Well pump or water treatment trips breaker


  #1  
Old 08-02-22, 06:51 AM
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Well pump or water treatment trips breaker

Hello,

Looking for advise/guidance on resolving the following issue...

My water treatment system is scheduled to cycle at midnight on certain days. I'm guessing it runs two phases one starting at midnight that could last 30-60 minutes then there's a break in time before another phase starts. What is happening now is that I will awaken in the middle of the night and find that my well pump is not operating (no water). I check the circuit breaker and a 20 amp dual breaker is found tripped. I reset the breaker and all is good...until the next time the circuit breaker trips yet again in the middle of the night. I think I have it isolated to the nights that the treatment system kicks on. All other nights the well is up and operating on demand. Last night I so happened to hear the treatment system kick on at midnight. Approximately 30-45 minutes later sure enough the 20 amp breaker had tripped. Any direction/guidance deeply appreciated. Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 08-02-22, 07:38 AM
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Are both the treatment system and the well on the same breaker?
 
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Old 08-02-22, 07:53 AM
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Yes, they appear to be on the same breaker. I will double check when I get home by tripping the breaker.
 
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Old 08-02-22, 10:13 AM
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What is the current draw of those devices. Normally you don't have anything else on the well pump circuit. Possibly both are turning on at the same time and tripping the breaker. The well pump could be going bad and drawing more current than it used to. You haven't told us what "water treatment" is so I can't comment on why or how it could trip a breaker.
 
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Old 08-06-22, 03:47 AM
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Pilot Dane,

Best way I can describe it...

1) Confirmed that the well pump and the softener/cleaner system are NOT on the same breaker. The well pump is on a 20 amp dual breaker while the softener/cleaner is on its own 20 amp single pole breaker.

2) I believe I have what is called an on-demand well system? I have a Grundfos pump with a Grundfos electronic controller unit (variable but always set to 70 psi).

3) I have a 4.5 gl Jet RIte 2 water tank. I have checked the tank PSI and the bladder seems fine (2 psi below the minimum of range).

4) I have an inline small canister carbon filter.

5) Two vertical system tanks each approximately 4.5 ft tall. The large of the two tanks has a screw cover centered on the top. My water guy periodically adds a crystal-like substance to this tank. The other tank has a digital controller mounted on top that cycle through the various regeneration stages. Piped in-between the two tanks is a covered unit that has a rotary dial to set days and hours for regeneration.

6) I have a large barrel (3/4 of a garbage can size) where salt pellets get added.

Sure enough last night at midnight I heard the regeneration cycle start. A very loud flushing sound (normal). After 15 minutes the flushing sound slowly went away. I check water pressure in the house and no water. I check the electric panel and once again the well pump breaker tripped. The softener system breaker does not trip. This only happens in the middle of the night when softener system kicks in.

Can breakers weaken over time? Do I replace the pump breaker as a first step?

Thanks in advance to all!
 

Last edited by cfodps; 08-06-22 at 04:05 AM.
  #6  
Old 08-06-22, 04:35 AM
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This is more of an electrical issue than a water issue so I have moved this to the electrical section.

It has been said that breakers can weaken over time if they trip too often, Replacing the breaker with a new one would be an easy and inexpensive first step in troubleshooting this issue.
 
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Old 08-06-22, 08:46 AM
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You're going to need to check the current draw of the motor using a clamp-on current probe.
You need to see what it draws on start up and if it goes up during use.

My guess is pump problem or problem with the pump controller.
Your pump may be short cycling when the treatment unit flushes.
 
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Old 08-06-22, 10:07 AM
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Can breakers weaken over time?
What brand breaker is tripping?
Although I like them a lot, the Cutler-Hammer CH series breakers can weaken after multiple trips. I remember many years ago having to keep a supply of the 30A 2-Pole CH breakers because of them going bad on a commercial Hobart water heating system for a Hobart commercial dishwasher.
 
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Old 08-06-22, 12:15 PM
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I think your pump controller should catch an overload condition and turn OFF the pump - and the breaker should not trip. As was already suggested though, maybe your pump controller has a problem. But maybe there is a setting for the overload condition. I would check the manual for the controller.

Also doesn’t the valve on your equipment allow you to perform a manual operation? If so I think you could force the backwash (or whatever that water usage operation is) at your convenience. So then you could be right there to see what happens during the operation.
 
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Old 08-07-22, 01:05 PM
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All great suggestions, thank you. I will check controller board manual and also force the backwash at my convenience to observe what is going on.

The breaker is a GE 20 amp dual-pole RT-693 Type THQL.,
Is there another brand other than GE that I can buy? Some online reviews indicate this line of GE breakers are problematic. If so, what do I look for?

The Grundfos controller is set at 70 psi. When the pump is operating the analog meter will go as high as 80 before dropping to 60, cycling within that range until demand stops and then settles at 70 psi. I double checked the 4.5 gl Jet Rite 2 tank for pressure (left a faucet open, turned off pump, analog pressure meter at 0) and the tank measures 50 psi. I increased it to 58 psi. It is my understanding that the tank pressure must be -2 psi below the range minimum (in my case 60).

Guess this is going to be a process of elimination.
 
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Old 08-07-22, 01:48 PM
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Hi, how long has this been going on? As mentioned you really need to get a Amp clamp and find out what that pump is drawing amperage wise, does this pump run OK without the water treatment system?
Geo🇺🇸
 
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Old 08-07-22, 02:06 PM
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The breaker is a GE 20 amp dual-pole RT-693 Type THQL.,
Is there another brand other than GE that I can buy?
Breakers that are installed in a panel are required to be approved for use by the manufacturer of the panel. That means that if you have a GE panel, only GE breakers are approved to be used in that panel. Personally, I like the THQL breakers over the THQP thin breakers.

If your panel is some other brand then you need to use the breakers of that brand.
 
  #13  
Old 08-07-22, 03:14 PM
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Breakers: All GE from 13 years ago. Got it. Thank you.

Regarding pump: It's been happening for the past 2 weeks or so. It only happens when the water treatment turns on for a regeneration cycle (heavy flush). I will try to force a cycle during a convenient time and watch it carefully.

 
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