Electrical - what's wrong with this?

I don't mean technically or Code, but we have a well and we have noway of knowing when there is a pump problem until there is no water. So here's my thinking.
It is pretty common for the water to wear a hole in the lowest pipe about 10" above the pump connection. When the pumps shuts off, this then drains down the water head so the pump needs to run again.
This happens in pump-cycles until the hole is big enough and we run out of water. We are not aware of the increased frequency of the pump running until the pump output matches the hole exhaust capability. :)
So, not only do we have to pay $700 to have the pump lifted and pipe replaced, we will have paid a bunch on wasted power as it can be a few months before the hole is big enough to cause a noticeable issue.
I have one of these and very pleased with it.
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I am thinking of getting one of these and it's female counterpart.
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Then wire the plug set into one leg of the pump 240 and Neutral and plug the meter in between. I can check the Cost on the meter regularly and will know if there is trouble brewing.
**Helpful** thoughts?
Dave
Reply to
Dave, I can't do that
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"Dave, I can't do that" fired this volley in news: snipped-for-privacy@googlegroups.com:
Dave, the first thing (not electrical, sorry) that comes to mind is to deal differently with what must be a LOT of sand in your water!
Just replacing the bottom 10' of the lift pipe with something more abrasion-resistant would seem to be a good thing.
I personally don't have a submersible, anymore. 'Had one at my last house, but now, although our well is 180' deep, the water table is within 10' of the surface, so we use a common above-ground jet pump.
But when I had a submersible, it lasted 23 years in regular residential service (until we move...), along with some irrigation. We had limestone formations, not sand.
I'm sure someone else has had this problem, and the well/pump industry likely has a solution to it. (dunno... something like a 'droppable' HDPE liner, or something, so it can be serviced without pulling the whole pipe string). If the HDPE were the full length of the string, it could probably be replaced by the homeowner at less cost that hiring it out.
Lloyd
Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh
Your fancy wattmeter will only read half of what the pump is actually using. You probably knew that already.
Make sure your fancy wattmeter can stand the current draw -- a normal outlet is 10 or 15 amps; your pump may need much more.
All you really need is an instrument that'll show accrued time. If you could get an old mechanical clock that had a "days" dial then you could use that. Or just an old mechanical clock, if you looked at it often enough.
If you don't like my mechanical clock idea, and if your wattmeter gizmo can't handle the pump current, wire a socket into one leg of the pump supply as planned (if you want to be Electrically Correct fuse it for 15 A), plug your gizmo into it, and plug a load, like a 100W light bulb, into the gizmo. Then your total energy usage will be a measure of time. It won't be perfect, and you'll need to make sure that your light bulb isn't burnt out, but you'll get a reading on pump usage.
For that matter, if there's someplace in your house close to the pump circuit where you're to be found often, just put the light there and keep an eye on it. Even if the pump house is outside, a 100W light bulb should be visible most of the time.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
May or may not work, depending on whether the meter looks at the hot or neutral leg to sense current. It'd be easier to install a running-time meter in the pressure switch circuit, and less worries about code compliance.
For example:
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Reply to
Ned Simmons
I have a Kill-A-Watt-EZ on the fridge and yesterday I also datalogged its temperature cycling and run current, to determine the duty cycle and performance margin at 72F room temperature. It costs me $3.52 per month right now.
In my experience, doing the same thing in midwinter with my backup electric heat, this LED that turns on when current flows would be more useful if you can locate it in your normal living space.
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-jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
...
I'm like Lloyd--whassup w/ that!!!????
I'd fix the problem, not monitor the symptoms.
But, as another one or two said, to monitor the pump what you really want is simply a run-time indicator.
Reply to
dpb
D'oh. I was going to mention that, and forgot.
+1. We've replaced our well pump once in our ten years here, and that was due to rank stupidity, involving a severe water leak that went unnoticed and pumped the well dry.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
Thanks Lloyd,
Not sand it is just normal water abrasion. It's why pebbles in streams are round. :)
Well is 430-ft, water level last checked 316-ft. I two well-company people seriously doubt it is sand at the level. I asked and they said, normal wate r erosion. I defer to them and unfortunately no band-aid process available as the pipe is in 21' lengths with couplings joining each length.
Many out here have the problem that's why the well-companies can charge 700 -bucks for three hours work. I am looking into continuous pipe and support cables for the next time that way I can lift it myself. It'll only cost $35 0 to lift it, but I bet they can think of a good reason to charge 700 anywa y. Capitalism and a captive market. :)
Thanks anyway though.
Reply to
Dave, I can't do that
D'oh. I should have known you could get those off the shelf.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
It's a 240v 1.5hp motor (1134-Watt) and I doubt the meter is directly in series with the load. Might be wrong, have been before. :)
Great idea, thanks, I will see what's at the local junk shops next time in town. Must surely be able to find one of those old flap-clocks.
The pump, supply and connections are 100-feet from the house and not visible and, I would prefer not to be adding 100-Watts extra to the costs.
I am going with the flap-clock, if I can find one. Brilliant thought, thanks again.
Dave
Reply to
Dave, I can't do that
"Dave, I can't do that" fired this volley in news: snipped-for-privacy@googlegroups.com:
NOSIR! Pebbles in streams are round because they abrade against other pebbles and sand.
If "normal water erosion" is the culprit, then you either have VERY alkaline or very acid water. My pump, on a plain string of iron pipe, lasted 23 years (and probably more) with no such leaks.
Water, all by itself, ain't very abrasive, Dave. Yeah... it can slowly erode things, but very, very slowly, and certainly not through 3/16" to 1/4" of iron pipe in the time you're quoting.
You have something else going on down there.
Besides... even if 'normal' erosion were the problem, why not seek a solution to the problem, instead of a way to monitor it?
Lloyd
Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh
"Lloyd E. Sponenburgh" fired this volley in news:XnsA4CC9230CAE08lloydspmindspringcom@216.168.4.170:
Well... that was presumptuous, because you didn't QUOTE a time! But if it's enough of a problem to monitor, it must occur pretty often.
(sorry for the 'mental leap') L
Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh
The ONLY solution is to replace the pipe. Which you may not be aware is qui te light wall pipe, more like tubing and also they have PVC pipes as well. Pun intended. As it happens the PVC lasts longer than the gal-steel and I h ad them put PVC as the bottom piece this time.
I think the well people out here know what they are talking about. I am jus t the messenger. If they tell me it is not sand and it is water then for me , it is water. There are thousands of wells out here.
Reply to
Dave, I can't do that
"Dave, I can't do that" fired this volley in news: snipped-for-privacy@googlegroups.com:
Whatever... I'm just betting if you did even the most minor bit of "looking around" instead of asking advice on a usenet forum, you'd probably find a ready-made solution to your problem.
But it's your problem. Handle it any way you want.

Lloyd
Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh
Pebbles in streams are round because they roll around against each other in the running water. Water itself is a lubricant, not an abrasive
Reply to
clare
snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca fired this volley in news: snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com:
What I said, Clare. But the "Well Guys" (who just MIGHT have a financial interest in the results... nah...) said "No way -- WATER is an abrasive!". So it MUST be true!
L
Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh
This claims that water becomes more corrosive where it mixes with oxygen:
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Differing oxygen levels are said to be the reason why stainless corrodes in some areas under a boat. The concentration gradient creates a weak battery.
-jsw
-jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
"Jim Wilkins" fired this volley in news:mn70j0$k1e $ snipped-for-privacy@dont-email.me:
If his pump is moving air as well as water, there's a LOT more wrong than just water 'abrasion'.
This whole subject is silly (no... STUPID). You solve the problem, not 'monitor the problem.
Our friggin' government is in LOVE with "monitoring the problems", but they FIX nothing. 'Seems like this is a 'government solution'.
duh... L
Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh
Nope. Stainless corrodes because of a lack of oxygen in the water, while the article seemed to say that water near the surface contained more oxygen.
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(crevice corrosion) or
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But as water is made up of oxygen, in part, I suspect that the term should be "free oxygen".
Reply to
John B.
...
Indeed!
There are thousands of wells around here, too, and I have never heard of a pipe being worn through. I've been in my house 42 years and have replaced the well pipe twice, but not because of any holes.
As for the well people, I'd guess that it's what they've always heard and nobody has a better (real) answer.
Bob
Reply to
Bob Engelhardt

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