View Full Version : Can someone help me wire my pump?

04-28-2009, 01:32 PM
I hoped you can help me. I have an inground pool that has a self priming electric pump that runs off normal house plug. I bought a salt water system for the pool at a great deal but it is for above ground pools which means the pump is not self priming. It is convertable, but upon removing the stock pump I noticed it was only 2.6 amps and 250 watts, which was odd info to me, as my pump says 9.6 amps 1/2 HP? So when I took out the stock pump it had 4 wires??(black, white, orange,and green ground to the body. So all pool pumps I know of only have 3 wires.(black, white, green to body) If I trace the salt units incoming house plug. The white wire from house goes to a black square 2" diameter, it also exits the block next to where it goes in, and goes to the plug on the main board, it then exits the board next to entry, and goes to motor. Black wire goes to switch, then board then motor. Green is obvious ground. Orange is the mistery because it comes out of the opposite side of the whites on the block, and goes straight to motor. So my delema is I can't figure out how to wire the 3 wire pump onto the salt unit with 4 wires? Your probably laughing cause of my laymans explanation. But I sure need help, and I can't figure out what the black square with the waxy end is, or how to hook this darn thing up. The manufacture said I can do it, but he was reluctant to help on the wiring cause he wanted me to spent 1000 bucks on his pump. Thanks for any help you can give

04-28-2009, 02:46 PM
Maybe a two speed motor?A lot of pool pumps I know are two speed.

04-28-2009, 03:33 PM
Ya, it probably is two speed, but it has to go, its too small. I need to know how to convert the 4 wires from the brain box for the motor, to 3 wires instead, then I can put my Hayward pump on. I know its do able, but the manufacterer won't tell me the wiring. He actually laughed at how simple it is, I just know nothing about electrical motors, so I need undo 3 wires , hook up 3 wires, so anyone who knows what to do with the orange wire, please let me know. Thanks

04-28-2009, 04:22 PM
Try taping off the orange wire and see if it works.Good night.

04-28-2009, 05:46 PM
Soooo, tap off the orange and abandon the white?

04-28-2009, 06:16 PM
Was the old motor 220 or 110 volts? was it 2 speed or single speed? What was the erst of the info on the motor ID plate?

04-28-2009, 08:25 PM
Old motor with 4 wires has no info other than what I said, 2.6amp 250watts. My Hayward pump with 3 wires is 1/2 Hp, 9.6amp. Both pumps just plug into the house so they must be 120 volts. I want to plug it in and test the voltage on both the white and orange wire, but I must have water circulating to turn on the unit, or the titanium plates heat up and burn up. So I must have the pump working before I flick the switch so it can have water.

04-28-2009, 11:42 PM
I have more info, the old 4 wire motor is a E206505 Model 56631A 110-120VAC 60hz 3.0A T.P. , Hope this helps, there is no other info or brand, this info is stamped into the body of the motor, no plate. The motor is brand new so I don't have a clue why it has no plate or name. It must be made by Intex, the salt water system guys. The new 3 wire motor is a A.O.SMITH CORP. Thermally protected CET50ABM, Motor Mod C48L2PA105 SER OL04. Volts 115/230 , HP 1, PH 1, CODE M, RPM 3450, FR 48Y HZ 60, AMPS 19.2/9.6 , SF 1.65, INSUL CLASS B, AMB 52 C, TIME RATING CONT, TYPE UAC. Wow! Thats all Greek to me. Does this help anyone help me wire this thing up? It is all the info off both motors.

J Tiers
04-29-2009, 12:44 AM
I am not at all clear as to what this "brain box" looks like....... Nor if the motors and pumps are separate....with a shaft coupling between them, or if you are substituting the "new" motor and pump for an old motor and pump setup.

I THINK you mean that you want to use the 1/2HP motor (which seems to actually be 1 HP) instead of the 4 wire motor on the 'salt water" system, and connect that to your pool

Pictures would really help, words just don't quite 'do it".

However....... it seems you want to run the new motor, NOT the old one, and the new motor has only 3 wires, two plus the green ground.

As I understand it, there are 4 parts to the problem.

1) how to hook up the new motor.

2) figuring out what this "brain box" is, and whether it is important for the new motor

3) whatever issue there is with getting water to the pump seals.

4) whether this is a good idea


Problem #1....hooking up new motor.
Plainly, the NEW motor needs only the correct voltage power applied to the two wires that are not green, in order to work. Since it does not have any other wires, it doesn't need them for basic operation.
The only electrical issue is then problem #2

Problem #2....the "brain box"
This may be a non-issue, or not. It depends on whether the "brain box" is part of the old motor, with NO connections except power and wires into the motor, or if it is some sort of pump system control that is connected to some other safety switches, sensors, etc.

Obviously if it is just part of the old motor, you may not need it at all. If it is some sort of system control or safety shut-off, it may be needed.

Problem #3 ....priming the pump
I have no clue how the piping setup is, so I assume you can get your non-self-priming pump to draw water if it can be made to run. I've tested pumps like that before by just filling the case with water. They spray it out, but you can see if they are working, and shut off right away before they run dry.

problem #4 .... is this a good idea
Here we run into an issue......... A pump that works with a 1/3 HP motor of a speed we don't know, may NOT work well with a 3450 RPM 1 HP motor. It's lots more power, and may be a higher speed, besides. Just might not work well, or for long.

I really hate to even offer an opinion on direct hookup, because I just don't have a good picture in my mind of what the setup looks like. My inclination is to say that it SOUNDS like a bad idea. It wouldn't be so doubtful if the old motor were known to be 3450 RPM like the new one. I'd have to look very carefully at the old motor to know that.

Maybe you can get a bit more detailed? Pictures?

04-29-2009, 08:41 AM
I would love to have pictures but I don't know how to do that, I can't even figure out how to open you guys pictures?? The two units are two seperate motors and pumps. THe motors are attached to the pumps by shaft and can be taken off, but cannot be exchanged between the two as the 4 wire motor is about 1/3 the size of the new motor and pump. The brain box is the brain for the salt converter and flow sensor, other than that it is just a timer to shut off the pump and turn it back on when its time to convert salt to chlorine. So the manufacturer (Laughing at me) told me I need only change the pump so when it re starts it will prime itself. I could just get another timer and have the pump run seperate and start a few minutes before the salt system, and just abandon the wires. But I would prefer to have the system run as designed and start together as a unit. When I look at it , as I explained in the first post, I see the incoming power from the plug go to the little black waxy square, then to the brain, then to the motor, but the orange wire goes staight from the square to the motor. The manufacturer said it was easy but would not tell me how, quoting liability, and his pump. So I figure if I take the white lead from house power off the black square, and go directly to the brain, then to motor, that would eliminate the square, and the orange wire. I think the square thing splits the voltage or something so the motor can maybe be two speeds, I don't know if it is. So by eliminating the black square I think I eliminate the slow speed, and just run straight 120 to the box. I think the white wire leaving the square to the brain is probably still 120 so it wouldn't matter if I took out the square. The rest of the brains functions appear to be totally seperate, as the white lead leaves the brain board and goes to a LARGE grey box filled with wax, then a big wire comes out and goes to the salt system and flow sensor, so I think the big box is supplying all the other functions, and the little black square is just for the pump motor. Sure wish I could do the picture thing. I know it would help. Hope this helps. My only fear of trying is that if I take out the black square and go directly to the board , it may fry the board if that is the low voltage line. I think it may be that simple as the manufacturer did say it was easy.

04-29-2009, 09:56 AM
The orange wire sounds like the capacitor start wire. The black box is the cap. So if your new motor is cap started. Abandon the black box and orange wire.

04-29-2009, 11:28 AM
Just a test here to see if my posts are working now? Trying to attach pictures as well. Disregard this post, but please answer previous post. Thanks

J Tiers
04-29-2009, 10:35 PM
I'm not ignoring you, I'm hoping for nice clear well-focused pictures of this "brain board"....... and the rest of the setup.

I'm sorry, but "square things with waxy tops" don't narrow it down much for me.

Not your fault, I know you are trying to give the best description you can. But a picture is, in these cases, worth a thousand words, or more.

04-29-2009, 11:37 PM

This won't be much help but I think it is important... If I understand what you are trying to do correctly I would be concerned as to whether the brain can handle the power needed for the larger pump motor. You may need a relay to handle the higher amp draw. Just something to consider.

J Tiers, What do you think about this?


05-01-2009, 03:32 PM
Ok , did some trial and error. Tested the leads with a multi meter. The white was 120v the orange was 60v. So I figured use teh 120v one for my pump, took out the black square thing eliminating the orange wire, and hooked the white directly to the brain board. As I said, it looks as if the brain is powered separate from the pump, so I wasn't too worried about frying the brain. So hooked up my motor , hit the switch, and the motor kicked slightly and that was it. So it does not have enough power after going through the board. The brain was fine, as I expected. So now my theory is, if the black wire is the wire for the main switch(being ground?) then wouldn't the brain's timer switch also run from the black wire. If so , the I can take the white wire directly from the house plug , splice it into two, put one to motor, and one to board, and eliminate the white from the board to motor. This way the motor gets straight house juice, and the spliced lead can run the board. So I need to know if the board uses the ground wire for the timer switch, or if it uses the white? I guess I can just try it now that I figured out I can run the brain on bypass so the plates don't heat up. Wish me luck. I'll wait for some responses in case some one knowledgable says I'll kill myself or something, but I think it should be a safe test.

05-01-2009, 05:18 PM
I would guess the 'black square' is just a thermal starter, powering a start winding in the motor via the orange wire. (This just applies volts to the start winding for a short time to get things going, then self heats and reduces the volts to the winding to a low level.) If that's what it is, it obviously isn't required for your new motor.

if the black wire is the wire for the main switch(being ground?)
I'm in the U.K. so I'm not sure, but I thought black was line and white was neutral in the U.S ?

There should be no need to change any other wiring. It's not a matter of it 'not having enough power after going through the board', but whether the board can handle switching the required motor current or not.

Is there a motor fuse on the control board ? The motor kick you saw might have been the result of the initial surge just before the fuse blew...


05-01-2009, 07:34 PM
The black wire is definately ground. It goes to the main switch, then the board, then the motor. The rest of the equipement all ground to the same area on the board. The white wire definetly had 120v going through it, so I can't even consider it being ground. There is also a green ground, but it is to ground the whole unit, and it bolts to the body of the motor. I'll try my theory tomorrow morning, if I don't crispy critter, I'll let ya know how it goes. thnks for the input.

05-01-2009, 08:02 PM
There is no conceivable reason that a ground would be switched.

Take care...


05-01-2009, 08:07 PM
If the hot wire is switched, it sparks when you flick the switch, so if the ground is switched, no spark. No shock?

J. Randall
05-01-2009, 08:25 PM
Silverwolf, I am no electrician,but I think your theory is a little mixed up. The black wire should be line coming from your breaker or house plug. The white should be neutral and makes the circuit back to the plug and on through to the breaker box and you will read 120 volts on it if the circuit is made . The green is safety ground and sounds like it is hooked up right. The black wire is usually broken for switching and the white should be tied together continuously throughout the appliance. I don't know how you are using your meter, but try putting one lead on the black coming from your plug and the other on the green ground wire and see if you read 120 volts there.

05-01-2009, 08:31 PM
Ok, I'll try that. You might have just saved me frying. thanks man!

05-02-2009, 05:14 AM
Hi Silverwolf,

Please don't take this wrongly, but you do seem a bit vague on electrical stuff. Even if you do get this all working, f you don't fully understand how to connect the grounding into the pool bonding system, and test it, and how important that is, then please get some local professional advice.

Most of us have got away with a few sparks and shocks in the shop, but pools and electrics (paticularly an electrolysis system) are a serious combination ...


05-02-2009, 05:41 AM
Thanks for the tip, the only bonding it has the the GFI outlet I plug it into. the pool shed is 20m from the pool so its a matter of hooking the in pipe and out pipe, then plug it in. All I want is the salt system timer to start the pump. I don't care if I have to power the pump another way, I just want the timer. If my theory doesnt work, then I'll just put the pump on a normal timer and have it start 5 minutes early and shut off 5 min. late. As far as grounding , the only grounding is the green wire to the body of the motor. It doesn't go to a grounding rod or anything. The stock system has no ground rod either. The water actually has no way to get to the water, the pump is a seperate piece attached to the motor, and would have to split in two to get the motor wet. Highly unlikely except in winter, hope no ones swimming then:D

J Tiers
05-02-2009, 09:58 AM
1) If all you need is to spin the pump, and the rest of the stuff in the "salt system" is not required, that is easy. mechanically connect the shafts, and use your own wiring to run the new motor.

that leaves the other issue.....

2) if the new motor is double or more the speed of the old one, the pump may have problems. Motors are 3450 rpm (3600 nominal) 1725 rpm (1800 nominal) 1140 RPM (1200 nominal) etc. Most are 1725, so your new 3450 rpm motor is twice the speed of typical motors, which that old pump motor may be.

That is a potential problem. Pumps tend to be made for a certain speed.

05-04-2009, 10:02 PM
I hear ya on the rpm thing. The salt system is a new addition. The pump running the pool is the 1/2 hp 3450 rpm motor and pump. The salt system came with a dinky pump that wasn't self priming because it is for above ground pools. No work on mine. But the salt system will work, as long as I can get my big pump to pump through it. No sweat, the plumbing is done. I just need the timer on the salt system, to start and stop my pump, like it used to do to the dinky pump that won't work. Like I said, if its not due able, then I'll just get another timer, start the pump on that timer 5 minutes before the salt system starts the titanium plate heating, and then shuts it off 5 minutes after the salt cycle. Thats easy enough too I guess, but the manufacturer said it would be a piece of cake to make my pump work, or any pump for that matter he said. But he is a dink, and would let me in on the wiring. Anyway, rpm is no issue. The issue is getting the timer to turn on and off the pump, I can get power anywhere, but how do I make the timer link? I guess I can go out and blow another 1000bucks on the salt system for my pool , but damb I love saving this kinda cash. I got this thing for 150 bucks, and the only difference is the pump. So any timer experts out there??;)

J Tiers
05-04-2009, 11:21 PM
Ok, what's this timer?

New information......

Sounds like the timer is part of the "brain board"........... That's kind of what I asked... is the brain an essential control or safety system?

Can you explain what the system is supposed to do? I have no clue what it is supposed to accomplish, but I can probably suggest a way to do it with what you have if I know what it should do (besides pump water).

The timer, whatever it is, presumably decides to turn the pump on and off. That means it has a relay or other item (triac, whatever) that carries motor current. if it is rated for your new motor's current draw / power, then it can run your new motor. Otherwise not, and some added parts might be required.

Your questions are a little hard to answer...... we (I, anyhow) don't know what the system does, we can't see any of the parts, and it's hard to get a picture from a word description.

Craig H
05-04-2009, 11:27 PM
I've been an electrician for 20 years. I've been licensed as a master/unlimited electrician for the past fifteen years. I've been back in school for electrical engineering for the last three years. I don't know if that qualifies me as an expert or not. Opinions may vary. Regardless, based on what I just read, you need to hire or call someone in that knows what they are looking at to help you get this wired up correctly and safely. I think you are going to damage the equipment trying to experiment with it yourself and end up not saving any money at all. Probably not what you wanted to hear. Good luck


J Tiers
05-05-2009, 12:48 AM
Yeah, Craig is about right as we stand now. I've been doing electrical engineering for about 30 years, but I dunno from the descriptions what you've got there, and no way can I say "hook this there, and that here" at this point......

Not possible to understand what you are "looking at" , it you are NOT "looking" at it.........

Getting something to pump water is no issue. Getting it hooked up to a controller which is described (with the best intentions in the world) as various 'square things with waxy tops"...... it ain't gonna happen.

Pictures, pictures, pictures...

Even if we can't give you a definite answer from that, we can at least give you a starting point, IF we see the parts.

05-05-2009, 11:11 AM
Thanks guys, I understand. I'll put it on hold until I can figure out how to post pictures so you guys can see this thing. I can post a link though. This is the site that sells the unit I have.(http://www.intexcorp.com/saltwater_02.html) Mine is the one on the right. You can see the difference is the pump in the middle. So I have removed the pump, removed the round filter cylinder(My pool has a better filter), and plumbed straight into were the filter hooked to the converter. The long square thing at the front bottom. So the brain is the computer thing on the left, The brain seems to be seperated from the pump , except the timer which turns on the pump and converter system. All i need is to get the timer to switch on my pump. The converter, and flow sensor( on the right of the converter, black cable attached) work independently on there own, but will be damaged if they start without any water flow. The reason I need the pump to start at the same time. The computer symply monitors salt, convertion of salt, flow rate, and times the cycle. The old pump is only 3.0 amps, and mine is 9 amps. So it does not have the power to run my pump, so the extra parts are probably needed. Although, like I keep saying, the manufacturer said it is an easy convertion, but will not tell me because he wants me to buy the alternate system for inground pools, which is identical, except for the pump, which is the 1000 buck difference. Obviously it would kill all his big pump sales if everyone new how to convert the 300 buck system. So I kind of understand. I'll try to get pictures of mine posted with the top off so you can see the wire. I'll post again when I figure it out. Thanks for all your help, you guys sure are smart, the terms you post are completely greek to me:o but I'm learning.;)

Craig H
05-05-2009, 02:11 PM
The old pump is only 3.0 amps, and mine is 9 amps.

I'm confused as to which pump you are trying to replace with what and where, but I do want to point one thing out to you. As you said above, old pump 3A / new pump 9A. If the specs you posted earlier are correct, then I think your thinking is a little off. For the "new pump" you posted 120/230 V @ 19/9 A. What that means is at 120V the pump pulls 19A and at 230V the pump pulls 9A. I'm not trying to encourage you to forge ahead without someone there to help you, just trying to help you understand your components a little better.

It kinda sounds like you re trying to drop a 528 cu. in. hemi into a cooper mini, but as I said I'm still confused as to what exactly you are trying to replace.

05-05-2009, 04:06 PM
I was just assuming it was the 9 amps not the 19. I thought if it was 19 it would pop my 15 amp breaker when I plug it in. It doesn't, in fact I can run it and my hot tub on the same house plug. So I just assumed the 19 amps was for the 230 circuit. Either way, its too much for the computer. So I was hoping someone could tell me how to have the computer switch on maybe another switch, that switches on and off the pump, but can handle the more power. SO I mean a switch that is activated by the low voltage(Old pump wires maybe) but switches on the full house power to the pump. A switch to switch a switch.LOL. Does that make sense?:o

Craig H
05-05-2009, 10:04 PM
The 19 is under load. Usually called FLA or full load amps. You are running it with no load at all, that's why you're not tripping the breaker.

J Tiers
05-05-2009, 10:29 PM
if it is 19 A @ 115V, it is a 1.5 HP motor, most likely (or a really inefficient 1HP). Going back and looking, I see it is the latter, as it is marked for 1HP, but a 1HP ought to pull only about 16A.

In any case, getting the power to it is as "simple" as giving it it's own circuit. It would probably be best to give it a 230V circuit, which you will need an electrician to install for you.

As far as getting the old pump system control to turn on the larger motor, that IS easy.

You need a motor starter, which is basically a heavy-duty relay, rated for the 1.5HP motor at 230V, which you ought to have the pump run at. This type device is just a switch, which is operated by a "magnetic coil"

The activating coil for that 'starter" or relay, should work at the 115VAC that the old motor did. It would be connected to the old "brain" in place of the 115V motor leads.

The switch contacts go between the 230VAC and the new motor. That way, the new motor is switched on whenever the "brain" says to turn on.

Wiring this up, and selecting the correct "starter" (relay)are not difficult, but you may want to have someone who is familiar with electrical work do it.

Suitable starters are available from places like Surplus Center, etc, below the cost from an electrical supply outfit.

As far as the priming, etc, why not put the pump in a "pump pit"? Then it can get its starting water by siphon action.

05-05-2009, 10:56 PM
The pump is actually pumping the pool now, on regular 120 house power. It makes about 20psi water pressure. The hot tub is a smaller 1/2 hp, on the same breaker. Soooo, I don't know why the breaker doesn't trip unless I plug something else in as well, then it goes. I checked again today, and the breaker is a 15a. I tripped it to make sure it was the right one. The relay thing is exactly what I was thinking of. So is the term actually "relay", or is there an exact term for it? It'd be nice to know what I'm looking for when I ask at the store. I guess I just take all the pump specs with me so the guy will know which one i need?

J Tiers
05-06-2009, 12:06 AM
The motor will pull what it needs to do the job it is set. if it takes less than full power to pump the water, it will draw less than full current. The electrical code requirements are based on the motor rating, not what it happens to draw right now.

"Motor Starter" is the name of the thing that is "best" for the purpose. But it tends to be expensive and is not actually required for a 1HP motor. (Would be above that power).

But for a 1HP motor, a double pole relay that is rated for the motor power at the voltage you will use, and that has a 115VAC coil, will also work. If the motor is to be used at 15V, you need a 1HP/115V relay. It will probably be substantially easier to find one rated 1HP at 230V, so you may want to use 230V for the motor instead of 115, both for that, and because it maxes out a 115V circuit, violating the electrical code (should have a max FLA draw of 80% of breaker rating).