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joebif 02-01-2013 10:34 AM

Voltage questions
I have been having a 220 deep well situation for several weeks where my overload was tripping. It would trip sometimes every day. I went through all of the things Franklin told me to do as far as checking the pump via amperage readings and seeing if there was a ground. I had no problems. The Franklin people said to have my voltage checked at the pole and going to my well, so I called the Electric company and they set up 2 readers to see what they could find.

The day before they came my tenant said that they could not get a 220 heater to turn off in the basement apartment. I tried several things but it was really hot when I turned it to low. It is a base board unit about 2 years old from Home Depot. After looking at it I noticed that the curtain string which had small plastic pulls at the end had been melted and I then saw some plastic on top of the heater where they hung. I turned off the breaker.

Ever since I turned off the heater my well pump has not tripped the overload.

Is it possible that the 220 heater was drawing so much current or voltage that my well pump did not have enough and it tripped the overload?

I will bring in the heater to home depot but is this possible?

jbfan 02-01-2013 11:31 AM

Could it be that the heater and well pump are on the same circuit?
Have you measured the voltage at the well and at the breaker.

joebif 02-01-2013 12:02 PM

They are on separate breakers and it is not the breaker that is tripping it is the overload button in the Franklin control box. When I checked the voltage at the control box at the pump the one time I did it was 239 volts. The electric company has a reading device that is checking the voltage at the breaker right now on the pole so I will see what they get next week.

So is it possible to have a heater draw so much current that it does not trip the breaker its on and the rest of the circuits go down? Or could I have a bad transformer on the pole?

joed 02-01-2013 02:43 PM

How many watts was the heater? A bad connection at the pole and heavy draw could cause voltage issues.

mpoulton 02-01-2013 03:47 PM


Originally Posted by joebif (Post 1107145)
Is it possible that the 220 heater was drawing so much current or voltage that my well pump did not have enough and it tripped the overload?

Yes. Here's what I bet happened: The heater is controlled by a single pole thermostat. The heating element failed, shorting to the chassis of the heater. This effectively bypasses the thermostat and also increases the current draw of the heater, so it overheats and never shuts off. If your service is marginal to begin with, the voltage drop caused by the malfunctioning heater may cause the well pump to have trouble and draw too much current. This may trip the overload on the pump, especially if it's a bit too sensitive or the pump is having problems to begin with.

Check the voltage at the panel with the heater on and off. Check the current draw of the heater and of the pump during operation.

AllanJ 02-01-2013 08:16 PM

Observe the voltage at the pump during the several seconds as the pump starts.

Observe it both with the heater on and with the heater off.

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