True Value Ratings and Reviews

Customer Reviews for Master Plumber 115V 350-GPH Mini Vac Transfer Pump

Master Plumber 115V 350-GPH Mini Vac Transfer Pump

Master Plumber, 115V, Mini Vac Transfer Pump, With Puddle Scoop/Hose, Performance: GPH At 0-Ft. = 350, 10-Ft. = 300, 20-Ft. = 240, 30-Ft. = 145, 40-Ft. = 62, 1 Year Warranty.
Average Customer Rating:
4 / 5
(1 Review) 1
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Breakdown (Total of 1 review)
5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star
1 out of 1(100%)reviewers would recommend this product.
Customer Reviews for Master Plumber 115V 350-GPH Mini Vac Transfer Pump
Review 1 for Master Plumber 115V 350-GPH Mini Vac Transfer Pump
Overall rating 
4 / 5
4 / 5

Oil the bearings!

PostedMay 4, 2014
Customer Avatar
from Buffalo, NY
Experience Level:Experienced
I purchased one of these pumps in late 2007 and it worked well for several years of occasional use, to drain a large aquarium in the basement into a first floor sink (approx 6 - 8 foot lift). In 2012 the pump became unusable, it became noisy (was obviously stressed) and the motor overheated and shut down after brief use. Not knowing what the problem was I purchased a replacement pump head assembly (Item number RP4940-22 in the owner's manual). Didn't work.
At this point I figured the problem had to be with the motor, but all the owner's manual says is "if motor fails, replace entire pump". Figuring I had nothing to lose I disassembled the motor and tried to find replacement motor bearings locally. No luck, apparently they are a proprietary design. However someone who had many years experience working with bearings identified them as made of porous bronze which is designed to absorb oil (Google "oilite" for more info). He gave me excellent advice: I didn't need new bearings, instead just clean them with rubbing alcohol or automotive brake cleaner, then soak them in motor oil for a couple of weeks. Bingo, the old pump is working again!
If you buy this pump I suggest disassembling it periodically to oil the two motor bearings. It's not difficult but I can offer a few tips:
1. Be sure to remove the two motor brushes BEFORE disassembling the motor. There are 3 small washers on each end of the rotor shaft and the ones on the front of the motor can be pushed off the rotor and fall into the motor housing if the spring-loaded brushes are still in place when you remove the rotor. (I found this out the hard way).
2. You'll need a 7mm socket to loosen the nuts holding the two halves of the motor housing together.
3. Each of the two bearings are surrounded by a felt ring that holds some oil. You can't easily see the felt rings because they are behind press-fit metal plates that hold the bearings in place, but be sure to soak them with oil. There are gaps in the plates that allow oil to flow into the area behind them.
4. I used ordinary automotive motor oil.
As of this writing (May 2014) my six-plus-year-old pump is still in service and runs like a champ. It is beyond me why the owner's manual says nothing about oiling the motor bearings, unless they expect you to throw it out and buy a new one when it seizes. I considered a three star rating but other than the lack of bearing oil tubes the pump is generally well made, with neat rotor windings and clean soldering, and replacement parts are easily obtainable from Master Plumber for the pump assembly. So for my purposes, four stars it is.
Pros: works well to drain a large aquarium.
Cons: needs redesign to allow oiling motor bearings.
I would recommend this to a friend!
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Thank you! You have successfully submitted a comment for this review.