Replace well pump fuses with circuit breakers

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Old 09-08-18, 04:45 AM
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Replace well pump fuses with circuit breakers

Attached pics show the fuses in the power circuit for my well pump. In the 4.5 years I have lived here, I have had to replace a fuse twice. The second time I could not even tell a fuse had burnt out. I keep wondering how hard it would be to replace the fuse box with circuit breakers. Any thoughts pro or con would be great. Thanks.
 
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Old 09-08-18, 07:23 AM
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What is the source of power to the fuse box? You might be able to replace the fuse box with an unfused disconnect such as the disconnects commonly used for A/Cs.
 
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Old 09-08-18, 08:20 AM
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Only issue I see with Ray's suggestion is A/C disconnects do not have Ko's on the top. You could keep that box as a junction box and install the A/C disconnect to the right using a short nipple similar to what you have on the left.

Another thought is how is the circuit to the disconnect fed now? If it is already fed with the proper breaker then the fuses would be redundant. Although you still need an disconnect there for the well, you might just want to eliminate the fuses/circuit breaker there all together.
 
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Old 09-08-18, 10:25 AM
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Try installing Type T fuse instead of Type TL.

You can also get edison base circuit breakers.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Cooper-B...B-20/100180284
 
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Old 09-08-18, 10:31 AM
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Good idea Lambition! I totally forgot about those.
 
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Old 09-08-18, 10:52 AM
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Awesome ideas from all, thank you very much.
 
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Old 09-08-18, 08:20 PM
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That looks like #14 wiring protected by a 20A fuse in the left side and a 30A (green) fuse in the right side. You need to protect the circuit correctly.

You may have starting issue with the pump causing the circuit to trip.
 
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Old 09-10-18, 04:36 AM
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Update

I did a little research and was able to find an Edison socket circuit breaker 20amps. So that would take care of that left fuse. But as Pjmax pointed out the right fuse is a 30amp and I was unable to find an Edison socket circuit breaker for that.

Again, thank you all for the info. I think I'll stock up on fuses for the time being and put this idea years down the road (when I can no longer get fuses).
 
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Old 09-10-18, 06:10 AM
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But as Pjmax pointed out the right fuse is a 30amp and I was unable to find an Edison socket circuit breaker for that.
I did not realize you have both 20A and 30A fuses.
Both fuse should be the same size. That is wired for 240V. What size is the existing wire?
Many well pumps run on 30A and if so should be wired with 10AWG cable. May be the reason fuse is keep blowing is because you have undersized fuse?

Edison base breakers only come in 15A and 20A. You will not find 30A.
 
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Old 09-10-18, 09:11 AM
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I bought the house/farm 4 years ago, and one fuse being 20A and one being 30A is how it was.
I had no idea they are supposed to be the same. How can I determine whether they both should be 20A or 30A?
Do you think they are not the same simply because the old owner did not have the right fuses?
The house is 35 years old, is there any logical reason they would be different?
BTW - the last time the fuse burnt out, and I could not tell visually it had burnt out, I had a well company
come by and they determined it was a burnt out fuse.
Thanks.
 
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Old 09-10-18, 09:23 AM
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Do you think they are not the same simply because the old owner did not have the right fuses?
Yes.

is there any logical reason they would be different
No.

If the wire size is #14 as Pete guessed you would use 15 amp slow blow fuses. However the pump may need more than 15 amps. What is the full load amperage of the pump.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 09-10-18 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 09-10-18, 02:19 PM
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Do you think they are not the same simply because the old owner did not have the right fuses?
Maybe, or they had a 15 or 20 amp fuse installed and it blew. When a fuse blows it is common for people to put a larger fuse in thinking that is ok. It is not. Installing a larger fuse then a wire can handle will cause it to overheat and possibly cause a fire.
 
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Old 09-10-18, 03:52 PM
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Thanks for the info. I put on my Private Eye cap and checked the main power box, which I had replaced when I moved in. The well is on a double 20A set of breakers. The attached picture is a close up, I can't tell the wire sizes but I can tell you the wires come in from the top, go down the bottom to the storage tank where there is a pressure switch that then sends the power back up to the box and to the left which leads to the underground pump.
I'm sure that on the two occasions when I blew a fuse, sorry don't remember which one(s) the circuit breakers at the main box were not affected. I could not figure out how to attach the pic so here is a link to it.
Close up pic of fuse box
Name:  fusebox.jpg
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Last edited by PJmax; 09-10-18 at 06:54 PM. Reason: added pic from link
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Old 09-10-18, 06:56 PM
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Looking at the closeup..... that is #12 wiring which means both fuses should be but don't have to be 20A fuses since that circuit is ultimately protected by a 2P20A circuit breaker.

So if you are blowing a 20A fuse.... the pump is drawing close to that during starting. You may need to address the starting control for the pump.
 
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Old 09-10-18, 07:34 PM
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I cannot tell if that is 12 AWG, but it is defiantly larger than 14.
To me it looks like 10AWG on top and 12AWG on the bottom.

Try 20A Type T fuse before decide to replace the disconnect switch or the pump. It will handle a little more surge than TL.
You may also try putting 30A fuse as a temporary test purpose. If your pump is drawing more than 20A, it should trip the breaker instead of blowing fuses since your pump is 20A.
It would be safe to put 30A fuses since you have 20A breaker ahead of it, but probably not allowed by the code (not so sure.)

Also check and make sure your pump is rated to run on 20A circuit.
I see pump type written on the control box, but cannot read. Looks like submersible pump from what I can read.
 
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