Pump trip breaker

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  #1  
Old 03-25-20, 03:42 AM
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Pump trip breaker

Hi all,

In general, I'm not familiar with irrigation components aside from the sprinkler heads, therefor; my questions may sound silly so please bear with me. Purchased a 2005 built home a year ago, it has an irrigation system using welling water. It was not turned on (assumed because there was some problem) prior to the transfer of ownership and it has not been used/turn-on since then.
Recently, I try to turn on the system and see what issue it may have. Every time I tried to turn on the pump by plugging the power cord into an AC outlet (in the garage), it popped the circuit breaker in the panel. The pump looked in good condition (like almost new). However, the cord seems to be 'homemade' (at least to me) but I'm not sure. Can anyone suggest some diagnostic steps I can take to identify what may be the problem? Great appreciated and thank you in advance for your support.

Dave
 
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  #2  
Old 03-25-20, 05:56 AM
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More info on the system would be helpful.

Do you have a multimeter and do you know how to use it?

Remove the cover where the power cord is attached and check the connections.
You are looking for a wire that is shorted to something.
Visually check the power cord for kinks etc.

For more troubleshooting you will need a meter.
 
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Old 03-25-20, 09:51 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

Is the pump tripping a standard circuit breaker or a circuit breaker with pushbuttons on it ?
 
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Old 03-25-20, 10:43 AM
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Hi Pete,

I plug into the standard outlet (not GFI), it tripped the standard breaker in the panel box (in the garage).
I took some pictures here Pump information The wire from the pump (with metal conduit) goes to the Hunter box and Yellow wire from Hunter box to standard AC outlet.

Dave
 

Last edited by david4500; 03-25-20 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 03-25-20, 10:54 AM
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@Manden, I took some pictures here Pump Information. The wire from the pump (with metal conduit) goes to the Hunter box and Yellow wire from Hunter box to standard AC outlet.
I do have a multi-meter (old one) and should be able to use it.

Dave
 

Last edited by david4500; 03-25-20 at 11:10 AM.
  #6  
Old 03-25-20, 03:32 PM
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I love the plug on the end of the 12-2 nm-b (romex) cable.
Nm-b cable is not wet rated and should only be used for permanent wiring.

Based on the motor wiring label that pump is wired for 240v.
That means it's a two pole breaker that is tripping...... is that correct ?
I can't see the type of plug used.
Does the motor hum and then trip the breaker ?

If there is no hum..... start by checking the wiring inside the motor junction box for a shorted connection.
 
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Old 03-25-20, 04:48 PM
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Hi Pete,

I saw the label said 230V as well. However, if you look at label 1, it has 115V/230V.also which I assumed it's capable to configure either 115V or 230V. I look at my electric dryer cable, the 240v plug is much different. Therefore, I assumed the plug on the pump is for 120V outlet, which is what I plug into.

To answer your question, I didn't hear any humming noise from the pump and as soon as I plug it in, it popped the 120 circuit breaker.

Based on what you said here, is it possible whoever set this pump up maybe intended to configure to use with 115v but didn't do all of the necessary steps to change the wiring in the pump? I look at the panel box, there's no extra 240V available unless moving/relocating some of the 120v breakers around.
 
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Old 03-25-20, 04:56 PM
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Pull off the motor wiring junction cover. See if it's set to HI or LO voltage.
That setting can be seen in your first picture.
 
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Old 03-26-20, 11:20 AM
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Hi Pete,

Took a while to move out stuff in the garage to get a better look a the system. Added 2 pictures Pump Information and need your opinion before I open up the connection on the motor (4 bolts, 2 of them tight space to get to).
Based on pic #7, it looks like the power and load connection is reversed. The diagram is mounted in front of the Pump Start Relay box and I set it aside to the left to take the pic. According to the diagram, it looks like the wires are connected wrong?? Power should be on the left (yellow) and Load should be on the right (silver)??
 
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Old 03-26-20, 11:41 AM
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Yes.... I see the line and load are swapped. On that type of contactor it's not important.
Reversing them won't change anything.

That contactor only pulls in when the sprinkler system calls for water. You said when you put the plug in it trips the breaker. That would mean that the contactor is closed since the sprinkler system is demanding water. Is that correct..... the sprinkler system is active ?
 
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Old 03-26-20, 12:36 PM
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You could try disconnecting the pump wires from the contactor.
Then plug it in and see if the breaker still blows.
 
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Old 03-27-20, 09:35 AM
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Hi Pete,

A quick update. I'm not sure if the entire sprinkler system is working but the Timer Control (Orbit) seem to be working when I plug into AC outlet, it shows the time (it's not the correct time tho).
I finally managed to take off the 4 bolts and the configuration matched for low voltage. My wife suggests plugging the pump into a different outlet on the other side of the garage. There is a separate breaker for each side of the garage outlets. Using a heavy extension cord, connected the pump and no trip but no sound either. Then I accidentally dial the Orbit time to On (Instant ON) and I heard the pump working and also heard water came out of the open facet on the well incoming line. I went out to turn it off, then water started to burst out of the pipe connection and sprayed all over inside the garage.
I assumed there's nothing wrong with the pump now since it didn't trip the breaker and getting water. There must be something wrong with the wiring on the other outlet.
Now I have a different problem, leaking connections. Once I moved out and clean up the wet stuff in the garage, I will try to take a pic to see where exactly it is leaking. Maybe you can suggest how to fix it.

Dave
 
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Old 03-27-20, 10:08 AM
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So there are two plugs here..... one for the Orbit controller and one for the pump.
You never told us if the Orbit unit was plugged in or not.

There is an important question here..... when you plugged the pump in and the breaker tripped....was the Orbit control plugged in and on ? As you found out.... when you call for water... the Orbit unit activates the pump relay.
 
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Old 03-27-20, 04:21 PM
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Hi Pete,

If I recall correctly when the breaker was tripped I have both cords plug-in, but I don't believe the Orbit unit was running.
Still cleaning up the mess and it's getting dark, I will try to take a pic when pump is working (and leaking) tomorrow.

Dave
 
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Old 03-28-20, 08:41 AM
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Hi Pete,

After putting up some plastic cover, I was able to take a couple of pictures this morning and put in here Pump Information as pic #8 & #9. I'm not sure what is the most effective parts and/or ways to replace/repair. The PVC pipe seems to be short and too close to the pump. I'm not sure if I cut it, there is still enough space for the new pipe. Please take a look, any suggestion/recommendation is greatly appreciated.

Dave
 
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Old 03-28-20, 10:21 AM
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That big round fitting is a union. It's there so you can unscrew that big nut without having to cut any pipe to get the pump out. It needs to be tightened up. Turn clockwise as tight as possible by hand. If it still drips a little..... tighten carefully with a channellock pliers.
 
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Old 03-29-20, 12:08 PM
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Hi Pete,

Had it off and re-tighten. I guess they had the union upside down, so it is turning counter clock to tighten. However, it still leaks. I look at it again and noticed the two pipes are not exactly aligned. I took the pic Pump Information as #10. I'm going to try it again tomorrow, maybe I can move the motor slightly to align more and put on some pipe tape to see if that can stop the leak. If this does not work, I guess I have to redo the pipes. If that's the case, is it possible to use a flexible hose (like the ones for the pool) and clamps solution instead? It seems to more tolerant for mistakes and easy maneuvers around especially in limited space. Furthermore, if the flexible hose solution is possible, what kind you would recommend?

Dave
 
  #18  
Old 03-30-20, 03:01 AM
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I do not think pipe tape will do anything,
If water gets past the seal it will just leak out the bottom of the fitting if the treads are sealed with tape.
The black you see is probably a rubber O-ring/seal.
You have to get it to sit flat on the lower part of the fitting.
Then give it a light coating of grease. This helps to prevent it from deforming.
Then align the pipes and tighten it up.
 
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Old 03-30-20, 11:06 AM
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Hi Maden

Thank you so much, your recommendation was right on. It took me a while to get the o-ring out and put it back in. It was upside down and as you can see from the picture, not much room to see it or work with. The o-ring was crimped a little, I was not holding out much hope but it worked!! No more big leaks but I do see a small amount of water, it was not from either of the in/out pipes or joints as they were dry to the touch. I can't see all the areas of the motor but it seems like coming from it, maybe from the bottom. Are there places I need to tighten up? I only see 4 big bolts closest to the output line.

Dave
 

Last edited by david4500; 03-30-20 at 11:47 AM.
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