My brother in law tore down his house. The only thing left is the well with two wires coming out of it. One yellow and one red. Should we run 115 volts or 220 volts. Thanks
I don't see a ground wire. Live and learn. Need to use the well temporarily on the new house. How easy does the pump pull out? Can I run 115v and check the amps?
Some (most-all?) submersible pumps have a "control box" located in the house or well house. If you need, but don't have, this control box you may be SOL.
Measure the resistance between the two wires. Then see if it corresponds to values for any particular size motor. Even if it does, that doesn't mean it is going to work.
With only 2 wires it is either a 2-wire pump or it isn't going to work.
Red and yellow might indicate that it is a 2-wire 220 Volt pump.
Older pumps had no ground wire.
220 Volt pumps had no neutral; therefore usually no white wire.
I would try connecting 115 Volts for a few seconds. If it is a 2-wire pump it is probably thermally protected. If no water (or little water) comes out in 30 seconds, try 220 Volts. You don't have much to lose.
If you put 220 Volts on a 115 Volt pump it should trip out on thermal protection in a few seconds.
Wire colors for a three wire Pump are usually Red, Yellow and Black. Two wire Pumps have a Red and a Black. If you have a Yellow and a Red, you have probably not yet located the Black wire. It may be broken off in the Well. So chances are you will have to pull the Pump to make repairs anyway.
Regardless, if the house was torn down and everything is "new" the wiring needs to be 4 wire for 240 and 3 wire for 120. For 240 you need the two "hot wires" and two grounds, one to the well case and another to the panel. For 120 you need 1 hot, 1 neutral and 1 ground to the panel.
Most submersible well pumps are 2 wire pumps (they are better and less expensive than a 3 wire [with control box]) and do not need or have a control box. Most older pumps did not have a ground. It depends on what code if any you are under IF the pump and/or casing is supposed to be grounded; the pump doesn't require grounding because it is usually very well grounded in the water in the well. But it doesn't hurt unless the ground wire is broken and you are used to make it.
Actually IIRC, grounding the casing is not what the codes call for, they call for use of metal well casing as the building's electrical system's ground electrode. That's in addition to ground rods and use of metal water lines to ground the house electrical system with. And that's a bit different than "grounding the casing"; as if it needed it. IMO, using the well casing as the building's ground electrode can be very dangerous to the well or pump guy that comes out to work on a well. But he electrical codes guys never asked me.
Where to start educating you on your post....
I think I will start with this comment.
This comment scares the hell out of me, A pump without a low impedance path back to the service will NEVER trip the breaker, the earth is NOT a low impedance path. Your gonna kill someone.
Last edited by Chris75; 08-18-2008 at 04:22 PM.
That is what I was trying to say but it got lost in translation. Thanks for clarifying it for everyone.
I've thought about running a heavy wire from my three ground rods over to the well in order to improve lighting protection.
Back on the original question.
Is the yellow really yellow? It could be a white wire that got discolored.
Important note Ė I donít know man made laws, just laws of physics
Disclaimer: I'm a big fan of Darwin awards.
Originally Posted by Gary Slusser
the pump doesn't require grounding because it is usually very well grounded in the water in the well. But it doesn't hurt unless the ground wire is broken and you are used to make it.
I'm from PA and PA historically had the largest number or rural population until TX surpassed us in the 2000 census. Rural is identified/defined as households with a private on site water source and septic. There are a million+/- wells in PA and the majority have submersible pumps. The vast majority of them are 2 wire, meaning no ground wire pigtail. There is no ground wire run from the pressure switch to the well or the pump in the well. And the casings are not grounded/bonded or used as the building's ground electrode.
You're from CT and I can understand you not hearing of people in PA being killed as you say I will be killing them but, I've lived in rural PA since 1942 except for 12-14 years and I have worked on a hundred wells as I described; no ground wire run to the well, or attached to the metal casing, or to the submersible pump. I have never heard of any related injuries or deaths. Although my uncle was killed when a galvanized drop pipe got away from him and others and touched overhead electrical wires; that was in 1952. So can you continue to educate me as to why that is?
Wells and pumps are not my primary business, water treatment is, and I must have been in maybe 3-4000 houses and businesses right next to pressure tanks and switches without a grounded submersible pump or well unless it was a 120 v submersible pump; they are very rare. That's OMG! only two 120v wires running from the pressure switch to the sub pump up to 200' from the house and the pump 500-600' deep in the well.
How do you and the guy that got you involved in this suppose we ever survived?
Originally Posted by Gary Slusser
Actually IIRC, grounding the casing is not what the codes call for, they call for use of metal well casing as the building's electrical system's ground electrode.
Also, is the NEC mandatory in all US States and local jurisdictions?
If you have a 2 wire 240v pump the two wires can be any color and it doesn't matter which goes on what pigtail; which are usually both black.
If it's a 120v pump the wires are usually black and white and bare but can be any color.
EGC is Equipment Grounding Conductor
GEC is Grounding Electrode Conductor
The Nec is mandatory if your state has accepted it and adopted it. with the exception of state amendments.
Here is a picture to help you grasp the idea of a grounding conductor.
Last edited by Chris75; 08-19-2008 at 04:54 AM.