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Old 12-27-2014, 09:03 AM   #1
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Insulation rubbed off Submersible Pump Wires


So I've been seeing the lights dim everytime the surmersible well pump comes on. I go to the basement and connect a water hose to the bladder tank and start the flow and I notice immediately the guage builds pressure too slow, as the lights go dim until the pump cuts off. The well is cased with 5" galvanized pipe to solid rock. I disconnect the pump leads and measure resistance from each lead to well casing and one side has no resistance at all, pegs the ohm meter. I suspect that lead is rubbed bare of insulation below the water level. There is no torgue arrestor on this pump. The pump is unknown brand 2-Wire 240VAC unknown GPM, Unknown HP. It hangs on 180' of 1" poly pipe with a horizonal underground run of 75' to basement bladder tank.
3 Questions:
1. The pump is 20+ years old. Should I replace it?
2. What brand should I replace it with?
3. Myers and Goulds make two different lines. Are the more expensive pumps worth the difference? I see immediately the more expensive models toute sand handling.
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Old 12-27-2014, 10:20 AM   #2
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Yes i agree, replace it. I have no preference. Imo, go in the middle. Top of the line are too expensive for me. Just stay away from the really cheap ones.
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Old 12-27-2014, 02:11 PM   #3
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Ayuh,.... You could pull the pump, 'n have the wires replaced,...

There's a shop here in town, that rebuilds all sorta pumps, cheaper than replacin' it,...

Which ever way ya go, put a bunch of thrust arrestors on it,...
That's the one thing I did, that made my problem well, No problem at all,...
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Old 12-27-2014, 05:16 PM   #4
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I'll be doing the work myself and certainly I am going to replace the wire with new. I can't be sure the age of the pump, but I helped my father-in-law pull it 10 years ago to replace the wire for the same issue. I'll inspect it and the check valve while I have it out. I'm anxious to hear from plumbers/owners who have experience with a specific brand/model. Some have rubber check balls for example and I don't want that. I want to know which pump brand gets the most plugs here.
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Old 12-28-2014, 12:33 PM   #5
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As was stated put a few extra torque arrestors on it and secure the wire to the poly pipe at very frequent intervals to keep it away from that casing. I had to pull my fathers twice in one day for a wire replacement (sometimes fathers should listen to their kids) so it's best to go above and beyond while you have it out. Another thing if you have a tool rental place close by (or even far away) rent an electric well pump pulling machine. Those things are worth their weight in gold. I have pulled enough wells the manual way to know how bad it sucks. The last few I pulled we rented the puller and it's a breeze. Of course I am assuming you don't know about them...if you do great!
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:37 PM   #6
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I pulled the pump today. It took fifty minutes to unhook it and pull it out using the tractor. The well is 250 deep and the pump hangs on 200 of 1 poly pipe. The old pump was a Goulds 2-wire 230VAC, HP 10GMP. The pump runs fine outside of the well, makes a bit of noise like loose marbles when it runs, so I replaced it with another Goulds albeit a full 1HP model. I dont know the age of old one. Perhaps the SN will provide some mfg data. Well see.
Upon close inspection, I discovered each lead was rubbed bare of insulation in at least two locations below the water level. Rather than splicing, I decided to replace the entire wire and use tie wraps every 8 feet to keep the wire tight against the pipe.
I installed a single torque arrester four inches above the pump and compressed it enough to wedge it against the inside of the well casing. The inside diameter of the well casing is closer to 8. I eliminated all the galvanized fittings in-favor of brass and plastic. and double clamped each fitting.
I did not take time to take pics because it gets dark so early I was worried I might run out of daylight.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot, the lights do not dim in the least now.
Thanks for the advise guys.
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:46 PM   #7
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Glad everything worked out for you. Nice job.
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:58 PM   #8
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Make sure the air tank is pressurized right, If the pump short cycles it causes the poly pipe to start bouncing around from the constant on off torque of the motor and it bounces against the casing and rubs the wires raw
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Old 01-02-2015, 06:08 AM   #9
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GREAT POINT. I will check that after work tonight. I also discovered the pump switch was arcing when the contacts were closed. I suspect the additional load due to naked wires under water caused the switch to overheat and melt the contacts. I plan to replace the switch tomorrow.
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Old 01-03-2015, 01:13 PM   #10
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I replaced the pressure switch today with a new On40 Off60 and while the tank was empty, I adjusted the precharge air to 38PSI, 2lbs less than cut-in setting per switch instructions. Closer inspection of the old switch revealed hardly any contacts left. Happy to report the new switch doesn't arc at all. Curiously, the 2" brass nipple to the pump switch was clogged with rust. Scales I suppose from galvanized fittings now removed. The rust came loose with some gentle tapping, but for good measure I slid a 3/8" bit thru it to clean it up.
Thanks again for the help.

Last edited by 4acres; 01-03-2015 at 01:16 PM. Reason: because
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