120V Jacuzzi Z145

Replacement motor


Disclamer:  If you don't know what you are doing... get a pro!  I have wired my home addition, added an addition to my house, also deck and carport.

UNPLUG YOUR JACUZZI before even opening the panel.. you have 120V and water !


This is the Jacuzzi Z145 (Home Depot) 1997 model.  This is being written in May 09 I fixed it in (again) late March.

Update, 2014.. the motor and the controller died..  It's just sitting there.


This is the second motor replacement. I bought a replacement motor in 2005 (Emerson) which was the same brand as the old one.  So just under 4 years and it toasts.  So I got a AO Smith this time. The two previous motors died in low.  It would hum, then pop the internal overheat in the motor.  If you spun it with a screwdriver, it would work.  I think the replacement was $130 or so.   The new one, the same price.  Still, less then 4 years !  After a large area power outage (Oct. '08), the main fuse popped.  That power outage also blew a AC adaptor for a PC part in my house, so it could  have been a voltage overload from the power outage that popped the Jacuzzi fuse.  I was able to go to Radio Shack and pick up a replacement Bussmaster fuse (it was a fast acting - not a slow blow like the original) and the Jacuzzi worked fine until March when the motor toasted, again.  That time the 'fast acting" fuse popped when it didn't start due to the low speed problem.  The spare fuse popped a few second s after the motor started to hum.  I can't complain about the original motor of 10 years.  Warning... all of these fuses aren't the same size. I went to a mom and pop "home parts" store and had to get a replacement fuse after the second motor died and popped the main fuse.  These were a bit longer as seen in the photo above.  The originals were shorter and there were tabs on the tops and bottom of the fuse holder. Again, with it unplugged, a set of needle nose pliers pushed in the tabs and the larger fuse fit.  Bring the old fuse if needed.  Keep a spare !  I am lucky I found the power outage before the water could have frozen.


This is a pretty simple repair, about 2 hours... simple sockets and screwdrivers, but you must empty the Jacuzzi.  The side discharge will do it.  This model has a built in shock protector (GFI) so you're pretty safe.


Getting out the motor is not bad.  After draining the Jacuzzi, two large white pipes have locking tabs are unscrewed.  They were easy to unscrew both times.  I think I used a screwdriver and wrench to hit the tabs to loosen them.  There are seal rings that fit into the connectors that stay on the pipes... watch them. If your Jacuzzi is real old, replace them.  Undo the 4 motor bolts and write down how the wires come off the motor.  Get the colors right.


YOU NEED: the seals for the motor (two parts) and 1 for the case and waterproof grease.


This is the motor front, 4 screws and the front comes off.  Careful rapping it, it is plastic.

A small screwdrive in the sides and slowly pry it open using all 4 sides. 

This is called a J pump by the Spa people.



This is the pump/impeller, note the rubber seal at the edge.  That seal should be replaced if old, many places have a kit with all the seals.

If you are not replacing the pump seal.. note which way is front. Clean the seal and edge.


Either a screwdriver or Allen wrench in the back holds the motor shaft to unscrew the impeller.  There are different sized of impellers for different motor sizes and there should be a white washer/seal at the front of the impeller with the flat part facing away from the motor.



The old motor shaft and the seal (white/grey) and rubber seal



This is the two part seal by the motor.  Note the ice, it got cold in March.


The new seal on the impeller, it's spring loaded and just sits on the shaft. The old one was hard to pull off.

This screws on to the shaft. It's counter screwed so you don't have to screw it on tight.   It can't unscrew by itself.



New seal in the old pump housing


New motor.. there are bolts from the back that are held on the front by nuts, these nuts are removed and replaced by the pump housing back (above).  Grease the threaded ends and it took a bit for me to get them in right.   DON'T strip the screws.  I had to juggle the housing to get them in right.  They will screw in by hand.


Housing on.. don't over tighten, they are small screws.

When putting on the front cover.. be careful with the seal. Slowly screw on the front EVENLY.

Once tight, they don't need to be over tightened, it's plastic.



With the wiring written down.. white is neutral, black is low, red high. Green is ground to the motor frame.



This is your bonding cable going to your metal box frame.  The old motor had it screwed to the frame. 

This is different.  Here you see the output pipe and the screw on cap.

I added insulation when I bought my Jacuzzi back in '97.  I figured at 110 degrees in Jersey, it's good to keep the heat in.  I used sealed insulation, not batts.  My winter electric bill is $250 with the tree/lights and electric stove/oven and 2 PCs.

Yes.. unless it's snowing or raining... every night is a Jacuzzi night ! So this motor is on  24/7.

On the top right is a small shot of the Balboa UV Ozonator (the trash can icon) I also replaced when the pump went.

Mine had cracked and most likely was dead.


This is a shot of the first repair in '05 showing that white washer on the impeller.

The larger end is pushed, by water pressure, against the front of the pump, sealing it.




[ Update Sept. 2011 - the Jacuzzi died... we were on vacation and hadn't been in it for a few weeks.  I go out to check it and it's not working.

I see the wired GFI is off.  I reset it.  You hear the relay click, motor start on slow, then stop. 

With the control panel off I see oozing at the same heater core contact. 

I don't get a ohm reading from any of the heater contacts to ground..   

One test (after you unplug the cord) is take off both of the metal contact to the heater connections (bolt you see and screw and the copper connector.

on both contacts.

Then plug it in.  If it runs... the heater is shorting somewhere.  Replace it ]


In '05 I also noted the rusting of the heater connection. 
I replaced it with a new one since the tub was empty.



This shows the heater connection... gone.  I just touched the  right side connector and it cracked.  There are rubber washers underneath the stainless steel heat tube that seal it. 

The right nut was also rusted on, that's how the connector got snapped.

I most likely used "anti-seize" compound on the new connectors.



I had to cut off that nut, you see the SS washer that compressed the rubber seal on the heater coil in the inside.



The new "flow through" heater element I bought was a bit better quality ($39 against $28), at least that's what the spa site said.  These was rather cheap to replace.  So check your connections at that spot.  Might as well get everything done at once.

You can get the entire tube/heater as a set too.  Basically it's what they use in an electric water heater. 

These seem to be a "universal fit"