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Re: the pump goes out on thermal overload all the time
First be sure it is wired for the voltage that you have. eg if you have 110V circuit be sure pump is wired for 110V. If you have access to an amp meter, measure the current while pump is running and be sure that it doesn't exceed the full load amps on the motor name plate. If it does, decrease water flow by some method. For instance smaller return jets. The more water you pump (volume not pressure) the harder the motor works.
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Thermal Overload Switch: Something is creating an overload on the pump. Once it is overworked, the motor will overheat. This will be sensed by the T.O. switch. Once the switch senses that the motor has cooled, it will start again.
Reasons for overload:
Bearings no longer spinning freely & without restriction
Foreign debris in the volute, jamming against the impeller
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It does not hum or buzz or anything? If not I'd start with looking for a tripped circuit breaker. If there is nothing tripped then the motor has either tripped is thermal overload and it needed to cool off or it is dead and needs to be repaired or replaced. If it is the overload it will start working again within an hour, maybe two. That is a sign of an internal problem that needs to be corrected soon or the motor will fail permanently.
If the breaker tripped it too is a sign there is a more severe problem that needs to be addressed before the motor fails beyond repair.
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Sounds like the belts are slipping on the deck. Wheneve it gets overloaded it skips? Check under the deck and see if there is anything that the grass can be catching on and keep it from flying out the discharge shoot. And see if there is anything on the belts. Like oil from something leaking, Lots of grass built up under the shieldsl Or if there is lots of grass build up keeping the tensionor pulley from tightning up the belty all of the way.
If you did not press a reset ( and even if you did) the motor is damaged and that is causing the circuit breaker to trip. You need to have the motor inspected to see if the damage is repairable or if you need a new motor. A local electric motor repair shop should be able to take care of that for you. The thermal overload has reset itself if after cooling down the motor is trying to start but trips the breaker.
To be certain it is the motor, disconnect the line leads and be sure they are insulated from ground and one another. Turn the breaker back on. It should stay closed which confirms it is the motor tripping it when connected.
If for some reason the breaker still trips, there is a problem with the electrical circuit feeding the pump.
I'd say you have a problem. The clicking sound is likely a thermal overload from too much current being drawn and the temp rising.
Once it cools off a little it tries again; draws too much currrent, heats up and the thermal overload kicks it off again.
It could blow the breaker as well, it just hasn't yet. Probably because there isn't a short circuit, just thermal overload from too much current for too long. It's a built in safety device internal to the pump motor.
My guess is the pump is bad -- and either the impellers are shot or a bearing is bad.
It would be nice if you could manually turn the pump shaft and see if it feels stiff or it makes unusual grinding noises, but you probably can't get to it.
I'd also guess that a pump repair is not cost effective, 'cause if the pump is that worn, fixing it will only keep it going 'till the next odd-ball thing goes wrong with it.