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Thread: Well pump electrical setup

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member prayingmantis287's Avatar
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    Default Well pump electrical setup

    Hi guys. There's a bit of a background to what I'm hoping to accomplish, but I'll try to keep it to the point. My wife and I bought a house about a year ago and the 6" casing well was nearly unusable. The well only supplied about 30 gallons per day, so the previous owners installed a 300 gallon storage tank in the basement. They would need to get a load of water with a portable tank to fill the storage tank every few days. We had to do the same when we bought the house. The way the system works is the submersible well pump pumps the water into the storage tank, which is then pumped from the storage tank to the pressure tank via a jet pump. We had a new 12" casing well drilled in the fall (still low yield, but we don't need to bring in water anymore). What I'd like to do is hardline straight from the well to the pressure tank the way it should be, but also leave the option of switching over to the storage tank if needed. I have the plumbing part mostly figured out, but I can't wrap my head around the wiring for this. Currently, the storage tank has a float switch governing when to turn the well pump on which is wired into a Pumptec. The jet pump has a pressure switch mounted on it serviced by a direct 12-2 line. I plan on adding a pressure switch onto the tank tee (which would take responsibility of the pressure for the hardline setup). I have a 30amp double-pole double-throw switch Id like to use to select which switch (the float switch or the new pressure switch) is going to be used to control the well pump turning on and off.
    The most I was able to think of so far is the following diagram (Im not an electrician by any means, so I may be completely wrong). There are also a few pictures below to see what the setup is like. I also need to look into removing that voltmeter sticking out the side of the Pumptec . I can provide more details and pictures if you need.

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    Last edited by prayingmantis287; 04-03-2013 at 03:53 PM. Reason: Diagram Updated

  2. #2
    DIY Junior Member prayingmantis287's Avatar
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    Diagram updated

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    UNLESS the storage tank ALWAYS stays filled regardless of how much water you use in the house, the pump will NOT provide enough water in "real time" to keep the pressure tank filled. The purpose of the storage tank is to use the 'small flow' as long as necessary to fill the storage tank and the "jet pump" can then fill the pressure tank "quickly", while the well pump lets the storage tank refill slowly.

    You need an additional switch to control whether the float switch is activating the main well or jet pump, and also a "3 way valve" to divert the well pump's discharge to either the storage tank or the pressure tank, and another valve to prevent the pressure tank from "backflowing" into the storage tank,overflowing it, in case a check valve doesn't hold.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  4. #4
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    Why is it that you are unhappy with the present set up? It is very common to have a well pump, cistern, and jet pump.

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member prayingmantis287's Avatar
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    HJ- Thanks for the plumbing tip. Im not positive, but I think the recovery is sufficient now to revert to a normal setup. When we had the house inspected before purchase, the inspector said he had never seen a setup like that around here. In regards to allowing the well to slowly recover by using the storage tank, I'm concerened about its actual effectiveness. I understand the principal of having this setup, but I have the float switch tethered at it shortest length and it still has to fill almost four pressure tank cycles at one time between its on and off position.

    ActionDave- It honestly weirds me out that I have a "stagnant" tank of water without a chlorine injection system. I could install one, but coming from living in the city to rural living I like not having the chlorine in the water. The one other qualm I have with the cistern is it has developed a layer of algae on the inside due to the tank being located near a window.

    Let me know what you guys think.

  6. #6
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    Layer of algae. Yuck. I wouldn't want that either. If you did your own chlorine it could be a lot less than what a municipal treatment plant would use.

    The well pump is 240V, yes? What is the voltage of the jet pump?

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member prayingmantis287's Avatar
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    LOL, yeah you can almost see it through the plastic in the picture about 3/4 of the way up. The jet pump is running on 115V. The well pump I believe is running 230V.

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member prayingmantis287's Avatar
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    I can re-route the 12/3 line that's going to the Pumptec if it's needed.
    Last edited by prayingmantis287; 03-22-2013 at 04:21 AM.

  9. #9
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    I would bring power to the switch first. Where is the jet pump? Are you getting rid of it? If so you could run straight 240V circuit and not use 12-3.

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member prayingmantis287's Avatar
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    Now this is where it shows through that I don't know much about home electrical. I thought a single breaker with a 12-2 line would only able to supply 115(120) volts, and that a double breaker running 12-3 line would be needed to supply a 230(240) volt connection. Are double breakers primarily used where more amperage is required that a single can't supply? I pulled the cap off the jet pump pressure switch (connected by 12-2 wire) and found both wires were connected to both Line connections, and both Load wires going into the pump housing. So I assume the jet pump is actually 230V instead of the 115V that I told you before. The jet pump is located right next to the pressure tank directly above the cistern. I plan on keeping the jet pump hooked up the way it is now, which is the reason why I'm hoping to use the DPDT switch to be able to quickly revert to using the cistern in emergencies.

  11. #11
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    You got some work ahead of you. To do what you are wanting would require some extra plumbing. Right now, with your existing system the jet pump is what fills your pressure tank. To bypass it you need the well pump plumbed to your pressure tank. You may already know this.

    As far as the electrical side-
    1. Motors will have a terminals that are marked L1 and L2 no matter the voltage and many are dual voltage. Somewhere on the jet pump is a name plate. It will say something like 115/230 if it is dual voltage. If the jet pump is on a single pole breaker it is hooked up 120V.

    2. You need a two pole breaker to get 240V. If all you need is 240V then you only need two wires (ignoring the equipment ground). An electric baseboard heater is an example of this. If you need 120 and 240V then you need three wires, like an electric clothes dryer. The controls are 120V but the heating element is 240V.

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    DIY Junior Member prayingmantis287's Avatar
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    OK, I think I'm starting to understand what you're saying. I attached a wiring diagram of the DPDT switch below that I'll be using for this. You suggested earlier to bring power to the switch, so I would wire each hot wire to L1 and L2. Let's say A1 and A2 goes to the pressure switch on the tank tee, then the two load lines would go to the pumptec. Now the float switch is only a two wire 120V/240V and would be connected to B1 and B2. Is there a way to have a load side to the float switch, because it seems it would be like a closed loop. Also, with the Pumptec being in the scheme of things, does that change anything?


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  13. #13
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    Forget the switch for now. What are the voltages of your pumps?

  14. #14
    DIY Junior Member prayingmantis287's Avatar
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    The well pump is dual voltage running 230V, and the jet pump is also dual voltage running 115V.

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    DIY Junior Member prayingmantis287's Avatar
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    Bump``````

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