Humming Noise from whirlpool tub

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by keano016, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. keano016

    keano016 New Member

    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    Mass
    Hi

    My American Standard whirlpool tub, used 5 times, stopped working. The motor makes a quiet humming noise, but not bubbles or water circulation.

    I have done some research and there is some discussion aoubt air lock and maybe the pump needs to be primed? How is that done? Will I need to access the pump? The bath skirt is all tile :( so if I need to reach the pump then I would need to do a bit of tile crushing.
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,516
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    pump

    IF the humming noise is the pump RUNNING and the water is above the level of the outlets, then it should NOT be air bound, assuming the piping was installed properly. But, it could be because the shaft is frozen from disuse and has to be repaired.
  3. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,789
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Does this unit have a seperate air blower for the bubbles, or is the air drawn in by the water flow and an air intake over a venturi?
    I ask because if it has a seperate blower, there may be something wrong in the control panel. No seperate blower, then I agree with hj's assessment. It is unlikely that if the unit was running, and nothing was disassembled losing the pumps prime, that it is airbound, especially if the ports are covered with water, although some jets I've seen have a spring loaded check valve.
  4. keano016

    keano016 New Member

    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    Mass
    The Unit was last used in May. I believe it is the Renaissance American Standard Model http://www.*********.com/catalog/pdfImages/da/da1418dc-0800-4546-9353-55123f4c3ded.pdf

    I am assuming the Air intake is the circular plastic thing on the top of the tub.

    Since this is in my kids bath, they might have pressed the button to activate the jets without water in them. Could that cause the pump to be bad? WOuld it be humming it is?
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,924
    Location:
    New England
    Running any whirlpool pump without enough water in it will ruin the pump fairly quickly. The bearings may be shot. I chose an air tub that is designed to only pump air just for that reason...it is designed to run dry, and, when done, blow dries the internal channels to help prevent mold, mildew, and algae from growing in that stagnent water that is almost always left in a typical whirlpool's internal lines. It still requires cleaning, but not as often and with fewer catastrophic effects than a true whirlpool. Yes, it does not provide as vigorous a massage, but it's pretty good, and you can use anything you want in the water, too.

    On anything mechanical like that, you always should make provisions for eventual maintenance - a removeable panel or some other access way to the motor/pump/controls. Depending on how it is situated, you may be able to make a hole in an adjacent room rather than tearing up the tile.
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