Irrigation Well Pump Issue - Buzzing / Wont Turn On

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flman123

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Hello folks, hoping for some assistance
I live in North FL and have had an irrigation well pump installed about 2 years back.
It is a 1 HP Berkley model.

Last week, the pump stopped working. My sprinkler system said that it ran but the lawn was dry, so I tried to manually run it myself with me standing my it, and it would not run. I checked the pump and noticed that it had no power. Checked the breaker and it was tripped. I turned it back on, but it just kept buzzing on and off. I turned the breaker off, took off the cover on the pump. I noticed that everything appears to be fine. I checked the shaft and it turned freely. I checked the capacitor and it seemed fine, but yesterday I replaced the capacitor either way to be on the safe side, but to no avail unfortunately. I checked the start switch, that appears to be normal too, it presses fine, no visible corrosion, it presses the center shaft spring thing just fine too. I checked the pressure switch and it appears to be fine too. The contacts are still okay from the looks of it. It does not trip.

What I did notice is that when i flipped the breaker back on, the overload protector appears to be sparking every few seconds.

I ordered a new start switch and a new pressure switch as well, but thats coming in 2 days, but wondering if anyone has any other ideas or recommendations.

I called the company which installed the unit, and they said they'd charge me $110 to come out and diagnose the issue, but then said most likely it would need to be replaced which would be $750-$800, on top of the $110, so thats almost $1K just to fix, which I feel is unfair for a 2 year old unit. So hoping for some assistance of what else it can be, what else I can check, what else you guys would/could recommend.

I also tried to take off the 4 bolts which hold the motor housing to the other side of the pump. The motor part turned freely both directions, but I was unable to take off the one side from the other, assuming I needed to take off the silver screw which was under the cap by the capacitor but didnt get that far and just put it all back together. So it definitely does not seem like the motor is seized.

I also checked the pressure in the top tank that sits above the pump, and the pressure in it is 20 psi, but the gauge is showing 90. I unscrewed the gauge and it there is a ton of water inside of it, but the PSI still shows 90, so the gauge is shot and I'll need to purchase a new one of those too, but the pressure in the tank, is that normal to be 20? if so, can it be that the pressure is too low and that is why the system is not kicking in? Because the pressure switch appears to have a sticker on the inside of the top cover which says 30 for ON, so if thats the issue, how can I add pressure into the tank (tire pump)?

All images / videos of where I am at currently....

Please let me know your thoughts.
 

Valveman

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Need to check the voltage. Sounds like it is trying to start on low voltage. However, the tank is waterlogged and it could have cycled the pump to death in just a few hours of cycling on and off quickly.
 

flman123

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Need to check the voltage. Sounds like it is trying to start on low voltage. However, the tank is waterlogged and it could have cycled the pump to death in just a few hours of cycling on and off quickly.
Can you please advise where I need to check the voltage exactly? I tried to hardwire the pump directly to the panel via the whip, in order to bypass the pressure switch, but same result too, so it is getting power, just not spinning. So please let me know where I need to check voltage.

Also, how exactly can the tank get waterlogged? is this something having to do with a poor installation by the company?
And if it is, is there any recovering from it / fixing it besides replacing the pump? Would I need to replace the tank too?
 

Reach4

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I called the company which installed the unit, and they said they'd charge me $110 to come out and diagnose the issue, but then said most likely it would need to be replaced which would be $750-$800, on top of the $110, so thats almost $1K just to fix, which I feel is unfair for a 2 year old unit. So hoping for some assistance of what else it can be, what else I can check, what else you guys would/could recommend.
Charges seem fair to me.

You might pay more attention to warranty terms for your new pump installation. https://www.rainmasterlawn.com/blog...rigation-installers-minneapolis-eau-claire-wi gets into discussion, and the company writing this is not in your area.
 

Valveman

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Can you please advise where I need to check the voltage exactly? I tried to hardwire the pump directly to the panel via the whip, in order to bypass the pressure switch, but same result too, so it is getting power, just not spinning. So please let me know where I need to check voltage.

Also, how exactly can the tank get waterlogged? is this something having to do with a poor installation by the company?
And if it is, is there any recovering from it / fixing it besides replacing the pump? Would I need to replace the tank too?
Should be a dual voltage motor. The wires to the right of the flashing overload can be attached for either 115V or 230V. Need to make sure you have the voltage needed for whichever connection is being used. Checking the voltage coming out of the pressure switch to the motor is usually the easiest place to attach the meter leads.

All pressure tanks will become waterlogged. It is just a matter of when. The more times the pump cycles on and off the more times the tank diaphragm goes up and down, until it tears and waterlogs the tank. The best way to keep a tank from waterlogging and being destroyed is to limit or eliminate the on/off cycling of the pump.

 

WorthFlorida

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That's a hooky way. It's a jet pump and it's a 2 gallon expansion tank, not a pressure tank, but both are the same. The two gallon size allows the motor to shut off one time. Without it and the zone valve changes, the pressure will spIke's and the pressure switch will bounce a few times. The tank when properly set up will absorb the spike preventing a rapid off and on condition. Most likely the motor windings are burned.

For irrigation a pressure tank and pressure switch are not needed. An irrigation pump should have been installed. They all use the same motors including many pool pumps. You have a very common Square Flange 48Y Frame motor housing. Many companies use the same motor, usually made in Mexico, with their own label on it. I've bought a few of them for my pool pump. BTW, the most I ever got out of one was five years.
You should be able to remove the motor using the four bolts and get a replacement motor. You'll need a motor shaft seal for the impeller side. Rewire in the same pressure switch. Be sure the motor is strapped for the correct voltage. Do get the same HP. Do not increase it since many times the well cannot recover fast enough.

Follow the Valveman suggestions on draining and testing the pressure tank.



From your questions, I'm not sure if you can handle this. However, I would ditch the tank and install an irrigation pump. INYOPOOLS is a Florida company but only sell pool equipment. I bought a motor from them for my son's pool. If you're on a tight budget, Home Depot or Lowe's, have pumps from $300-$500.

Overbuilt
1-1/2 HP Plastic Lawn Sprinkler Pump

 

Valveman

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Like WorthFlorida says you don't need a pressure tank/pressure switch if the only use is irrigation zone valves. But if you want the pump to come on when a faucet is opened, a pressure tank/pressure switch combo is needed.
 

flman123

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Thank you all!
WorthFlorida, this is great info, and glad to see a fellow FLer on here :)

I am fairly handy, but its just that I am nervous about breaking something even more which is where the problem comes in. I checked ACE and HD, they have a Wayne SWS100 pump which I think may fit the bill, but can you or anyone else confirm on here perhaps?
 

WorthFlorida

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That is not an irrigation pump, it's a jet pump with a pressure switch. You have a 1HP motor now. Irrigation pumps for residential homes are 1, 1.5 and 2.0 HP and are self priming after the initial prime. There are larger ones but not needed unless you have a lake to draw from.

1HP are factory set to 120v, the other two are 240v factory set. Inlet pipe can be 1.5" to 2.0". Your does look like a 2" inlet, 1.5" outlet.
 
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