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Thread: FSG2 Pumptrol Problem

  1. #1

    Question FSG2 Pumptrol Problem

    Hi - New to the forum. Here is the scoop. I have a 26 year old well pump. Last weekend I had to replace the Franklin Electric Pump Control and the FSG2 Pumptrol. The reason I needed to do that was the pump would cycle every 10 to 15 seconds with very little water flow. First thing I tried was emptying the tank and filling with air to 28 psi (30-50 psi setup). I checked the Franklin Electric Contol and found the coil resistance did not match the specs on the cover. The FSG2 Pumptrol was full of crud. The nipple was pretty clean. I replaced the original FSG2 Pumptrol with a new one that has an Form M4 switch (Auto,Start, Off); the old one did not have the M4 switch. Tonight my wife reported that there was no water. We were sprinkling the garden tonight but have been doing that off and on for the past week since we just did a lot of planting over the holiday (who didn't)? I checked the pump switch and I turned the handle to START for a second and the pump kicked back in. It continued to run after I switched it back to AUTO. Everything seems OK now.

    Question is whether this is a faulty Pumptrol, normal function of the Pumptrol with a M4 switch, or is something else going on with the pump or other part of the system? I read with concern Gary Slusser's reply in the "http://terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2228." He said that:

    "You don't happen to have a switch with the little wire handle on one side and when the water stops you have to rotate that 'switch' until the pump builds about 20 psi before you can leave go, right? If so then you'd have a 'dry' well condition. That's when the pump sucks air, meaning the water level fell to the pump inlet. The same if the pump is shutting off due to overheating and the thermal overload is opening until the pump motor cools enough for it to come on again."

    So do I have a faulty pump? Are there any more tests before I call the well pump people? How do I do the 5 gallon test (will that tell me anything)?

    On top of everything my sister-in-law is visiting for the weekend!
    Last edited by safeman; 06-08-2005 at 10:24 PM.

  2. #2

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    That Pumptrol switch has a low pressure dropout feature built in to it. The idea is if the water level in the well is too low, or if a line suddenly ruptures, the pressure will drop and the pump will shut off. On a 30/50 switch, that dropout pressure is usually around 20 psi.
    You don't have to have a complete dry well condition for this to happen. As the water level in the well drops lower, the pump will begin pumping less water. If the demand is greater than what the pump can supply, the pressure will drop and the pump will shut down. You haven't completely ran out of water in this scenario, but the switch "assumed" you did, and reacted accordingly. As you found out, holding the lever up will restart the pump.
    Try monitoring the water usage, keeping an eye on the pressure gauge. If the pressure drops and the pump can't keep up, shut it down for awhile and let the well regenerate.
    Ron

  3. #3

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    Thanks Ron for the speedy reply! I will monitor my water usage carefully. It was probably due to the extra amount of watering we have been doing. At least I don't have to replace the switch again! Thanks again!

  4. #4

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    Just wondering whether the FSG2 with the low pressure switch and the Franklin Electric Pump control are redundant since it seems that the Franklin Electric Control will shut the pump down if it starts to load down too much. Not having the low pressure switch before, how sensitive is it? Will I constantly be running down to the basement for false alarms? Your experience with, and without, the low pressure switch?

  5. #5
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    It isn't sensitive, it simply opens the contacts when the pressure falls to 20 psi. Otherwise it's no different than any other pressure switch without the safety low pressure cut off feature. It seems that you need the feature to protect your pump etc.. The problem could be the 'extra' water you used or.... the well's static water level has fallen due to drought or another cause like someone/everyone in the neighborhood using more water than normal or new wells or construction being done.

    I don't know much about the Franklin pump control but I think you mean it's more than a control box. A control box isn't a controller, it's basically only used to start a pump. So assuming some type of controller, did it shut off the pump previously? If so then you wouldn't need the switch you have but I wouldn't replace it because the idea is to not use enough water quick enough for the pump to have to be stopped by either.

    The pump stopping is not good for the well, the pump or water quality in many cases and means your pump or well can't supply all that water is such a short period of time and that water conservation is on order. You may want a pump guy or well driller to check the static water level unless you want to try. If you do, tie a small something that has a bit of weight to it and floates (a small block of wood like a 1" x 1" x 2" piece) onto some strong string and lower it into the well until the thing floates and the line goes limp. But in somes cases with cable and cable guards on the drop pipe that won't work because of the block getting tangled up instead of floating. Making into a pointy ended shape, both ends, will help. I have a sonic depth finder but there are electronic types with contacts that conduct when they hit water. So maybe a flashlight with the bulb soldered on the end of a pair of L O N G wires with the bared ends fixed about a 1/16" apart lowered on down the well. That's if you want a weekend project outside the house what with two sisters in the house that haven't seen each other in some time. lol

    Gary
    Quality Water Associates

  6. #6

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    The Franklin Pump Control is basically used to start the pump. It has a capacitor and relay that starts the pump. The reason I replaced it was the coil resistance was only 500 ohms and for a 230V box it should have been 4700 ohms. As far as the well / pump itself, I don't think there is a draught. Probably low pressure was due to the sprinkling. I will monitor the situation over the next few days. Hopefully there isn't an emergency!!

  7. #7
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Then at least at this time you need that saftey low pressure cut off switch to protect the pump. That's because your (a) control box isn't a pump controller, it doesn't shut off the pump when something goes wrong, it only starts it. That type control box is used on 3 wire pumps; red = start, black and yellow are the two hots for 230 vac. Two wire 230 vac pumps have two hots; black and yellow or whatever color is handy, and they don't have control boxes. Both will have a ground if new construction but older 2 wire pump installations won't have the ground. At least here.

    Gary
    Quality Water Associates

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