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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I have a Vortex XL diatom filter that is starting to act up after about 22 years of use. It is tripping the gfci, or tripping the line circuit breaker. The motor actually looks quite serviceable, so I would like to take the motor off of the pump. However I first need to remove the impeller. I think if I put a screwdriver in a slot at the top of the motor, I can prevent the internal fan from rotating. I think I would then need to rotate the impeller counter-clockwise (as viewed from the bottom). However, it seems after all these years the impeller may be seized onto the shaft. I may have to sacrifice the impeller in order to take the pump apart.

Any recommendations.

Thanks,
Steve Pituch
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OK I'm a bit impatient so I looked at the impeller when I turned it on. It actually rotates clockwise. So I twisted it clockwise and it unscrewed right off the shaft. (so I answered my own question).

I then took the motor end plates off and took the motor apart. This is an incredible motor. Its got to be built to last 100 years. Its got no brushes. After 22 years of use it only had a little dust at the bottom of the motor. While it was apart I oiled the two shaft bearings. I put it together and seems to run perfectly dry.

I also found the sleeve that holds the o-ring in place. So after 22 years I finally lubricated it with some silicone grease. The o-ring looked brand new.

I will try it tonight. Maybe I can get another 22 years out of it.

Regards,
Steve Pituch
 

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XL

Hi Steve,

I've used Vortex filters for many years myself but can't claim anything close to your 22 years. I salute you. Did you change the rubber shaft bushing that seals the pump shaft where it enters the pump chamber? I seem to go through these fairly regularly and start sucking air and eventually leaking water. The leakage can get bad enough to enter the motor if one isn't careful. What's your PM program on the shaft seal. Do you lube it regularly for such long life...or what???

Zackie

PS: Do you use one of their recharge valves? They've cheapened them and they can no longer be disassembled for application of some silicone on the o-ring and, as a result, yesterday the knob twisted right off in my hand.
 

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XL

Hi Steve,

I've used Vortex filters for many years myself but can't claim anything close to your 22 years. I salute you. Did you change the rubber shaft bushing that seals the pump shaft where it enters the pump chamber? I seem to go through these fairly regularly and start sucking air and eventually leaking water. The leakage can get bad enough to enter the motor if one isn't careful. What's your PM program on the shaft seal. Do you lube it regularly for such long life...or what???

Zackie

PS: Do you use one of their recharge valves? They've cheapened them and they can no longer be disassembled for application of some silicone on the o-ring and, as a result, yesterday the knob twisted right off in my hand.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Zackie for the info.

No, I had never lubricated the shaft seal until when I reassembled the motor. It took me 22 years to figure out how to remove the impeller! I had some fishing reel gear grease (silicone) that I used. I think there is plenty of play in the seal (too much!). Outside the housing was a thick felt washer I also lubed. This washer squashes down when you reassemble the motor to the pump housing. I think the felt washer is all that was keeping the water out of the motor. The inside of the motor at the bottom looked pretty good so I don't think water was getting in, but your comment on sucking air is very interesting and would explain some of the siphon failures I have had.

I plan on buying a new seal or two and a new impeller the next time I place an Internet order, but the filter has been doing OK. I honestly don't know how people lube the shaft seal without taking the whole darn filter apart. I guess if they know how to remove the impeller they can put a little grease on the exposed part of the seal but this takes more know-how than the instructions at their website gives.

I think the problem I have been having is that I was always told to add a drop of oil to each of the bearing tubes which I did for 22 years). However, I think that the oil never gets to the bearings that way. When I had the two end plates off of the motor housing I fully dosed the tubes with oil. Some of the oil dripped out of the bearing cups. I kept wiping the cups down until I removed the excess oil. After I reassembled the filter the motor ran effortlessly. So I will always oil more when I do it.

The other debate is what kind of oil to use. I have been told that these kinds of motors do better with motor oil like 10W40, however I have been using 3-in-one (sacrilege!), but it seems to work well.

No I haven't used their "recharge" valve. Thanks for the info. I may build my own using four valves and PVC components. This way I will be able to start the siphon by just opening one valve and sucking on a tube.

I was going to buy another XL if I ran into the money one of these days, but I wonder if the XL is still as good as the one I have. I would hate to buy one if the motor was not as heavy duty and not as serviceable as the one I now have.

Regards,

Steve Pituch
 

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spituch said:
The other debate is what kind of oil to use. I have been told that these kinds of motors do better with motor oil like 10W40, however I have been using 3-in-one (sacrilege!), but it seems to work well.
Hey Steve,

Catching up on some old posts I missed.....

The Vortex "special lubricant" is just plain old 20 weight oil (SAE). 40 weight would work, but I wouldn't bother with it unless you run the motor for very long periods. I'm pretty sure 3-in-1 is much lighter than 20, but I don't see a problem with it so long as you don't go too long between applications.
 
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