SWMBO is NOT HAPPY. The well just quit running and we've got no water. its a
standard submersible unit. Folks with a good memory know that I installed
new wiring out to the unit about a month ago.
Anybody know of a trouble shooting manual for submersible pumps? I want to
eliminate topside stuff before calling the well man.
Topside relay is an obvious place to start. Wait, breaker 1st.
Could be the pump is fine and the pipe is holed 'tween hither and yon,
or even in the well.
If the well cycles on and off, you may be able to tell it's doing so
from the top of the well with the cap off.
Need more info.
What type of pump? Two wire or three?
What symptoms? No water flow is obvious, but is it drawing current or
Obvious stuff like power to the leads heading down the well.
Resistance of the leads heading down the well to each other and to
ground when disconnected from power / control.
In a way, no big deal. I just learned the pump has overloads, they had
tripped. Got water again. Now, for the bigger question, this is the first
trip in 22 years. Should I investigate something while its running?
I replaced the electric service to the sales barn. It had momentarily lost a
leg last year. Glad i did, when I dug up the line i found a splice that had
almost burnt in two. its in conduit this time and no splices.
I guess i should have sold out two years ago when i had a great offer. Now
stuff seems to break all the time that i put in 20 - 25 years ago.
Had the same problem this summer, pump was running, can hear it from the
well cap. The hose burst ( 1/2'' split )about 2 feet above the pump, below
the water line. Replaced the hose, problem went away. This hose has been
in the well for nearly 30 years.
The troubleshooting pages at red Jacket and Franklin pumps have some
very good troubleshooting procedures to go through: amperages on each
leg, voltage drops, etc. Suggest you just run through the whole bunch.
I'd be looking at voltage drop to the well control which will affect the
starting cap relay drop out point as well as the run cap.
Karl Townsend wrote:
On Fri, 29 Aug 2008 17:32:36 -0500 in rec.crafts.metalworking, "Karl
Yeah, check the voltage going to the motor. Low voltage due to too
much drop in the supply wiring will cause a motor to overload.
First check that the pressure switch is commanding the contaftor
to turn on, and that the contactor is actually sending 240 V to
the feed at the house (If I remember how you had this set up the
new way.) If all that is well, then :
Disconnect the wires at the top of the well and short the hots
together. (Umm, shut off breaker first! but, you knew that.)
Then, at the house, check for continuity to earth ground (there
shouldn't be any) and a very low resistance between the two hots
(You've got them shorted). If the hots don't show something
below an Ohm or two, then gophers chewed the conduit and the
wire burned up.
If all this checks out, it indicates you should have 240 V power
all the way to the well head. Do you have a starting control
still in the well head? (Most likely so.) If the starting cap
wasn't getting put in circuit, it SHOULD blow the breaker after
a second or two.
If you still can't find anything wrong, check for continuity to
ground of the well pump wires. Most of these systems eventually
get small leaks, so a little conducance isn't too unusual, but
something like 10K Ohms or less might indicate a fried pump
winding. Of course, continuity should be a couple Ohms on the
240 V terminals of the pump motor. If it is near infinity, then
the wires have come loose or the pump is fried. Either way, it
will have to come up.
Yup, excellent advice. Other than that, it could possibly just
be a dirty contact in what I suspect is a thermal overload.
Having it trip and resetting it may put it good to go for
another 22 years. Also, well heads seem to be prime sites for
heavy corrosion, so the overload itself may be going bad.
Check the starting and running current, and get a capacitance meter
to double check the run and/or start caps - or just toss 'em on
General Principles if they are the 22-year-old originals, they are
If the pump is old and used heavily, the bearings could be going
just from age. The load will go up a bit from the extra drag, and if
it gets sticky and fails to start fast enough the locked-rotor current
will pop the overloads.
Now you know why direct buried splices and/or splices pulled through
into the conduit are Strictly Verboten. They will go bad.
And you always put a pull box or handhole ever 200 - 225' because
the longest (normally available) fishtapes start at 240' and gradually
And a witness post (or a big rock) near every handhole that isn't in
a concrete driveway, because it will get buried and "lost" over time.
Been there, knew "It has to be around here somewhere because the
pathing tone goes this way", probed for that stupid handhole with a
Thanks for the good advice
My son's best friend is a union electrician. He showed me that tying a
plastic bag on a string, called a kite, and sucking the line though with a
vacuum cleaner is the way to go. I may never use a fish tape again.
I was doing that with a shop vaccum, a paper towel and a roll of 22
gauge wire over 35 years ago. For one job I had to use and air
compressor to clear the dust & blown in isolation out of a 150 foot run
of 1'2" EMT I got a gallon bucket full, then had to pull the pair of 14
AWG rom the sound room to the speakers in a new church. Those tapered
rubber plugs from the pre charged freon lines were laying around the job
site, so i cut a hole in the tip and forced it over the nozzle of the
air gun. YOu could hear the pressure building up in the conduit for
almost five minutes, before the crap started blowing out the other end.
Vacuum cleaners work OK on most jobs, but I have run into a few that
got plugged with the paper of plastic and had to be either rammed out,
or a cut at a bend.
When I was pulling wire quite often I had a set of plugs made out of soft foam
that the electrican that tipped me off on them, called mouses. String went
center, generally tied to a small washer. Insert plug into conduit, attach
to other end. Worked like magic.
"Additionally as a security officer, I carry a gun to protect
government officials but my life isn't worth protecting at home
in their eyes." Dick Anthony Heller