Question about Pentair Whisperflo 1 12 Hp Pool Pump Wf26 011773 ()

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I have a Pentair 1 1/2 HP pump. With power on the motor will just hum but not start. When I take the end cap off and manually turn the motor shaft and then apply power the pump will start and run normally. What do you think?? It will run each time I apply power but if the pump stays off for a minute it will not start unless the shaft is turned manually.

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It is the capacitor or the starting switch but could also be more severe such as the winding itself. You will also want to examine the shaft where it passes thru the pump and motor and look for signs of rust from a pump seal leak. Start with the capacitor.

use a digital multi-meter (DMM), preferably with a capacitor setting, or an analog meter set for Ohms. With an analog, you should see the needle deflect as if testing a closed circuit then it will slowly drop to 0 if the capacitor is good. If it doesn't move or moves and stays to the side showing a closed circuit the capacitor is bad. If you notice a burn hole near the terminals on the end of the capacitor do not bother to test it. If you do not have access to a meter you can try grounding the posts together with a screwdriver to see if they arc although it is not a very reliable test method. Be sure you are holding on to an insulated handle for the tool you use to short the terminals together or you can get a good poke.

If you are not familiar with testing these parts your best bet would be a local electric motor repair shop to see if the motor can be repaired or if it would need to be replaced. They should also be able to ensure there is no pump damage. If you wish to continue to try to repair it yourself please comment with any questions you have as you work thru the pump and motor.

If this answer does not fix your problem, please comment with additional details or contact me thru our site at prior to rating the answer; I'll do what I can to help. Positive feedback is appreciated once your problem is solved!


Posted on Jan 01, 2011


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Hayward Pump motor, hums but won't start. If I turn the shaft it will keep running but once I turn if off it will not run until I do the same thing again. I have replaced the capacitor but still the s

1 or 2 capacitors on this motor?
Sometimes there are two...
One is a "Start" capacitor and if a 2nd one, that one is a "Run" capacitor.

If only 1 capacitor and you have replaced it... if not a faulty capacitor, then your windings are shot?

When I test a motor with this symptom, I will use the "Clock Face" method of checking for "Dead Spots" on the winding/stator:
Once you have removed the shaft cap on the back of the motor, I presume you have done this since that is only way to turn the shaft manually to get it to run in the manner you described. Place a small mark (1/4" long?) on the outside perimeter of the shaft, say at the 12:00 position. See picture attached...
Then flip switch, does it start or hum?
Then rotate shaft until your mark is now at the 1:00 position. Flip power switch, running or humming?
Do this at all clock positions as you turn/rotate shaft until you reach 12:00 once more. If the pump hums at all clock positions completely dead motor or bad capacitor. If a dead spot is at only one clock position, then absolutely, bad motor - either rebuild or replace.
Coincidentally the motor may stop each time on a dead spot, where the motor won't start due to a fried portion of the stator/winding/armature, only a major repair fixes this. The purpose of the test is to place the position of the stator in a different position in relation to the windings. If humming all the way around, then possibly a bad capacitor, because it is not starting in any position. If it starts say at all positions except 4:00 and 9:00 then motor is bad.

Good luck


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Turn off the power and remove the end cap at the center back end of the motor. The end of the motor shaft is then exposed and you can use a 9/16" open end wrench to verify that the motor shaft is turning freely.
If it offers resistance the pump needs to be opened and checked to find out why. If it does move freely, take it to a pool store or motor shop to test it. Rarely, a motor gets out of the factory DOA.

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No suction and pump turns on but makes a humming sound. it is only 4.5 years old.

ok the humming sound can be one of two things. The worse case scenario is the motor is frozen and therefore dead. On the flipside tho sometimes it can be as simple as something binding on the impeller so that it cant get its initial spin and thats why it makes the humming sound and would eventually throw (trip) the breaker. The way to test is to first *****************MAKE SURE THE POWER TO THE MOTOR IS OFF***************** AND THAN DEAD CENTER ON THE BACK OF THE MOTOR (basically oposite the basket ya know where the noise is) THERE WILL BE EITHER A CAP THAT LOOKS LIKE A NUT AND WITH A QUARTER TURN IT WILL COME OFF OR THERE WILL BE A INDENTED OR INVERTED CAP WHICH YOU WILL NEED A THIN FLATHEAD FOR AND YOU TAP IN A COUPLE SPOTS TO PRY IT OUT. EITHER WAY WHEN YOU GET THAT OFF YOU WILL SEE THE END OF THE SHAFT. ( Its made out of stainless and its flat on two sides so that a 1/2 inch wrench can fit on it). IF YOU THAN TURN THAT SHAFT AND IT SPINS FREELY YOU PROBALY HAVE A DEAD MOTOR. IF YOU SPIN IT AND IT FEELS A LITTLE GRINDYTHAN MAYBE SOMETHING IS STUCK IN THE IMPELLER. IF THATS THE CASE GO AHEAD AND MAKE A FEW ROTATIONS AND THAN TRY TURNING ON THE PUMP AGAIN TO SEE IF THAT HELPED TO GET IT TURN OVER. MAKE SURE NOTHING IS ATTACHED WHEN YOU TURN IT BACK ON.

Pentairs warranty is one year if you just bought a pump by itself and three years if you have three or more major pieces of Pentair or Sta-Rite equipment installed at the same time. Also the warranty is for the original owner only it is non-transferrable.

Some of the common causes for this condition is if the basket in the pump ever cracks than stuff can get pass and clogg or bind the impeller. Now dead center on the shaft and the motor is whats called the Ps-1000 mechanical seal and if that develops a leak that isnt noticed or caught for a while than eventually the water from the leak will make it back into the bearings and windings of the motor and cause it to die.

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