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PapaSmoke: New Electric Breaker box installed - now WELL is FUNKY

PapaSmoke: New Electric Breaker box installed - now WELL is FUNKY

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  #1  
Old 07-21-12, 07:13 AM
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Exclamation PapaSmoke: New Electric Breaker box installed - now WELL is FUNKY

I recently had a new breaker load center installed. Since that day, my well runs continuously. I checked the pressure switch and it APPEARS to close at 40PSI and open at 60PSI but the well pump continues to run. Pressure in the bladder tank RAPIDLY builds to 100+PSI. I took the cover off the pressure switch and it APPEARS to be open but the pump still runs.

Thoughts? Tips? Help needed SOON as I don't like manually switching the breaker on whenever I need water.

Can this be caused by the electrician having wired the load center incorrectly?

Mod Note: Post moved from Pumps and Wells.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 07-21-12 at 12:30 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-21-12, 07:38 AM
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Submersible pump or shallow well pump?

It would seem the wiring at the pressure switch is wrong from what you describe. Or/and somewhere in the relay box if a submersible....
 
  #3  
Old 07-21-12, 07:54 AM
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The pump is submersible.

The ONLY changes made were the electrician removed the old breakers and installed new breakers. The well pump worked fine until the electrical changes were made.
 
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Old 07-21-12, 08:44 AM
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Are you sure the pressure switch contacts are open? The only way the pump will run is if they are closed. Possibly they are fused together.

Kill the power and look at the contacts again.
 
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Old 07-21-12, 09:10 AM
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This is very strange. I have the power off ALWAYS since I don't want the pump running. I checked the switch. Closed at 40 - open at 60. Pump runs ALWAYS. I killed power again. I cut two small plastic inserts and put them between the contacts so they MUST remain open. Powered on. Pump ran from 35 to 70 pounds, when I shut it off. At 40, the switch closed. At 60, it opened.

NOW you see why I am so puzzled and suspect the electrician did something wrong. Do you think there could be a short in the breaker or something along that line?

BTW - THANK you for your time and help, lawrosa. If this wasn't driving me crazy, I would be having fun doing this!
 
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Old 07-21-12, 09:26 AM
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I am not sure the wiring in regards to the series of events but the pressure switch wiring to/in the relay box must be installed incorrectly. I am pressty sure the presure switch just trips the relay to turn the pump on. So in the box you should note that regardless what the pressure switch is doing the relay is always closed.

Can you give a make and model of the relay box?

Secondly, you paid for a service and it is wrong. You probably should not mess with it and absolutely call the electrician back. He should cover his fault at no charge to you.

Thats the best advice I could give you.
 
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Old 07-21-12, 09:40 AM
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Just guessing....but I'm wondering is a hot and ground are switched somehow?
 
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Old 07-21-12, 11:42 AM
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MAYBE...in the breaker? NOTHING has changed as far as the pressure switch goes and the well goes. I REMOVED the white and black wires from the pressure switch. The pump STILL runs (WTH!!???). Also, I am reading nearly 400V!! This is really freaking me out now!
 
  #9  
Old 07-21-12, 11:47 AM
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Ready for this? I CALLED him. He LOUDLY denies being at fault and says "You have power to the pump so I did MY part of the job right. I don't mess with wells. If you could change out the pressure switch, I will come out to look at it."

I reminded him everything worked GREAT before he changed the breakers and NEVER worked properly after that. The 400V I am reading gives me great concern and tells me he did something wrong.

I removed the wires and tested voltage. That is as good as he gets.

I WILL let you know what transpires....
 
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Old 07-21-12, 12:30 PM
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Well (bad choice of words?)....you can't be getting 400V if your supply is only 240. Either you have the meter set wrong...or it's a digital picking up weird stuff.
 
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Old 07-21-12, 12:31 PM
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Couple of questions....240 (assumed) or 120 supply to the pump? How many wires?
 
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Old 07-21-12, 12:31 PM
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This seems more electrical so I'm moving to the electrical forum.
 
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Old 07-21-12, 12:50 PM
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Hey Papa Iím not an expert on electric or plumbing but I have well with pressure switch and motor control box on basement wall. Is it possible that there are 2 circuits in the panel on two breakers? One bypasses the pressure switch and goes right to the terminals in the control box for the pump. The other goes to the pressure switch first.

Was just thinking maybe someone had setup a scheme whereby if the pressure switch or anything else before the control box wasnít working properly, they could then turn that breaker off and throw the other breaker on, and thus be able to run the pump directly from the panel for a short time, get some water then turn the breaker off. In other words it would be an emergency bypass circuit.

You get a guy in who just innocently replaces all the breakers and turns them all on and all hell breaks loose with respect to the pump. Crazy voltages, non-stop pumping, etc.?

But I see flaws in this picture:

(1) I know so little about electric circuits maybe that scheme is totally impossible.

(2) It assumes you would not have ever noticed you had a breaker that was never turned on.

Good luck! What a mystery.
 
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Old 07-21-12, 01:15 PM
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The 400V I am reading gives me great concern and tells me he did something wrong.
Please tell us the equipment and method used to determine you had 400v.
 
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Old 07-21-12, 06:57 PM
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ZOESDAD! I suggested this to my electrician when he showed up. Guess what!?? That is EXACTLY what somebody did back in 1973! My guy called it a "cold wire" connection or something like that. I showed him how the pump still ran with the wires to the switch disconnected. He said the same thing I said - "WHAT THE HELL!? That is impossible!"

He suddenly began to stare into space - looked like a deer in my headlights - and then - ***WHAM!!!*** ""I got it!" He ripped the cover off my load center and started pulling breakers. In 5 minutes, it was fixed. Life DOES have sweet moments!

I asked about the 400 volts. He tried my volt ohm meter. He tossed it into the can. I asked, "So I can finally buy the digital model my wife told me I could not have?". Redeeming himself for not catching the unusual wiring, he said, "YEP!"

BTW - he fixed it the RIGHT way! Boy, does my water taste GREAT!

THANKS ALL! This case is closed!
 
  #16  
Old 07-21-12, 07:23 PM
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Glad you got it. Thanks to Zoesdad for helping out.

An analog meter is actually better then a digital unless the digital is a more expensive brand name. The lower impedance of even a cheap analog meter helps prevent false readings caused by induced voltages.
 
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Old 07-21-12, 07:27 PM
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THANKS ALL! This case is closed!
Great, and thanks for the feedback. Good call, zoesdad!

Tech note:
I asked about the 400 volts. He tried my volt ohm meter. He tossed it into the can. I asked, "So I can finally buy the digital model my wife told me I could not have?". Redeeming himself for not catching the unusual wiring, he said, "YEP!"
If you want a meter that will give you accurate readings, I (we) suggest you buy an analog meter. Analog meters are, as a group, less susceptible to picking up induced voltage than the digital meters.
 
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Old 07-21-12, 07:29 PM
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Bad echo in here !
 
  #19  
Old 07-21-12, 07:34 PM
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Very bad echo.
...............
 
  #20  
Old 07-21-12, 07:40 PM
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Wow! Thatís great. There should be some kind of law that says if people do non-standard things they should at least mark it clearly or be whipped in public (lol). My house was built in 1967 and Iím finding some real funny (or maybe not so funny) things also. I guess back then there werenít any forums like this where people would have found out they were definitely doing something wrong.

But allís well that ends well. Good!
 
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