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Thread: Electrical disconnect inside cistern

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Tom in PA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Central PA

    Default Electrical disconnect inside cistern


    I am in the process of replacing a 2 wire 220v 1/2 hp Flint & Walling pump inside a 500 gal or so underground cistern.

    The cable from the house comes into the cistern above the water level and is connected directly to the pump wires with heat shrink butt splices.

    What I'd like to do on the new pump is have some way of quickly disconnecting the wiring inside the cistern in case I ever need to test the pump's internal wiring in the future.

    I know I can test from the pressure switch in my basement, but the wire to the cistern is 700 feet or so, and I'd like to be able to isolate any electrical problem to either the underground wire or the pump.

    Is there any product out there, or any suggestions about how to do this? I could keep the connection up out of the water and maybe secure it to the bottom of the lid, but of course it would be very damp inside the cistern.

    Any ideas would be appreciated.


  2. #2
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Houston, TX


    You can use a GFCI and it will tell you when a problem exist.

    I think adding a disconnect that could be under water is a bad Idea.

    Why not put it topside ?

    Good Luck.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member craigpump's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012


    Bad idea, the moisture in the cistern will corrode the receptacle, you're much better off using heat shrink splice kits.

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member Tom in PA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Central PA


    Hi Don,

    I'd like to put it outside the cistern, but not really practical since it is along a creek. It doesn't flood, and the cistern never fills above the outlet pipe, but the concern is someone walking by getting into it. Rarely get anyone walking by there, but anything above ground would be too tempting I think.

    Craig, I realized a standard receptacle would be a bad idea; just thought maybe it was a common enough need someone might have some sort of moisture proof disconnect.

    Thanks to both of you.

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