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Thread: Problem After WX1-250 Install, Need Troubleshooting Help

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Tanker's Avatar
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    Default Problem After WX1-250 Install, Need Troubleshooting Help

    1 day after installing a Well-X1 250 tank I lost all pressure and the display went into the low teens. Then the pump turned on and only went back up to 42lbs (on a 40/60 switch), stopped again and repeated the same thing 3 more times. I opened the control box and looked at the capacitors (already put in a new, cheaper brand, start capacitor), and everything looked ok and it was not hot. About an hour later the display was static at 58lbs. The pump is a 3/4HP deep (unsure of how deep) water sub. that was installed in 1985 and is coming off a long period of rapid cycling, a year of rusty sediment (that just returned after another storm), and a few days on a generator. I think I'm answering my own question, where and how do I start troubleshooting??

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    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    Bypass the wellx1 and see if the pump works.

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    It works now, how can I bypass it when the problem happens again? It has a Franklin 1 HP control, you need the capacitors to start the pump right?

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    Does it still work after hooking back up the wellx1?

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    I never unhooked it. It just did that 3x in a row and then built up to 58lbs in the tank. I'm asking if that usually means that the pump is failing. It has not happened again but we will be testing it tonight to see if it happens again. I see what you mean, unhook the water supply and go directly from the pump, I thought you meant the electric. You can feel the pump shut off and not come back on until there is almost no pressure then at some point it comes back on and only builds to 42lbs. Somehow it went back to 58lbs in the pressure tank and has been working ok. It's the pump shutting down that's the problem.

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    You need to know if it is the WellX1 that is shutting it down or if the overload in the motor is tripping. You should be able to take the wires off the WellX1 and just hook the right ones together. Then turn the breaker on and see if it builds pressure and doesn't trip off. This will be completely manual and won't turn off untill you kill the breaker, so don't overpressure anything. If it still cuts off while running manually, the overload in the motor is tripping.

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    Thanks I'll get back after I do that. If it is tripping is it possible that it's a shorted run capacitor? I can't seem to find the original BMI or similar quality capacitors for my Franklin control box. I'm being told that even if I find the right capacitors that they need to be less than 2yrs. old in order to be "fresh", they have a short shelf life when not being used. So far I found a smaller Mexican one and a cheap Chinese one.

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    Still could not find decent quality capacitors (IMHO) so I changed the box (cover only) with an ITT one that only had a start cap. installed. So far it worked, built pressure from the teens right up to 60lbs on the first try without kicking out at all. When the Franklin tech said the run capacitors go bad just as often as start capacitors do and that they have a short 2 yr shelf life, I figured it was worth a try. because they sell a lot of the control boxes. The ITT quality didn't seem as good as the Franklin, and the capacitor was smaller and made in Romania, but at $52. it was a steal. Time will tell........

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    I have never heard that 2 year shelf life thing on the capacitors. I have some that are 30+ years old that are still working.

    Starting capacitors are used only for starting. If the start capacitor is bad or if your pump is tripping the overload, it has been “starting” or cycling too much.

    If you are only using 10 PSI between on and off as recommended with the WellX1, then you are only using half the pressure tank and making the pump cycle or start too often. 10 PSI between on and off instead of 20 PSI will make your 44 gallon tank act like a 22 gallon tank, and your pump will cycle much more. With only 10 PSI between on and off that tank only delivers about 5 gallons of water. It would deliver 10 gallons with a 20 PSI differential on the pressure switch.

    Using 20 PSI between on and off will reduce the cycling that is causing the problem. Adding a CSV will eliminate the cycling.

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    The 2 yrs applies to shelf life, and it doesn't mean that some last longer or that some will be restored when they get put into use. On the other hand they could be bad and the older they are the less likely to be restored by use and will probably fail prematurely. This info comes directly from 2 Franklin techs, call them, they told me how to decipher the control box serial # in order to determine it's age. Again I asked if the 2 year time period applied and they said if it's over 2 yrs old they would not purchase it. I Googled this and found posts on electrical forums to confirm that info on the type of oil filled caps that we're talking about. Also got a lot a lot of info about what the run capacitor does and how it used all of the windings while running including the start windings. Uses slightly less watts but runs the pump more efficiently. In the ITT control box literature the run cap. is labeled "the pump saver". Amtrol does not recommend the 10psi diff. it's just an option for those who want "city pressure". From what I read about CSVs you may need to change some of the components that I just installed in order to make it work properly. The new tank is bigger than my old one (that the real estate agency had installed) and has a higher rated pressure sw., it's a dream compared to the old pressure we had. I was disappointed when I drained the tank, let the pressure build up, and then drained the water heater, the system didn't seem to keep up with the demand. The display was going lower than the 40psi cut in, down into the 30s so I shut the drain valve and let it build up. Maybe I should have let it bottom out to see what pressure the pump alone would have delivered.

  11. #11
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    “The Well-X1 can also be set at a narrow pressure differential, allowing it to provide constant pressure with any new or existing pump.” Amtrol

    They do recommend a narrow pressure differential (10 PSI). They think cycling on and off with 10 PSI differential is “constant pressure”, as compared to cycling on and off with 20 PSI differential. However, cycling on and off with a narrow differential is not “constant pressure”, it is just less of a pressure swing than with a wide differential.

    If you want REAL constant pressure, and you want to stop blowing start capacitors, burning up motors and everything else, you can add a CSV to the plumbing before the WellX1. Then you can use 10 PSI differential and have REAL constant pressure when using water in the house.

    Although it would work fine with the 44 gallon tank, a CSV would only need a 4.5 gallon tank (like the one pictured to the left). Which is exactly the reason Amtrol doesn’t sell CSV’s, because it drastically cuts tank sales. The CSV with any size tank, even 4.5 gallon size, works better than the WellX1 and a big tank.

    I have a lot of spare control boxes that are more than 30 years old. I would not be afraid to hook one up if needed. Of course these were made before the government started regulating out dependable and long lasting products. Now they mandate a small efficiency increase that makes everything more expensive and much less dependable.

    Your pressure bottomed out because refilling the system took more water than the pump can produce. It is the amount of water you are using that determines the pressure the pump can deliver.

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