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Country Discussion Topics
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Irrigation well electric problem
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dan    Posted 09-21-2004 at 19:28:45       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Well we just bought a new farm in Texas. I was wondering if anyone can give me any tips on 3 phase 480 power testing. My electric compay tells me the power is on to my field pump but I am not that dumb. In the field is a big 40 horse electric motor and a turbine pump for a flood irrigation system. I tried to turn it on and nothing. I tested all three lines in the box and nothing. I then tested the shutoff box for the house pump and the first one was 480, middle was 0 and the third one was 480.
I thought 480 three phase was gonna be the same voltage on all three lines. Or am I wrong? I used to mess with this stuff on metal working machines but it's been a while.
Does anyone know what reading I should be getting on all three lines?
I told the power company they definitly don't have power from my meter ( which is right next to the motor controller to the field well) and they are coming out tomorrow to prove me wrong. It's gonna be funny when I prove them wrong. The meter supplies two wells and they only hooked up one.

Anyway, thanks for any advice anyone has. I hope ya don't mind me asking electrical questions here. It's farm related anyway.

Lazy Al    Posted 09-22-2004 at 03:51:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
You probably have just the three legs ,no nuetral, so the voltage to ground could be
some strange voltage . Some times they ground one leg of that type system so you would get 0 volts to ground . Measure from A to B B to C and C to A you should have 480 volts on each reading . Check and see if the heaters on the starter are tripped if you have 480 on all fuses . and Be carful as Mark says 480 volts is a bad voltage .

Willy-N WARNING!    Posted 09-22-2004 at 10:00:03       [Reply]  [No Email]
Most of the systems I work with are center tap between two of the legs to get the neutral. Those are the Delta 240/240/277 to ground/neutral with 480 volt between any phase. So when you read to ground on the High Leg you get part of the winding from the other leg to give you a higher reading to ground. They also have a Delta Corner Ground System that grounds one of the phases so you don't have a Neutral and would get no reading to ground on the grounded leg and that is a strait Delta 3 phase system. You also have a 3 phase 4 wire Solid Ground WYE System too. You should not play with 480 volt unless you are realy sure of what you are doing! Untill you have seen what it can do if shorted out you will never relise how dangerouse it can be!! I have slipped once on a 400 Amp pannel and shorted to ground the main buss with a screw driver in the 70s! It blew off about 1 inch of the screw driver into liquid steel and put a hole about the size of a quarter in the back of the panel. I was engolfed in a flame from my waist up shooting about 8 ft out of the panel. I was told this by someone who seen it! I had my hands in front of my face when the screw driver blew out of my hands. I lost my hearing and vision for around a hour. 50% of my hair was burnt off my hands were black and burned along with my neck and face. I had quite a few hole burnt into my clothing from hot metal fling out of the panel. This is just a warning to what can happen to you if you mess up!! My hearing is still messed up because of the explosion that was heard out side of a concrete building by my partner who came in and walked me out of the hall way. No one else would come near me afraid it would happen again. I remember that day very well and allmost quit being a electrician! Mark H.

Willy-N    Posted 09-21-2004 at 20:14:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
Sounds like a blown fuse to me. If you read 480 across 2 fuses and not on 2 others you may have a fuse blown. Carefuly measure at the tops of the fuses with the switch on. There is a over ride lock on the cabnet to do this while it is open. 480 volts can kill or burn you very bad so be careful you don't slip!!! 480 volt will not read to ground 480 volts only between the fuses. If you read to ground off one leg it will be like 240v,240v, 287v(middle fuse) to ground or so if it has a high leg. Been a while since I have measured it. But you will get a reading off each leg to ground to check fuses with. You can also pul the fuses and test them with a Continuity Tester or OHM Meter which is the proper way and a lot safer to do. Mark H.

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