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Old 07-09-2009, 11:20 PM   #1
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Pressure switch issue? or something else...


Hello,

We recently had a plumber out to check why our well pump would short cycle and would run even though there was no water use. We have a 1/3 hp 115v 2-wire submersible pump (according to the control box) with a 110ft well. We have no other information for the pump without pulling it. The house was built in 1966 and everything is original, never been replaced.

The plumber said it was the control box (capacitor and relay were bad), pressure tank (waterlogged), and pressure switch (not really sure), among other pieces/parts. I thought everything was fine until the pump would trip the circuit breaker (15A) when there was a large demand for it to run (laundry, shower, etc.) Every other demand was fine. The new tank is a Well-X-Trol 202-XL with a precharge of 38 psig. The control box is a Franklin 115v 1/2hp #2801044915 and the pressure switch is a Square D 9013 FSG-2, 40 on/60 off

They told us the pump itself is bad and "pushed" (to say it mildly) to come out and replace it for their "special" price. I have heard after he came out about some issues with other customers in the past.

It seemed a bit fishy the way they were doing things, so I decided to do some research myself and found that the pressure switch he installed was different (originally a 30/50 of the same type) and the settings were way off. He had it set 22 on (if the breaker doesn't trip), 40 off with this switch. The control box originally was a Franklin 1/3hp 115v 8.9A #2801020103. The original tank was unknown, it was corroded beyond recognition.

Would any of these issues cause a breaker to trip? I didn't have access to an amp meter, but I was planning to pull the pump and replace it myself this weekend if it is needed, but wanted to cover all other possibilities before I go for it.

Thanks!

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Old 07-09-2009, 11:31 PM   #2
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Pressure switch issue? or something else...


43 years of service from the pump is pretty amazing. Probably about time.

If you have issues with the plumber being a well man then change to another plumber.

If you have have replace tank, pressure switch and controls the there are only two other possibilities the pump and wiring to the pump

Had a simular issue with my pump where the staging in the pump went out and the pump ran 24/7 for a couple of weeks never tripped the breaker and neither should yours with constant running. My well is 270 ft


Last edited by Plumber101; 07-09-2009 at 11:36 PM.
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:37 PM   #3
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Pressure switch issue? or something else...


I had a feeling the pump was going out. If I pull the pump for the wiring, I might as well replace the the pump too. Thankfully it has plastic piping to the pump.

Would these settings on the pressure switch cause any ill effects with the new pump? It seems a bit out of sorts.
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:41 PM   #4
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Pressure switch issue? or something else...


No I don't see any problems.

Going from a 30/50 to a 40/60 pressure switch is not that big deal and the pressure tank set at 38 is fine.
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:44 PM   #5
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Pressure switch issue? or something else...


Thank you very much Plumber101. I will give it a shot and replace it.
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Old 07-10-2009, 07:51 PM   #6
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Pressure switch issue? or something else...


Going from 20/40 to 40/60 is what is probably causing the tripping with a pump that old. The pressure had probably been turned down to keep it going a little longer.
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Old 07-10-2009, 10:15 PM   #7
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Pressure switch issue? or something else...


Quote:
Originally Posted by rp4985 View Post
Hello,

We recently had a plumber out to check why our well pump would short cycle and would run even though there was no water use.

The plumber said it was the control box (capacitor and relay were bad), pressure tank (waterlogged), and pressure switch (not really sure), among other pieces/parts. I thought everything was fine until the pump would trip the circuit breaker (15A) when there was a large demandfor it to run (laundry, shower, etc.) Every other demand was fine. The new tank is a Well-X-Trol 202-XL with a precharge of 38 psig. The control box is a Franklin 115v 1/2hp #2801044915 and the pressure switch is a Square D 9013 FSG-2, 40 on/60 off

They told us the pump itself is bad and "pushed" (to say it mildly) to come out and replace it for their "special" price. I have heard after he came out about some issues with other customers in the past.
When a pump runs when there is no known water use, there is an unknown water use; commonly called a leak.

It can not be caused by a pressure tank and it can only be the switch IF the points are stuck closed AND, the pressure is higher than what is supposed to cause the points to open and shut off power to the pump. Does that make sense?

So there is a leak, shut off the water past the pressure tank, watch the pressure gauge for 5-10 minutes and see if the pressure falls, if it does the leak is between the tank and the foot valve or check valve in the well' jet pumps have a foot valve , submersibles have a check vlave in or on their outlet. If there is a check valve at the pressure tank, the above will not work because that check valve hides a leak between it and the check or foot valve. That's why there should be only one, and it should be in the well.

Do not hire plumbers that are not willing or capable of pulling drop pipe and/on submersible pumps, and only few are. A pump guy or well driller is best. And never replace anything without proof that it is bad and the cause of the problem.

Your power cable may be undersized for the size of the new pump or, shorting out or, there may be something wrong with the shrink warp he used to connect it to the motor pigtails (they must be water proof) and something is shorting out. Or a bad motor.

You need someone to do the proper ohms, conductivity and amp tests before you do anything.

Get a multimeter and amp gauge and roam around here:
http://www.franklin-electric.com/bus...M/page-45.aspx
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:06 AM   #8
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Pressure switch issue? or something else...


The old pump was never pulled. It does still work, but I checked it out again today and watched the gauge. It would blow the breaker when it hit 22 psi to cut on. There was no check valve up top, and would hold pressure. I think either the wiring is damaged or the pump is burning out. It hasn't short-cycled since they replaced the tank and switch.

I bought a new pressure switch today (a 30/50 for about $20) and installed it (relieved the pressure, cut breaker, etc). The wiring was heavily corroded on all the terminals on the new switch (why he couldn't clean them I don't know), so I cleaned them up and wired up the new one. I set it to 28 on and 50 off and ran a faucet for over 30 minutes. It didn't trip the breaker this time, and pressure is good. It would probably have worked with the 40/60 switch, but I just felt comfortable with the same type that was there originally.

I know it is delaying the inevitable with the 40+ year pump, but it seems to be holding out at the moment. I already bought the pump just in case so we'll see.
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Old 07-11-2009, 02:31 PM   #9
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Pressure switch issue? or something else...


If you replaced the pressure switch to a 30/50 then you need to disconnect power to the well and open a faucet to relieve the water pressure to 0.

Then you need to release the pressure in the pressure tank to 28. As you stated in the OP the pressure was set to 38. 2 psi below 40 of the kick in pressure. So the 28 psi will be 2 psi below the 30 of the kick in for the new pressure switch.

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