Well pump bad?

renosteinke

Senior Member
OK, here's a little 'pump primer:'

You need to KNOW what the problem is, or you will get into endless disputes over whether the problem is electrical or mechanical - and no one looks good when that happens.

Blew three fuses? There's the first mistake. Fuses don't blow out of boredom, and you need to check things before you start melting fuses.

Disconnect the pump. Determine what your incoming power is- and confirm that's what it should be.

Megger each wire to the pump, between each other wire as well as to the case. The only 'good' path ought to be the one through the windings. Any short to ground is bad. The windings should show SOME resistance. (You don't need a fancy megger ... a $150 Supro will do what you need).

If the windings are testing as 'open,' look for some control or float that's open.

Are there 'extra wires?' Look up the pump - the internet is great for this - and see if the pump has a built-in thermal overload or leak detection circuit.

Everything checks out as electrically OK, try powering it up- and watch the amps. Are you drawing too many? If so, there's a good chance that something is keeping the pump from turning. Time to pull the pump and check it out. Plumbers' work? Perhaps .... but be there when he is.
 

ptonsparky

Senior Member
:thumbsup:
OK, here's a little 'pump primer:'

You need to KNOW what the problem is, or you will get into endless disputes over whether the problem is electrical or mechanical - and no one looks good when that happens.

Blew three fuses? There's the first mistake. Fuses don't blow out of boredom, and you need to check things before you start melting fuses.

Disconnect the pump. Determine what your incoming power is- and confirm that's what it should be.

Megger each wire to the pump, between each other wire as well as to the case. The only 'good' path ought to be the one through the windings. Any short to ground is bad. The windings should show SOME resistance. (You don't need a fancy megger ... a $150 Supro will do what you need).

If the windings are testing as 'open,' look for some control or float that's open.

Are there 'extra wires?' Look up the pump - the internet is great for this - and see if the pump has a built-in thermal overload or leak detection circuit.

Everything checks out as electrically OK, try powering it up- and watch the amps. Are you drawing too many? If so, there's a good chance that something is keeping the pump from turning. Time to pull the pump and check it out. Plumbers' work? Perhaps .... but be there when he is.
 

zog

Senior Member
Megger each wire to the pump, between each other wire as well as to the case. The only 'good' path ought to be the one through the windings. Any short to ground is bad. The windings should show SOME resistance. (You don't need a fancy megger ... a $150 Supro will do what you need).

.
Bingo! First thing I would check.
 

Cow

Senior Member
I quit believing my megger readings on wells the last time I checked a VERY deep well pump. I think it was 2200' and around 100HP. Tested at 1000V and it read almost zero, .1M or .2M or something very low like that. I was about ready to tell them to pull the pump and thought what the hell, I hooked it back up to the drive and it ran like a champ.

And I meg EVERYTHING. But well pumps, I don't put much stock in the readings anymore after that episode.
 

kwired

Electron manager
OK, here's a little 'pump primer:'

You need to KNOW what the problem is, or you will get into endless disputes over whether the problem is electrical or mechanical - and no one looks good when that happens.

Blew three fuses? There's the first mistake. Fuses don't blow out of boredom, and you need to check things before you start melting fuses.

Disconnect the pump. Determine what your incoming power is- and confirm that's what it should be.

Megger each wire to the pump, between each other wire as well as to the case. The only 'good' path ought to be the one through the windings. Any short to ground is bad. The windings should show SOME resistance. (You don't need a fancy megger ... a $150 Supro will do what you need).

If the windings are testing as 'open,' look for some control or float that's open.

Are there 'extra wires?' Look up the pump - the internet is great for this - and see if the pump has a built-in thermal overload or leak detection circuit.

Everything checks out as electrically OK, try powering it up- and watch the amps. Are you drawing too many? If so, there's a good chance that something is keeping the pump from turning. Time to pull the pump and check it out. Plumbers' work? Perhaps .... but be there when he is.
I would like to add - since you did blow 3 fuses, did they blow instantly (and possibly violently) when turning the load on, or did it try to run and maybe took a few seconds to blow?

The instant violent blow is a short circuit or very low impedance ground fault. If it takes a little time to blow it is most likely a mechanical problem of some kind and the pump motor is not getting up to speed or is even stalled.

If you are not about to pull the pump at least make sure there is no problem up to the well head. Disconnect the leads at the head, turn the circuit on, if fuse blows the problem is not in the well it is between the fuse and the head. If fuse holds check for proper voltage at head. If you have proper voltage then you don't look dumb for telling them to call the well guy and have him find nothing wrong in the well.
 
Last edited:

texie

Senior Member
I would like to add - since you did blow 3 fuses, did they blow instantly (and possibly violently) when turning the load on, or did it try to run and maybe took a few seconds to blow?

The instant violent blow is a short circuit or very low impedance ground fault. If it takes a little time to blow it is most likely a mechanical problem of some kind and the pump motor is not getting up to speed or is even stalled.

If you are not about to pull the pump at least make sure there is no problem up to the well head. Disconnect the leads at the head, turn the circuit on, if fuse blows the problem is not in the well it is between the fuse and the head. If fuse holds check for proper voltage at head. If you have proper voltage then you don't look dumb for telling them to call the well guy and have him find nothing wrong in the well.
For sure, it's pretty painful to pull a deep pump only to discover nobody thoroghly checked the branch circuit leading to the well!
 

mtfallsmikey

Senior Member
Musings from the house plumber..

Musings from the house plumber..

For sure, it's pretty painful to pull a deep pump only to discover nobody thoroghly checked the branch circuit leading to the well!
Yes it is, ask me how I know...especially w/galvanized pipe.

How old is the pump?, is it in some nasty iron/sulphur water? 3-wire pumps are easier to troubleshoot than 2-wires, you can check the cap/relay/overload with a 3-wire. I have never meggered pump leads. They can get broken due to not having torque stops/arrestors on the down pipe, wire can get whipped around real good inside of the casing. It's fairly common.
 

gndrod

Senior Member
Today I had to troubleshoot a house having no water. It's a 2 wire 240v pump I replaced the pressure switch and the fuse in the disconnect blew 3 times. I went out to the well head and redid the splices that were severly corroded by upside down wirenuts full of water. I did a continuity test from the both hot legs from the pump to the cast iron well pipe and had continuity on both legs.

Bad pump right?
As an old well pump setter, I am confused by the description you give "that the hot legs from the pump to the cast iron well pipe had continuity on both legs." First up, does in fact any of the well legs have continuity to the galvy well pipe? Secondly, Is the well casing PVC or metal with an EGC from one of the four wires?

From the wiring description given,
A.) the conductors from the pressure switch are a four wire cabling to the well pump head. The four wires indicate this may have been an earlier 3-wire pump with a controller, especially if the re-terminated conductors in the well head match the deep submersible pump wiring as a four wire also. This would indicate that it was a 240V 3-wire w/g well pump having a controller at one time.)

B.) If there is a two wire to the pump and there is an EGC terminated to the metal down pipe or a metal sanitary seal, then this unit can be either a 120 or 240V motor. Like the previous responders recommend, disconnecting the feed side at the pressure switch and taking a voltage reading will indicate what the supply voltage is from the fuse panel. If the fuses still blow, then there is a short in the supply line to the pressure switch. Good luck.

Get back to us on a more concise description and then we can more likely help you.
 

kwired

Electron manager
I had a customer that made a tripod and winch assembly that you could pull it up 20' at a time and unscrew each joint, even so, definetly no fun. Needless to say, galvanized did not go back in!
<BR><BR>Galvanized has some weight, but even with nonmetallic lines there is a lot of weight from the water in the line. If the check valve at the pump fails, then it is not so heavy, but they don't fail that often, and never at same time there is an electrical failure.<BR><BR>If I ever have to pull my well again I'm considering trying to evacuate the water from the line somehow to make it lighter. It is not all that heavy when reinstalling it with empty pipe.
 
Top