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Thread: Pumptec Pump Protector Tripping

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Atlasengineer's Avatar
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    Default Pumptec Pump Protector Tripping

    Hello everyone. I am in the middle of troubleshooting a plumbing situation I am experiencing and have come looking for some help. Here is the story:

    After being on vacation for a week away from home we returned and at first everything seemed to work fine. We flushed a few toilets, washed some hands, cleaned some dishes, took a shower, started a load of laundry and all was well. Then, while running the kitchen faucet, the water pressure went away to where there was no water flow and the washing machine had also stopped. I headed over to have a look where the water pressure tank and electronics are located and immediately noticed the Pumptec box was indicating a tripped circuit and the water pressure gage was reading 0. I turned off the water pump breaker and turned it back on several times. Each time the tripped light would be off and the green light would be on indicating the pump was starting up/running. After several seconds and no pressure increase, the tripped light would come back on. I then removed the Pumptec cover and located the reset relay timer setting. This was set on 45min and I wanted to shorten this so I could see what would happen when it reset. I changed the setting to two minutes and waited two minutes. The tripped light went off, the green power light stayed on, the pump cut on just fine, and the water pressure began to rise as it should. Once the correct pressure was reached, the pump cut off. I then restarted the washing machine, flushed the toilet, and turned on a couple of faucets in order to get the water pressure to drop below the pump kick on pressure. The pressure dropped, the pump turned on as it should, and the water pressure rose again. At this point I thought I had gotten off easy and it was just an electrical problem that I had solved. I set the Pumptec reset timer to 15min and wrapped it up for the night and went to bed. Some more toilets were flushed, faucets ran, and more laundry started. My wife calls me at work the next morning to tell me that "the water quit working again." I took her through the steps over the phone to set the Pumptec reset timer back to two minutes to see if it would start working again when it reset itself. This did not help initially when she cut the pump back on it tripped again after the 2 minute reset. I had to get off the phone at this point but told her I would call back in a while. She called me back in about an hour to tell me it started working again and she started the washing machine back up. That is where we are at this point but I need to figure out what is causing this......................pump going bad, well drying up, Pumptec pump protector malfunctioning?

    A couple of notes: 1.) The power went out for several hours at some point while we were on vacation 2.) Five months ago, the check valve on my submersible pump went bad so our water pressure would slowly drop even when no water was being consumed. The pump was pulled and another check valve was added in series with the bad one as a solution to the problem. Everything had been working fine up until now.

    Thanks for any help anybody can provide.

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    From your description there is no way to differentiate between a failing pump or a bad Pumptec unit, but for either one, changing to a 2 minute reset should have absolutely no effect on the problem.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Senior Member Reach4's Avatar
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    http://www.franklin-electric.com/med...7-12%20web.pdf

    To distinguish if the well is drying up, I would watch the pressure gauge at the pressure sensor. Does it continue to rise when the pump is running? If so, I would think the well is not running dry. If the problem is intermittent, maybe you could point a video camera at the both at the gauge and a mirror that you have positioned to let you record the Pumptec lights.

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member Atlasengineer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    From your description there is no way to differentiate between a failing pump or a bad Pumptec unit, but for either one, changing to a 2 minute reset should have absolutely no effect on the problem.
    While you are correct that changing the reset to 2 minutes will not have an effect on the underlying problem (and of course this wan't the intent), the fact that allowing the Pumptec to reset on it's own resulted in returned pump function with no tripping is pertinent to diagnosing the underlying problem.

    Since my last post, the Pumptec has not tripped but another issue has cropped up. When the water pressure nears/reaches the pump cut on pressure and the pump begins to start up, there is a sudden drop in water pressure resulting in a temporary loss of water flow to the house. I was able to check the current draw of the 3/4 hp submersible pump and it was reading around 9.4 amps. I was thinking this problem could be due to a drop in the precharged air pressure of the pressure tank especially since the temperature has dropped recently. I have not had a chance to check this yet. Looking forward to any thoughts anybody might have.

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member Atlasengineer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reach4 View Post
    http://www.franklin-electric.com/med...7-12%20web.pdf

    To distinguish if the well is drying up, I would watch the pressure gauge at the pressure sensor. Does it continue to rise when the pump is running? If so, I would think the well is not running dry. If the problem is intermittent, maybe you could point a video camera at the both at the gauge and a mirror that you have positioned to let you record the Pumptec lights.

    Unfortunately, this Pumptec device is an older less sophisticated model that only has a green light to indicate power and a red light to indicate tripped.

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member Reach4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atlasengineer View Post
    Unfortunately, this Pumptec device is an older less sophisticated model that only has a green light to indicate power and a red light to indicate tripped.
    Still, if the pressure was still rising at the point when the cutoff occurs and the red light goes on, the problem was not the well running dry or the pump failing.

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member Atlasengineer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reach4 View Post
    Still, if the pressure was still rising at the point when the cutoff occurs and the red light goes on, the problem was not the well running dry or the pump failing.
    The cutoff (red light trip) occurs only at startup or when the pressure reaches the pump kick on point. When this happens, there is no pressure rise before the Pumptec trips the system.

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member Reach4's Avatar
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    Does yours look like this Pumptec QD?
    http://www.franklin-electric.com/med...7-12%20web.pdf

    I guess not, since that one does not seem to have an LED.
    Last edited by Reach4; 12-03-2013 at 11:57 AM.

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member Atlasengineer's Avatar
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    No. I have the model number but not with me at the moment. I looked up the manual for it.

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    DIY Junior Member Atlasengineer's Avatar
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    Alright, the Pumptec tripped again today while I was at work but then started working again after an unknown number of reset attempts. When I got home it was still working fine. I checked the current draw again and it was the same (9.4 to 9.7). I went on about my business and started taking a shower. Toward the end of the shower the water cut out. The Pumptec had tripped again so I connected the meter to wait for a reset: When the reset kicks in and the red tripped light goes out leaving the green light on, the current draw jumps up to approximately 26 amps. There is then another click and current draw drops to 0.43 amps for several seconds. Then another click and current goes back up to 26 amps for a few seconds. Once again a click and amperage drops to 1.02 (this all while only the green light is on). One last click and the red tripped light comes on while current draw remains at 1.01 until the next reset. This has been going on for over an hour.

  11. #11
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Not sure why you posted here in the plumbers forum. I think the http://www.terrylove.com/forums/foru...Forum-amp-Blog would have more pump experts.

  12. #12
    DIY Senior Member Reach4's Avatar
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    When you write your description in the other forum, I suggest you describe what current the ammeter is measuring -- current to the pump, or curren to the Pumptec unit. Also post the horsepower if you know it.

  13. #13
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Your pressure is 'dropping to zero" for a moment, because your air "precharge" is higher than the pump's "cut in" pressure. In fact, it is at whatever the pressure is just before it drops to zero.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  14. #14
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atlasengineer View Post
    When the water pressure nears/reaches the pump cut on pressure and the pump begins to start up, there is a sudden drop in water pressure resulting in a temporary loss of water flow to the house...
    I believe this is what hj is referring to. If the precharge on the bladder is too high, the tank is completely empty at about the time the pump comes on. Your air pressure gauge may not read the same as your water pressure gauge and the two may need to be calibrated.

    Another possible cause is a buildup of sediment or minerals under the diaphragm of the pressure switch. This can cause the pressure to need to drop below the normal cut-in.

  15. #15
    DIY Senior Member craigpump's Avatar
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    HJ is spot on about the precharge pressure

    Not being there to properly troubleshoot it, I would suggest you wire around the Pump Tek and see if the problem continues. Process of elimination

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