Tutor Library



The "How Does It Work?"

information  Library


What is the motor and what is the pump?  Lingo can be confusing. Actually the "motor" only refers to the part that makes the "pump" turn. It's the electronic part of the two. Typically the motor is called a "motor" and the pump is called the "wet end" and the pump and motor together is called the pump/motor complete. Sort of obvious when you think of it.

How Important is matching the pump and motor?  Think of it like putting a small engine in a big car. It might last but not long. OR, a big engine in a small car. Wasted power. So engineers match the pump with the motor. Too often a person will think themselves cleaver putting a larger impeller on a pump and thinking they are getting more power for a cheaper price. Again, you can put a small engine in a car and pull a trailer with it thinking those guys with a truck and big engine are losers. They are not and you will be.


Circulation pumps are complete and you have to replace the pump/motor complete.

Standard size pumps are replaceable with your keeping the old motor. Replacement is easy. You can find individual replacement parts but we only offer the complete pump. Our activity in the field proves that replacing individual parts often require replacing more parts rather quickly. We like the shotgun repair on this to solve the matter without repeating service calls.

The two most common pumps are 2hp and 3hp. We can special order any size but these are the most common.


Most Gatsby Spas have a small circulation pump located to the right of the control box and pulls water from the filter and forces it through the heater. This circulation pump operates most of the time with some spas having a summer shutoff to avoid overheating the spa. There are only 2 choices for circulation pumps: 110v and 220v pumps. They look identical and the ID plate on the motor will ID which you have.

Some spas combine the #1 pump with the circ pump. Those pumps/motors are 2 speed. They usually sit behind the control box and are a standard size motor.

Your spa is probably one of four configurations:

a. One circ pump and a second larger pump that is 1 or 2 speed.

b. One 2 speed pump.

c. One 2 speed pump and one single speed pump.

d. One circ pump and two single speed pumps. (most common)

Once you ID which you have and know the voltage, replacement is easy.

What is a frame? Motors are made to match with a certain design pump. Usually a pump for one frame will not match a motor of another. Some manufacturers have made pumps that match a multiple frames. There is also an aligning issue. Be careful you get a matched frame.

Why does my motor have 120v and 240v? It is common for motor manufacturer to offer a motor that is field wired. This means the motor can be wired several ways and the installer can match the motor to his application. Doing so usually means a costlier motor but easier motor to obtain since one motor will have several applications.

One spec says "110vac" and another "120vac". Which do I need?  Electronics are built to cover a range of voltages. Ideal in the U.S. is 120vac or 240vac. But most items are made to cover a +/- 10%. This means that 110vac-130vac or 220vac-260vac is acceptable. Most electrical providers provide close to the optimum value or 120vac/240vac.

How long should a motor last?  That is a real good question. Usually 240vac motors last longer than 120vac motors. They run more efficiently. Often to make the spa readily available to the end user, some spas are designed to run on 120vac or 240vac. This is a plug-in spa. The motor on these will typically last 3-5 years. If have seen them last less and more. But that is a good average to expect.  Even if you can upgrade the spa to 240vac, the motor will stay 120vac.

Spas that are ONLY operational on 240vac have longer lasting motors. The typical short life is 5 years and many get longer. Motors that are only operated when on HIGH can last the life of the spa. Many times the thing that causes the HIGH pump to fail is poor water quality has damaged the seal and it leaks into the winding of the motor.


See Gatsby Pumps

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