How to Understand a Century Pool Motor Label

This guide explains which information is useful in your replacement pump motor search. We also provide tips on essential parts that should be replaced when installing a new pump motor. When replacing a dead Century pool pump motor the motor label can appear to be jumble of numbers and letters. 

1. Tools you may need: 1. A cloth and cleaning solution, this is needed to remove any dirt or grime causing your pump motor label to be unreadable 2. A Shaft Seal or GOKIT when replacing your motor. Working seals and gaskets are vital to the health of your pool pump. A malfunctioning shaft seal will cause water from the pump to leak into your electrical motor causing it to fail prematurely. A GOKIT includes the complete set of your pumps gasket's and O-rings, including the shaft seal.

2. When tracking down a Century replacement motor there are two main markings on the label that can identify a match with a few keystrokes. These are the Catalog (CAT) or Part number. The catalog number is generally listed in the upper left of the label. Century’s CAT number format varies from pump to pump. For example a Pentair pump Century motor may contain a CAT number formatted like B2853 or BN24, where as a Sta-Rite pump motor is formatted as USQ1102R or SQ1202R. If your motor label contains any of these variations a simple search in Inyo's search engine will find the exact motor match.

3. The second of these quick searches is the part number. This number follows the format of a combination of 9 digits in the pattern of "x-xxxxxx-xx". To make this a searchable number first, you must remove the first set and third set of numbers, this will leave the middle six digits. These six digits are worth their weight in gold. If you input them into Inyo's search engine an exact match can be found.

4. Without a CAT or Part number the task of identifying the correct motor becomes more challenging but still achievable.

5. In the situation where the Part and CAT numbers are unreadable the next best option is to back trace the replacement through the Pump model number. The pump model number is located on a tag somewhere on the wet end of the pump usually near the outlet port.

6. Let's use P6RA6E205L as a sample pump model number, if you input this into Inyo's search engine the result is the manufacturer, model, horsepower, and even the service factor category. From there you could click the results and follow a link to the parts breakdown to show a complete parts listing of the pump. If you require only a motor you can write down this information, click Pump Motors under our "Shop by Category" click through the make and model information to find your correct motor replacement.

7. A search for the numbers listed above will return with results that though they should be accurate will still need to be matched to your current motor. The information most necessary to confirm compatibility is Horsepower (HP), Service Factor (SF) and Frame (FR).

8. The horsepower of your pump is the measure of power output generated by your motor. Similar to your car engine the higher the horse power the more it can move.

9. The Service Factor of your pump is a somewhat complicated rating in how it actually affects your pump. A simple answer to "What is a service factor?" is that when the SF is multiplied with the HP your pump “True Horsepower” is the product. Service Factor is broken down into two categories Up Rated (1.27 and below) and Full Rated (1.30 and up). When selecting a replacement motor be sure that you are selecting a motor with the same HP in the same category of service factor.

10. The Frame (FR) is how the flange of the pump and shaft side of the motor are configured. Most pool pumps have a frame of 48Y, 56Y, 56J or 56C. The "48" and "56" describe the diameter of the motor casing and the suffix letter is the shape of the flange. A "Y" frame is square, a "J" and "C" are round flanges. When confirming a replacement motor's compatibility be certain that the Frame does match or it will not bolt on to your pump housing.

11. Other information that is on the tag that is not essential to locating a motor match but still good to know are Volts, Amps, and Frame. Volts - Pool pumps normally have a setting of 115v, 230v or 115/230 dual voltage. Tip: Dual voltage motors are set to 230v from the factory so if you plan on using it for the lesser voltage is sure to switch this setting during installation or you may damage your motor. Amps - this is the power consumption of your motor, the higher the amps the higher the electric bill. Your specific pump may have an Energy Efficient motor available as a replacement. Check our Pump Motor section. Time - Pool pump motors are universally rated a CONT (continuous duty). Meaning they run constantly without needing to be shut off RPM - This stands for Revolutions Per Minute, single speed pumps run at 3450 rpm with dual speeds running at 3450 on high and 1725 on low.

If you have any other questions about pool and spa products please do let us know - we are here to help!

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