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Thread: Well Pump Wiring

  1. #1
    Retired tool & Die and Mechanic Giles's Avatar
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    Default Well Pump Wiring

    I have a submerged well pump that has only two wires connected. One is red and the other is black. This is a 220v setup, and there is no ground connection or a white wire from the pump for connection. I have found conflicting information as to the use of a ground wire application for well pumps.
    My main concern is safety and I appreciate the importance of a ground in ALL electrical applications. Is this safe or do some well pumps have this type hookup?

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    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    You open your post with a statement that you have a pump that has two wires and then ask the question is one make that only has two wires.

    Seems to me you answered the question before you asked it.

  3. #3
    Retired tool & Die and Mechanic Giles's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=jwelectric;167984]You open your post with a statement that you have a pump that has two wires and then ask the question is one make that only has two wires.

    Seems to me you answered the question before you asked it.[/QUOTE

    As I stated-- I know the purpose of a ground wire. This particular setup is approximately 25 years old. I did not install the pump, I noticed this absence of grounding while repairing piping. I have no idea what previous owners of property have done. A lot of unqualified people will cut the ground wire even in their home (They don't need it). I posted this same question in another forum and was advised by some that the pump was hooked up wrong, and by others that some pump manufacturers design their pumps to operate safely without ground. One person stated that their new pump was of this design, stating that the submerged pump was under water and was grounded. I am not a certified electrician and I do not know the credibality of this statement. Many people will give electrical advice that is incorrect or not to code. The only metal present at pump location is the casing cover and a gavalnized 1" 90. The well casing is plastic pipe. I am asking a qualified electrician if I can make a ground connection to the pump cover and accomplish a suitable ground or do I need to pull the pump to see if there is a ground wire.

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    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    First let me make this statement.
    If you are there to do repairs on the plumbing then please donít try to cross over into the electrical. If you have doubts as to the compliance of the electrical then simply call an electrician for help.
    In some states you are required to have an electrical license in order to make even a grounding connection. In these states you could be treading on some liable grounds if you should decide to ask a bunch of questions on a DIY web site for information on something you have no idea about.

    A lot of 120/240 volt submersible pumps will not have an equipment grounding conductor simply due to the fact that no one will be climbing down in a well to touch a submersible pump, then again we just donít know about these things as I am sure the world is full of people that are not but 6Ē around.

    Should this submersible pump be installed with metal piping down the well then there might be some danger of the pipe becoming energized and something there would need some sort of bonding but I havenít seen any pumps that were installed with metal pipe. Most of what I have seen was installed with some sort of black nonmetallic pipe that wouldnít conduct current therefore no need to ground something that no one could touch even if they were only six inches in diameter.

    Concerning the well cap and the galvanized nipple chase I think you have answered your own question again in your opening statement, ďAs I stated-- I know the purpose of a ground wire.Ē If you truly know the purpose of the ground wire then why ask?

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    Submersible pumps that had two wire or three wire motors didn't have a ground wire until the National Electrical Code was changed back in the 90's I believe. Then the green wire was added to all submersible pump motors regardless of whether they were three or two wire motors. Since only two wires were needed to make a 230 volt connection and make a motor run, the third (or fourth in a three wire motor) wire wasn't needed to make the motor run. Now that wire since being added by the NEC is seen on all pump motors.

    Since your pump is that old, I wouldn't worry about adding the third wire. The pump will probably be dying of old age soon anyway. And there were a whole bunch of sub motors out there without that green wire that didn't hurt anybody.

    bob...

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    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    posted in the wrong thread
    Last edited by jwelectric; 11-22-2008 at 08:55 AM.

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    Retired tool & Die and Mechanic Giles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedbump View Post
    Submersible pumps that had two wire or three wire motors didn't have a ground wire until the National Electrical Code was changed back in the 90's I believe. Then the green wire was added to all submersible pump motors regardless of whether they were three or two wire motors. Since only two wires were needed to make a 230 volt connection and make a motor run, the third (or fourth in a three wire motor) wire wasn't needed to make the motor run. Now that wire since being added by the NEC is seen on all pump motors.

    Since your pump is that old, I wouldn't worry about adding the third wire. The pump will probably be dying of old age soon anyway. And there were a whole bunch of sub motors out there without that green wire that didn't hurt anybody.

    bob...
    speedbump---you are evidently the professional I needed an answer from. Excellent explination! THANKS

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