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Thread: New Submersible well pump won't run

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Chriss1967's Avatar
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    Default New Submersible well pump won't run

    We have a 250 foot deep well with water at about 100 feet down. We have a 1 horse power submersible pump (just bought a new one). We also just replaced the pressure switch (30/50). We also just replaced the pressure tank (36 gallons). When we flipped the breaker on, the switched clicked on, the pressure built to 40 and then kicked off. We ran a hose to clear out the dirty water and the pressure dropped to under 30. The pressure switch kicked on as it should have but immediately shut off and the pressure dropped to 0. Now we can't get the pump to turn on at all. Help?? Could it be a broken wire to the pump? We tested the ohms from the breaker box to the pressure switch, the ohms from the wires coming from the house to the top of the casing where the pump goes down to the water. We also tested the wires that are attached to the top of the casing down to the actual pump itself. All registered as they should (220). When we dropped the pump into the water, it acted as I stated above. It doesn't take much 'power' to register on the ohms reader but to power a pump it takes more which is why we think it may be a broken wire. Any advise?

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Yes, it could be a broke wire or loose connection.

    A ohm meter is not made to measure Power. A resistance measurement will tell you if you have a Bad connection, but it will not tell you if you have a Good connection, Because there is no Current until power is applied.

    You need to use a amp probe to measure the Current and Power that the pump is using. A clamp on Ammeter is easiest to use.


    Good Luck.
    Last edited by DonL; 09-03-2013 at 07:27 AM.
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    DIY Junior Member Chriss1967's Avatar
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    I have to apologize. We used a voltmeter and not an ohmmeter. The voltmeter read 220 at a minimum for all wires. The only thing we can think of is there must be a short in one of the wires that we can't see because the plastic covering isn't exposing bare wire anywhere. Before we go buy 250 feet of wire to replace what goes down into the well we wanted to see if there were other things that we could check first. Oh, one additional piece of info....we did use the plastic covering that you heat to shrink and seal the wire connections at the pump itself. When we pulled the pump back out, these connections were still sealed so we know these weren't the problem.

    Thanks so much for your help!

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    How many wires does your pump have ?

    Having 220V for all wires, Is a bit confusing. How are you measuring, from where to where ?

    What is the model number ?

    It is most likely a open, because a short should trip your breaker.
    Last edited by DonL; 09-03-2013 at 08:11 AM.
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  5. #5
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chriss1967 View Post
    I have to apologize. We used a voltmeter and not an ohmmeter.
    Both are useful for troubleshooting along with an ammeter. Resistance readings confirm continuity and show shorts. Amps gives many clues as well.

    Maybe the pipe split or the pump spun off the end of it. Have you tried pressure testing the line?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chriss1967 View Post
    The pressure switch kicked on as it should have but immediately shut off and the pressure dropped to 0.
    When you say the switch shut off, do you mean the contacts opened? Does the switch have a low pressure cutoff?

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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chriss1967 View Post
    We also just replaced the pressure switch (30/50). We also just replaced the pressure tank (36 gallons). When we flipped the breaker on, the switched clicked on, the pressure built to 40 and then kicked off. We ran a hose to clear out the dirty water and the pressure dropped to under 30. The pressure switch kicked on as it should have...
    If the switch is a 30/50, it should close at 30 and open at 50. If it did not, maybe your pressure gauge is reading wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chriss1967 View Post
    When we flipped the breaker on, the switched clicked on...
    Describe the switch better. A standard mechanical switch would not "click on" when you flip the breaker.

    If the new pump moves more GPM than the old one did and you have sand in the well, the extra GPM could have put the sand in motion and it could have locked the rotor. The sand could also get into the pressure gauge and the pressure switch.

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    I think the click may have been coming from a control box, That could have a bad Cap.

    Just a guess.

    A pressure switch should not click when power is applied, or the pump is dead heading and maybe the tank has no air.
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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    I think the click may have been coming from a control box...
    Whenever I am troubleshooting a pump issue, I always have the cover off of the switch and so would have visual confirmation of the state of the switch. I would also know where the clicking is coming from.

  9. #9
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    A model of the pump would help.

    Not even sure how many Power wires the pump has.


    Maybe the OP solved the problem, with no report.
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    DIY Junior Member Chriss1967's Avatar
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    Thanks, all! It turns out that the seal on one of the wire connections at the pump leaked. We pulled the pump out and used a new submersible splice kit to seal the connections, dropped the pump into the well this morning and voila, we have water!

  11. #11
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chriss1967 View Post
    Thanks, all! It turns out that the seal on one of the wire connections at the pump leaked. We pulled the pump out and used a new submersible splice kit to seal the connections, dropped the pump into the well this morning and voila, we have water!

    Nice work.


    Enjoy.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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