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Thread: Pump overload tripping at night

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member ehuddle's Avatar
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    Default Pump overload tripping at night

    The overload on my pump control box has tripped 3 out of the last 4 nights. It only happens at night and we wake up to no water. When I reset it, the pump runs fine all day and then it trips again over night. I have been trying to figure it out with no luck. I measured current in the 3 legs to the pump and got Red = 1.1A, Black = 10.7A and Yellow = 11.0A. I'm not that familiar with electrical issues so I'm not sure if this is normal. I have a 3/4 HP pump that I think is running on 240V. Any suggestions?
    Last edited by ehuddle; 10-30-2011 at 08:41 AM.

  2. #2
    DIY Junior Member ehuddle's Avatar
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    As a follow up, I measured the resistance between the legs on the motor at the well head. I got 9.2 Ohms Yellow-Red, 10.2 Ohms Red-Black and 2.8 Ohms Yellow to Black.

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    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Search and read the franklin AIM manual and it will give you all the specs.

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    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    In most homes the pump will have no reason to run during the overnight hours, so it does not sound like an overload trip.

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    DIY Junior Member ehuddle's Avatar
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    My water softener recharges at night. The overload on the control box is what is tripping. I've tried to reproduce it by forcing the pump to cycle repeatedly with no luck. Is there anything a softener can do to cause the overload to trip?

  6. #6
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehuddle View Post
    I've tried to reproduce it by forcing the pump to cycle repeatedly with no luck. Is there anything a softener can do to cause the overload to trip?
    Is the softener on a completely different circuit? *Maybe* the softener is somehow reducing voltage to the pump and the pump's amperage is going too high. Try manually cycling the softener while you watch.
    "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people." --Eleanor Roosevelt

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member ehuddle's Avatar
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    The softener plugs into the GFCI outlet in the garage so I don't think it's on the same circuit. Electrical is not my specialty. I'll dig into that a little more when I get home. I did manual cycle the softener and it did not trip.

  8. #8
    In the Trades Texas Wellman's Avatar
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    Wow. Your first post gave all the info I needed to determine the problem. Your pump is pulling way too many amps.

    That motor, according to the charts, should pull no more than 8 amps. Your pump/motor is fixing to quit, you better get it fixed ASAP.
    Last edited by Texas Wellman; 10-31-2011 at 08:47 PM. Reason: Silly spelling errors.

  9. #9
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    TW is right, a 3/4 HP should pull no more than 8 amps. The real question is, how is it working at all? Probably already survived the average of 7 years and cycled itself to death.

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member ehuddle's Avatar
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    The pump has been in operation for 3 yrs as of October 16th when we moved into the newly built house. I was assuming it was the pump.

  11. #11
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    The average life of a submersible is 7 years. If it only lasted 3 years, it must be cycing a lot. One of your neighbors pumps doesn't cycle much and will last 11 years. That is why the average is 7 years.

  12. #12
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehuddle View Post
    The softener plugs into the GFCI outlet in the garage so I don't think it's on the same circuit.
    The pump gets 120V from one line and then 120V from the other to get a total of 240V, and the softener gets 120V from one of those lines at the breaker panel. However, I have seen situations where a 120V outlet has been illegally tapped from one of those lines (such as at or near the pump) ... but that is obviously not your case there in a relatively new home.
    "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people." --Eleanor Roosevelt

  13. #13
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    I had a neighbor (who happens to be an electrician) mis-diagnose his pump by measuring amps. Turned out to just be a bad heatshrink that was sending current to ground. (Yes JW, current can go to ground)

    The jury is still out until the pump is pulled and the wire inspected.

  14. #14
    DIY Junior Member ehuddle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho View Post
    The pump gets 120V from one line and then 120V from the other to get a total of 240V, and the softener gets 120V from one of those lines at the breaker panel. However, I have seen situations where a 120V outlet has been illegally tapped from one of those lines (such as at or near the pump) ... but that is obviously not your case there in a relatively new home.
    Don't make any assumptions here. I actually had to sue the builder of my home for poor construction. I can't even figure out who dug the well because he fled to the Virgin Islands during the court case. Long story...

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    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    I doubt that yours is hooked up to the wrong voltage. But any driller who flees to the islands or even spends the off season there is probably not reputable.

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