Replacing Pool Pump Bearings

We have multiple pieces of equipment on our swimming pool equipment pad.  We may have a heater, salt system or in-line chlorinator.  Two things every pool owner has are a swimming pool pump and a swimming pool filter.  The filter can be Diatomaceous Earth, cartridge or sand. The pool pump can be a single, two-speed or variable speed pool pump.  Think of your swimming pool pump as the “heart” of your circulation system.  As the pool water gets drawn from the skimmer and/or main drain, it gets pushed, or pumped, back through the system, stopping at all the various pieces of equipment before making its journey back into the swimming pool by way of the return inlets. 

Let’s face it, the more equipment we have, the greater the potential we have for something to go wrong.  A swimming pool pump is no exception.  If your pump is making a horrible screeching or grinding noise, you can likely attribute that to bad bearings.

With bearing replacement, we primarily focus on the shaft of your pool pump, the ball bearings themselves and the front and rear bells.  These bells are more commonly known as “shaft ends”.  If you are a do-it-yourself kinda chap, you will first need to acquire the necessary tools.  You will need

  1. A flathead screwdriver
  2. A bearing puller (available on Amazon)
  3. A hammer
  4. A 1 ½ piece of metal pipe section
  5. A sharpie
  6. WD-40
  7. New Bearings (Consult your pool pump manual to determine what kind you need)

Next you’ll want to follow these steps:

  1. Remove the impeller
  2. Remove the mounting and seal plate
  3. Remove the motor governor
  4. Remove the motor shell
  5. Remove the front end bell
  6. Remove the old bearings (Rear bearings first)
  7. Attach the new bearings (Front bearings first) 
  8. Rebuild your pool pump motor

Keep in mind that the new bearings will probably only last a year or so.  Bearing that in mind (see what I did there?) that information, you may want to consider replacing the entire motor.  If you have a single speed pool pump, locating a motor may be difficult.  Depending on what State you live in, they may even be illegal!  Say what?  Yup.  The power-guzzling inefficiency of single speed motors has gotten the attention of some important people.  Did you know that behind your air conditioning unit, your pool pump is the most expensive thing to run on your home?  If you can find a motor, they are typically $200-$500, depending on the horsepower and the brand.  You can DIY or take it to a professional.  A lot of swimming pool supply stores will offer free in-store labor if you buy the parts from them.  A house call will run you a couple hundred bucks. 

There is a solution!  Yes, friends, I come bearing (I did it again) good news.  The modern technology of a variable speed pool pump.  Variable speed swimming pool pumps do just that–they run at varying speeds.  This is where the energy savings come in.  When we operate our pumps at a lower revolution per minute (RPM) we are consuming less energy.  Since we still need to move the same amount of water, we run our variable speed pumps slower, for a longer period of time.

Even if you were to run your new variable speed pool pump at the same RPM as your old single speed pool pump, which is 3,450 RPM, you would STILL be saving energy.

Less energy=Less Money=More Donuts

Not a donut fan?  That's OK.  You get my drift.  Variable speed pump motors are totally enclosed and fan-cooled so they lose less heat.  They also, in conjunction with windings, utilize a permanent magnet motor. Much more efficient machinery. Think you can’t afford a variable speed pool pump?  Think again!  You can get a name brand, American made, household name of a Black & Decker Variable Speed Pool Pump for about HALF of what you would pay for a similar pump at your local pool store.  They even come with an unprecedented FIVE year bumper to bumper warranty!  Don’t believe me?  Check them out here.  

See you poolside!