Hello,

I'd like some feedback from others who have experience with 2-wire control submersible pumps. I'm having an intermittent problem where the pump fails to pump water.

Here are the specifics of my system:
Utilitech 3/4 HP UT202, 230 VAC - Pump is 4 years old
When I installed it I took amp readings of 8.9 and 8.6
The inrush current is 36A.
Two-wire control
I have a check valve installed discharge side of the pump and another one inlet side of the tank tee
pump is down 235 feet from pitless adapter, piping is about 45 ft. horizontal to bladder tank.


brand new pressure switch (I always use the Auto Cut Off switches w/lever)
bladder tank PSI is set at 30psi and pressure switch settings are 32On/ 52Off.


I've had a camcorder setup for the past two weeks recording the water psi gauge and the pressure switch contacts. Friday morning it didn't pump in the middle of a shower. I manually flipped the switch On once and it immediately started pumping again. The next day in the evening it stopped pumping and I went back down and it took about 10 tries flipping the level to get it to pump water.


When going back and reviewing the camcorder I can clearly see the contacts close and the water gauge slowly drop down below 30PSI and then plummet. So the purpose of having the camcorder setup proved useful in that I can tell the PSwitch is working correctly.


I connected an amp meter on the wires going down to the pump and measured the inrush at 36Amps and the 8.9A after the initial inrush. I only held the switch lever on a 1-2 seconds each try. About the 6-9 tries the amp meter read 0.00 and 10-12 tries it showed the amps and eventually started pumping again. I suspect the 3-4 tries it didnt measure any amps was a thermal circuit in pump needing to cool down?


Normally, if it starts to pump it will immediately pull in the pressure switch contacts and you can let go of the lever. I like these switches better because had it been the always closed contact (universal) switch it would have burned my pump up. That's a discussion for another day.


Checked my voltage when pump is off and it is 246VAC and drops down to 244VAC when pump is running.


When this intermittent problem started about month ago I contacted Utilitech and inquired about the pump. The tech I spoke with thought maybe the Capacitor in the start circuit was going bad. The info give me was:
Pump Amps 8A but i'm overdrawing 8.9 amps (never blown a fuse or tripped the breaker though)
3.0 - 3.6 Ohms; Low = short, high = open winding


I used a Fluke Insulation tester and took the following readings at the pressure switch (yes I disconnected the wires from the switch first)


Ohm Test on Winding:
Red - Black = 4.22 / Black - Red = 4.51
I believe the motor windings ohms are good given I have about 290 feet of pump wire I'm also measuring.


Insulation test: 500V and 1000V ranges
each phase to ground = 0.01 mOhms or 10,000 ohms


I have not meggered this when pump fails to start though.


Based on what I've described above what are the possible problems?


Mechanical?


Electrical? Based on I was seeing current but pump failed to pump water does that mean the start circuit wasn't rotating pump? Is it possible the capacitor is going bad? Don't caps usually just blow and that's the end of them?


I'm trying to Not just throw another well pump at this. I replaced this pump 4 years ago. Looking over the options I have if I replace this pump I have Utilitech which Lowes sells and bad reviews. HD has a brand I'm not sure about. Tractor Supply sells "CountyLine" which is made by Pentair Flotec. I'm considering getting one of those based on the reviews.


Besides the non-pumping water "intermittent problem" i'm having, I have another question about sizing the pump. Current pump is 3/4 HP Utilitech, rated for 250Ft. My pump is down 235 feet and amp draw is just over 8 FLA at 8.9 -8.6A. If I went with the HD brand 3/4 HP it's only rated 200ft. The Tractor Supply pump 3/4 HP pump is rated 200ft. I believe the 1HP pump should be ok being its rated for 300ft depth.


Electrical consideration:
My breaker is in garage which has about a 45ft run of 14gauge romex to basement where I installed a fuse box with two 20A fuses. From there I used 12-2 gauge romex to pressure switch and back to gang box where I put my amp meter. The pump cable is rated 12 awg pump cable for two wire control.


To get back to the original question, what are some steps I could do to troubleshoot this intermittent problem I'm having where it doesn't pump water?
Other info: well has never run out of water. There is no air coming out of faucets when the pump fails to work.

(I do realize eventually if it's a mechanical or electrical issue with the pump it's going to fail and no matter how many times I flip the PS lever it's not going to come on).


The reason I'm hesitating just yanking the thing out of the well is the work that goes into it. I use a homemade t-wrench to pull out of pitless adapter and drag over a 55 gallon drum laying down anchored against the well casing (makes the perfect angle) using the lawn tractor. It's an all day job but saves me money doing it myself.


Thank you for reading all of this as I have put some thought into this email and hope someone can give me some good info for further troubleshooting.


Jeff E.
Prospect, PA