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Old 06-13-2012, 12:23 PM   #1
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Possible 3-Phase Electrical issue


I am wiring in a new shop and taking the power from a well pump located near the new building. The pump junction box has 220 power going to it from the house on a 30 amp breaker.
We do not currently use the pump, so we disconnected it and wired the shop wire into the box. It is a 4 wire line that has a red, black, white and ground. When we wired it in to the breaker box in the shop we connected the red and black to a 30 amp breaker and ran the white to the neutral bar and the ground to the ground bar. To my surprise, we burned up the two garage door openers when we plugged them in to the new outlets coming out of the breaker box on a 20 amp breaker. I used a voltage meter and we had 240 volts coming out of the outlets instead of 120. The red, black and white wires all had 120 volts coming in.
We then went back to the junction box on the well pump and tied the "hot" white wire to the ground to complete the circuit. The voltage meter then read around 125 volts out of the outlet. HOWEVER, the garage doors (with new circuit boards of course) will not operate out of the outlets. If I run an extension cord from the house they work just fine.

Does anyone have any ideas on how I can fix this? I am thinking this could be 3-phase wiring and I know nothing about it.

Truely appreciate the advise, thanks

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Old 06-13-2012, 01:31 PM   #2
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Possible 3-Phase Electrical issue


You need to verify the connection of the well cable in the house. There could be no neutral in that cable if it goes through pump controller. The white could be a hot wire for the start windings. Make sure yo have the same connection in the house as you have in the new shed panel and there are no pump controllers in between.

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Old 06-13-2012, 06:07 PM   #3
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Possible 3-Phase Electrical issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by Massive View Post
The red, black and white wires all had 120 volts coming in.
What is the voltage between each possible pair of wires (red to white, red to black, white to ground, red to ground, etc.)?
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:01 PM   #4
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Possible 3-Phase Electrical issue


There is a pump controller between the breaker in the house and the new breaker box in the shop.
With us not currently using the well pump, how would I make this work?
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:14 PM   #5
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Possible 3-Phase Electrical issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by Massive View Post
There is a pump controller between the breaker in the house and the new breaker box in the shop.
With us not currently using the well pump, how would I make this work?
Answer AllanJ's question, it will help clarify the situation.
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:28 PM   #6
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Possible 3-Phase Electrical issue


To be clear, I need to use the voltage tester and touch the probes on each of the wire combinations listed by AlanJ in the new building or in the breaker box in the house?
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:33 PM   #7
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Possible 3-Phase Electrical issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by Massive View Post
To be clear, I need to use the voltage tester and touch the probes on each of the wire combinations listed by AlanJ in the new building or in the breaker box in the house?
Breaker in house and describe breaker type and where all the wires in question terminate.
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Old 06-14-2012, 02:40 PM   #8
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Possible 3-Phase Electrical issue


The white wire in the pump house is not current a neutral.
1. The pump controller will need to be removed or bypassed.
2. The pump controller must be fed by a three wire + ground cable or you need to run a new cable from the panel.
3. After replacing the pump controller with a junction box, the cable from the panel must be connected to the cable to the pump house so that you have two hots, a neutral and a ground wire for your panel.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:03 AM   #9
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Possible 3-Phase Electrical issue


I used the voltage tester last night, below is what it was reading:
- Breaker box in the house is a Siemens 200 AMP break. There is a 30 AMP breaker going to the well pump. Red-White read 120V, Red-Black read 243V, White-ground read 0V, Red-ground read 121V, Black-ground read 121V, Black-White read 121V.

The breaker box in the new shop is a GE, below is what it was reading:
- Red-white read 120V, Red-Black read 0V, White-ground read 0V, Red-ground read 124V, Black-ground read 122V, Black-White read 122V. The outlet in the shop read out at 124V.

In the basement of the house there is a junction box (bringing the power from the breaker box in the basement to the pump control). There is a red wire going to the "load line" and a black wire going to the "load line". The White wire is capped off.

The junction box then goes to a Pumptec No Load Sensor "Pump Protection System" box. The black wire is attached to the "load line" and the red wire goes to the "load line". The white wire is connected to a bracket with the ground wire from the junction box. That box is then connected to the actual pump box, a Franklin Pump 1/1.5 HP 230V box with a reset switch.

Sorry for all the information, but hopefully it helps.
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:34 PM   #10
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Possible 3-Phase Electrical issue


I give up. You should call and electrician. I have explained this as simple as I can and you don't seem to understand electrical. This job seems to be beyond your capabilities.
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:41 PM   #11
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Possible 3-Phase Electrical issue


Joed- I was responding with information that Code05 and AllanJ requested in earlier posts.
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Old 06-15-2012, 05:11 PM   #12
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Possible 3-Phase Electrical issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by Massive View Post
I The breaker box in the new shop is a GE, below is what it was reading:
- Red-white read 120V, Red-Black read 0V, White-ground read 0V, Red-ground read 124V, Black-ground read 122V, Black-White read 122V. The outlet in the shop read out at 124V.

elps.
As I see it here, you can get 120 volt power out at the barn using red and white and you can get 120 volt power also by using black and white. This should not have burned out the garage door opener.

But because someone else mentioned a pump controller between the house panel and the barn panel, all bets are off. The red wire and/or the black wire could be repurposed depending on the behavior of the pump controller. Then the results could be unpredictable until you have analyzed the wireing further.

Modern code in the US (Nationl Electric Code) allows white to be used only for neutral. (In a few instances white wires may be marked with red or black at both ends and used as a hot feed to a switch.)
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Last edited by AllanJ; 06-15-2012 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 06-15-2012, 05:13 PM   #13
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Possible 3-Phase Electrical issue


One other problem I foresee, is that only #12 AWG could actually run to the well, the 30 amp breaker is for ground fault and short circuit protection because of the pump motor...
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Old 06-15-2012, 09:21 PM   #14
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Possible 3-Phase Electrical issue


Quote:
The breaker box in the new shop is a GE, below is what it was reading:
- Red-white read 120V, Red-Black read 0V, White-ground read 0V, Red-ground read 124V, Black-ground read 122V, Black-White read 122V. The outlet in the shop read out at 124V.

Are you using the THQP double pole thin style GE breaker in the shop panel? If so it sounds like you have it installed incorrectly and it is only connected to one leg of the panel. This type breaker must be connected to the side tabs coming off the bus stab used by the full size THQL GE breakers. You must install them inbetween the stabs so that each half size breaker is connected to differrent legs of the panel.

I highlighted the voltage you got red to black you should have 240 volts. A 0 volt reading indicates both red and black are connected to the same leg and not oppsite legs.

This doens't explain the 240 volts at the receptacles. Only way that can happen is if your white wire is hot. If that is the case you need to follow the white wire at the pump controller back to the house panel and see where it is connected or determine if it is hot I can't tell by your testing,

You don't say what you connected the white wire to at the well pump. And as JOed said if you connected load side of the controller it may not be a neutral. In fact if the pump is 240 volt then it probably has no neutral ran to the pump controller from the house panel.

Joed has given you the quick of solving this so I'd heed his advice. I'm just covering some other bases so you don't have anything else throw you a curve.

Last edited by Stubbie; 06-15-2012 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:57 PM   #15
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Possible 3-Phase Electrical issue


I will post the breaker to make it understand more clear.

The two pole THQL breaker look like this.



The next breaker which we call twinner or tandem breaker this will look like this.



Now finally the real deal three phase breaker look like this




I really don't think you have three phase supply at all.

I am pretty sure this is really miswired in first place something is not adding up right there.

As you noted that the GE thin breakers it is too easy to land it wrong spot so only way you can slove it is either move up or down half slot then you will get full 240 volts.


Merci,
Marc

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Last edited by frenchelectrican; 06-15-2012 at 11:59 PM.
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