Filter pump ran dry - need replacement

One of the hoses on my filter failed last night and this morning I found the water level just below the skimmer. I brought the water level back where it belongs, crossed my fingers, and turned on the pump. Motor runs fine, but, not unexpectedly, the pump is shot. I considered replacing or repairing just the pump but I figured that this unit is seven years old and the motor will likely need replacing soon anyway, so why not just replace the motor/pump? They're more widely available in that configuration anyway, and it'll be cheaper than replacing them individually a year or so apart.
Two questions:
1. After seven years, does it make sense to replace them both now, or is this overkill?
2. What's the difference between an 'in-ground' and an 'above ground' pump? Is it strictly a matter of size/capacity?
3. (ok, I actually have three questions) This is a Doughboy Power Pak II pump. In terms of durability/reliability, how does the Doughboy pump that died compare with some of the other brands on the market? Should I buy another Doughboy pump?
Thanks, Mike
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Mike Hartigan wrote:

As long as you're in there doing the work, I would replace them as an assembly.
But first, make sure that it isn't just a matter of the pump losing prime.
Can't help you with the brands...don't know the Doughboy. I've had excellent service (10 years) from Sta-Rite.
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please describe "pump is shot". usually what goes bad when there is no water is the pump seal. It depends on water as a lubricant and cooler. Without water they overheat and start leaking. Replacing a seal is easy and cheap enough to do that I mght give it a try before replacing the whole pump. Rebuild kits are available with all the needed seals. Or you can take it into the pool store and have them do a complete recondition on the unit. Still cheaper than a new pump.
My Hayward pump is going on 14 years. I rebuilt the seal after 7 when the same thing happened to me. I take my pump indoors every winter.
As far as the motor goes, two things usually fail on them: the bearings and the centrifical switch for the start up capacitor. I replaced the bearings on my spare pump when the little water shedding disk (on the shaft just infront of the bearing) disintegrated allowing water to get to the bearing.

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Interesting response; nearly identical to my own experience with their D.E. pump/filter. Hayward seems to be about the best there is, from my seriously unscientific "survey", namely what I got vs. what other people got.
Yes, big difference between inground/aboveground; usually also in prices, but especially for making connections. Hayward pumps (hayward.com) have a ceramic bearing, but even it can be destroyed to the point of leaking. Replaced motor at about 7 years, filter at about ten, only because it was starting to show stress cracks around the plunger bolts.
If it happens again, I'll replace it all at once: then I'll have an "extra" for opening the pool each spring. Two filters in parallel turns out ot make short work of getting it started. Lots less bumping, twice the time to "plug" them. Just need a few extra parts around for hooking them up: I collected LOTS of valves over the years!
HTH,
Pop

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Sorry, I guess "pump is shot" is a bit vague. Basically, it's not leaking, but when I turn it on, the motor spins but the water doesn't go anywhere. When I turn it off, the motor takes 5 seconds or so to spin down (no resistance), so I'm assuming that the impeller is not impelling. I really didn't spend a lot of time assesing the damage, I just considered the age of the pump and made the decision (not a done deal yet) to replace the whole thing, particularly in light of the fact that the strainer basket/priming tank assembly is on its last legs, too (cracked ears on the top making a good seal very difficult to obtain). A suitable replacement for the basket/tank assembly alone is about 1/3 the price of a new pump/motor, which includes a new tank/basket assembly! Add the price of repairing/replacing the pump and we're getting awfully close to replacing the whold d*mn thing. That's why I'm leaning heavily in that direction.
I also take my pump indoors in the winter. I've never done any maintenance on it and the motor is still as quiet as the day I bought it, so I suspect that it's of high quality and has a few good years left in it. I'm sure I'll find a good use for it.
says...

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Mike Hartigan wrote:

So did you try priming it?
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snipped-for-privacy@no.net says...

move.
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Mike Hartigan wrote:

OK, the motor spins, but does the impeller turn, or is it loose on the shaft?
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On Wed, 29 Jun 2005 22:41:43 -0500, Mike Hartigan

There is nothing inside the pump that would fail due to not having water other than the seal as others have stated. The impeller doesn't actually touch anything in there.
Prime the pump and turn it back on. If your feeling really industrious remove the impellerand replace the disk seal otherwise watch for leaks and replace it you see any.
The motor bearings are usually what ends the life of these things. Often the shaft seal starts leaking and is allowed to continue to leak until it ruins the bearing. We usually replace that seal every couple years just to be on the safe side in the pool and well pumps.
Steve B.
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snipped-for-privacy@none.com says...

shaft. The motor spins freely with no apparent resistance - as I said it takes a few seconds to spin down after shutting it off. Perhaps the heat simply caused the impeller to detach from the shaft? The priming tank is full so that's not the problem. No leaks anywhere.
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Didn't see the OP, however, some small pumps have rubber flaps on the impeller. If run dry, they will melt and the pump will free wheel.
Mike Hartigan wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@no.net says...

That's not an issue. Plenty of water in the priming tank.

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Filter pump: post-mortem
Well, I opened up the pump and found, first of all, quite a bit of deformity of the impeller, likely due to heat. The (stainless?) steel threads on the impeller were stripped clean. The threads on the motor shaft were unharmed, no doubt due to the fact that it is made from a harder metal. I suspect that the impeller siezed due to the heat and the next weakest link in the chain failed - the impeller threads. (so, indeed, "the pump is shot" ;-). I bought a similarlarly-spec'ed Jacuzzi motor/pump to replace it and all is, once again, right with the world!
Thanks for all your insight and suggestions.
-Mike
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Mike Hartigan wrote:

Thanks for the follow up. Many times we don't hear the end of the story (happy or not), so it is good to hear that all is well again.
Happy 4th if you are in the U.S., otherwise, enjoy the weekend.
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