View Full Version : Why do my ballast impellers get stuck?

07-13-2009, 05:27 PM
Just bought an 02 X-star. All 3 ballast impellers were shredded, but the motors work.. Replaced the center ballast impeller first, and lubed it before install. Worked great for 1 day. Day 2, pump would only operate in 'empty' direction, and doesn't have enough torque to break the friction and spin the impeller the other direction. There is nothing stuck in the impeller. I replaced the impeller on the starboard pump, and it is doing the same thing. Hit the switch and if your hand is on the pump you can feel a momentary bump as the motor tries to spin the impeller, but it is stuck, usually works in one direction, the same direction it was last used in so it doesn't have to overcome the force required to reverse the impeller vanes..

BTW, I used 6303-001 impellers, they are neoprene not nitrile. Neoprene is 10% more effecient at pumping than the nitrile, but won't stand up to oil or diesel fuel. Nitrile is what was in the pump, 6303-003 is nitirle. And i used the lube that comes with the impeller..

I think i'm going to clean and polish the surfaces inside the pump housing to reduce friction. And I may have to go to nitrile impellers if they have less friction.. I wish I just had a stronger pump motor.


07-13-2009, 05:33 PM
i think the yellow SKP (some kinda plastic) impellers have a long life. I assume that the rubber would heat up when the pump ran dry and cause the rubber fail, or maybe it just tears itself apart because of the increased friction.
I thought somebody had mentioned green impellers?? supposed to be better than yellow

07-13-2009, 06:26 PM
We usually go by colors around here, so I am too lazy to look up the numbers on what you are talking about. Some people argue that the yellow are a little less efficient, but I am not sure that 10% is a big deal. That would mean in a 6 minute ballast fill time with the black impellers, I would have to wait 6 minutes and 36 seconds with the yellow...big deal.

Let us know how the yellow work...if they do work (and this is not a pump issue) then tell us how much time you are saving by going with the black after all of this time troubleshooting the ballast system.

I would be concerned this is a pump issue...try another style of impeller and see if you still have sticking. I would go yellow.

07-13-2009, 08:01 PM
7 year old pump could be weak

07-13-2009, 08:51 PM
After trying the black, yellow and green impellers I like the green ones best.

07-13-2009, 09:29 PM
Second the greeen ones. Not to stiff like the black ones. Do not back siphen or slow down flow like the yellow ones.

07-14-2009, 02:34 PM
7 year old pump could be weak

that's what I'm afraid of.. The ballast puppy pump, if you buy it new, comes with the 6303-001 neoprene impeler, which is what I just installed. Yet it only works if I pull the pump apart and lube it. I too question the power output of the motor, but people I've talked to who rebuild electric motors say they either work or they don't. I find that hard to believe. I have since ordered the yellow impellers (green were out of stock).. I'll see how they perform..


07-14-2009, 02:40 PM
Are the 6303-001 neoprene ones the black ones?

Had an '03 X2 (205v) with those and pumps would get stuck a lot until we changed them.

So I guess what I am saying is, old or new pumps, the black ones were an issue. So with a little luck your pump motors are just fine.

07-14-2009, 06:11 PM
I was just told a few hours ago by a MC tech that the later versions of the black impellers were too wide in the center. May be able to confirm this by slightly loosening the pump cover then turning it on and see if it spins. He started shaving .015" off of them before installing them and that seemed to fix the problem. Never tried it myself just what he said. He is however sending me yellow ones because that seems easier than "shaving".

steve mc
07-14-2009, 07:42 PM
i have had this same problem with my starboard pump it would work fine then stop working after sitting for awhile.
when i took the top of the pump it would start again so i sanded the the impellar down maybe a 1/16 and have never had a problem again

my two cents


07-14-2009, 08:52 PM
I bought new pumps this year and have officially tried all three impellers. The black ones are definately a "no." The yellow work fine, but have difficulty pumping all of the water out. They also seem to allow a little water to leak out. The green are "spot on" in my opinion.

As for the original post, the pumps that I replaced were doing the same exact thing. You could pull the impeller out and the pump would start back working. Trimming down the impellers seemed to work, but the ballasts wouldn't fill and empty all the way and would also leak down. I probably could have kept running the pumps, but having ballast issues on the water was just not worth the hassle. Good luck with it.

07-15-2009, 10:32 AM
Another vote for the green impellers. I have tried all 3 versions (black, yellow and green). Definately the green ones. Also, I polished the insides of my 3 pumps and the underside of the lid with a dremel. My pumps have never worked SO WELL.

07-15-2009, 11:00 AM
I thought there was a thread here a while back about the pumps and the gauge of wire used to power them being too small. I could be wrong.......but it was noted as a definite improvement.

I don't think the wire size is the root cause, but........locked rotor amps required to break that impeller free are significant...........my owners manual states that the engine has to be at 1100rpm before the pumps are turned on. Otherwise, you risk damage, loss of life, limb, job, etc, etc........:rolleyes:

Often times my pumps will not turn on and will actually trip the breaker...........

One of my black ones disintegrated and migrated into the rear fat sack.........took a while for it to work its way out........I replaced it with the yellow ones...........so far so good.