Dimmer switch for Pond Pump?

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  #1  
Old 10-22-04, 01:18 PM
sandycliffs
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Dimmer switch for Pond Pump?

I am making a fountain and have been given a pump. The problem is, It's much too powerful. I asked at an electrical/hardware store if I could slow it down. They gave me a ceilling fan dimmer switch. The cord fort the pump has 3 wires - white, black, and green. I connected the blacks and the greens to each other and put the dimmer switch between the whites.
Pump only works on High setting. If I try to "dim" it, it makes a loud rattle like metal pieces are grinding together...
Pump - 120v/60hz/65 watt/1.5 amps
Dimmer switch - rotary with off/turn on high to low 120v/2.5 amps.

Is there a way I can slow this pump down or do I need to get a new one?
 
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  #2  
Old 10-22-04, 03:04 PM
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Fountain pumps are AC motors. Thus, you can't control its speed my varying the voltage. It will either run or it won't. (Think about your vacuum cleaner and food processor.)

Fountain pumps usually have flow control built in. If yours doesn't, you can tee off the output side. This will direct some water where you want it and the rest of it where you don't.
 
  #3  
Old 10-23-04, 05:49 AM
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The black wire is the hot, white is the neutral and these are the two wires that are actually carrying the current to run the motor. The green wire is a ground for safety. Connecting the green and black is pretty dangerous.

You can control the speed of some AC motors (my blender has 12 speeds, and my vacuum has two) but I would leave your pump at full speed since it was designed for one speed only. Your pump is most likely a centrifugal type which generates pressure at high rpms. If you slow the motor down you might hurt the motor and you will not get good pressure for your fountain. You need to keep the pressure high and cut the flow/volume.

Do not restrict the input/intake of the pump, but you can restrict it on the output side. You can put a "T" in the output line to dump some of the water back into your pond before it gets to the fountain. You can also put a valve in the line so you can adjust the flow to get exactly what you want. A ball valve is best but they are a few dollars more than a "garden spigot" style valve, but either should work.
 
  #4  
Old 10-23-04, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Pilot Dane
You can control the speed of some AC motors (my blender has 12 speeds, and my vacuum has two) but I would leave your pump at full speed since it was designed for one speed only.
This is done by built-in switching that changes the number of poles (like a ceiling fan), or by inverters, features pump motors don't have. Not with varistors, as suggested by the unhelpful store clerk. Take the dimmer switch back and keep the pump. Control the flow, not the speed.
 
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