Troubleshooting & Average Life of Pump

  • Last Post 22 December 2022
Longashes posted this 19 December 2022

I've got a Century/A.O. Smith motor for a water feature. 5 years old. Connected to a Jandy Aqualink power center/controller, etc.

A couple of days ago, I noticed the motor didn't start. I put the Aqualink into service mode and selected the feature. Aqualink clicked, lighted up, but motor didn't start. I assumed new motor required. (Nothing changed recently, been working fine).

Yesterday, I tried it and it started up. Once the water filled in the basket, it tripped off again.

Time for new motor or something else?

Thanks in advance and Merry Christmas!


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InyoRich posted this 19 December 2022

Hi Rich, there are a number of possibilities here, so I'll have a bunch of questions.  Why is the water in the basket draining (is that normal for your system)?  Is there any resistance if you try to manually spin the impeller/motor (TURN THE POWER OFF before you try that!  You can check by removing the strainer basket and CAREFULLY sticking your finger in the impeller and turning it)?

When you say it trips off - is it tripping a breaker or do you hear a click from a relay or the motor?  Does it go off but still "hums"?  Are all of the electrical connections on the motor (and to the motor) secure?  

Generally, a pump shutting off after it is on for a few minutes could signal an overload.  If you can, you may want to check the windings to be sure they haven't shorted out and are causing an overload/overcurrent situation.  

And, last question for now,  what is the model number of the pump and/or the motor?

Longashes posted this 20 December 2022

The motor is a Century/A.O. Smith B2853.

My comment about the water basket is that it loses a little pressure when the motor is turned off. After it comes on, the few seconds for it to bring the water back to full pressure was fine but when it hit full pressure it shut down. No breaker is tripped. Also, no whining noises, no hums, etc. I can check the electrical connections but it's been running fine for 5 years.

Thank you in advance for your help.


InyoRich posted this 20 December 2022

The water pressure lowering is perfectly normal, but the pump shutting off is unusual (everyone hates to hear that!).  Are there any valves leading to the water feature that might be closed or is there anything causing an obstruction?  Are there any pressure or flow sensors in the AquaLink system that might be telling it to shut off?

Longashes posted this 21 December 2022

Good questions. The valves that control that particular water feature are manual. I've got a descent and fountain that I split between the two. As for blockage, there's 2 pretty small grates that I keep clean. Can't image much getting through that and blocking. 

I suppose the motor could be going bad, right?

InyoRich posted this 22 December 2022

I think the motor may be the issue since everything else seems to check out okay.  You might want to check the capacitor(s) on the motor first, but most modern motors only seem to last about 5 years before they poop out.  

We have this guide on How to Test a Pool Pump Capacitor to help you check them safely.  Most pool pump motors utilize a start capacitor and/or a run capacitor. They both look similar to a large battery. Start capacitors are usually located at the back of the motor and the run capacitor is located at the top of the motor.

And, if you would rather just replace the motor, we have a guide for that as well.  Let us know what the model of the pump is so we can suggest a Tune-Up Kit for a leak-free installation.  We are happy to help!