Well pump electrical issue.

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  #1  
Old 04-09-13, 10:39 AM
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Well pump electrical issue.

My dayton pump on my well went out this winter.

I have a two line jet system 55 feet deep.

I couldn't another dayton so I went to Home Depot and bought the flotec that was roughly the same size. I plumbed it all up hooked it up the electrcal and started the pump. It would run for a second then stop then about 30 seconds later it would run for a second and stop. I checked the pressure switch it was not turning off so it is the pump. Then double checked the voltage and wiring to make sure it was correct. That made no difference.

This is a recreational property so I had to leave. I called the pump company and they said it must be the wrong voltage. I tested it and it read 220 on a light test but they said that's not accurate enough.

Here's the question. I am heading
back up this weekend and was wondering what I will run into. I plan on buying a voltage tester to see what it's actually at.

The property is a bit of the beating path so what should I bring with me to repair the voltage. How could the voltage be all wired 220 but off? What are the likely causes? The wiring 20 years old and the old pump ran fine but the housing cracked and wouldn't prime.
 
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Old 04-09-13, 11:03 AM
Vey
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You should buy yourself a decent clamp on volt/ammeter. I used to buy them from Harbor Freight and if you don't need to use one for a living, a $20 one from them will work fine for a year or so. I stopped buying them when they started giving me crazy numbers after they were a year old or so.

If you want one to last, spend more money and buy a name brand one, like a cheap Fluke 323. I bought one of those used from a pawn shop for $35 and new they cost ~$100. I sent it off for calibration and it passed with flying colors.

At prices like these, homeowners can afford to have one.

You want to make sure that your voltage isn't too low. After you take your reading, or now if you like, ask the company how low is too low.

The clamp on part of the meter is to see how many amps are being drawn. This is helpful when you suspect something is wrong, but are not sure what.

I'm not sure if the HD sourced Flotech will do what you want it to do. They are not highly recommended.
 
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Old 04-09-13, 11:46 AM
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voltage tester
Voltage tester often means a non contact tester and they are about as useful as flipping a coin. You need an analog multimeter or a amp probe with a voltage meter as suggested. A cheap analog multimeter ($8-$15) will be less influenced by induced voltages then a a cheap digital multimeter.

How could the voltage be all wired 220 but off?
Nominal voltage in the U.S. is 240 volts 10% not 220 volts. But I think what they were asking is either what is the voltage under load or is it a 120v or a 240v pump. If multivoltage is it wired for the correct voltage.
 
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Old 04-09-13, 12:41 PM
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Thanks.

The pump comes preset at 240 and the wiring flashed my test light at 220. The pump company says te voltage must be too low like 160 or something and its tripping the thermal overload. None of it make any sense because the pump I pulled off was working fine just was cracked an wouldn't prime.

I just bought a $60 digital meter? It's seems like that would work. I personally think the pump might be bad but until I test the voltage I don't know for sure. I really hate messing with electrical but I guess I have no choice.

What I was hoping to find out is what I should bring to repair the wiring if it is too low. Is there a likely cause? Long way to the closest HD from te cottage.

In regards to the flotec I know it's not the greatest pump but I am REPLACING a really expensive Dayton......!?
 
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Old 04-09-13, 12:56 PM
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As said you need to measure voltage under load. Measure the voltage as the pumpstars and see if the voltage drops significantly. Next you would need to check amperage using a clamp on amp meter.

I just bought a $60 digital meter?
If it isn't a clamp on amp meter with built in voltage meter I'd suggest taking it back and getting a cheaper meter more suited to your needs. While more then I would pay if the meter you bought does not have a clamp on amp meter built in here is a RadioShack one at about the price you just spent that would be good if you don't have a Harborfreight near by. RadioShack True-RMS Digital Clamp-on Multimeter : Multimeters | RadioShack.com
 
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Old 04-09-13, 01:15 PM
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Thanks ray2047 I appreciate the advice. I'll return this one to lowes and get a clamp on version.

Stupid question what would I clamp it to? Obviously the one I have I would just touch the two ends to the terminals. Not sure how the clamp works. No HF in the area but I imagine lowes would have something close.
 
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Old 04-09-13, 01:31 PM
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These clamps are wonderful things! They measure how much electricity is flowing through a wire, so you clamp it around ONE wire and the radiation from the electricity flowing through the wire makes the meter read.
 
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Old 04-09-13, 01:59 PM
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The probes measure voltage, resistance, and DC amperage less then one half amp. The clamp measures AC amps up to 60-100 amps or more depending on the meter.

The clamp tells you if the amps used exceeds the motor rating. If the amps exceed the motor rating the motor is bad.

When used at the breaker box it can tell you if a breaker is tripping at less then it's rated value. If it is then the breaker is bad.
 
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Old 04-09-13, 02:21 PM
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Only clamp around ONE wire though. It won't work right if you clamp around more than one, so (for example) if you want to measure how many amps that desk lamp is using, the wire has to be split first.

They work best in the connection box of the appliance and in the circuit breaker panel. BUT BE CAREFUL! You are playing with the voltage and amperage that can hurt you. I wear tested rubber gloves and leather protectors when I do this. Even 240 can cause arc flash.
 
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Old 04-09-13, 03:03 PM
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Ok I think I got it. What do you mean by 1 wire.

I can only do the white or black wire not the insulated piece?

I'll probably hook it up with the power of and then turn it on just to be safe.
 
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Old 04-09-13, 03:10 PM
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It can and should be clamped around an insulated wire. Some people confuse wire with cable. A cable is two or more wires in a metallic or non-metallic sheath. You can not measure current by clamping around a cable.You may clamp the black, white, red, yellow or blue but not the green or bare. The green or bare does not carry current.
 
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Old 04-09-13, 03:28 PM
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I have some insulated alligator clips that fit on the end of the probes. I got them from Radio Shack.

A lot of people, including electricians, don't realize that when you are working on appliances in homes and small businesses, circumstances are not, (how do I say this?) "ideal."

If I even think that I may accidentally cross the probes when I look away to take a voltage reading, I use the insulated alligator clips. I turn off the power, I clip them on, then, while watching the meter away from what I am testing, I (you name it - flip the circuit breaker, throw the knife switch, connect the disconnect -- whatever) to re-energize the equipment.

It's not the clamp on meter that's the problem, it's the voltage testing and accidentally crossing the probes that will cause, what I call "The boom heard 'round the world." You don't want that -- I promise.
 
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Old 04-09-13, 06:17 PM
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It would run for a second then stop then about 30 seconds later it would run for a second and stop. I checked the pressure switch it was not turning off so it is the pump.
That's a pretty short run time for a thermal overload to occur.
Did the motor sound like it was running normally ?

If it was going into thermal overload it would get pretty hot. The only way that would happen is if the motor was somehow wired for 120v and you were applying 240v.

If the voltage was slighly low it would run longer than one second. When you check the voltage.... check it at the motor or on the terminal where it leaves the pressure switch.
 
  #14  
Old 04-10-13, 10:10 AM
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I really think the motor is shot. I didn't check to make sure it was set at 240v because its suppose to come 240v. That's really the only thing that makes sense to me. My old 220v runs fine so I really doubt it's my wiring like flotec says it is.

I am checking it tomorrow. I will check the voltage and of that reads good then I will pull te pump and double check to see if its setup as 110v. If its not setup wrong back to the store it will go.

It seems to run fine when it starts and then just turns off.

I want to thank everyone for the advice. It sure helps.
 
  #15  
Old 04-10-13, 10:30 AM
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I will pull te pump and double check to see if its setup as 110v
Tech: note: It's 120v not 110v.
 
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Old 04-10-13, 11:05 AM
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That's right 120v sorry but whats the story behind that deal. Just out of curiosity.
 
  #17  
Old 04-11-13, 07:22 PM
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I figured I should post my results. Went up today and tested the voltage everything tested fine. I ended up pulling up the pump out to return it. The pump says its previews 240v and on the panel is said it again. I decide to double check and sure enough it's set up as 120v. 2 trips and countless hours invested because it was wired wrong from the factory. Grrrrrr

Good news is everything works great now. Thanks again everyone.
 
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Old 04-11-13, 07:24 PM
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Glad you solved it. Thanks for letting us know.
 
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