box. So I don't know if its vibration or bearings on the motor. Pump is drawing and discharging water as before. I thought I'd just run it for a few hours and if the whining doesn't stop I'll pull it again and take the fan cover off and reset it.

I am thankful it's running as I don't have the funds to replace the pump. This was such a quiet pump so I know something is going on but don't have enough experience to know it its bearings or fan noise. Suggestions welcome!
This is turning into a very long thread! Patti

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 6:02PM
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horton(6 b Ontario.)

That's okay we can go to 100 posts and start again!

Whining sound could be nothing, could be bad news, but try this before donning the sackcloth and ashes.

If you have or can obtain a spray can of silicone lubricant spray. (Home Depot, Princess Auto, Canadian Tire, etc)
Spray it right in at the shaft of the motor behind the cooling fan. It may help drive out any residual moisture that could be in there. At the very least it will add a bit of lubricant to the shaft of the motor.
If a loud screaming/grrrrrruling sound comes from that end of your pump within a couple of days, after trying the silicone spray lubricant, then it probably is a bearing that has been screwed up by the water getting in.
I should have suggested that you used the silicone spray lubricant, at the very beginning to help drive out the water.

Give it a try now anyway and get back to us.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 6:21PM
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Instructions say not to use silicone lubricats or grease on sealing surfaces. I don't have any silicone stuff but did remove pump again and took of the cover on the fan and sprayed some WD40 in there--some dirt came out so I suspect there is more inside the motor itself. Cleaned the crud that came out around the fan shaft and hooked it back up. It's still whining/buzzing sound so probably is the bearings. If it continues I'll contact the pump company in the city to see if they can repair/repack the bearings. It's also running hotter than it normal-usually doesn't get hot at all so there's likely something going on. Will keep an eye on it. Can only hear it if I'm right beside it but then the waterfall noise is pretty loud. Will keep you posted. Thanks again. Patti

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 8:10PM
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The noise that you are hearing is one or both bearings. If you don't mind the pump being just a little more noise it will run like usually for years. You didn't say what hp this pump is or how many gallons per hour that it pumps. On the lower hp pumps manufacturers will usually have two different outputs with the same motor. They do this by putting a larger impeller on the same motor over loading the motor a little. They can get away with this on smaller hp pumps because they run so cool where the higher hp pumps run hotter and over loading it would cause the motor to over heat on some applications. That is why you don't want to run them with too low a head pressure.

Thank you Horton. What you wrote was very educational. Can you tell the difference between arcing and non arcing breakers by just looking at them?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 8:45PM
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Thanks Mike. I suspected as much. The manual that came with my pump says its a Sequel 750 series 4250SQL13 but I can't find a picture of it on the MDM site. It looks more like the Sequence 1000 series pumps as is that color. The newer Sequels are bronze colored--mine is black. I bought it in 2006 so I think it was a older model of the new Sequel pumps which have 3 variable speed impellers. It's a 1/8hp motor runs on max 175Watts. According to the pump flow curve at 8ft of head it should be pumping 2500GPH, at 5 ft about 3200. Havn't had a problem with the flow now that I added a midwater drain to my sc and running only this pump on the sc.

Would you recommend that I pull the pump now and have the bearings checked or wait until the end of Oct (end of our season). With the pump house covers on I can't hear the pump but will check it regularly. Don't want to burn out the motor!

As for arcing breakers--had them installed in my house last fall when doing renovations. It's code here now and the inspector won't pass if not installed for bedrooms. Mine have a yellow sticker on them and a yellow test button like the GFC plug (except that is red). They are expensive--something like $120CD each.

The GFC breaker has blue switches compared to the black on the normal breakers. They are also expensive. When I did the reno's on my kitchen, livingroom and bathroom upstairs installed new wiring as the old stuff was only 2 prong. Kitchen plugs near the sink have to have GFC plug and a GFCbreaker on the line. My pond plug has the GFC plug and a breaker but it was mistakenly wired to the same circuit as the furnace which is maybe why the breaker was put in.

Thanks for your help. Patti

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 10:39PM
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Thanks Patti,
This has told me that it has a baldor motor which is a far better motor then the Sequence 750. The bearings are fairly easily changed. The problem I see is that to get that flow rates they have pushed the motor to the breaking point. Since your pump is making very little noise I don't think you would have a problem running it until you shut down.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 12:17PM
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Thanks Mike. Yes it is a Baldor motor. It doesn't seem to be as noisy today but maybe that's just wishful thinking. My brother-in-law is an electrician but also very mechanical and has fixed many motors. I think I'll have to contact MDM as in the assembly instructions it talks about a sealant for the bracket bore hole but doesn't say what kind and later says use glycerine for seal insertion. I don't know if the bearings are standard size or specific for each motor. Instructions are only for the volute/impeller parts to the motor. Specs on the motor are on the side panel.
It's too bad that it was this pump that had water damage as it's the newer one and ran great. The other pump (Sequence) has a bent shaft and leaks a little around the shaft. I contacted MDM earlier about that one and they suggested replacing the seal. So I guess that's a winter project for my relative. At least he won't charge me a ton of money--probably a bottle of rum. He like Bermudian rum but as my daughter no longer lives in Bermuda we can't get that any more--it's 150% proof--wicked stuff I'm told.
Between the algae woes, rain and up and down weather this has not been a great pond season. At least I'm not dealing with sick fish (knock on wood) which alot of people seem to have on this forum.
Thanks again. Happy ponding. Patti

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 5:39PM
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The Baldor motor probably has bearing with the number 6203 on them. They are very easy to get. The last time I brought them on line they cost me about $3.50 each. Since you will not be changing the seals you won't need any sealant or glycerine. You will need a small gear puller to remove the old bearings and a short length of 3/4" steel pipe to drive the new bearing in place. You may want to put some loctite on the outside of the back bearing to keep it from turning in the end bell as Baldor has had this problem.
What MDM is talking about is silicone caulk to seal half the seal in the back plate of the volute and glycerine to set the other half of the seal in the impeller.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 6:23PM
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horton(6 b Ontario.)

Patti, just as a post script Re, the use of silicone seal spray on the pumps. I did some research and found out that it is not the silicone seal per se, that has a potential to harm any rubber or plastic seals that it may come in contact with. It is the hydrocarbon based propellants that are used in the less expensive spray cans, that can do damage to the rubber/plastic seals in the motor, if the spray is over used.
I use Three-in-one Silicone spray lubricant on all sorts of things when needed and have never found it to be harmful to anything I have sprayed it on. It states on the can that it is safe to use on rubber, plastics wood, etc.

High grade silicone sprays, from all accounts, do not use the same hydrocarbon type propellants as the cheaper ones do and that makes them safe to use for lubricating, waterproofing and even conditioning rubber/plastic seals.

I guess that Baldor and probably other electric motor/pump manufacturers, don't want to risk anyone using the cheaper silicone spray lubricants on their motor ends/shafts, so they caution against the use of silicone seal spray lubricants all together.
Makes sense!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 8:46AM
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horton(6 b Ontario.)

Correction, that should not have read silicone "seal" spray, at the start of my last post.
Just "silicone spray".

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 9:03AM
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Hi Horton,

i had something similar happen. There was a huge rainstorm here in Texas on May 12th flash flood style and it popped the gfi on my pumps. I have a submerged pump in a skimmer and a Sequence 1000 5800 seq23 external pump that is in a pump house 6' below ground level connected to two DIY 55 gallon drum filters all gravity fed. I have pea gravel under it and a french drain 2' below that that drains the pump house, but either it did not drain fast enough, or just such a mass amount of water was hitting the pump that it cause the gfi trip. If I plug it back in, the GFI trips. I tried plugging it in to a non gfi plug and the pump just hums, and does not pump.

What should I do?

Before I do the huge task of cutting my PVC pipes and pulling the pump up out of the pump house, I want to see if there is anything else I can do?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 11:27AM
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Is Horton no longer on this board? Anyone else able to help?

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 9:17AM
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