3-wire into 2-wire well pump

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  #1  
Old 03-09-14, 06:15 AM
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3-wire into 2-wire well pump

Hi Folks,

I've done some researching here and elsewhere concerning my topic, but I thought I'd run it by this group. I'm new to the site, but have been slowly increasing my DIY resume.

Background: Our well pipe froze. We leave near the twin cities. We tried some last-ditch thawing efforts including hooking a welder to the pipes. Basically, one lead goes to the well head and the other to the pipe where it enters the house. Long story short, there must be some PVC somewhere in that pipe for a repair I'm not aware of. There is no conductivity, however when we first tried, the system grounded out somewhere. The wiring from our pumptrol switch to the well-pump controller fried as did the wiring from the pump controller all the way to the pump. Since the ground is frozen, we're running wire above ground for now. The wire is still 2-wire (actually 3: yellow, red, black). That matches what is in the pump control box. Since we thought we fried the pump, the well pump was pulled. It was tested and found functional. When the pump was lowered back into the well, they used 3-wire (actually four: red, yellow, black plus green ground).

I've been heating the ground/pipes in the garage which is where I believe it froze. Our tuck-under garage puts the pipe only a foot or so below the freezing concrete as opposed to 8-12' below grade. I wanted to test the system, but the pump won't turn on. I have 240V at the switch and 115V at each of the two hots in the pump control box. I have wire caps connecting the above-ground jumper line right now, but they appear to be good. I can't hear the pump running in the well though. I've tried putting metal or a shovel on the well pipe to listen for resonation of the pump. Nothing. The only loose end, so to speak is the ground wire on the 3-wire coming out of the well. Can that just be loose, or do I actually need to ground it? Do I affix it to the well casing somehow?

Your help is appreciated.

--Ed
 
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  #2  
Old 03-09-14, 06:39 AM
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Probably the best way to see what the pump is doing would be to put a clamp on meter on the circuit,is the pressure switch closed? The ground wire shouldn't prevent the pump from running.
Geo
 
  #3  
Old 03-09-14, 06:45 AM
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Pressure switch is closed. I didn't think the ground needed to be connected, but I can't figure out what's going on.

I turn the breaker on. Check voltage at switch and pump control. All good. Nothing at pump. I know the pipes could still be frozen, but I should still be able to hear the pump running. The lid is off the pump, but it's 80 feet down, so I don't think it's frozen.
 
  #4  
Old 03-09-14, 08:43 AM
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What type of pump controller is it ? Is it possible there is a tripped reset on the pump control?
Can you normally hear the pump when it runs?
 
  #5  
Old 03-09-14, 08:55 AM
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The new controller is a VSM. It is identical to the old Franklin I replaced. There are no resets that I saw. I can't hear the pump run normally per se, other than to run out to the well pipe and put my ear to it with the lid off.
 
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Old 03-09-14, 09:40 AM
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What is the model# of the controller ?
 
  #7  
Old 03-09-14, 09:52 AM
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Correction: The brand is VMC. Model 14940947. It replaced Franklin 2801074915.
 
  #8  
Old 03-09-14, 10:15 AM
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No expert, just a newbie. I have a submersible and a well pit. There is a ground wire from my pump just capped and hanging out in the air in the well pit. It was never connected through to the control box in the basement. In other words I just have 3-wires from the pit to the control box and everything works fine. (Though not correct.)

Wayne VMC Electric Control Box Submersible Motor 3 4 HP | eBay

Isnít that big black thing in the above picture a capacitor? Shouldnít you check that? In other words, if you think you fried some stuff couldnít that capacitor be bad? Isnít that a start capacitor? Could be wrong.

Good luck Ė hope you get it.
 
  #9  
Old 03-09-14, 10:20 AM
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It is a capacitor. I have a multimeter, but I'm not sure how to test a capacitor. Thoughts?
 
  #10  
Old 03-09-14, 10:30 AM
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Iím just a rank newbie, Iíve never actually tested a capacitor myself. (Iíve replaced a few that had big bulges on top and so you knew they were bad.)

Iím sure the electrical guys here could easily tell you how to test it. Some of them are cheap enough (I think) maybe itís just as easy to replace it. Not sure. Need the pros here.

Is there a small almost unnoticeable fuse in that control box? (I have a pumptec that I installed and maybe thatís what Iím thinking of.)

(probably not or you would have seen it )
 
  #11  
Old 03-09-14, 11:10 AM
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Good call on the capacitor. I watched a youtube video and learned how to test. I have my old controller and the new one. The one loses voltage quickly (as a capacitor should) and the other does not. Unfortunately, the bad one is the new one. I put the old lid with capacitor on to test that, since they are identical. Still nothing. That aside, I'm sure the pipes are still frozen, but I at least want to be sure the pump is operating as I attack the thawing problem. The well guy tested it before he dropped it, and I thought he tested it again once it was in the well, but I've got nothing now.

One note: If you ever test a capacitor, make sure it is discharged first! Thank God the video a watched showed that part. Basically, if you have an insulated handle, like a screwdriver, just touch it across both poles of the capacitor. That will dissipate it. Don't go straight to the poles with the probes.
 
  #12  
Old 03-09-14, 11:31 AM
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I'll remember what you said when I do a test. Good information.


Hope you get it working soon. Good luck!
 
  #13  
Old 03-09-14, 03:34 PM
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Did the well guy test it from the new controller setup? The only real way to tell what the pump is doing is with a clamp on amp meter also make sure the red,yellow and black wires are connected in the correct order on the controller if they are crossed you would have the start capacitor in the wrong sequence,also is there a troubleshooting guide with the controller or Google the Franklin controller that you have and that may help you check the controller function.
 
  #14  
Old 03-09-14, 07:42 PM
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He tested it right at his truck. I could have sworn we tested it in the well with the controller to make sure it worked even though we knew the pipes were frozen. As for the wires, geez, I think they are correct at the panel, but you bring up a good point. What if they were hooked up wrong at the pump in the well? I haven't tried a troubleshooting guide. I'd like to think the control panel is pretty full proof. Maybe I'll look at it again in the morning. Doing this alone sucks. Lots of trips from the breaker box to the pump controller to the well . . . none of which are near each other.
 
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