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Country Discussion Topics
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Well Pump - 8, Judy - 0
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Judy in NC    Posted 09-07-2004 at 16:40:56       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Regarding my pump, I thought I had it solved. One of the local well repairmen stopped by one day last week, just as a courtesy as he was on his way into town - he wouldn't let me pay him anything because he didn't find a definite problem. He said it sounded as if the motor was not running full speed. He checked the voltage and said it was only 88 volts - not good. He looked at the plug on the cord and said it looked like it had gotten a little bit of a short at some point - slight damage to one of the prongs. I told him I'd replace it. Well, I got a replacement plug, went to install it, but thought I'd check the voltage before and after replacement to see what I got. Unfortunately?, I had a full 110 -112 volts before replacing the plug - that evidently wasn't my problem. So, I am still at square one. A professional? has looked at it and didn't know what was wrong. I am beginning to think it is possibly the motor itself, but as I would only be using it occassionally, can't justify the expense right now of a new pump.

Thanks to allll of you who have tried so hard to help. This one has got the better of me! I give up!

Judy in NC


Jet9N    Posted 09-08-2004 at 15:49:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
I've seen the voltage drop mentioned here when
the load is applied. Some years ago I about went
nuts trying to figger out why a machine I got
sent to fix wouldn't run. Turns out it was a bad
circuit breaker. It would how full voltage with-
out load and then fail under load. Ran a cord
from a different circuit breaker and it worked
fine.

HTH

Jet


Mike Ga    Posted 09-07-2004 at 19:20:32       [Reply]  [Send Email]
My well pump quit on me and I tried hooking it with a 12/3 exstention cord and it would not work. Each place an exstention cord is plugged in it looses amphredge. I went and bought new under ground wire 12/3 romex and it worked fine. So I think if your motor is not burnt up it would run on the 12/3 romex. The 12/3 has a ground on it and it should be grounded. If your motor has not been getting enough amps they will get to the pointe they will not run at full power but can be rebuilt cheaper than a new one.Also pump motors run at about 19 amps so they should be on a 20 amp breaker or more.Almost all home outlets are 15 amp and will not give the pump enough amps to run properly.
Also if you are running anything else on that breaker it will damage your pump motor in time.


Ron/PA    Posted 09-07-2004 at 18:14:24       [Reply]  [No Email]
Judy, as toolman said, it may still be voltage. More importantly it might be Amperage.
The fact that you got a different reading than the serviceman got would cause me great concern, unless you really doubt his readings. Once you moved any wires at all you could have re-connected any broken wires.
You would do well to find out what the amperage should be on start and on run. Then check that, as well as the voltage to the pump and through the pump. It's possible that your problem isn't in the pump at all, but in the feed from the breaker box to the pump.
Good luck
Ron


Willy-N    Posted 09-07-2004 at 17:57:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
If he was reading the Voltage while the pump was running and it was 88 volts that could cause a low speed condition and might cause a problem sure could damage the pump motor also. If you read the voltage when the pump was not on it probley would read much higher not having a load on the wiring. Cut the plug out and wire it direct and read it while it is running and see what you get. It could be a bad conection under ground in a splice, plug your using, coraded conection somewhere along the circuit ect. You could allways run a GOOD Extention cord out to the pump house and try it also for a test. When the motor runs the voltage will drop a little but it should not go down to 88 volts!! Mark H.


GeneSC    Posted 09-07-2004 at 18:14:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
How far are you pulling power (how long is cord)
and what guage wire is it? for a pump motor you
should have at least 12 guage wire,and if it's
over 100' probably should go to 10 guage. I have
a small air compressor and it won't even start
up over 100' even on 12 guage. A pump may not
require as much, but if it's straining to start up
it will soon damage the motor.


Judy in NC    Posted 09-07-2004 at 18:07:07       [Reply]  [Send Email]
It's been over a week since he was here. I honestly don't remember if the pump was running or not when he took the reading. I took my reading with it not running.

The pump is currently being run off an extension cord. (It used to run off an outlet in the pumphouse that is hardwired from the house next door - which is now vacant. But I have successfully run it off the extension cord many times in the past.

I wish I could find a book or some information on taking elec. readings on the pressure switch. I took a reading right where the cord attaches to the it.

Judy in NC


Willy-N    Posted 09-07-2004 at 18:15:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
You can read it at the plug while running if you have a double plug. Extention cords can go bad in the plugs over time using them and not get a good tight conection do to the prongs being spread in the female end and fitting loose, this will cause a voltage drop also. A pump running on 120 volts has a pretty good draw and should realy not be run on a extion cord it should be hard wired. A role of 12-2 or 10-2 Romex would be better than a extion cord. Mark H.


Judy in NC    Posted 09-07-2004 at 17:59:52       [Reply]  [Send Email]
What kind of voltage readng should I get with it running?


Willy-N    Posted 09-07-2004 at 18:10:09       [Reply]  [No Email]
I would be a little concern if a plug at the house read 120 volts and the the one at the pump read 110 volts when it was running. You try to only have a 5% max volt drop (5 percent of the voltage befor the load is on it)If you are getting 110 volts while runnig thats OK but not much lower than that. Read it while pump is not on first and then when on and see the difference. Most houses will have 120 volts and some will be down to 115 volts reading it near the service. Out in a far away barn it will be lower due to voltage drop when a load is on the wiring. Mark H.


GeneSC    Posted 09-07-2004 at 17:21:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
To add a little to Toolmans thought (which is good) I believe I would change the whole wire
from pump motor to plug just in case there's a
break in it. with everything you've done that's
about all thats left. These guys have pulled out
all stops on this one and come up empty. maybe its
something so simple, Hope so, Good Luck...Gene....


toolman    Posted 09-07-2004 at 17:28:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
mine is hard wired with household wire and thats why i asked her if anybody had been messing with the electrical,but you sure right on the whole cord, especially if it is the type that is made up with many tiny wires , they all don,t need to be broken to cause problems.


GeneSC    Posted 09-07-2004 at 17:46:22       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yeah if its stranded wire I would sure replace
it with 12/3 romax. I believe it's a 110v motor?
if stranded wire has ever been overheated, could
be damaged enough to get a lot of voltage drop.
Hope that cures his problems. I'm on city water
but I used to have a pump. NOTHING any more
stressful than one that wont work and you don't
know what's wrong. I finally trashed mine and
put in a submerge. end of problem.......Gene...


ron,ar    Posted 09-07-2004 at 18:53:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
the thought about the stranded wires...it does not take much of a wire to carry 110 volts, without a load. Or any volts for that matter. All the wires but one could be broken and still show correct voltage. It would not carry any sort of load but a meter would still show 110. I agree, replace the wire with at least 12/3 romex, it's cheap enough.


toolman    Posted 09-07-2004 at 20:18:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
you also gotta remember that on start up that pump will draw more of a load than when it is running, no appliance such as a pump should be permantly run off extension cords, you may have damaged your pump if you have been running it this way for very long, what size extension cord have you been using and how long is it.i have seen people tell me it,s only 15 feet to the pump house but have used a 100 12 -2 wire cord , well the current still has to travell a 100 feet. also what size is your pump, 1/3 hp , 1/2 etc. all that is a factor when you buy wire, how much of a load, how long a run, do you also heat this pumphouse and with what and from the same cord and remember what i think it was mike said about breaker size, should be at leasts 20 amp, mine is two 15 amp breakers on a tie bar.lots to think about now huh lol.just take it a step at a time and you,ll figure it out, good luck .


toolman    Posted 09-07-2004 at 16:50:20       [Reply]  [No Email]
i think that was one of the many (grabbing at straws ) scenarioes, that i had mentioned, that it wasn,t getting the proper voltage and spinning up fast enough, sure been a nighmare huh. one thing when you checked the voltage before changing the plug,sometimes the wires can be broken inside and you,ll get a low or no reading and when you move them around they make contact and you get a good reading, so if he checked it and only got 88 volts and then you moved it and checked it and got 110 you could very well have a short, change the plug , after all you have been through, changing the plug will be a piece of cake haha, good luck judy. p.s.my pumps are direct wired no plug, but it is ok this way change it and try it.


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