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Old 12-29-2016, 11:42 PM   #1
hfleming hfleming is offline
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Reeflo Pump Rebuild - DIY

I have a basement sump and use a Reeflo Wahoo as my recirculation pump. Every 2 years or so I replace the mechanical seal. While Iím at it I also replace the bearings. These are the only moving parts in the whole assembly that are subject to wear. I thought this time around I would document the process and present it here.
I have two of these pumps, one is always available as a backup. I swap out the pump and rebuild the one that is out of service so itís ready whenever I need it.
This is by no means an exact manufacturerís instructions, itís simply how I have done it the past few times. If you are reasonably comfortable working on things you should be able to handle this. If not send it to Reeflo.




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Old 12-29-2016, 11:45 PM   #2
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These pumps are not mag drive, instead they use a ceramic wet seal. On my pump the seal lasts 1.5 to 2 years. Itís time to replace the pump seal when a large amount of salt residue starts building up under the pump (where the pump joints the motor). If water is dripping itís definitely time to replace the seal. Waiting longer only causes the motor shaft to corrode (possibly beyond repair).
If the pump begins making noise the bearings are going bad and should be replaced. On my pumps the bearings on one pump lasted 4 years the other lasted 3 years. Itís surprising how quiet new bearings are. I think we just get used to the gradual increase in noise and donít realize it. Now every time I replace the seal I replace the bearings.





I decided to document this after I had disassembled and cleaned the pump so donít look for disassembly instructions. Disassembly is the reverse of the following assembly instructions. This picture shows the pump and motor disassembled.



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Old 12-29-2016, 11:47 PM   #3
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This is the pump seal, there are two pieces. The part on the left goes in the pump impeller rotates and the part on the right presses into the pump housing and is stationary. The surfaces facing up on each part are a ceramic type material and interface with each other to provide the seal.





Here is the seal package. I got mine off amazon for about $8.00. Apparently these are very common hot-tub and swimming pool seals. Reeflo offers a more expensive long-life seal that is supposed to last a very long time however I have not tried it so I canít testify to it.



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Old 12-29-2016, 11:51 PM   #4
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I removed the old seal out of the housing by using a socket that was the same size and tapping it out with a hammer. To install the new seal I apply a light amount of aquarium grade silicone to the flange surface.






I drove in the seal the same way I removed the old one using a socket that was the same diameter as the flange of the seal.





Here is the seal fully seated. I light amount of silicone extruded out around the flange as it seated. Let the silicone dry 24 hours before getting it wet!


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Old 12-29-2016, 11:56 PM   #5
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Here is the pump impeller and new seal. The white part is a ceramic material and the outer black part is a soft rubber. It simply presses into the hole by hand. Make sure the ceramic is facing out and take care not to damage or scratch the surface. I removed the old seal by simply prying it out with a screw driver.










Here it is fully seated. You can also see the threads inside the impeller. This will thread onto the motor shaft and remains dry.





Here are the impeller and housing with complete seal assembly installed. This is how it will go together once the motor shaft comes through the hole.



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Old 12-29-2016, 11:57 PM   #6
hfleming hfleming is offline
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This is the motor shaft with bearing removed. The bearings are a press fit and need to be heated to be removed unless you have a special bearing puller for electric motors.
These bearings are 6203-2RS. They are very common and cost about $4.00 each. Thatís another reason I started replacing them every 2 years. They make the motor run so much more quiet when they are new. The bearing number is always printed on the side of the bearing.
This is for bearing REMOVAL ONLY. I explain installation separately. To remove the bearing I use a plumbers soldering torch to get the bearing so hot the seals are smoking. I then quickly slam the whole motor shaft down into a piece of wood and the bearing drops off the shaft. If the bearing doesnít come off get it hotter. Take care to only heat the bearing and stay away from the motor rotor in the middle of the shaft. Be sure to let you wife know you are not burning down the house.






This picture shows the impeller end of the motor shaft. The pitting is from the seal leaking and caused the shaft to rust. This is why you should not let a seal go long if it is leaking.



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Old 12-30-2016, 12:01 AM   #7
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Bearing Installation: The bearings are a press fit onto the shaft. To install the bearings they will need to be heated in the oven and the motor shaft should be put in the freezer. I heated the bearings to 220 F for about 20 minutes. The bearing manufacturer states the bearing should not be heated above 240 F.
Tell the wife you are baking her a surprise.
You will need to work quickly or the bearing will cool and get stuck half way. The motor shaft has a large thermal capacity so take it out of the freezer first and rest it on the counter beside the oven. (Wearing gloves) quickly grab the bearing out of the oven and put it on the shaft pressing it all the way down to the snap ring.
Flip the shaft over and do the other bearing quickly before the shaft warms up.



Here they are both installed.



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Old 12-30-2016, 12:10 AM   #8
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Here is the rear motor cover. On this pump the rear bearing pocket has a small wave washer. Just pay attention during disassembly for these.







Here is the motor shaft with the rear bearing in place. On my pump this was a snug fit but not hard to install.





The motor shaft installed and rear cover in place. Make sure to clock the holes the same way it came apart. On my pump the fan cover holes easily tell you which way is up.





Here is another view with the motor shaft installed and the rear cover.






Now the front cover goes on.






Install the tie rod bolts from the rear cover to the front cover.






Install the rubber slinger washer that came off during disassembly.





Slinger washer installed.



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Old 12-30-2016, 12:11 AM   #9
hfleming hfleming is offline
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This is an extra step not necessarily needed and may not help at all. I taped off and primer painted the pitted surface of the shaft to hopefully stop any further corrosion in case I donít catch the next seal failure.






I apply a very LIGHT amount of anti-seize to the threads to make removing the impeller easy next time. Donít (DO NOT) use too much! You donít want excess everywhere and possibly getting on the pump seal (and into your aquarium water).



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Old 12-30-2016, 12:15 AM   #10
hfleming hfleming is offline
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Pump housing going back on. In this view you can see the back of the stationary seal you pressed in earlier.






Here is the front view of the pump housing now with the motor shaft extruding out.






You can get an idea now of how the seal works. As you thread on the impeller the two seal halves are pressed together by the big spring inside the stationary seal.






As you thread on the impeller by hand hold the motor shaft with a large screwdriver. Hand tight is all thatís needed. Removal is the same way.



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Old 12-30-2016, 12:16 AM   #11
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Install the pump cover.



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Old 12-30-2016, 12:17 AM   #12
hfleming hfleming is offline
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Install the motor cooling fan.






Install the fan cover.



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Old 12-30-2016, 12:19 AM   #13
hfleming hfleming is offline
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All done! I take my time and it normally takes me about 2 hours start to finish.






I put it in the pump room and itís ready to swap out in a year or two.



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Old 12-30-2016, 4:45 AM   #14
kzoo kzoo is offline
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This is the way people used to maintain there equipment most people now a day wait till there is a total disaster and the equipment is not repairable then they just dump it and get a new one. Nice write up , this is why your tank has been so successful all this time !

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Old 12-30-2016, 9:20 AM   #15
EnderG60 EnderG60 is offline
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Fantastic write up!

Hey Mods can we get those pics put directly on the ARC site so they never go away?

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Old 12-30-2016, 10:11 AM   #16
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I'll be using two reeflow pumps. I have replaced bearings on an iwaki pump previously and it was a very noticeable difference in performance.
I'm replacing just seals on another reeflow backup pump at this moment, I have a couple questions about this and you could possible have the answer. I'll post later today.

Thanks for sharing this, like it's mentioned before, some people won't attempt and some others will learn.
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Old 01-13-2017, 2:29 PM   #17
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Ok, so I'll be posting pics of the pump regarding the concern I had. Thanks again in advance.
In post #10, at the moment you were treating the impeller back in the shaft to compress the big spring on the stationary seal, were you able to compress that spring all the way in? Like trying to make that seal to be sitting flush with the housing...
As I was holding the shaft in place and treating the impeller I've got to a point where both seals face together but I still can see part of the spring a little out and not flush with the housing but I was afraid of going further with the impeller and damaged the treads. BTW I'm just replacing the size on the impeller, didn't touch that stationary seal, just cleaned and removed a little rust that was around, and actually that seal remained seated all the way in, but as you know the impeller seal and the stationary seal have to be compressed both together, but how far the spring have to seat there, that was my concern. It's just a pump I'll be using as a backup (Dart/ Snapper hybrid).
I'm just trying to give you as much details on what I have, I'm sorry it's sounds redundant hehe, but you already know what I'm talking about. Thank you!
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Old 01-13-2017, 3:44 PM   #18
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On mine I thread the impeller all the way until it stops and is snugly tight. You may or may not still see some of the big spring, I don't remember looking. The design of the seal is such that it doesn't really matter how much that is compressed, it just keeps the two seal halves pressed together. The spring is on the wet side of the seal.

Inside the spring is a rubber bladder around the shaft that keeps the water out.

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Old 01-13-2017, 5:15 PM   #19
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Thanks for replying. Yes, I've seen a guy on YouTube replacing seals and he actually didn't mentioned compressing the spring all the way inside, as long as the two halves, as you said, we're compressed together it was done. And like you said too, the bladder behind that spring actually avoids the leaks. I remember a good guy on Fb saying that he would be building better seals than those reeflo make, he was saying he would offer them latter for sale because he built them to install on his products and to use in his pumps as he need them, and that normally they would last longer than those you get somewhere else..
I'll try to reach reeflo to ask about and make sure if the spring needs to be compressed until it's flush with the housing because it's the corrosion on it that it was worrying me.
Thanks!

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Old 01-13-2017, 6:29 PM   #20
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Thank you for the awesome how-to.


Awesome write up and the pictures are on point!

Is there a DIY section of the forum? This needs a sticky.

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