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Thread: submersible pump will not start

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member jtwthird's Avatar
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    Default submersible pump will not start

    My pump stopped comming on so I had a well company come out and they changed the capaciter. This fixed the problem for about 2 weeks. I have a 1 HP franklin control box on a submersible pump. I changed the control box out and put a new 30/50 pressure switch (pressure switch was not bad i just changed it sense the other one was getting old and to eliminate future problems). This made no change. Here is what i dont understand.. If the pressure drops below 30 psi and the pressure switch kicks on the pump will not start. The capaciter hums a few seconds and thats it. Now if I manually cycle the switch before it drops below 30 psi it normaly starts. Sometime I have to cycle the pressure switch several times on and off then the pump will come on. Once the pump starts it runs fine and it will build pressure like it should and shut off at 50 psi. This has been going on for 2 months now. Needless to say its fun washing clothes or showering due me having to cycle it manually.

    I questioned the well company and was told the well was put in around 1978 but the pumps is only 2 years old (put in just before I purchased the home). I ask when they came out if the pump could be going bad. They told me it eather works or doesent they have no in between. I found this hard to believe due to the way my system is acting.

  2. #2
    In the Trades Texas Wellman's Avatar
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    Sounds a little strange.

    Perhaps the "new" switch is defective, or there is a loose wire before it goes into the well. There could be many things that could be wrong.

    Might try another opinion.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member jtwthird's Avatar
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    If its a wiring issue it is from the control box down to the pump. I was having the same issue before the switch was changed. But why would the pump start after cycling the switch on and of repeatedly.

  4. #4
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    Having to replace a start capacitor is one of the first signs that your pump is cycling on and off too much. Usually you can replace the start cap and the pressure switch a time or two before the motor dies, but not always. It is actually easier for a pump to start against high pressure than if there is no pressure. Which is probably why the damaged motor will come on easier if you start it manually before the pressure gets low.

    My guess is that even though it is only two years old, you have already cycled the motor to death. This is why the average life of submersible pumps is only seven years. You cycled your motor to death in two years. Your neighbor doesn’t cycle his pump nearly as much so his will last 12 years. Together that is an average life of 7 years, just as the manufacturer planned.

    Get the motor fixed. Figure out how to limit the number of cycles, and your pump will last longer next time.

  5. #5
    Porky Cutter,MGWC Porky's Avatar
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    Sometimes the relay in the control box becomes defective and must be replaced as well. Valveman explained it best! What he didn't say. . . when you do replace the motor consider installing a Pside-Kick http://www.cyclestopvalves.com/products.html. It extends the life of all your pump system components, stops the pump from cycling while giving you constant pressure like city water pressure. What ever you do don't replace the pump with the new troublesome and expensive VFD constant pressure pump.
    Porky Cutter, MGWC
    (Master Ground Water Consultant)

  6. #6
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    I would look for a loose connection, near the cap. Check all connections.

    Replacing it may have seemed to make it work, because the loose connection makes and breaks.
    That would also explain why it may work sometime.

    Or maybe the new cap ain't so new now.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  7. #7
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valveman View Post
    It is actually easier for a pump to start against high pressure than if there is no pressure. Which is probably why the damaged motor will come on easier if you start it manually before the pressure gets low.
    +1

    Also, jogging it repeatedly gives it more time on the start windings and that also overheats the motor causing it to swell. If the pump is in a rock well and top fed, it may not get the required cooling flow. When you replace it, you might consider sleeving it.

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