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New Whisperflo Pump Not Starting Only Hums


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#1 rileycentral

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 02:37 PM

I'm a bit discouraged. My Pentair Whisperflo WFE-8 2HP 208-230V was just put in by an electrician when the old one had burnt out. The old one ran for approximately 15 years with no problems. One day it stopped pumping and simply madde a buzzing sound or a stuck sound, anyway, it stopped working. We called our home warranty company and they sent the electrician. He reported that there was dirt on the back end halfway buring the pump. He said this was "not normal wear and tear" and as a result, the warranty company would not pay for it. We agreed, much to our chagrin, to pay the electrician to install a brand new pump. We followed his instructions on how to dig out the platform making sure the same heating issue would not happenIt worked great for about a week, yesterday ... it stopped pumping and made the same sound.

He isn't in the office today (SUN) but to can bet we'll be calling him out Monday. In the meantime, does anyone have any ideas why this one may have gone out? I've done many searches with different keywords and can't find much information on why a Whisperflo 2HP pool pump stops working.

Any of your thoughts, comments, or questions are greatly appreciated.

Pump stats online: http://www.pentairpo...cts3.php?id=193

#2 jughead

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 03:03 PM

could be just a lemon but its a warranty issue so i am sure the guy will take care of it . if not find out who is the local pentair rep is and give them the info .there good pumps probably the best in my opinion but ive seen new motors on alot of pumps have defects also might not be the motor could be impellor fused with the defuser but regardless its under warranty . make sure there is no dirt crammed into the motor though before you call them out (joking)

#3 mrfixit

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 03:39 PM

either the impellor is being impede ( ie a stone or some other foreign material in the wet end) or a bad start capacitor or bad start windings. The last 2 will be warranty issues.

#4 billp

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 06:24 PM

QUOTE (rileycentral @ Aug 9 2009, 03:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm a bit discouraged. My Pentair Whisperflo WFE-8 2HP 208-230V was just put in by an electrician...


Hopefully your electrician has some expertise in pool pumps.
If something is causing the impeller to stick, this is not a warranty problem. So test it this way: FIRST turn off the electricity. Open the lid, stick your finger (or small tool) back into the impeller and try to turn it by hand. If it turns, it is not stuck. If it is stuck you need to open the pump and clear it. I have seen small seed pods get stuck between the impeller and diffuser. Not hard if you are handy with tools.
If it is a motor problem NOT caused by improper installation then it is either the capacitor or windings (WFE does not have start windings or switch). In general, 80% of "warranty" calls are not manufacturer defects...
Spa savant? Commercial spa, si, portable spa/hot tub, NO!
Fresh water is the cheapest thing you can use in a pool to cure many problems.

#5 jughead

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 07:49 PM

if the motor is froze the impellor wont turn either so i would let the guy you just paid hundreds of dollars to a week ago make the judgment whether to open up that motor and deal with the seal plate o-ring replacement

#6 billp

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 09:38 PM

QUOTE (jughead @ Aug 9 2009, 08:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
if the motor is froze the impellor wont turn either so i would let the guy you just paid hundreds of dollars to a week ago make the judgment whether to open up that motor and deal with the seal plate o-ring replacement

Good advice. Highly unlikely a WhisperFlo this age would have a froze motor, much more common in older units. And the WhisperFlo does not normally need a seal plate gasket unless it overheated badly. I suggested the impeller test simply because the odds are if it is stuck something got inside to cause it to stick. Why pay the electrician a service call if it is debris? But anything is possible...
Spa savant? Commercial spa, si, portable spa/hot tub, NO!
Fresh water is the cheapest thing you can use in a pool to cure many problems.

#7 Pool Clown

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 04:53 AM

How is something getting past the basket and jamming up the impeller? Is the basket in place? Before I took the pump apart, I would take the cover off the back of the motor (power off) and see if the shaft turns (easier than taking the pump apart). Once in a while we get a pump out of the box and the impeller had been melted to the diffuser. I guess it spent too much time on the test bench.

Factory Warranty/Service for:
Jandy, Pentair, Sta-Rite, Raypak, Polaris,
and Paramount pool cleaning systems.


#8 billp

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 08:16 AM

QUOTE (Pool Clown @ Aug 10 2009, 05:53 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How is something getting past the basket and jamming up the impeller?
see below.
...I would take the cover off the back of the motor (power off) and see if the shaft turns (easier than taking the pump apart).
IMO a finger in the shaft is easier.
Once in a while we get a pump out of the box and the impeller had been melted to the diffuser.
Dang, haven't seen that one... yet!

There is a small hard tree seed, perhaps from a sycamore, which will pass through the WhisperFlo basket and get jammed between the impeller and the brass ring in the diffuser. Just enough resistance to keep the motor from starting in a WF since it has low starting torgue. Just throwing out something to consider.
Spa savant? Commercial spa, si, portable spa/hot tub, NO!
Fresh water is the cheapest thing you can use in a pool to cure many problems.

#9 quantumchromodynamics

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 10:28 PM

Only hums? What song? LOL.

Seriously, what is the actual voltage going to the motor?

You can't manage what you don't measure. Get a good test kit. I recommend the Taylor K-2006 for chlorine or the Taylor K-2106 for bromine.

#10 mrfixit

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 02:44 PM

Ya I agree with billp- it doesn't take much to impede an impellor. Up here in winter I often see spa pumps with small bits of ice the size of grape seeds that bind the impellor. Can't say I have yet seen an impellor bound to the diffuser plate right out of the box yet...

#11 rileycentral

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 01:54 PM

Thanks to everyone. He came out and replaced the motor. There was nothing in the motor, although he is insistent a rock must have gotten past the basket ? Sheer physics tells me he is wrong there. New issue is he put a new pump in and it can't get any suction of water. Any advice on this What can I check and/or attempt to clear?




#12 ps558

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 04:12 PM

QUOTE (rileycentral @ Aug 13 2009, 05:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks to everyone. He came out and replaced the motor. There was nothing in the motor, although he is insistent a rock must have gotten past the basket ? Sheer physics tells me he is wrong there. New issue is he put a new pump in and it can't get any suction of water. Any advice on this What can I check and/or attempt to clear?


check the pipe going into the pump basket. If it was threaded back in without any teflon tape or paste they will suck air in and not water.
Also if the entire pump was not replaced ( just the motor was) the diffuser might be missing. You will have to pull the pump apart to find out

#13 Pool Clown

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 05:20 PM

You said he did both. Did he replace the motor only? Or the whole pump? If he replaced the whole pump, get his butt back out there to resolve it. If he just replaced the motor, start with something simple like the pump lid o-ring. Either way, you had to open the pump pot so maybe the o-ring fell out or moved.

I'm surprised factory service didn't even get the pump going again before he left.

Factory Warranty/Service for:
Jandy, Pentair, Sta-Rite, Raypak, Polaris,
and Paramount pool cleaning systems.


#14 mrfixit

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 06:30 PM

I have a customer who calls me almost weekly to free up her bound impellor on a jacuzzi LRC. Spruce cones somehow get past the strainer basket and bind up the impellor; I cannot for the life of me figure out how they get in there. She insists that she does not operate the pump without the basket, but yet there they are...
as for the air in the pump, the air can only be getting in there from a couple of different sources. I suggest checking anywhere from the pump lid to the connection at the front of the pump, including the drain plugs at the bottom. Be sure the connections at the inlet are secure. One last thing to check... be sure there is enough water in the pool for the pump to fill up. I cannot tell you how many times I have charged someone a service call because they did not have enough water in the pool. If the pump fills up, then drains out and cycles like that, there is not enough water even though it may look like there is when you look at the skimmer.

#15 rileycentral

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 07:45 PM

QUOTE (Pool Clown @ Aug 13 2009, 06:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You said he did both. Did he replace the motor only? Or the whole pump? If he replaced the whole pump, get his butt back out there to resolve it. If he just replaced the motor, start with something simple like the pump lid o-ring. Either way, you had to open the pump pot so maybe the o-ring fell out or moved.

I'm surprised factory service didn't even get the pump going again before he left.


Yeah me too. My wife was here and he said we "probably" had a clog in the pipes somewhere. When I got home I shot a hose right through the pipes -no clog-. Now I'm left with a greening pool and a non-functioning pump I paid $600 for and to have installed.

He's coming Monday but seems to have no new ideas. that's why I am seeking help here. The guy's cool but a little short on customer service skills. (as well as pool skills)

#16 billp

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 01:47 AM

QUOTE (rileycentral @ Aug 14 2009, 08:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Pool Clown @ Aug 13 2009, 06:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm surprised factory service didn't even get the pump going again before he left.

Yeah me too. My wife was here and he said we "probably" had a clog in the pipes somewhere. When I got home I shot a hose right through the pipes -no clog-. Now I'm left with a greening pool and a non-functioning pump I paid $600 for and to have installed.
The guy's cool but a little short on customer service skills. (as well as pool skills)
SHEESH!! And you wonder why I am blunt and call these knuckleheads knuckleheads! They guy didn't get the pump running again and blames the CUSTOMER!! (clogged pipes). As I recall the pump was working at some point. If it won't prime now there is an air leak somewhere between the pool and the suction side of the pump. It doesn't take much. If the pump is new, check water level, suction connection, pump lid. Ain't much else on a NEW pump replacement.
Sure I should be more diplomatic, but I see so much of this nonsense where a "professional" collects money for work that isn't complete and the customer has to make multiple calls and do unnecessary work (such as trying to clear "probably" clogged pipes) to get the job finished. Drives me nuts...
Oh yea, dump in some chlorine, maybe retard that greening.
If you want to get technical, put a vacuum gauge in the pot drain port. A clog in the pipe will result in a high vacuum reading, an air leak will result in a low vacuum reading.
Spa savant? Commercial spa, si, portable spa/hot tub, NO!
Fresh water is the cheapest thing you can use in a pool to cure many problems.

#17 rileycentral

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 10:27 PM

QUOTE (billp @ Aug 16 2009, 02:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (rileycentral @ Aug 14 2009, 08:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Pool Clown @ Aug 13 2009, 06:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm surprised factory service didn't even get the pump going again before he left.

Yeah me too. My wife was here and he said we "probably" had a clog in the pipes somewhere. When I got home I shot a hose right through the pipes -no clog-. Now I'm left with a greening pool and a non-functioning pump I paid $600 for and to have installed.
The guy's cool but a little short on customer service skills. (as well as pool skills)
SHEESH!! And you wonder why I am blunt and call these knuckleheads knuckleheads! They guy didn't get the pump running again and blames the CUSTOMER!! (clogged pipes). As I recall the pump was working at some point. If it won't prime now there is an air leak somewhere between the pool and the suction side of the pump. It doesn't take much. If the pump is new, check water level, suction connection, pump lid. Ain't much else on a NEW pump replacement.
Sure I should be more diplomatic, but I see so much of this nonsense where a "professional" collects money for work that isn't complete and the customer has to make multiple calls and do unnecessary work (such as trying to clear "probably" clogged pipes) to get the job finished. Drives me nuts...
Oh yea, dump in some chlorine, maybe retard that greening.
If you want to get technical, put a vacuum gauge in the pot drain port. A clog in the pipe will result in a high vacuum reading, an air leak will result in a low vacuum reading.

Thanks man. The guy is a complete idiot but we're going to hire someone to solve this and he's only charging $45 to tell us what the hell is going on. I will report what happens in the next couple days.


#18 Pool Clown

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 04:31 AM

QUOTE (rileycentral @ Aug 17 2009, 11:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
[The guy is a complete idiot but we're going to hire someone to solve this and he's only charging $45 to tell us what the hell is going on. I will report what happens in the next couple days.


If you have time, call Pentair T/S and let them know of your trouble with this guy, That way, Pentair may not send this guy to others to spread his inabilities and tick off more warranty customers.

Factory Warranty/Service for:
Jandy, Pentair, Sta-Rite, Raypak, Polaris,
and Paramount pool cleaning systems.


#19 CAPNBUDWEISER

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 02:53 PM

Some Whisperflo pumps will get debris passes through the basket and can plug the impeller, then it will humm check first with the breaker off, remove the basket and check for debris see if the impeller moves freely...

#20 Wizzard of spas

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 11:38 PM

I'm a bit discouraged. My Pentair Whisperflo WFE-8 2HP 208-230V was just put in by an electrician when the old one had burnt out. The old one ran for approximately 15 years with no problems. One day it stopped pumping and simply madde a buzzing sound or a stuck sound, anyway, it stopped working. We called our home warranty company and they sent the electrician. He reported that there was dirt on the back end halfway buring the pump. He said this was "not normal wear and tear" and as a result, the warranty company would not pay for it. We agreed, much to our chagrin, to pay the electrician to install a brand new pump. We followed his instructions on how to dig out the platform making sure the same heating issue would not happenIt worked great for about a week, yesterday ... it stopped pumping and made the same sound.

He isn't in the office today (SUN) but to can bet we'll be calling him out Monday. In the meantime, does anyone have any ideas why this one may have gone out? I've done many searches with different keywords and can't find much information on why a Whisperflo 2HP pool pump stops working.

Any of your thoughts, comments, or questions are greatly appreciated.

Pump stats online: <a href="http://www.pentairpo...ts3.php?id=193" target="_blank">http://www.pentairpo....php?id=193</a>



Let me list the many pump "hum" problems. Pumps only "hum" when they are not turning over. The primary reason for pump hum on a new pump, is, The pump was run dry and burnt up the shatft seals. The Pump lost it's prime, and ran dry for extended period amount of time. on old pumps this could be a result of bad contact points, burnt, or welded together. One other reason also more common than should be, is wron voltage to the pump. 230 volt pump will run fine on 110, as long as it it is not under a load. Is this a conversion pump, 120.230, with wroong setting? if you have 230 voltage to a brand new 230 volt pump, it is going to pur like a kitten. You run a new pump dry, and it's humming in 30 secconds. First thing I would do is disconnect the pump, and see If I am able to spin the pump by hand. If I can eaisly spin the pump by hand, then I would check the points, and the starting capicitor. If the points, and cap are good, then you have probably burnt the stator, or windings, time for a new pump.




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