Diagnosing a VERY old Submersible pump and control box.


Old 09-02-09, 06:08 PM
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Diagnosing a VERY old Submersible pump and control box.


I have a submersible pump in a 90' well, this well has a 9" casing. This well is at least 60 years old, maybe older. (I was told that the present 90' casing doesn't go as deep as the well used to be).

The pump and the controller were made by a company called "Wayne Equipment" and were also installed about 60 years ago. The system is 220v. The tank in our basement under the controller is roughly the size of a 55 gallon barrel (I am guessing... it is taller and skinnier).

The pump has worked fine for years but now wont switch on, (not urgent since I now have city water as well).

I have 220v all the way to the control box. The capacitor, overload protector, and relay inside the control box test good.

I have white, black, red, and green wires running to the pump. I have continuity between the white and black wires but no continuity between any other combination of white, black, and red.

I DO have some continuity between my green ground wire running to the pump and ALL other wires (white, red, & black). Between the ground and these wires I get between 500 to 900 ohms of resistance.

When powered up and I manually close the relay on the tank, the control box "hums then clicks" once every few seconds.

Any ideas?

Old 09-02-09, 08:09 PM
waterwelldude's Avatar
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The test for the capacitor is not a good test.
It may test good with a meter, but still be a bad part.

Aside from a new pump, putting a new box on would be the easiest.

I have never seen a 60 year old pump. My guess is that its not that old.
Since it does not have a run capacitor only a start. It is more that likely a 1hp or less. Since it has a ground wire going down to the pump, it was added or the pump is not very old.

Take the box to a well supply house, and they should be able to match it.
Just be sure to match the colors when replacing it.

The red, (yellow/white),black wires can not be switch in any way. The green wire should be the ground.
Do not try and jump around the control box, it will burn, or short the pump out.

Old 09-02-09, 08:55 PM
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I will consider looking into the new control box, but have almost convinced myself that the motor in the pump is bad.

Aside from the ground having continuity with all other wires, I just checked the resistance of what I think are the starting and running windings. The running winding is only about 3 ohms but the starting winding is about 700+ ohms...

As for the age of this pump... there have only been two previous owners of this house, the first was the builder of the house and the person who put the casing in the preexisting well. This house was built in the 1940's, and the wife of the builder said "[he] wired the well sometime around 'the war' (WWII)", and "In the late '40s, Wayne [Home equipment] entered the water pump industry". So... who knows, maybe I have a true dinosaur down there The ground wire IS suspicious though.

EDIT: actually, now that I think about it, the "outgoing" wire that I tested goes through one more junction box where it connects to the "underground" wire that leaves through the basement wall... I will retest windings and ground continuity there... if there is even a ground there.

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