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Thread: Wiring for Submersible Pump

  1. #16
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    If you want to heat and light the pump house, pull 2] 10g for the pump and 3] 12g of the correct colors. Install a small sub panel and a ground rod would not hurt, although you have your ground in the green or bare wire of the 12g portion of the run. 3/4" pvc conduit.

    Remember to make your pro read the AIM manual.

    Lots of rules on telephone and electric seperation and sewer and water seperation, but not many on electric and water. I have rarely opened buried conduit that was not full of water anyway. Moral of story, be careful pulling wire not to damage insulation.

  2. #17
    DIY Member techinstructor's Avatar
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    Default Update and more questions

    I talked with the electrical inspector. The electrical wires and the water pipe (Pex) can be side by side, whether the wires are UF-B or THWN in conduit. We're like the idea of putting the wires in conduit for all the reasons already stated. When our basement was poured, we had the contractor put in a 2" PVC sleeve for the waterr line, thinking that would suffice for both water and electrical. Now we realize that it isn't large enough for both 1" Pex (1 1/8" OD) and conduit (we don't want to try pulling 5 wires through a small diameter conduit (Dear husband wants to use 2").

    So we're thinking of doing it like this:

    Install 2" PVC conduit for individual THWN wires - 1 each black and red 10 gauge, 1 green 12 gauge, and 1 each black and white 14 gauge - 5 wires in all. The conduit will be laid in the ditch beside the Pex water line. At the junction with the house, we will only feed the Pex through the 2" PVC sleeve that is through the basement wall. Where the electrical conduit intersects the basement, we'll add a long sweep elbow to bring it up above grade so that the wires can be fed through the band, above the basement wall. (Our basement wall has 2" foam insulation and stucco on the outside so we don't want to drill another hole through that.)

    My questions concern the place where the wires enter the house. From what I understand we can put a LB fitting at this location to have a waterproof elbow where the wires turn to enter the house. Do these wires then go to an interior junction box mounted inside on a joist? Is this acceptable to have splice in the wire at this location or should the wires be continuous all the way to the pressure tank? (I've also seen mention of an exterior junction box that could be used in lieu of the LB fitting and interior box, but the same question concerning the splice applies.)

    Since we're running wires for both the pump and the light, do we need to have a separate junction box for each or will the one box suffice?

    One more question... does anyone use lubricant on the wires for easier pulling? If so, what do you use?

  3. #18
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    2" is really overkill for conduit. You can pull two 10's and 3 12's through 1" conduit and have plenty of room left for more. There is no benefit to installing 14g,and it limits the circuit to 15 amps.

    From the LB at the house, a piece of conduit goes through the band. Once you are inside, you can continue the conduit to wherever you will separate the 120 and 240 branches in a junction box. From the junction box the 10ga wires go to the pressure switch, while the others go the main panel. The wires need to be in conduit, or you could switch to NM-B (romex)or whatever your house is wired in from the junction to the end.

    It's always better to run a single length of wire when you can, rather than splice sections together.

    You will find cable pulling lubricant in the same place you buy conduit and wire.
    Last edited by cacher_chick; 09-27-2011 at 06:16 PM.

  4. #19
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    3/4" conduit is fine. 2" is absurd. look up wire fill charts for conduit. You can lay them [the wires] out and feed them through individual 10' sections with a 1/4" steel pencil rod or whatever suits you. No lube, no pull. You slip the pipe over the wires.

    Frankly, with 2" conduit you could run the pex INSIDE the electrical conduit and still get the wires in. A great idea that no electrician will perform, unfortunately.

    I once ran 400 feet of submersible well wire INSIDE the 1" water line, with rather interesting home made wire exits on either end. This was due to impossible terrain, and a bit of an experiment.... But no-one inspects wells around here. If you can run pump wire down a well, you can run it in the water stream also. Still working fine after 10 years.

    Why use pex? PVC is cheaper and PEX has a rather unknown history for underground use.

    For a real pull, and for finding leaks in tires and washing dogs, I never leave home without a 1 gallon pump up sprayer about 20/80 [as you please] dish soap to water.

    The other secret is the same type sprayer, 1 part diesel, 1 part gear oil, 1 part any light oil or engine oil or hydraulic fluid or transmission fluid you can muster up. Used hydraulic fluid from a tractor works fine also and recycles it for free. Not for wires, but corrosion proofing tools and replacing that ridiculous wd40 for any use you can think of. Spray your wooden handled tools once a year and you get an extra 10 years out of them.

  5. #20
    DIY Member techinstructor's Avatar
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    Default Update and another question

    As per advice, we are using 10 ga red and black for the pump and 12 ga black and white for the light. We were going to get 12 ga green for the ground but they didn't have enough at Lowes so we paid a little extra to get 10 ga ground wire which they had in stock.

    We decided to run 1 1/4" conduit to the house and then up to the band. (The 2" sleeve in the basement wall, originally for the water line only, isn't large enough for conduit and the 1" Pex.) At the band, we'll put a 1 1/4" LB fitting and then run the conduit through to a junction box that will be mounted on the inner band. (The basement wall is 10" thick. The last of the "joists," installed on 16" centers, actually sits on top of the inner edge of that 10" concrete wall and the outer band sits on the outside edge. We'll have to go through both of these.)

    Now for my question. We want to mount a junction box so that the 1 1/4" conduit intersects with the back of the box. Then we want to have two 3/4" junctions going out the side and bottom of the box. One will 3/4" outlet will go to the pressure tank; the other will go to the panel box. Here's a photograph showing the fittings. In the photo, the face that is up would actually be rotated to vertical and mounted to the side of the inner band (a 2 x 12).



    My husband was familiar with junction boxes that had knockouts, but the ones we found at Lowes were solid, so I assume that we drill for the size hole we need and insert the conduit adapter through that hole. Then use a a coupling to join the conduit to it. Are there any restrictions as to where holes are drilled in these junction boxes? It will be installed inside so moisture isn't an issue. There may be a better way, but if you think this will work, we've already got the parts and are ready to install them. Feedback is welcomed.

  6. #21
    DIY Member techinstructor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    Why use pex? PVC is cheaper and PEX has a rather unknown history for underground use.
    Around here, (NC), they don't allow PVC. We were told we could use CPVC, Pex, or a black plastic pipe (not sure what it's called.) We figured Pex was the best of these options.

  7. #22
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    I would ask again. PVC is used everywhere in the world. white for water.

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