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Thread: Pump not pumping

  1. #16
    In the Trades Texas Wellman's Avatar
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    BTW: had one one time like that where the pressure switch was not making good contact. Pulled the pump/pipe out of the hole, realized mistake, re-installed old pump/pipe/wire, and then fixed pressure switch. Only charged for the pressure switch, I ate the rest. The pressure switch was in a little "cubby hole" cut into a bedroom, very tight space and made it almost impossible to troubleshoot. Customer took me and my brother out for lunch, he said it was the least he could do.

    Regardless of the problem you still have a brand new pump and motor.

  2. #17
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Yes, very sloppy work if a wire nut fell off. In wet areas, twisting the wires and then prefilling the nut with no-corrode paste or even vaseline will keep it working for the life of the motor.

    Paste on the screws and wires in a pressure switch has also saved many a problem from oxidation.

  3. #18
    In the Trades Texas Wellman's Avatar
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    Never said the wire-nut fell off, just that it was not making good connection. Call it whatever you want, but after doing thousands, it happens.

    What good is the paste going to do if it's not making good connection? I don't think the paste is really necessary unless it's continually getting exposed to a splash type environment, like a marine application. The typical LB stays fairly dry if installed correctly. Buried, that's another story.

  4. #19
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    I think that unless you are in Kuwait, you do the next guy into the box a favor with 1 cent worth of grease or no corrode.

    All the time I go into outdoor splice boxes and light fixtures and find them full of condensation, and the wire nuts often 'welded' to the copper. Or oxidized black, and the connection getting poorer each year. And we have hot and dry summers too.

    The old zinc - potmetal outdoor boxes came with black steel screws, and you may as well just forget trying to turn them, use a chisel. The ones that I greased or used paste on still unscrew after 15 years. There are some good anti corrode sprays on the market, and a shot in a pressure switch is good insurance. Pump houses are pretty much a marine enviroment around here.

    They do sell wire nuts with a silicone paste already in them.

  5. #20
    DIY Junior Member colinml's Avatar
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    Well, not sure what to say. Of course it's possible my contractor ripped me off. Of course it's possible that they are lazy, sloppy, and incompetent. It's possible that the pump they put in is 10 years old and they bought it off an on line auction site. It's possible monkeys might fly out of my butt. But we'll never know. I've been burned a few times. I am a big advocate of consumer education, combined with a healthy dose of skepticism, but there is no evidence of fraud here, so I see no reason to assume fraud. These guys called me back first thing Monday morning, and they had a crew at my house within two hours. They were professional. They didn't track mud through my house. When I called to tell them something was wrong, right after they left, they were back at my house within a few minutes, very apologetic, and quickly discovered and admitted their mistake. I used to be a cabinet maker. I consider myself to be honest and I was always very careful in my work. I did not manage to make it through my entire career without ever making a mistake. So I think what we have here is a glass half full vs half empty deal.

  6. #21
    Well Drilling/Service justwater's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry about it a bit. of course anything is possible.. but aside from popular belief, there are honest people in this business too. you trusted them, and it sounds like they made good on the mishap.

    Like someone said earlier.. If you've never made a mistake here or there.. you haven't ever done much.

  7. #22
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colinml View Post
    Well, not sure what to say. Of course it's possible my contractor ripped me off. Of course it's possible that they are lazy, sloppy, and incompetent. It's possible that the pump they put in is 10 years old and they bought it off an on line auction site. It's possible monkeys might fly out of my butt. But we'll never know. I've been burned a few times. I am a big advocate of consumer education, combined with a healthy dose of skepticism, but there is no evidence of fraud here, so I see no reason to assume fraud. These guys called me back first thing Monday morning, and they had a crew at my house within two hours. They were professional. They didn't track mud through my house. When I called to tell them something was wrong, right after they left, they were back at my house within a few minutes, very apologetic, and quickly discovered and admitted their mistake. I used to be a cabinet maker. I consider myself to be honest and I was always very careful in my work. I did not manage to make it through my entire career without ever making a mistake. So I think what we have here is a glass half full vs half empty deal.
    Cabinetmakers are sticklers for details, and a loose wire nut equates with 5 stripped screws in a 100# drawer slide. You get the point, I am sure.

    Did'nt mean to make you loose sleep over the ethics of the well guy. Maybe he did a good job and someone that put that nut on was the new kid on the block. But if it was a component that was NOT touched during the repair, you might have a faux pau on the part of all involved.

    Often the simplest solutions are the last to be investigated.

    If monkeys really fly out of your butt, you can get your pump installl cost recovered by calling some TV show that does oddities as topics.

  8. #23
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Wellman View Post
    I've had em come loose, and they usually do within the first few cycles. Put a few thousand on like I have and you're bound to have one or two not make a good connection. Putting in a pump, splicing the wire together correctly, hoisting up several hundred feet of pipe, dealing with crawlspaces and well houses, setting the wellhead/pitless, hands get a little dirty and fingers get a little loose. The wire nut is usually the last thing to get installed, easy to get a bad connection.
    Speaking of experience etc., my work experience has been very detail oriented. With many hundreds of wire nuts on well systems over 18 yrs, not counting others in other applications, I was very attentive to details that could lead to future failure.

    I think that's because when I started doing well/pump work, I already had 5 yrs in field preventative and operational maintenance of nuclear weapons (including a yr of solid propellant rocket motor inspections of fairly large rockets that were being shot with dummy warheads within hours for aircrew training) and lots of working with high explosives. Along with that there was 3+ yrs as an electric utility ground hand and lineman, plus some time in a nuclear power/generation plant plus 5+ yrs as an electronics troubleshooter with GE. I also was a private pilot for a few years.

    Around explosives and transmission/service electrical line work, you don't have the luxury of having some loose connections so you learn how to do it right the first time or you usually don't survive or have the job very long.

    In a couple of those fields we had a statement we lived by; familiarity breeds contempt. That leads to sloppy work habits and not paying attention to detail. If you allow that you have loose wire nuts.

    As far as I know, I've never had a loose wire nut. Maybe because I insisted on not having one by replacing old ones after taking them off. And I inspected the connection for corrosion and cleaned the wire before putting new ones on and then I usually taped them with new water proof electrical tape like safety wiring so they couldn't come loose. For years I did a lot of thin SS wire safety wiring of precisely torqued nuts and bolts and hermetic sealing using hand applied lead seam sealing tape that absolutely could not allow any air infiltration. I also was a certified welder for a number of years with about 50% of my welds being magnafluxed or x-rayed. Details details details... or you get to give excuses if you are able.
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  9. #24
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Probably the only way to get loose wires in a nut is if it was not twisted at all or if it was the wrong size to begin with.

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