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Thread: Newbie to the World of Wells and Pumps with ???

  1. #1

    Default Newbie to the World of Wells and Pumps with ???

    Hi All,

    Sorry for the long message, but I want to give you a full picture of our situation as I'm trying really hard to understand all of this new stuff and stay in good graces with my family. Not always easy to do.

    My wife and I bought our first house a few months ago and one of the things I wanted was a house with its own well. Careful what you wish for!

    I got what I wanted, but the well was installed in the mid 80's and has some issues that comes with age that I'll need to address in the near future. Two months ago I replaced the secondary external pump and check valve.

    The well is 300 feet deep with a 1/2 hp pump at 250 feet, pumps about 6 gpm, has a 1500 gallon holding tank, 80 gallon pressure tank, and the new Goulds 1/2 hp auxilary pump to get it up to the house. Well is located 30+ feet below the grade of the house and about 100 feet away.

    There are two switch boxes and one junction box at the top of the well head. One switch box goes to a float at the top of the storage tank. Another float switch is at the mid tank level and goes to the main sub panel box five feet from the well head. The white wire from the lower float switch is wire nutted inside the sub panel to one of the leads going to the new secondary pump. The black goes to one lead on the breaker.

    My problem is this: It seams that the white wire isn't getting power, so I had to jump a wire from the secondary pump to the breaker to get the secondary pump to work.

    Water level is only at about 1/3 of the tank so the lower and upper float switches are just hanging there. Probably not good.

    Do the submersible well pumps stay on until the float switch shuts it off, or can they cycle on and off based on settings at on of the switch boxes?

    What a better way to wire the secondary pump? And shouldn't the lower float switch be going to the well head and not the subpanel? Is it normal to have two float switches?

    So much to learn.

    Thanks for any and all support.

  2. #2
    Rancher
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dwayne N View Post
    One switch box goes to a float at the top of the storage tank.
    This float switch turns off & on the submersible pump.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dwayne N View Post
    Another float switch is at the mid tank level and goes to the main sub panel box five feet from the well head. The white wire from the lower float switch is wire nutted inside the sub panel to one of the leads going to the new secondary pump. The black goes to one lead on the breaker.
    This switch protects the secondary pump so that if the well is pumped dry, or the submersible pump goes bad the secondary pump doesn't pump dry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dwayne N View Post
    My problem is this: It seams that the white wire isn't getting power, so I had to jump a wire from the secondary pump to the breaker to get the secondary pump to work.
    Water level is only at about 1/3 of the tank so the lower and upper float switches are just hanging there.
    The white wire isn't getting power because your holding tank is only 1/3 full and the lower float switch is at the half way mark, it's doing it's job, protecting the secondary pump.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dwayne N View Post
    Do the submersible well pumps stay on until the float switch shuts it off, or can they cycle on and off based on settings at on of the switch boxes?
    Hard to say, you could have the submersible pump on a timed cycle because you have a low producing well, is the submersible pump running at all?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dwayne N View Post
    What a better way to wire the secondary pump? And shouldn't the lower float switch be going to the well head and not the subpanel? Is it normal to have two float switches?
    No the secondary pump should be turned on by the pressure switch at the pressure tank, and protected from running dry by the lower float switch. No the lower float should not be going to the well head. Yes it't normal to have two float switches.


    Rancher

  3. #3
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    The problem is somewhere in the supply of water to the 1500 gallon tank. Either the well is out of water, or the pump has failed, or there is a leak somewhere that is wasting water.

  4. #4
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    I wouldn't be jumpering around these floats. They are there for a reason.

    What you need to do is get the well pump running to put water back in the 1500 gallon tank, so things get back to normal.

    Maybe your just using more water than the system can produce.

    bob...

  5. #5

    Default HELP----Follow-Up with ???

    Happy Thanksgiving all!

    Thanks for the great advice and info. That helps a ton.

    I think I may have traced the problem down to one of the two switches at the top of the well head. Still not ruling out the submersible pump.

    One switch says pump saver model# 231. That is the last leg of the primary wires that then go down the well. The other doesn't have any labels but it looks like it may be another timer that regulates cycles of the submersible and is mid run.

    I have full power going all through the system up to the Pump Saver switch. That's where the wiring changes from a Blk/Wht two wire set up to a Red/Blk/Yel set up that goes down the well head to the pump.

    How do I jump the two wire to the three wire to see if the submersible pump is working? If I play with the switches a bit it will occasionally start pump water into the tank but then stops after a minute or so.

    It's going to be a trying Thanksgiving...especially with guest in town that are staying with us.

    Thannks again for the help!

  6. #6

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    Still trying to get this going before my mother-in-law arrives. I'll have to listen to this story for all eternity.

    Latest findings. At the pump-saver control box, when the system powers on, the voltage from the capacitor starts at about 550-600 volts and the submersible pump starts to fill the tank. Run light is a steady green.

    Click from the box is heard and then the green light starts to flash and the capacitor starts to drop in voltage all the way down to 40 volts and the sub. pump stops pumping after the click is heard.

    Does this sound like a bad capacitor? and if so, is this a common part I can pick up locally. I'm in Phoenix, AZ.

    Thanks,

    Dwayne

  7. #7
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    From your description of Black/Yellow/Red wires to the pump, you apparently have a 3-wire pump.

    From the info at the links below (especially the second one) the pump-saver may be installed in the control box. If you have a setup as shown you may be able to remove the pump-saver and hook the pump up without it.

    If the pump doesn't work without the Pump-saver then you may have a problem with the control box or the motor.

    http://www.symcom.com/catalog/linked...INS_specs.html

    http://www.goulds.com/pdf/IOM%20231Insider-Plus.pdf


    Even if you don't have a Goulds pump the motor information at the following links is probably applicable.

    http://www.goulds.com/product.asp?ID=264&MASTERID=3 Contains links to submersible pumps.

    http://www.goulds.com/pdf/GSSINGLE.pdf Contains resistance measurements to allow you to check the motor.

  8. #8

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    Thanks Bob,

    After looking at the troubleshooting section, I may have either a faulty control box or be in the early stages of developing a dry well condition. I hope it's the box.

    I have a PumpSaver 231 device in the box and the green "run" light is flashing, no water is being pumped, and the red "cal." light is off.

    Anyone know what is a reasonable cost to have well service company inspect the well to verify that before I start thinking about digging deeper or trying to lower the submersible pump?

    If digging deeper is needed, I can only imagine what that will run. I live on some hard granite and the well is already 300 feet down.

    Thanks,

    Dwayne

  9. #9
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    The voltage the capacitor reads when trying to start the motor is not a troubleshooting technique. Check the capacitor for capacitance not voltage. If it says 161 - 193 MFD, then somewhere around these numbers is great. If it reads shorted or open, replace it.

    So far nothing you have said helps figure out what is really going on. Do you have an amp meter?

    What is this pump saver, the name vaguely rings a bell. I assume it's like a Pumptec, but not totally sure.

    bob...

  10. #10

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    Bob,

    PumpSaver 231 Insider is the name of the lighted control device inside the Pumptec or other manufacturers control box.

    I do have a small amp gauge.

    Dwayne
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  11. #11
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    Glad you enclosed the photo. I have seen them advertised but have never seen one in person. I believe they are similar to the Pumptec. They monitor amps and possibly voltage as well.

    Use your amp meter to see how many amps the pump motor is pulling once it starts. A 1/2hp pump motor on 230 volts should be pulling 6 amps while pumping water, 12 amps on 115 volts. If it's under, it's not pumping water, if it's over, the pump/motor is on it's way out or you have a skinned wire somewhere.

    bob...

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