Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Roadside Find -- An Executive 56 Swimming Pool Pump

Well, what have we here?

It's an Executive 56 four horsepower pump for use with swimming pools, spas and hot tubs -- quite a piece of gear. It appears to be seized. Further investigation is in order.

At the face-end of the pump, there's a mystery small-diameter tube/fitting, and eight screws.

Let's see what's inside.

The screws are 8-32 x 5/8" stainless steel. The pump's end has to be knocked off forcefully -- there's a big ring-seal around it that makes it a snug fit in its recess.

The impeller scarcely budges when I try to turn it. The main body of the pump will have to come off, and it appears that the only way to remove it is to take out the four long through-screws from the motor. Here goes.

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And it turns out that that's not how it's done. The impeller is supposed to unscrew from the motor's shaft. Good luck with that.[1] From what I can see, these pumps are not a serviceable item. That's why the whole thing was replaced, when the motor is probably still perfectly good.

I'll keep the stainless steel screws and the line cord; the rest can go to the scrap yard.

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Update -- SUNDAY, APRIL 19, 2015

My son advised me to remove the pump, so the motor could go to the scrap yard 'clean' -- i.e. in its most valuable state, without a lot of worthless plastic attached to it.

A judiciously applied pry bar, and my impact wrench, got the impeller off in pieces. Here's a view of the motor's output shaft.

It's in rough shape, and the bearing is noisy.

What happened here is that the pump's seal leaked, and water corroded the shaft and attacked the bearing. All of these units probably fail that way eventually.

Even if the output end of the motor were still ok, the motor wouldn't be of much use as a utility motor. That 1/2" diameter stub-shaft is not up to the task of transmitting four horsepower to a pulley, and then to something like a table saw or a compressor. Also, the motor is not reversible.

These motors are purpose-built to power a pump, and that's all they're good for. Once they fail like this one did, all they are is scrap metal. It's an awful waste, but that's the modern way of things.

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[1] The 'dry' end of the motor's shaft is accessible by way of an easily removed plug button. That shaft-end is slotted for a screwdriver. That screwdriver slot is an assembly aid -- at the factory, the screwdriver slot helps with installation of the impeller onto the threaded end of the motor's shaft.

As a disassembly aid, the screwdriver slot is pretty much useless. After much installed service, the impeller will be very tightly in place on its thread. The screwdriver slot will not afford the sort of reliable torquing engagement that would be needed to successfully unscrew the motor's shaft from the impeller.

The assembly is simply not designed for non-destructive disassembly. It's designed for ease of assembly at the factory, and maintenance-free service. Once it fails, it's replaced as a unit, and it's 'game over' for it.

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