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Thread: Troubleshooting new pump

  1. #1
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    Troubleshooting new pump

    My saga with water continues.........My 80'well went dry a year or so ago, and with Bob and some other folks help, I got a cistern set up and was hauling water from town. The drought seemed over and the well started producing again, just in time for the pump to seize. I was gonna' replace the pump myself,but my home warranty co. agreed to pay for replacing the pump so I had the well co. hang a new 1/2 hp sub in the well, about 1.5-2 mo. ago. For the last 2 months or so,everything was working great and the well was keeping the cistern full,(the well fills the cistern-the cistern supplies the house), until last week.
    I looked at it today, and the pumtec didn't have any power getting to it. It seems that the main breaker is tripping. I reset it and it trips within a few seconds! I have a pumptec on the well, and I'm not sure why it isn't interrupting the power instead of the main breaker??? It is a 3 wire 230v 1/2 hp sub with a pumptec and a control box. Sorry I don't know the brand of the pump, but could find out. Any ideas, how can I troubleshoot the situation?
    Thanks,
    Mike

  2. #2
    Pump guy speedbump's Avatar
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    If it's a three wire Mike, I would check the capacitor and relay. Or if you don't know how, get new components and try them to see if the pump will start.

    The best thing is call the well guy back out and let him see what's wrong, it should be under warranty.

    bob...

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  3. #3
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    Bob, I will do that. I did go out this a.m. and watched the pumptec while my wife reset the breaker, the pumptec "on" light never lit up. Is it possible this could be a bad breaker also? You know back a couple months ago when the old pump seized, the pumptec showed power was getting to it and the breaker never tripped!??
    I will call the well guy also.

    You know, now that I think about it the drillers left a new control box when they hung the new pump. If the contol boxes come with a relay and capacitor already installed, maybey I could just replace them and then see what happens.
    Mike

  4. #4
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    It would be worth a try. You might want to bypass the Pumptec in case it's the problem. At least that will help narrow it down.

    bob...

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  5. #5
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    I haven't had a chance to switch out the control boxes yet. I did disconnect all the wires at the well so there is no load on the breaker, and it was still tripping when I reset it. The next thing to do is disconnect the wires from the breaker itself, and see if it still trips. If the breaker trips with all wires disconnected, it has to be bad I'd think. If it doesn't trip, I guess there could be a problem with the wire between the breaker and the well(hope NOT)

  6. #6
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    If you disconnected the pump wires from the box, and the breaker still trips. That would indicate a short somewhere. The relay is the only thing drawing any current and it would be just a few milliamps that wouldn't be enough to pop a breaker. It has to be the wires somewhere. I know you don't want to hear this, but it's usually underground. The good news is that 50% of the time it's where it goes into or out of the ground at the 90 turn.

    bob...

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  7. #7
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    Bob, I disconnected the wires before they reach the pressure switch(which is before the control box or pumptec and definately before the pump), so there was nothing attached "downstream" of the breaker but the UF-B,so It has to be the breaker OR the UF-B between the breaker and the well. Like you said I HOPE it isn't the UF-B!!!!!!!!!
    I will check things out tomorrow
    Thanks again
    Mike

  8. #8
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    Well It's not the breaker! I had an electrician come out and he thinks there is a short in the wire between the panel and the pump. The wire is romex! and it is run in black poly pipe all the way to the pump.
    The electrician suggested trying to pull new wire. He suggested #12 stranded wire(individual conductors). I found out later that's not up to code though apparently coz the poly isn't considered conduit!
    Mike

  9. #9
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    Yup, but that's how a lot of us Well Drillers did it years ago. We would use 125lb poly for the water and 100lb for the wire. It was either that or no poly at all. Some of the cheaper guys would just bury the wire and bring it into the basement or crawl with conduit at the very end where it entered.

    I thought you said you disconnected it before the pressure switch.

    bob...


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  10. #10
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    Use flat well pump cable and it doesn't have to be in conduit; you can bury it direct. So they shouldn't say anything about it run in your PE. At least I've never heard of anywhere requiring it in electrical conduit.

    An electrician, or anyone with a meter, should KNOW if there is a short or not, not "think" there is. You said you disconnected the breaker to the switch at the switch, why does he "think" there is a short from the breaker, or switch, to the pump? I'll bet he didn't disconnect the line at the well and is reading the motor windings as a short... or you have an error in the description. IMO most electricians don't know wells and pumps. Why not spend $10-$30 for your own meter?

    Gary
    Quality Water Associates
    www.qualitywaterassociates.com
    Softener Forum

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