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Old 07-27-2008, 03:46 PM   #1
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Frqanklin Electric control box


I have a deep water well thatis about 300ft deep. The control box keeps tripping, The submersible pump is new, but it continues to trip. How can I trouble shoot this? Is it necessarry to have a control box? If not, how can I bypass it?
Thanks

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Old 07-27-2008, 03:49 PM   #2
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Frqanklin Electric control box


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Originally Posted by batman43_1999 View Post
I have a deep water well thatis about 300ft deep. The control box keeps tripping, The submersible pump is new, but it continues to trip. How can I trouble shoot this? Is it necessarry to have a control box? If not, how can I bypass it?
Thanks

So this control box has a resettable fuse or something?

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Old 07-27-2008, 06:19 PM   #3
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Frqanklin Electric control box


It has a reset button. After doing some more research, could the pressure control switch be clogged and cause it?
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Old 07-28-2008, 09:57 PM   #4
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Frqanklin Electric control box


There are a number of things that will cause the overload to trip in a submersible pump control box.

First, generally speaking, yes you do need the control box. It's purpose is to energize the start winding of the motor when it is starting, then disconnect it when it is up to speed.

More information would be helpful, like horsepower, and voltage, maybe even if the control box is capacitor start/capacitor run, or just capacitor start. Also, has this installation ever worked properly, or is this a new problem? Does it trip right away, or does it run for a while then trip?

I doubt if the pressure switch is the problem, all it does is tell the control box to start the pump, then tell it to turn off. It sounds like the control box is getting a signal to turn on, then it trips.

If the pump in new, is it the right horsepower for the control box? They must be matched exactly. For example, if a 3 HP pump in installed with a 2 HP control box, it will trip after a minute or two. Is the motor wired correctly? If it's 3 wire, do the red, yellow, and black land on the correct terminals?

If the pump matches the control box, my next suspect would be the splices at the motor. Submersible pump motors come with short leads, usually less than 10 feet long. These must be spliced to the wire going down the well. This splice is always under water, and if it is not made correctly, it'll burn up after a few hours of operation. This can cause the pump to not start at all, start but draw excessive current (thus tripping the overload), or even trip the breaker feeding the control box.

A failed start relay or capacitor will also cause the overload to trip.

If you can give us a bit more information, we can very likely pinpoint the problem, and walk you through troubleshooting and repair.

Rob
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:13 AM   #5
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Frqanklin Electric control box


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Originally Posted by micromind View Post
There are a number of things that will cause the overload to trip in a submersible pump control box.

First, generally speaking, yes you do need the control box. It's purpose is to energize the start winding of the motor when it is starting, then disconnect it when it is up to speed.

More information would be helpful, like horsepower, and voltage, maybe even if the control box is capacitor start/capacitor run, or just capacitor start. Also, has this installation ever worked properly, or is this a new problem? Does it trip right away, or does it run for a while then trip?

I doubt if the pressure switch is the problem, all it does is tell the control box to start the pump, then tell it to turn off. It sounds like the control box is getting a signal to turn on, then it trips.

If the pump in new, is it the right horsepower for the control box? They must be matched exactly. For example, if a 3 HP pump in installed with a 2 HP control box, it will trip after a minute or two. Is the motor wired correctly? If it's 3 wire, do the red, yellow, and black land on the correct terminals?

If the pump matches the control box, my next suspect would be the splices at the motor. Submersible pump motors come with short leads, usually less than 10 feet long. These must be spliced to the wire going down the well. This splice is always under water, and if it is not made correctly, it'll burn up after a few hours of operation. This can cause the pump to not start at all, start but draw excessive current (thus tripping the overload), or even trip the breaker feeding the control box.

A failed start relay or capacitor will also cause the overload to trip.

If you can give us a bit more information, we can very likely pinpoint the problem, and walk you through troubleshooting and repair.

Rob
Rob,
Thanks so much for the reply. The pump is the exact 3/4 hp 10 gal/min pump that came out. The control box is 1 to 1/1/2 hp capicitor start and I think capicitor run box. The connections should be fine as I splices them, sealed under heat srink and then taped. I think that my next move is to replace the control box that cost about 60 dollars. I don't think that it is the wiring, but I havent inspected the whole length. "which I should have" If it trips after the control box replacment, then It must be a gnd fault in the wire. Thanks again.
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:03 PM   #6
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Frqanklin Electric control box


We are remote. Our water is provided by a well. We have pressure tanks and a pressure switch that kicks on at 40 lbs and off at 60 lbs. I think the power is 240 volts. I think the horse power is 3hp.

It has worked in the past. This winter, it went down. It was a broken pipe. We pulled it up and replaced the pipe. After that, and lately, the pump control box on the wall has been switching off when the pump comes on. There are two little red re-set buttons that we have to go out and push to get it working again.

It is apparent the shaking which occurs when the pump kicks on is causing the pump control box to "pop" or shut off. At first we thought it might be water hammer. But I don’t think it is.

Our pressure tanks froze a couple of years ago and we think the bladders are shot. When we drain them and fill with air, the air comes out an open valve in the line and we figure that if the bladders were working the air would not come out. Anyway, our well guy told us that probably was the problem, and when the well came on water was hitting water in the tanks with no air cushion, causing the shaking and shut off.

However, lately I have charged the tanks and they appear to have air because the pump kicks on and off as it is supposed to, most of the time, taking time to fill the pressure tanks. If figure if there was no air in them, the pump would not take time to fill them.

The whole system works most of the time, but not always, and it’s a pain when the water goes out on my customers (RV Park, Campground, Motel).

Visually, it appears to be some kind of electrical surge from the pressure switch to the pump control box. But I am not sure. There are some small sparks on occasion and the thing “jumps” when the motor comes on. The pump control box internals used to be free floating in a shell and I thought that was the problem, so I drilled holes in the back of the panel and used metal screws to tighten it down so it wouldn’t shake. I thought I licked the problem but it happened again.

Does anyone have any idea what the hell is happening and how I can achieve a smooth turn on? I think it is electrical, not water.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:59 PM   #7
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Frqanklin Electric control box


Remove the top of the pressure switch, turn it on, and observe the contacts. If they are opening and closing rapidly, the problem is water hammer. Likely the pressure tank is waterlogged. Air needs to be added at the top. Pump it up to about 2 or 3 PSI below the cut-in pressure.

If the contacts remain closed and the box jumps around, there is likely a short somewhere between the box and the motor. It's possible that the motor itself is bad, or maybe one or both capacitors are bad. Most likely the run capacitor. The potential relay (start relay) might be bad.

I'm going on vacation tomorrow (5/5), and will be back on 5/10. Hopefully, some of the other guys around here can lead you through troubleshooting.

Rob
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Old 05-05-2009, 12:42 PM   #8
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Frqanklin Electric control box


Why did you replace the pump? It seems it might not have been the pump.

The problem will not be the pressure switch or the pressure tank.

The primary cause of your problem is most likely the power cable to the pump and the part going down the well specifically. Especially the supposed to be water proof splices to the pig tails on the motor.

You can troubleshoot the system with nothing more than an ohm/amp meter and instructions from the switch to the control box to the well casing and to the motor, in about 5 minutes.

http://www.franklin-electric.com/bus...M/page-43.aspx
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Old 05-05-2009, 03:38 PM   #9
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Frqanklin Electric control box


Hi Gary:

We did not replace the pump. We replaced the pipe. When the water stopped flowing one day we could not figure out what was wrong. The pump guy came and replaced the pump control box (we have two around here now, all look fine to me but they say they are bad) and still no water. So, he tried to pull up the pump and motor and all we got was some 2" galvanized pipe. One ten foot section had separated from another due to the threads being shot at the junction between the two. We replaced the pipe section.

After that, everything seemed to run okay, except for the above described problem. We could not figure it out, so we called the guy and he came back up (for $350.00) and said it was probably my pressure tanks being saturated and the pump water was hitting tank water, causing the vibration and tripping the pump control.

So, I recharged my tanks and did what I thought was a bang up job at 38 pounds. However, the problem still occurs occassionally. I'm guessing here, but I think we probably get about 20 proper cycles and then the pump control box trips. I reset it and get another 20 cycles.

Now, a new twist: we've been getting some air in the lines now. The only place I can imagine air getting in the lines is at the pressure tanks if the pressure therein is higher than the cut in pressure of 40 pounds. However, logic tells me that should only occur a few times until the air in the tanks gets out and below the cut in pressure of 40 pounds.

You and others have suggested the amp test so I'm going to go try that. I think I have an amp meter that goes around the wires but I've never used it before and I don't know what the reading should be or what is too high or too low.

I'm hoping it is not down the hole because that is spendy and a pain to get done.

As a side note, it seems our pump and motor alternate going out every four or five years. I wish they would cynchronize.

I don't mind paying someone to come fix this crap, but sometimes I feel like they are not doing a proper diagnosis of the first, least expensive thing and I'm getting stuff I don't need. Every time they come up I get a new pump control box. They look fine to me, but what do I know? I think we are going to switch guys.

Thanks you all for your time and expertise. I will keep reading and will follow your advice.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:28 PM   #10
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Frqanklin Electric control box


Micromind: Thanks to you also. The contacts tap once then contact and stay. However, that may be how it works when it works. I have not been around when it fails. It may be tapping alot on the times that it fails. I'm going out tommorrow to do the electrical diagnostics. I also have a different well guy coming up to look at it.
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Old 05-06-2009, 07:34 PM   #11
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Frqanklin Electric control box


Okay folks, when it came to the electric stuff, my eyes started to cross so I got a new well guy to come up and look. I have a 3 hp motor pushing about 35 gpm up the 2” hole, necked down to a 1” line before a chlorinator injection point, sand filter and pressure switch, then back up to a 2” line and into my pressure tanks.

He said my pump control box was fine, as was my pressure switch, pump and motor. However, he said my tanks only had a few pounds of air left in them, and my pressure switch was too far from my pressure tanks.

Soooooo, we tossed the pressure tanks, put in a new one, moved the pressure switch close to the pressure tank AND . . . . we put a NEW thing in the 1” line before any of the other stuff. This new thing caps the pressure from the well to the distribution system at 60 pounds max (and acts as a backflow check too) and 25 gpm. He re-set the pressure switch to come on at about 50 pounds and shut off at about 66 pounds.

Here’s the deal: If the pump is running and there is ANY open bib on the property that is running more than 1 gpm, the pump will keep running at 60 pounds until there is no longer at least 1 gpm, at which point the pump will fill the pressure tank to 66 pounds and shut off. The pump will only drop below 60 pounds if the draw in the distribution system is greater than 25 gpm.

He said that if 25 gpm is not enough, he would come back up and put a bigger one in.

We shall see how it goes.

My only question which I forgot to ask is this: Will there be any additional stress placed upon my motor pushing against this new thing which caps psi and gpm? My gut says no, since it was always pushing against the pressure tanks and the system and was shut off by the switch, but then again, those things had “cushion” and this new device is just some kind of restrictor in the line.

Anyway, when it kicks on now, there is not even a double tap on the contacts. It just starts up smooth. I’m happy for now.

Any additional comments are appreciated and I thank you all for you input. It’s been a real learning experience.
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:40 PM   #12
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Frqanklin Electric control box


Water hammer or pipes jumping around do not cause a control box to have to be reset. Most control boxes do not have a reset button. Having to reset something is caused by an electrical problem. So I'm not sure your problem is fixed.

He installed a CSV valve (Cycle Stop Valve) or some other brand and they allow constant pressure instead of constant fluctuation because of turning the pump on/off which will cycle any pump to death.
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:49 AM   #13
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Hi Gary. Thanks. I always worry that my problem gets fixed but that more ($) was done than needed to be done to get if fixed. Like adding a widget here when all I needed was a tweak over there. I haven't got the bill yet, and the jury is still out on fixing, but it's been over a full day and so far no problems. After moving the pressure switch closer to the pressure tank, and on the down-stream side of the pressure-down device, he did spend some time tweaking the pressure switch and the air in the new tank until the pressure switch would start on the first contact instead of two or more taps like it used to.

Whether or not the pressure tanks with the broken bladders were operating under the old pre-bladder principles or not, they took up a big foot print and they were not funcitoning properly so I'm glad they are gone. The system seems quicker, simpler, cleaner and easier to understand. I just hope 25 gpm is enough for me. If not, he said he'd put in another device.

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