burned out pressure switch

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by john c, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. john c

    john c New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    SC
    It worked! Ran the common straight to the pump, and split the black to each in terminal and split the black out to the other pump wire. It's noticeably quieter, smoother, and pretty sure running cooler. The terminals don't get warm at all in pressure switch, and the sprinklers are putting out more water, and increased the range about 4-5 feet, even with the stop cycle valve keeping it at 50 PSI. I'm so relieved to have fixed this problem because its the middle of summer and both my vegetable garden and lawn use the well water. Thanks again for the suggestions on rewiring! This really seems to be working great!
  2. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,495
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    I can't believe you had such a large voltage drop across the pressure switch that you can notice a difference in the performance of the pump. Next time get a GHG pressure switch, they are made for up to 3 HP in 240 Volt so it has bigger contacts.
  3. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    979
    Location:
    ct
    You could try the heavy duty Square D pressure switch, but they are pretty pricey and pain in the ass to wire up. However they are designed for higher amp draws.
  4. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,067
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I'm guessing that the pressure switch was suffering from pulses that were bouncing the contacts. Since they were essentially wired in series (with the neutral return also switched), if either contact chattered, it would affect the current flow. By wiring them in parallel, it not only cuts the current in half but also the chatter would not manifest the same.
  5. john c

    john c New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    SC
    Yep, the new pressure switch was from Lowes and had smaller terminals. I can't remember where I got the Goulds pump 10 years ago. I thought I bought it locally but maybe ordered it? The original switch for the pump did have bigger contacts but that one also burned up, and the first replacement melted in two days. Maybe the original one was just warn out some and slightly corroded? It contacts looked fine but not new. It wasn't chattering but maybe got warn out some from troubleshooting and adjusting it. Hopefully this will hold up a while. Appreciate the advice and info on new pressure switches. Oh, I did install a junction box for the spliced wires so not bad! It's good to know the problem was the power supply without burning up more stuff to figure that out.
  6. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    979
    Location:
    ct
    Used to be a Square D pressure switch would last decades, now they're lucky to last 5 years.

    We've used Square D, Merrill and Boshart, the Merrill is just as good (relative term) if not better and is less expensive.
  7. john c

    john c New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    SC
    The pump isn't working at all anymore. It was working fine but when I checked it this morning it was at zero pressure and the breaker had been tripped. When I turned the breaker back on it just hummed and started smoking from the middle of the pump. Not sure what did it. The pressure switch was fine. I did notice that one of the wires from the capacitor had become lose where it connected to a little round part that also appeared to have two wires from the power supply. Not sure if that could have done it, or if it for some reason didn't build enough pressure to turn off, or the pump was just warn out. I ordered another. I'm just hoping the new pump doesn't have the same problem. Also not sure if the pressure switch will be 30/50 or 40/60. Is it ok to adjust a 30/50 up to 40/60? I'm wondering if I should keep the same wiring set up that bypassed the switch for the neutral wire?
  8. john c

    john c New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    SC
    btw.. the pump was 10 years old and did get a lot of use and cycled a good bit.. hopefully it will be good that I didn't put any money into the old one.. and it was just warn out…
  9. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,495
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    That motor must have been pulling high amperage for a while. The built in over load should have shut it off, maybe it is fried also.

    You did good to get another one. Once you let the smoke out you can't put it back. You can adjust the pressure switch up if the new pump will build the pressure.
  10. john c

    john c New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    SC
    That pump had a lot of hard use in last 10 years when I was just using a hose to water the lawn. It kind of makes sense that the pump was failing with the burned up pressure switches, when it had been working fine. The new one should last longer because it won't cycle and will run in the morning on a timer when it's cooler.
  11. john c

    john c New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    SC
    Ok, I've installed the new pump. Runs well. It is 1 HP Goulds, however it has a 1.5 hp motor. They included a letter claiming in 2013 Goulds started using the 1.5 HP motor in the 1 HP. It also suggest a 20/30 amp breaker for 115/230 set up. Right now I have a 20 amp GFCI with 10 gage wire running about 50-60 feet.

    Is 20 amp breaker big enough? I only have one 115 slot for it. It's not tripping. Should I get a multi meter with amp reading to see how many amps its pulling. I just don't wan to burn up the motor.

    The literature claimed the 1.5 hp motor would have a longer service life than the 1 hp.

    Thanks again!
  12. john c

    john c New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    SC
    It's 12 gage wire running 55 feet. 115 volts with 20 amp gfci breaker. Is this sufficiant for Goulds 1.5 hp motor?
  13. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,495
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    All pump motors should be oversized. Manufacturers have taken so much meat out of motors in the past that they run too hot at maximum load. This is part of their planned obsolescence. They can plan just how long a motor will last at the extreme heat, and so they know you will need a new one very soon. The 1.5HP motor is really just a 1HP motor with 1.5 HP stamped on it. Using the larger motor just makes it run cooler and hopefully last as long as a real 1HP should.

    Because it has a 1HP pump end it will only pull 1HP load, even with the 1.5 HP motor attached. A 1HP running on 240V will only draw about 7-8 amps, while the same motor on 115V will draw about 14-16 amps. So a 20 amp breaker is a little light, I would use a 30 amp, especially with a GFI.

    #12 wire should be good for about 150’ at 115 volts.
  14. john c

    john c New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    SC
    valveman, appreciate the great info. I upgraded the breaker to 30 amps. The new pump is up and running great. 10 years wasn't bad on the last one and I'm expecting this one to have a longer service life. I'm real happy with the larger motor and the CSV valve that I think will extend the life of the pump. I think it is a much better set up than a new $400 tank. Stumbling across this forum was the best luck I've had in a while! haha
  15. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,495
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Could we ask for a picture?
  16. john c

    john c New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    SC
    Don't laugh. The challenge was fitting everything inside a dog house. It has worked great but I'll probably be replacing it this year with something that can enclose the pipes. The CSV was also an add on so I don't use the hose bib before it.

    Everything is running great. My only concern is the back pressure from the CSV. I have a pressure gage before the CSV and one after. The gage right out of the pump before the CSV maintains pressure anywhere between 42-60 PSI for different applications. 42 PSI for about 20 GPM and 60 PSI for about 2 GPM. Then when it builds pressure to shut off the switch it builds up to about 78 PSI, then right when the pressure switch shuts off it drops to 59 PSI. I replaced the check valve so it's not stuck.

    The Lowes 7 gallon tank is 11 years old and still doing fine. haha I want to keep that same size tank or smaller because I have a small yard and don't want a big pump house for irrigation. It's also easer to service by just reaching in.

    Anyway, I just don't know any of the technical info on pumps and wanted to ask if the back pressure is fine? I'm assuming it is fine. The pressure switch is set at 40-60 PSI. Otherwise it is working great and should last a long time.

    pump.jpg
  17. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,495
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    78 PSI is just all that pump can build. That is the way a CSV works, by making the pump think it is lifting from a deeper well, which reduces how much the pump can produce. Then as soon as the pump shuts off, the pressure on both sides of the CSV will equalize. Nothing wrong with your check valve. That backpressure actually makes the pump/motor draw lower amps and run cooler, not to mention eliminating pump cycles. It is one of those counter intuitive things.

    I think it looks good! If you need to replace that tank you can use as small as a 4.5 gallon size.
  18. john c

    john c New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    SC
    Good to know everything is set up and working as it should. By the way I went ahead and kept the switch wired in parallel. I took a picture of the old pressure switch on the pump that burned out. The plastic actually melted on two switches before wiring it in parallel. At first I didn't notice the plastic melted until I looked at them closer. On the other switch it bent to the side. So if someone else is burning up switches, it probably means the motor is pulling too many amps. Wiring in parallel will keep the switch cool, but the pump might be on it's way out. Thanks again to everyone who took the time to respond. P1010045.jpg P1010044.jpg
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