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Thread: Troubleshooting Well Pump Electric

  1. #16
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    I do that but homey joe does not. the half way mark in the trench is a great place for the caution tape AND any junk boards you have laying around. Often the tape degrades and one misses it if digging alone.

  2. #17
    DIY Member CHOLLA BOB's Avatar
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    18 inches has been quoted several times now on the forums, and the locals here all say 18 inches. I am going to check the code here as had to stop digging for the storm. Isn't this figure based also on frost line? Going with the Schedule 40 with four wire 10ga (H, H, N, G) running through.

  3. #18
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Wires like frost. Its about 'safety' kids dont dig 18" deep holes with a tonka toy. 15-16-18 with conduit, dont sweat it.

    Fill it to about 6" down and then clean out your garage of every bit of old polyester jackets, wood, toys, vcr's, rope, and bury it at about that point with some caution tape. that will get the backhoe guys attention.

  4. #19
    DIY Member CHOLLA BOB's Avatar
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    I have plenty of junk to throw in there and promise to test the line before I fill it in. There will be dirt, but I may have lost it in all this snow. Will have to figure that one ahead. Trench is a clean 20". More snow coming Thursday. Looking forward to hot days and running water ahead. The kids are all gone because they never showed up! When I was a kid, I was building underground bunkers 5 feet deep!
    Last edited by CHOLLA BOB; 12-20-2011 at 04:48 PM.

  5. #20
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHOLLA BOB View Post
    I have plenty of junk to throw in there and promise to test the line before I fill it in. The kids are all gone because they never showed up! When I was a kid, I was building underground bunkers 5 feet deep!
    I think if I was a kid and was digging and started finding toys, I would keep digging deeper, To see what other treasures I could find.

    As kids we made the 10 foot snow drifts into Hideouts. Sometimes they collapsed when it warmed up.

    Sounds like You made good progress.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  6. #21
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    The water line needs to be below the frost line.
    The electrons flowing down the wire don't mind the cold at all.

  7. #22
    DIY Member CHOLLA BOB's Avatar
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    My wife is convinced we are devolving into the stone age. I am looking forward to wrapping this one up for the holidays.

  8. #23
    DIY Member CHOLLA BOB's Avatar
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    The two hots from the breaker box (with the third ground wire) to the well house are spliced twice from breaker 12ga to UF 10ga to Submersible 10ga. I get the idea that the hots have no particular order along the root. Does it matter which hot is connected to the two breaker water pump pressure switch terminals? From speaking with the Schneider people the only mistake that can happen is putting the two breaker hots on a connecting switch terminal, resulting in a short.

    Is there a way of finding the common wire on a 70 foot underground run? My multimeter test lines are not that long.

    Wire strand color is black, red, and green as the third wire is a ground from the bonded ground buss bar to the green terminals on the pressure switch. No neutral in the run as I am saving the sub-panel for latter.
    Last edited by CHOLLA BOB; 12-22-2011 at 10:46 PM.

  9. #24
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHOLLA BOB View Post
    Is there a way of finding the common wire on a 70 foot underground run? My multimeter test lines are not that long.

    Wire strand color is black, red, and green as the third wire is a ground from the bonded ground buss bar to the green terminals on the pressure switch. No neutral in the run as I am saving the sub-panel for latter.
    If there is no neutral, what do you call the common wire?
    Anyway... the common would show no potential between it and earth.

  10. #25
    DIY Member CHOLLA BOB's Avatar
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    Common is the wrong word: the same wire. If I have a spliced underground wire, it there a way of finding out which wire at the end of a cable run corresponds to a wire at the beginning? Both 120 hots are the same: it most likely does not matter which hot is used. If the line was not long, a continuity test could be used to find the beginning and end of the same wire. What test is used on long runs?

  11. #26
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    From each hot to the ground is 120 v from each hot to hot is 240v from the white or green to a ground or steel casing in the pump house your OHM meter will read close to 0.

  12. #27
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Three methods I use...

    1. I put a VM on the wire. Lift the other end off and see if the potential goes away.

    2. I put a ammeter on the near end and vary the current load on the far end. If the ammeter shows varying current, it's the same wire.

    3. I put a tone generator on the wire. The far end with the tone is the same wire. Most often, I verify it with 1 or 2 in case of a false reading.

  13. #28
    DIY Member CHOLLA BOB's Avatar
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    Great info. I will use today and even have the tone generator from speaker building. Thanks!

  14. #29
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    The tone generator I use is purpose built to superimpose the tone over the normal voltage. It is used to identify circuits and to trace them through walls. It can even trace them through metal conduit.

    I also have a tone generator for tracing and ID'ing phone and network lines.

    I would not advise connecting an audio tone generator to high voltage lines.

  15. #30
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Default Pump Does Not Care

    Quote Originally Posted by CHOLLA BOB View Post
    I get the idea that the hots have no particular order along the root. Does it matter which hot is connected to the two breaker water pump pressure switch terminals?
    To answer Your Question.

    It does not mater on the two HOT wires connected to your Pressure switch.
    It come Off the Transformer and is isolated from Neutral. 120-120 out of phase - 240V

    Only when you have a 120v pump does the Neutral come into play, The Neutral would then be your Common wire, Then you have 120-0-120.


    You are being confused for nothing...
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