Well Pump Wiring, The Correct Guage? - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 08-17-2009, 01:03 PM   #1
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Well pump wiring, the correct guage?

The issue I am having is the overload is tripping. I have a Franklin control box, with a 1.5 HP 230v pump motor. This is a start/run cap configuration with a motor relay. I have replaced the start cap for problems during start up. I did check the relay and have removed the top to see its mech. action. When the pump starts the contact pulls back against the coil, until the pump shuts off, then it drops back to the contact position. I just got my clamp on amp meter and also have a good DVM at hand. The pump only trips the overload when it nears the 50lbs pressure. Below are my voltages and amp rating when the pump is working:

Motor Running: red-232v, 1.09 amp, blk-117v, starts at 13.10 amps and runs up to 14.80, yel-117v, starts at 13.20 amps and runs up to 14.91
These are during a normal cycle, 28 lbs on to 50 lbs off.
With a DVM I can't see if maybe there is a volage drop as the pump works up to 50lbs, but can see the amps go up.
I do have #12 wire from the breaker (20amp) to the controll box, it is about a 30ft run. Then the run down to the pump, I don't have that info.
Is wire this heavy enough?
The pump does have a demand on it, as I am filling a pond, so it may cycle once every 20 minutes and running for about 1.5 minutes.
Any help or sugessions?


lennyjay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2009, 01:44 PM   #2
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Most deep wells that I have seen are run off of 10-2 with a 30 amp breaker, I am not well man or inside electrician, but I have helped several friends find burnouts between their breaker panel and well and it has been 10-2 every time.


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Old 08-17-2009, 07:09 PM   #3
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According to the Franklin book, a 1-1/2 HP single phase pump motor should have current readings as follows;

Yellow; 10-11.5

Black; 9.9-11

Red; 1.3

#12 wire is perfectly acceptable for these amperages.

Voltages on the wires from the controller to the pump don't matter much, current does. Provided that the voltage at the input terminals of the controller is between about 210 and 250, I'd say the problem is down at the pump.

Put the clamp-on around all 3 wires going from the controller to the pump. Not the ground, just the 3 power wires. If the current is anything but zero, you have a ground fault. Either a wire was nicked during installation, a splice is failing, or least likely, the motor is failing.

If the current around all 3 wires is zero (or very close to it) then the motor is either failing, or it's overloaded. If your water has a lot of minerals in it, this can bind up the pump bearings.

About the only fix is to pull the pump, inspect it, and go from there.

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Old 08-18-2009, 12:53 PM   #4
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Thanks for looking into this. I do not have heavy minerals in the water, however I do get brown water for about one minute when the motor shuts off, and I restart it by pressing the overload button. I will check the wiring with the clamp on to see what it is pulling.
You may be correct, it could be pulling sand/mud up and taxing the motor. I can't believe wiring, control box and pressure switch could be bad. The pump will run for 2-weeks without a problem, then a rash of trips. I may have to check where my water table is, and where the pump sits within the table. Thanks for all the information.
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