testing a submersible well pump

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Old 03-30-09, 04:02 PM
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testing a submersible well pump

I think our subersible pump died, but want to make sure before pulling it. It's a 4" Franklin 1/2 hp, 110 ft. deep, with 1" galvanized delivery pipe.

The control box had gotten wet and a rusted connection on the relay broke loose. I had another unit on hand, but not sure if it's functional or not. It was taken from a friend's installation after they replaced their pump and control box. It's in almost like new condition, with the same rating but with an exposed circuit board instead of a relay box so I figured I'd try it.

The pump runs and pumps water up to the well's top, but only for about 5 seconds, then cuts out at the control box. I guess that would be the starter winding that runs, and that the run winding may be kaput or isn't getting a connection, or the control box is faulty.

It's after hours and I want to figure this out this evening so I know what to do in the morning.

How can I test the control box and the pump motor, on the chance that the motor may still be OK? I have a digital multimeter, and enough experience with electricity and wiring to know how to avoid doing something stupid.

We are severely strapped for funds at this time and really can't afford replacing the pump.
 
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Old 03-30-09, 06:17 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply. I'm pretty familiar with the "flash start" method, and I'm still alive after trying it

But I got no response from the motor.

I left the thick pump wires where they were, disconnected L1 & L2 and connected L2 to B, the outer terminal (main). Then
I held a short "horse-shoe" jumper in one hand, and L1 in the other. Holding the jumper across the pump's common and the red start terminal while touching the red L1 to the common got me nothing.

Then I put the box back together, turned on the juice and the start winding kicked in as before.

The thought just occured to me that I maybe I should have held the jumper across Red and Main, instead of Red and Common. I didn't think that would make any difference, since they are both 240 hot, and Common is only named so in regards to being in the middle of Run and Start.

Another thought was that I should have the start capacitor in the circuit, before it will actually kick in. True, or not?
 

Last edited by kenearl; 03-30-09 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 03-30-09, 07:34 PM
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Do not cross any wires or put them where they do not go.
A three wire pump has a control box. Do not try to jump wires from L1 or L2.
THIS IS A REAL BAD IDEA.

From what you say in your post. It sounds like you have a bad capacitor. The box you got from your friend, will work.
The capacitor is more than likely bad. Nine out of ten times,a bad cap. will cause just what you are describing.

Before you go to pulling the pump. turn the power off and try a new box. You get all new parts, and it's cheaper than a new pump, and if it still does not work, you will already have the control box for the new pump.


Travis
 
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Old 03-30-09, 09:32 PM
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Thanks Travis.
Warning heeded, I didn't mess with that box again.
Can someone tell me if the continuity test of the motor leads give a good indication of the motor's condition?
I tested 5 ohms across Black and Yellow (main and common), 18 ohms across Yellow and Red (common and start) and 23 ohms across Black and Red.
Does that sound OK?
I am looking for the Franklin specs now.
 
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Old 03-30-09, 10:11 PM
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The is no common on a three wire pump. If you try to run the pump without the box by jumping the wires to L1 and L2, you take a real good chance of ruining the pump.


This might help.
How to test a 3 wire submersible motor.



Travis
 
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Old 03-31-09, 09:27 AM
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thanks a million for that link. I hope to try a new control box today. My ohm readings seem to be on par with the specs.

The Y terminal is labeled (COMM) , maybe that is something besides common?
 
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Old 03-31-09, 05:30 PM
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Pump is OK

New control box, pump is working fine. It's 21 yrs old so I don't expect it to last a heck of a long time, but now is not a good time to pull a pump --I'll be better ready for that later in the year.

Thanks waterwelldude, and h2o4u 2.
 
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