Pump keeps cutting out...

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Old 06-10-18, 04:44 PM
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Pump keeps cutting out...

I have a well with a submersible pump that is 35 years old.

The well depth is supposedly 120' where an underground creek/river was located.

This afternoon we had no water coming to the house, so I closed the switch connections, water started to flow, and I thought everything was OK.

Tonight, the flow stopped again. When I closed the switch connections, I could feel the pump start, but it shut off after 5 seconds, despite the contacts being closed.
It took 8-10 turns doing this to get the pressure where it should be.

Is this the case of the pump starting to fail completely due to age, and it is overheating and shutting down?

This pump has never had any problems, so I can't rely on past experience.

All help greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 06-10-18, 04:50 PM
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Is this a two or three wire submersible pump ?
It's very hard to diagnose motor problems with it so far underground.

I use a clamp-on ampmeter. I know instantly what the motor is doing by it's current draw. A basic meter can be had for around $50.

Extech-Instruments-Manual-Clamp-Meter-Mini-200-Amp-AC-DC

If it's a three wire system..... there may be a bad capacitor in the starting control box.
 
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Old 06-10-18, 07:59 PM
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Hi: It's a 3 wire system.
 
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Old 06-11-18, 02:25 AM
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How long has that Pressure Switch been installed ?

It may be that the ⅛" nipple has accumulated some debris that causes it to operate in an erratic and unreliable manner.

Also, the contacts (that you're manually closing, may be burnt or carboned up and no longer make a solid connection when they try to close the circuit. I have sometimes filed those contacts with a fingernail file (like we used to do on the points of a car with a distributor.
 
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Old 06-11-18, 04:35 AM
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I would start with replacing the pressure switch and pipe nipple. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace so I'd start there. In any case if you do end up needing a new pump I always like to install a new pressure switch and nipple with a new pump so part of the job will already be done.
 
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Old 06-11-18, 12:02 PM
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Thumbs up Thanks!

I replaced the switch and nipple and everything is back to normal.

The nipple was corroded inside with a build-up of rust.

So glad this fixed it - PLAN B would have been expensive!

Thanks again, for everyone's input and suggestions.
 
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Old 06-11-18, 09:24 PM
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Good job. Thanks for letting us know how you made out.
 
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Old 06-12-18, 03:55 AM
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When a Family is without water, it's easy to panic and get pressured into trying to fix everything, without taking the time to diagnose the problem.

I don't consider it an asset . . . . but I'm 35 miles away from plumbing supply houses and hardware stores which are only open during normal retail hours, so I have an excuse to slow down and make all of my actions very deliberate, and deal with the simplest possible cause, regardless of cost. until it can be ruled out and only then move on to the next most likely or expensive issue. Most people don't have that forced luxury, and the absence of running water certainly can cause a lot of stress.

I'm glad Tom was able to locate a replacement Pressure Switch in what sounds like short order.
 
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