Short in wire leading to well pump

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Old 12-16-02, 09:42 AM
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Question Short in wire leading to well pump

We’ve got about 50 feet of electric running underground from the house to a well pump. The wires are submerged 30 inches and have been there since we built the house two years ago. All of the sudden last week my no-load pumtec well sensor was tripped. Called the well guy to have him check everything out. Said one of the wires has a short in it. They ran temporary above ground wires from the well to the house and everything worked fine. Well has water, well pump is fine, etc. They did have to replace the no-load sensor as whatever happened fried that. Still say’s there is a short in the wire somewhere.

What would cause a 30" submerged wire to all of the sudden have a short in it after two years? Could it have been a faulty wire that just now has an issue? Could I have had an issue for two years that I never noticed until it fried the sensor? I've put in a water softener recently but other than that, no changes. The softener is inside the house so that shouldn't have anything to do with it. Right?

Any help would be greatly appreciated as I'm getting ready to trench a new line rather than attempt to find the short. This time, I'm thinking of running the electric through conduit of some sort.
 
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Old 12-16-02, 09:47 AM
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It's possible something chewed through the wires. Running them through conduit would minimize that risk.
 
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Old 12-16-02, 09:50 AM
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Yeah, I thought about that but, 30" below surface? I don't have any mole tracks or anything of that nature in the yard. I thought of lightening to but that should have fried the pump as well.
 
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Old 12-16-02, 10:33 AM
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Is your ground rocky? Is there any vehicle traffic over the cable? The short might also have occurred in the above-ground parts of the cable, at either end. Inspect carefully, including where it emerges at either end.
 
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Old 12-16-02, 10:40 AM
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Soils not rocky and no traffic. The wires start in the house and exit through a 1 1/2" hole through the foundation wall underground to the well in which it rises through 1 1/2" PVC into the well casing. There really are no exposed wires. The wires run through a thin plastic conduit when exiting the foundation wall. This conduit stops on the exterior side of the wall.
 
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Old 12-16-02, 10:48 AM
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How about testing the wire????
 
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Old 12-16-02, 11:34 AM
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Maybe they made a splice and it failed. Or, maybe the short is only in the last couple of feet near the pump, where it goes into the pvc and does all that bending before going into the well...
 
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Old 12-16-02, 04:31 PM
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I would think if it was shorted it would trip a breaker,, both hooked up and unhooked. If it is open you are not gong to have voltage at the other end. You could hook an electric heater on it to test V under load
 
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Old 12-17-02, 05:32 AM
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Dig it up and find the problem. Start by digging both ends. It could be that the wire where it exits the conduit under ground was too tight a bend and was cut by the conduit. If you want to try and fix it there are wasys to find exactly wher the break is. It requires special equipment though. The cable may only be shorted to ground. It may not be shorted to itself, thus not tripping the breaker.
 
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Old 12-17-02, 08:05 AM
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It was just a guess that the wire was shorted to start with. A suggestion like that leads everyone down that road instead of testing and figuring out whether thats really the problem. Is there any evidence that the wire has failed. Failed to ground? You mean the earth? For 50 ft of wire I wouldnt bother fixing it if it WAS the problem,, I would replace it.
 
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