Is your pump starting to rattle, vibrate or make rumbling noises? These are all signs that you may need a bearing replacement as soon as possible. Why as soon as possible? While your pump is designed to withstand some level of vibration, worn out bearings will produce excess vibration that will go over the threshold and will cause your pump to literally fall apart. This is why you shouldn’t leave a pump rattle unchecked for a long time.
I don’t want to open my pool pump!
Well, if you don’t want to open up your pool pump motor then that’s fine, but as a guide here’s what you’ll be looking at when it comes to expenses.
- A brand new pool pump - $400 to $1000 (depending on model)
- A pool pump motor replacement - $300 to $800 (depending on model)
- Having the pool pump motor professionally rebuilt - $100 to $200 + $60 to $80 in parts (could go up due to “special” parts that professionals have in stock)
- Doing it yourself - $60-$80 for a set of 2 bearings + bragging rights.
What you’ll need to replace pool pump bearings
Here are the following things you’ll need to prepare in order for you to have a headache-free experience when replacing your pool pump motor bearings.
- A clear and comfortable workspace - Very, very important. More space means more places to put stuff, less chances of knocking over things or misplacing parts (some of the parts will be really tiny, so you’ll need a lot of space to be able to work comfortably.
- Basic tools - You’ll probably already have these already, your screwdrivers and wrenches.
- Bearing puller - You’ll need a set of bearing pullers in order to remove your pump motor’s bearings. You can find these for under $50 online or at your local handyman shop.
- New Bearings - Consult your pump manual to determine what type of bearing you’ll need. If you can’t find your manual anywhere, get your pump manufacturer and model and reach out to us at the contact form at the bottom and we’ll have you sorted out with the exact bearing you’ll need.
Opening up your pool pump’s motor
We’re going to assume that your motor has already been disconnected and you’re already at your work table with your motor assembly.
Remove your impeller
The first step to opening up your pump’s motor is to remove your impeller. Remove the cover from the bottom of your motor and unfasten your capacitor (don’t forget to discharge it by touching the capacitor’s leads with a screwdriver), just unfasten the capacitor, no need to remove it. With a wrench, secure the motor shaft and hand twist your impeller counter-clockwise, and set aside.
Now, since you’re already in your motor, we’re going to invite you to change up your mechanical seal to save up on the effort required (plus it’s a very good idea to replace your mechanical seals as a precaution). See the whole guide to replacing your mechanical seal here.
Remove the seal and mounting plates
Taking these off are quite straightforward, just take off the screws and take note of the “top” positions so that you’ll be familiar with putting them back together later.
You should see a rubber boot around the shaft called the Water slinger, slip it off and place it in a safe area, this is a very important piece and it’s very easy to miss down the line.
Remove the motor governor
No, we’re not talking about elections, we’re talking about a part of your pool pump. The image above should be a good representation of what you’re looking at. As you can see, the governor is located under your pump’s V-switch. You’ll need to unscrew the V-switch and turn it to the side. No need to disconnect it.
Once the V-switch is out of the way, carefully unhook the springs on your governor with a small pair of needle nose pliers. Set aside the springs and remove the weights on the governor. You may need to spread apart the governor bracket to allow the weights to drop. Once the weights have dropped, you can use a flathead screwdriver to remove the screw holding the bracket into place and remove the bracket. Once the bracket is out, mark the frame of your body where the end bell connects with it. This is to make it easier to align it properly once everything is done.
Removing the motor shell
At the rear of the motor, you should see 4 through bolts that hold everything in place. Remove these bolts and set them aside. The length of the bolt should be almost as long as your motor.
Once the long bolts are out, gently tap out the front end of the motor to ease out the shaft assembly to separate it from the motor shell
Remove the front end bell
This must be removed to access the front. Remove the locking screw (this is located near the water slinger) once the screw is removed the locking clip should drop out. Remove the front end bell from the shaft, again, use a hammer to lightly tap the tabs to loosen and spin the front end bell loose, continue tapping until it drops off.
Removing the old bearings
Remove the Rear Bearing first
Setup the bearing puller on the rear bearing. The "teeth" of the puller should be positioned on the outside ring of the bearing to clear the retainer clip on the back. It goes without saying that the center post of the bearing puller should be aligned with the motor shaft. Turn the nut on the bearing puller to work the bearing off of the shaft. Once the bearing is off, check the id/model number stamped into the back side of the bearing. make sure that this matches the new bearing that you have bought.
Remove the Front Bearing
The front bearing is held in place by a snap ring. Spread the ring out of its groove and slip it out. Remove the bearing with a bearing puller, same process with the rear bearing.
Attach new bearings
This is it! Before you go and attach your new bearings, it is imperative that you double, no, triple check that the part number matches the one you have available on hand. A wrong bearing can destroy your pump!
Once you’ve ensured that you have the right bearings, it’s time to attach the new bearings.
Install the front bearing first.
- stand the shaft and the rotor on the back end of the shaft and line up the bearing at the top.
- Take a half inch pipe and tap the bearing down to the retainer clip.
- The pipe should only contact the inner race of the bearing (inner part). If the pipe is too large in diameter it may touch the outer race and damage the bearing.
- Once the bearing is at the retainer clip, use a pair of external ring pliers to hold the snap ring open and slide it back into the groove just in front of the bearing.
- Repeat procedure on rear bearing.
That was easy right? Installation is a breeze, it's the prep and opening up the pump motor that's tough!
Reassemble / Rebuild your pool pump motor
If you've systematically worked through the guide and you have a reasonably clear workspace, rebuilding your motor should be pretty straightforward and you'll breeze through it.
- First thing you should do is reattach the locking clip, just enough to hold it in place, do not lock completely. As a reminder, the locking clip is the clip just near your water slinger.
- Push the front end bell back into the shaft until the front bearing is completely in the bearing well. One the bearing is in the bearing well, you may now completely tighten the locking clip.
- The edge of the clip will rotate over the side of the bearing, locking it in place. (it's its function after all!)
- Insert the rear bearing load spring through the windings in the shell until it rests at the bottom of the rear bearing well.
- Insert the rotor and shaft assembly into the motor shell, taking care to align it with the marks you put in earlier.
- Reattach the four long bolts at the rear of the motor.
- Reattach the governor bracket back on to the motor shaft.
- Reattach the governor weight back on to the bracket.
- With a small pair of pliers, reattach the springs on the posts of the bracket and weight.
- Reattach and secure the V-switch.
- Move to the front of the motor and replace the water slinger on the fornt end of the motor shaft.
- Reattach the motor mounting plate, make sure to align the "top" labels that we had you note earlier.
- Reattach the motor seal plate, again, don't forget to check the "top" label.
- Reattach the impeller by securing the shaft with a wrench and spinning the impeller clockwise by hand, no need to use tools to secure it.
- Resecure the capacitor at back.
- Seal up the electrical compartment at the back by reattaching the motor cover.
- Snap on the diffuser at the front of the motor
- Return the motor to the pump housing, screw it on, and you're done!
If you've done everything correctly, then you shouldn't have any extra parts or screws left over! (Crossing fingers) We sometimes get emails asking if some “extra” parts or screws are important and the only answer we can give to them is that all of the parts are there for a reason. This is the importance of having a thorough guide and a clear workspace when opening up your pool pump motor.
If you discover something wrong when replacing your pool pump motor's bearings (like burnt out electronics or anything that doesn't seem right, we encourage you to reach out to a pool professional or through our contact form below before putting everything back together as this might be a sign of a bigger issue with your pool pump.
If you see corrosion on the pump's internals then we would suggest that you consider saving up for a new pool pump since corrosion isn't something that we can easily fix. Set a goal and check out our collection of pool pumps here, to prepare for the eventuality of motor failure down the line.
Do you have any questions about this topic or the featured products? No worries, we're here to help! Drop us a question down below and we'll get back to you ASAP.
Happy swimming :)