January 1st, 2013 by Jacqui Blanton

Pentair Challenger High Pressure Swimming Pool Pump

Hey. My name is Kyle; I’m here at PoguePoolSpa.com. Basically, I’m going to
go over what we have in front of us, which is a Pentair Challenger ¾-
horsepower pool pump. I am basically going to show you how to disable this
pool pump and put it all back together within a matter of minutes. First,
as you can see, it is a brand new pump. We have our inlet and outlet; these
are 2-inch inlets and outlets. Water flows through, and then discharges out
this end here. This is what we call in the pool business, a wet end. We
also have our clear lid.

For normal maintenance, you are going to want to unscrew this lid with the
pump off to check your strainer basket inside when it’s full to empty it.
As you can also see, we do have an O-ring that is already pre-lubed by the
manufacturer, so there is no need for lube. When you go to tighten this
lid, just a tip: You don’t want to over-tighten it. Suction alone will
press this lid down. The reason we don’t want to over-tighten this lid too
much is because overtime you will start to keep on tightening it and
stripping it out. Eventually, you’ll crack your housing and cause you
problems there. That’s just basic maintenance.

Sometimes, inside your impellor will get clogged up or it might actually
get damaged from wear and tear, chemicals, things like that. Or you might
notice a leak behind your seal plate in your motor here. That’s because you
have a bad shaft seal. Or your motor will need changing because it has a
loud grinding noise, that’s because your bearings are dried up because of a
bad shaft seal. Typically, you want to change your shaft seal every 2
years. Unfortunately, we don’t do that. A lot of us go until it grinds, and
then we pay $300 for a new motor. Let me just show you how to disable this.

As you can see it’s real simple. With the pump off, we’ll have this clamp
band assembly here. You’re just going to un-tighten it. It might be pretty
tight there at home. Just eventually unscrew it. We have pre-loosened this
just for time. Obviously, the black knob will come off. These sometimes
might need replacing; the threads inside might get stripped out. You do
have your T-bolt; you cannot replace these. If you strip these out you,
will be re-buying the whole new band. Just put it aside here. All of this
is going to come apart together. Fortunately, it’s not attached to any
piping, so [inaudible: 02:55]. As you can see when we take the motor off,
the only thing that’s going to be attached to your motor at home is going
to be your electrical wiring, which will be up in the backend on the motor.
Other than that, you’ll see we have a diffuser, we have the faceplate here,
we also have a seal plate where the motor’s attached to. 4 9/16 bolts.

Also just a little tip; When you are taking this off and checking this out
at home, you want to look inside your housing here, make sure there’s not
any cracks or damage by any means. There shouldn’t be; these things are
very durable. Pentair makes a very good pump. You will notice the seal
plate gasket. You do not need to lube this gasket. Just a flat tapered
gasket fits right in there. When you put it back together, you want to make
sure your clamp is definitely tight so it sits in there nice and well.

Getting back to this, we’ll see we have a diffuser with a diffuser O-ring.
Sometimes these might need replacing. In previous videos, we talked about
go-kits. Pentair Challenger does have a go-kit which will come with
everything you need; all your gaskets and seals. Holding this in, you’ll
see 3 little screws; you can just use a Phillips for that. You’ll also see
deep down in here where your impellor is, which we’ll get to. There’s
another screw, and this is a reverse-thread screw. Let me get to that and
show you what that looks like.

You’re just going to want to take your Phillips. I keep saying Phillips,
I’m sorry; your flat head, whatever you want to call it. Unscrew these. You
just want to take your diffuser off. As you’ll notice, you have this
impellor ring inside, it’s a brass ring. You’ll also note these grooves
here which controls the water flow. If these are cracked in any way, you’re
going to want to replace your diffuser; that will affect your water flow.
You also have a seal plate, face plate, what they call it on that
schematic; it’s right here. Just make sure it’s not cracked. This big boy
here is your seal plate, once again.
This is your impellor. It spins, and it’s going to keep spinning, and this
is what spins your water.

When you go to replace this impellor, you need to keep in mind this is a
[inaudible: 05:31] motor. What that means is when you take this cap off,
notice that bolt’s going spin. You are never going to get this impellor off
unless you get a pair of Channellocks or vice grips to hold it as you spin
your impellor. Before you can take this impellor off, Challengers are
equipped with this wonderful reverse-threaded screw. When I say reverse-
thread, that means you’re going to actually turn it clockwise instead of
counter-clockwise to remove it. I have pre-loosened these already for time.
The screw is really tight on here, which possibly is. You’re going to want
to have to hold this bolt, this thru-bolt as well, to make sure it doesn’t
spin, because this screw, you see how long it is, actually goes into the
bolts of the motor.

You got your impellor, we’ve already pre-loosened it. At home, this
impellor isn’t going to come off so easy. It might require a little muscle.
It does come off counter-clockwise; you want to unscrew it that way. When
you’re looking at this impellors, you want to make sure they’re not
cracked. If they’re cracked, you’re going to need a new impellor. If any of
these fins in here are damaged, it’s going to affect your water flow. You
might be able to get away with a little damage, not that problem. This
faceplate here of the impellor is separating from these fins. Just imagine
this under pressure; water just blasting through it. This thing’s going to
separate and you’re not going to get proper water flow. You’re going to
want to double-check this and make sure you need replace it. All these
parts, thankfully, have part numbers on them. Overtime, they do wear out.
You can always call us, we can figure it out for you.

Anyways, as you can see inside here, like I say, your impellor screw
actually goes into the bolt of the motor. It’s pretty neat. You’ll see this
seal; this is a shaft seal/pump seal. It’s a 2-part seal. This seal is very
important, it keeps water from flowing inside the motor, which keeps the
motor dry and makes it so it lasts longer. You’re going to want to take
this seal off. It might be a little hard, a little snug because of this
rubber piece here really grips that bolt. Take that off. You’re going to
flip this over onto its face, and you’re going to notice the 4 bolts. These
are 9/16 bolts. You’re going to have to take these off to take the motor
off. Again, they go counter-clockwise. The only thing that you’re going to
want to go opposite is that impellor screw. Believe me, if you don’t
realize that’s reverse-threaded you’ll be out there for an hour trying to
figure out how to get your impellor off in 100-degree weather, and it’s not
very pleasant. I’ve done a couple of these.

For people at home, what I always recommend, where your time box is,
depending on what type of control panel you have, it’s always good to just
keep a 9/16 socket there, that way you never have to go looking, guessing,
or having to remember what size of bolts these are. That, for the most
part, unless times have changed, is true with any motor and any pump out
there; it’s going to be a 9/16. One thing you might notice here is this is
label; this label is very informational. It’s going to tell you your
horsepower of the pump, what type of pump it is, all that good stuff. Most
all pool pumps, with the exception of a few, are going to be 115/230 volts.
All that stuff’s pretty simple and standard through the industry. Once you
have your bolts undone, you simply just take the motor off. Boom. It’s that
easy. You also know, not to get ahead of ourselves.

Once again, I have a seal plate. I am going to make sure it’s not cracked
in any way. It shouldn’t be. You’ll also see this white piece; this is what
we call the ceramic seal. Once again, it’s a 2-part seal; it comes together
in one box. This white piece, when you’re changing it out, this ceramic,
you’re not going to want to get any grease or lube on it. Usually what I
would do out in the field, is flip this seal plate over and take my flat
head and just pound it out. It will come right out just like that. You’ll
see this rubber piece, here keeps it quite snugged inside. Sometimes when
you’re replacing these, like I said, you don’t want to put any oils on
here. What I would do is take a piece of cardboard, usually from the seal
box, and go over this seal and actually press down. It will press right in
with no problem and it still won’t leak on you.

Anyways, let’s get back to the motor. Obviously, I did that fairly easy and
quickly. A lot of the reason is because we don’t have any electrical tied
to it. At home, you’re going to have a big-ole grey conduit going to it.
You’re going to have all your wires that are going be back here in the
back. I’ve pre-loosened these already for time-sake. You just take this
plate off. The wires are going to go through this little piece right here.
You are going to see 3 connections for a single-speed. 2-speed, you’re
going to have an extra load. You’re going to have 2 loads and your ground.
The 2 loads, like I said, either a 115/230, so it’s not going to matter
which way the loads go. It will matter that you do put the ground up here.

Once you switch all that out and get it back together with your new motor,
you’re going to want to put everything back together. This is definitely
easier than it looks. Basically, you’re going to put it back together the
way you took it apart. Put you seal plate here, lay it face-down. Take the
motor and just put it in the hole, there. You’re going to want to line up
the bolts. One thing on these seal plates, you’ll see this extra groove
here on the top; this one will let you know it’s the top of the seal plate.
You can also see, it looks like they have some arrows as well, on the back
of the seal plate. You’re also going to want to make sure your motor is
likewise, right-side-up. You’re going to take the 4 bolts, once again 9/16
bolts. You’re going to want to screw them in there; get them in there nice
and tight, nice and snug. You definitely don’t want this motor moving
whatsoever when it’s turned on.

I got the seal plate on. Ceramic seal is already in there. Once you replace
it, you’re going to want to take another piece of seal, other part and put
it up there. Make sure it’s on there nice and snug. Don’t worry about it
being completely compressed. Once you go to put your impellor on there,
it’s going to definitely compress. Remember, it’s, once again, a through-
bolt motor. You’re going to have to hold the end of the bolt on the outside
of the motor here, and put this thing on clockwise. You’re going to want to
make sure it is nice and snug. Don’t worry; you’ll be able to get it there
with just your hand. Don’t forget your impellor screw. Remember, we said it
was reverse-thread, that means we can put it on here, to tighten it we’re
going to go counter-clockwise. To take it off it’s going to go clockwise.
The back one is going to go counter-clockwise, just on this one screw
alone. Make sure it’s on there nice and tight.

Once your impellor screw’s on, you’re going to want to turn your motor
upright if you have the room wherever you’re working at. You’re going to
want to take your faceplate here, don’t forget that. Line it up with the
screw holes here; you’re going to have 3 holes, triangular formation there,
1, 2, 3. Notice these holes are a little bigger, that’s because on the
diffuser here, that’s where these holes are going to sit. It’s going to
lock in there like that and become one piece. Then you’re going to take
these screws and just tighten them in, normal clockwise to tighten it.
There’s only 3 screws, 3 holes. Remember, you want to just check and make
sure there’s no cracks in your diffuser, plate, or seal plate. You want to
make sure your gaskets are good; no crease, bunch of cracks in them, or
anything like that. Once again, you can get a go-kit; it’s going to have
all your gaskets, even a pump seal; it makes it very convenient and a
little bit more affordable than buying everything individually. We carry
all of that, so if you can’t find it on the website, just give us a call.
Make sure all of this is nice and tight. You don’t have to overly-tighten
it, just nice and snug.

All that’s on there, you want to put it all back together here to your wet
end. Make sure this gasket is on there nice; it’s inside your seal plate
gasket. This is going to sit right here on this little mounting plate.
You’re just going to slide it in and push it in there nice and snug as best
you can so it’ll make it easier to put this clamp back on there. You’re
going to take your clamp end assembly here, and try to slide it in there.
There you go. It won’t go this way.