3 year old well pump motor case corroded so badly it seized up?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by blown, May 12, 2008.

  1. blown

    blown Engineer

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Wichita KS
    3yrs ago I installed a Red Jacket pump in a well that was dug at my house for a lawn irrigation system. http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2048&highlight=100f21125g7

    Went to turn it on this year a couple week ago and it put out about 30 seconds of water, then turned off. Tried it a few more times on other zones, got some more water, then it finally tripped the breaker and never came back on.

    Yesterday my brother was over so we pulled the pump out of the ground. It appears that the motor case (supposedly 304 stainless) corroded to the point of leaking and siezing up the motor.

    I'm trying to get a warranty replacement (even though I don't remember where I bought it), but I'm afraid of putting another $350 pump down a hole that is going to just ruin it again!

    I will try to get some water out of the well for pH testing (will be tricky since I don't have a pump). Not sure what else to do.

    Advice?

    wellpump2.jpg

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    wellpump_20006.jpg


    http://www.wichitaracing.com/pics/wellpump/wellpump 001.jpg
    http://www.wichitaracing.com/pics/wellpump/wellpump 002.jpg
    http://www.wichitaracing.com/pics/wellpump/wellpump 003.jpg
    http://www.wichitaracing.com/pics/wellpump/wellpump 004.jpg
    http://www.wichitaracing.com/pics/wellpump/wellpump 005.jpg
    http://www.wichitaracing.com/pics/wellpump/wellpump 006.jpg
    http://www.wichitaracing.com/pics/wellpump/wellpump 007.jpg
    http://www.wichitaracing.com/pics/wellpump/wellpump 008.jpg
    http://www.wichitaracing.com/pics/wellpump/wellpump 009.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2011
  2. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    I only looked at the first picture since I'm doing this on a remote desktop and it's REAL slow loading images.

    I have never seen anything like that before. Stainless motors don't just melt down like that. You must have something wierd going on there. Looks like some kind of electrolysis, but I've never seen it on Stainless.

    If you want to complain, you will have to get in contact with ITT, they are the conglomerate that owns Red Jacket these days. Rather than have you Bad Mouth their product on a Forum they would probably be glad to send you another.

    By the way, most sumbersible motors are water cooled and water lubricated. A very good friend of mine used to be an Engineer at Red Jacket before they were bought out and would know if your motor was one of them.

    Franklin not too many years ago bought Red Jackets motor and started making motors for them. Look at the writing on the motor and see if it's not in fact a Franklin motor.

    bob...
  3. blown

    blown Engineer

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Wichita KS
    It does have a Franklin Electric motor (in fact, the "fran" part of Franklin provided a nice corrosion point that almost ate clear through the case).

    When I called Redjacket they told me that warranty claims must be handled though the retailer. I don't remember which place I got it from, so they gave me numbers of a couple local places that carry Redjacket. I called one, he didn't seem to thrilled to help but he asked me to get the "date code" from the pump and call him back. I'll get the number tonight and call in the morning. Hopefully they will help me out, and get me a new pump ASAP before we hit a KS dry spell.

    Not sure if I mentioned, but the pump section itself was pristine. Only the motor case had the corrosion issue.
  4. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I see wear marks on the Franklin motor (the pics take forever to download), and a lot of black build up from something and it has been scraped off' probably by rubbing against the inside of the well or casing.

    Maybe the motor isn't shorted and leaking, maybe the cable splices leaked and shorted kicking the breakers off.

    Does this water have H2S gas (sulfur, rotten egg odor) or manganese in it? If so that could be what the black is from. Unless you know for sure the motor leaks, and not just water.

    And get rid of that rope when you install the pump again... ;)

    And how do you have the cable attached to the pump, or don't you? If you haven't coiled and then taped a foot of the cable where the splices are, to the wet end, that may be the cause of the splices losing their water proof capability and shorting out. Or pulling a splice apart and running on 120 instead of 240 v.
  5. blown

    blown Engineer

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Wichita KS
    lol When searching about this problem I read about not using a rope, thought "hmm, i'll get rid of that rope when I put it back in." :D

    Black build-up: The thing was covered in a black grime - I scrubbed most of it off prior to taking pictures.

    The water has always had a definite rotten-egg sulfur smell.

    The breaker only tripped that one time. After tha, as I was checking all the connections with a meter to see if a wire or relay was the problem, the breaker never popped on me even though I turned the pump off/on via the irrigation controller a dozen times or more.

    I guess I just assumed the motor leaked since the upper part of the case and the cap were so damaged, but the motor will not turn, even when I tried to with a vice grips.

    Not exactly sure what you're desribing with coiling the cable. Cable connected to the pump? You have a picture or diagram you can point me to? The wires come out of the motor and run up the side of the pump, covered with a plastic shield, then continue up to where I did the splice

    I originally had the cable duct taped to the drop pipe. However, when I pulled it up all the tape had fallen off, and the extra cable was apparently drooped down to the bottom of the well.

    Tonight I'll cut open the splices and see if there are any obvious problems.

    Not sure if I mentioned, but I will try to get a water sample and have it pH tested at work tomorrow (take it down to the processing lab).

    Oh ya - I had my wife turn on the pump from the irrigation controller while I watched the pump. First time she turned it on it gave a short "bzz" and that's it. I had her turn it off right away. We tried two more times and it no longer made any noise at all. So we shut it off and that's when I cut the wires, unbolted the motor from the pump, and brought it into the garage.
    Last edited: May 12, 2008
  6. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I meant the pigtail wires and splices in a bundle like a squashed S taped to the drop pipe above the outlet fitting. The water proof electrical tape is spiraled down from the cable guard to the male adapter and then back up.

    Here's a picture but you may not be able to see well.

    Attached Files:

  7. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    You definately have H2S or Hydrogen Sulfide. I am no chemist, but I saw a 10 horse centrifugal that was 5 years old, that used to have a 6.? inch impeller. When I took it apart because it wouldn't produce any water, all that was left was the hub that was connected to the shaft. It was about 2.5" in diameter. These folks have some horrific sulphur problems and it eats everything.

    I honestly don't think the eaten stainless was the reason for failure. Franklin motors are full of water from the factory.

    bob...
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Yes H2S is highly corrosive.

    With excess cable hanging down from the pump because of using Duct Tape, which isn't usable underwater AFAIK, the splices may have been under strain and came apart or water entered causing a short.
  9. blown

    blown Engineer

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Wichita KS
    Oh, I see, so you loop it a couple times and then tape it and wrap the heck out of it against the drop pipe as a stress relief and extra water proofing.

    I cut open the splices last night. Not sure what I was looking for exactly, but the copper connectors and wires had blackened somewhat (but did not look bad). One splice had a *little* moisture in it. I was surprised how easily the heat shrink tube peeled off once I split it lengthwise with a razor blade. I expected it to be glued on there pretty well, but it came off really easy.

    I can post pictures of the cut-open splices if need be.

    Is it easy for a layman like me to take apart the pump to check for corrosion and still be able to put it back together correctly? The outside of the pump looks like new, not sure about the internal parts.
    Would the wires themselves shorting cause the motor to fail? Would they contribute to the corrosion problem?

    Just to be clear, if the motor won't spin by turning it with pliers, the motor is shot. Correct?
  10. blown

    blown Engineer

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Wichita KS
    Oh ya, additional questions:

    1. Turns out the pump is just barely out of warranty according to the local pump place I called (redjacket 25g7 pump with date code K0416859, franklin electric model 2445089003 s/n 04J18-29-4214). Local place quoted me $330+tax for a replacement MOTOR only. Does this sound about right? Any online stores I should check?
    2. Is there a particular brand or style of waterproof splice kit that you guys recommend, and where to get it? (lowes, local well place, internet, ect.)
    3. What's the problem with having a rope attached to the pump? I understand that the drop pipe should be sufficient to carry the weight, but what's wrong with a rope as a backup?
  11. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    I'm not sure we ever discussed the horsepower of this pump, but I can sell you a pump and motor combination (1/2hp 10 gpm) for $362.88. A one horse motor if that's what you had would cost you $327.10. Oh by the way, this is a two wire motor, not a three, it's more than a three wire motor and will outlast the three, so be sure your comparing apples for apples.

    The problem with the rope, is it's another thing to get snarled around the pump and prevent it from coming out of the well. Trust me, lose the rope.

    bob...
  12. blown

    blown Engineer

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Wichita KS
    Ya, it's a 1hp 2-wire (i specified that with the local guy who quoted me). I just thought it would be less than that since the entire pump/motor is only $365 online.

    I figure I should stay with a 25-ish gmp pump since that's what what I told the sprinkler guy I had (1hp and 25gpm in an 80ft well), so he said "OK, i'll set up the zones/heads with that in mind". :shrug:

    Remind me - if I have an 80ft well, how deep should I place the pump?
  13. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Splice kits have to be installed properly and then the splices taped to further water proof them and that has to last for decades; if you care about quality workmanship and satisfied customers and your reputation.

    Taking motors apart wasn't something I ever wanted to do, I couldn't care why they (a submersible pump motor) didn't work, IF they didn't test right electrically they were replaced. And a customer didn't want me standing around taking things apart that couldn't be fixed anyway while they were out of water, and it was 10 PM etc.. Some opted for a new motor reusing their wet end, but most went a new pump instead of running the risk the wet end would fail 6 months +/- later and the pump would have to be pulled again.

    The rope... I guess you haven't ever started pulling a pump and maybe after 50'+ or more, without using the rope but you do have to pull it with the drop pipe and cable, and had the rope hang up so you put the pump back down some but the rope ends up busted and a hundred or two hundred feet of it fell back down the well in a wad fashion on the first obstruction... and the pump was still like 400' deep. It's a nail biting nervous sweaty character builder fer sure. I say don't take the chance.

    Also, if you think about it, you can not tie a rope to a sub pump so as to be able to pull the pump straight up. So that makes the top of the pump lean to one side or the other and dig into the side of the well and drag on rocks and casing couplers That stresses an already aged and very questionable rope of any kind except wire rope. And you can imagine a few hundred feet of 3/16th wire rope all over the ground after pulling it out of the well right? And then trying to get it back down the well later without any kinks... All the while we are playing around like this because of an irrational person's fear of the pump falling off the drop pipe, which rarely happens and not near as often as a broken rope causes HUGE'n expensive problems like a new well being needed.
  14. blown

    blown Engineer

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Wichita KS
    Water was tested for pH. It is only 7.3, and tap water around here is about 7.9.

    However, that was a sample from the very top of the water, not near the bottom of the well where the pump is actually placed. I'll have to take another sample once I have a working pump to lift it out.

    Found a local place that repairs these motors. I'll let them see if it's repairable, then have it fixed or buy a new one.
  15. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    I would really like to know where your going to buy a Grizzly on line for $365.00. Either they are giving it away or it's some kind of a reconditioned unit for that price. Do you have a link to that site?

    7.3 PH is great.

    Submersible motors are not repairable.

    Thanks,

    bob...
  16. blown

    blown Engineer

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Wichita KS
    Pump is from an **** store (that's where I got the original one, it said new and looked new, and came in a Red Jacket box): http://cgi.****.com/Red-Jacket-Subm...ryZ42931QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    You think the local motor place is pulling my leg about repairing the motor?

    If I buy a motor from a local place, what all do I need to specify? 1hp, 230V, 2-wire for sure, what about rpm or other specs?

    What brands are "good" or "bad"?

    Edit: Looks like the big famous auction website is censored here. :D
  17. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Many things are censored and you can't blame the owner.

    Yes he is pulling your leg about repairing a sub motor.

    Your link didn't work.. Try it again, I am really curious.

    bob...
  18. xtorq12

    xtorq12 New Member

    Messages:
    13
  19. blown

    blown Engineer

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Wichita KS
    You have to copy/paste the link into a new browser window and replace the **** with the 4-letter auction site that I can't mention here.
  20. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Apparently it's no longer there. The link still don't work.

    bob...
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