control box issues

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by tab, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. tab

    tab New Member

    Messages:
    24
    i have a water well with a 3/4hp franklin control box # 280 107 4910 it's worked well for years. i left my home for a month, came back, switched on the breakers to my well and nothing... i did a test and found that it was the old franklin relay switch # 152 138 903 which i used to buy for around ten bucks. now i can't find it so i bought an entire new control box # 280 107 4915 which is supposed to replace my old box. fine..... it came UPS, i installed it and NOTHING. the well pump does not come on.

    there is 230v at the pump control box so the pressure switch is working. all i must do now is determine if the pump is getting 230v right? but the box must be closed for the contacts to work and engage the control box switch and capacitor.

    i'm pretty bummed because all this well needed was that old franklin switch but since i couldn't get it and installed another pump box from tractor supply that didn't work, i'm concerned that i might have harmed the deep pump itself and this may be why the new box is not working. that new box BTW is a recommended replacement box for my old box so it has got to be the right one, right?

    any suggestions?

    thanks,
    tab
  2. Waterwelldude

    Waterwelldude Well driller,pump repair. and septic installer

    Messages:
    303
    Location:
    Texas
    Are you sure it is getting 220v?
    How did you check for the voltage?

    When you plug the new box together, look from the side to make sure all the prongs are going into the slot.
    Check both sides of the pressure switch, to make sure the voltage is going across the points.


    Travis
  3. tab

    tab New Member

    Messages:
    24
    thanks for the reply:

    i tested "L1" and "L2" going into the control box and it said 220v. i also did what you said and looked to make sure that the connectors were lining up. as best i can tell, they are. i'll check that again tomorrow just to make sure.

    i guess what i have to determine now is if 220 is getting to the motor but that's more difficult because one has to close the box to make the connections to the motor.

    do you know of anything that i'm missing? the pressure switch is working because i'm getting 220 at the control box, right?

    thanks,
    tab
  4. Waterwelldude

    Waterwelldude Well driller,pump repair. and septic installer

    Messages:
    303
    Location:
    Texas
    How are you checking the voltage?

    One leg at a time or both legs at the same time?
    For 220v, you have to test both L1 and L2 at the same time.

    If you test L1 to ground, and get 110v.
    And L2 to ground and get 110v.

    That does not mean you are getting 220v. Both need to be checked at the same time.
    One lead from the meter will go to L1 and the other lead will go to L2, at the same time. The meter should say around 220v.


    Travis
  5. tab

    tab New Member

    Messages:
    24
    travis: yes, i tested it by putting a meter on the two wires together. i have a multitester but used a testing light for this test. it lit up "220".

    my question now is: what's the best way to check if power is getting to the pump? if i have 220 going into the box, and 220 going to the pump could it still be a problem inside the box? could i have damaged the pump by installing another box i got from tractor supply that had the same rating but didn't work? all that box did was click like crazy...

    on edit: i checked for power in the line going to the pump and i'm not getting any reading. if there is 220 going to the control box then there should be 220 going to the motor right? am i missing something?

    thanks,
    tab
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  6. Waterwelldude

    Waterwelldude Well driller,pump repair. and septic installer

    Messages:
    303
    Location:
    Texas
    The new box you bought, does it look just like the old box?
    Some older boxes (depending on type) have a start and a run capacitor.
    Just make sure both boxes have the same parts.
    Make sure the wires are in the correct place. The red wire in the spot marked with a (R) the yellow marked with (Y) and the black marked with (B).
    Line 1 (L1) and line 2 (L2).

    The clicking sound coming from the box is never a good sign.
    That usually indicates short in the motor.
    If its clicking the power is going to the pump. If it weren't, it would not do anything.
    Even if you put the wrong box on, it wont hurt the pump, it just will not run.

    If someone tries to by-pass the box by running power straight to the pump, Yes, that will hurt the pump.



    Travis
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

  8. tab

    tab New Member

    Messages:
    24
    gary: checking that page out in a sec but thought i'd give an update.

    the tests that i did indicated that the pump motor was bad and the well guy confirmed this. he was going to pull and replace the pump. i wasn't happy because i believe that the tractor supply box fried my pump motor. i've had several people tell me that you MUST use a franklin control box with a franklin motor or you can ruin the motor. right after i hooked up that tractor supply box my pump never ran again even though BEFORE i could get it running a little with an old defective control box switch that i kept for just such emergencies.

    so anyway, he tries to get his truck back to the well and gets his ford,450 dually buried to the axle. i have to give him a ride back to his shop about 30 miles away. he hires a guy with a MONSTER 4x4 Case tractor to come pull it out and they try to drag the 450 close enough to the well to get the boom working. this was even more of a disaster. the pickup was close but no cigar and it had mired again to the axles again on my lawn again making HUGE RUTS. so they decide to pull the pump by hand which is what they tried to do before but failed. now they had the tractor guy and the three of them got the pump out of the well but the truck was still stuck, BIG TIME. so they hooked up the monster tractor and had to drag it futher into the muck to get it to firmer soil. the tractor began bogging down and sunk about 2' into the ground dragging the ford 450 behind it.... they did a BIG circle around the rear of my home and finally got the ford to firm ground but not after destroying my yard. it's a fricking mess...... i'll up pics later. this was yesterday..... so they come back today with a new pump and wire and pipe and begin installing my new pump. again i had to help them. we finally get the pump installed and running and it's pushing water like niagra falls. i was temporarily happy. all of a sudden it goes dry. they put on a 4 gallon per minute choke and it goes dry again, a 3gpm, dry.... finally they try a 2gpm and it keeps pumping albeit not like i want. they finished the installation and i put air in my pressure tank. then he presents me with a $2000+ bill and a yard that looks like they held a tractor pull contest. well, i wasn't a happy camper. we talked a bit and came to a $1,500 agreement and i fix my lawn myself. fine........ i wasn't happy but neither were they. they must mean we met somewhere in the middle..... there's more to tell but i'm beat.....
  9. Waterwelldude

    Waterwelldude Well driller,pump repair. and septic installer

    Messages:
    303
    Location:
    Texas


    I hate to hear the pump was bad, and your yard got the once over.

    That part about the box is not completely true.
    If the box has the same parts and is rated for the same hp. The brand name of the box makes no difference.


    Travis
  10. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Exactly, same HP, same wiring, brand makes no difference though I always use Franklin because 1, I like them and 2. it's what my supply house carries ;)
  11. tab

    tab New Member

    Messages:
    24
    that's what i thought but the box just clicked wildly. i had several people tell me that this could have fried my pump motor. regardless, i now have water but another question:

    they started the pump up and let the water run on the ground for about 15 minutes then the well went dry. they finally fitted it with a 2 gallons per minute choke and it kept spraying water so my well has a 2gpm refresh rate.

    i think that a 2pgm choke is to restrictive

    at a 2gpm refresh rate, the well pipe will fill up with a tall column of water giving me a cushion before it runs dry IF that choke were removed or replaced with a 4gmp right. i live alone and will never use enough water to run it dry and it also has the pressure tank cushion. so can i get by with a larger choke or no choke at all. the previous pump worked since 1978 and had no choke at all.
  12. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    WOW! If I was that guy and started to get stuck, I would have quit with the truck idea and got a pump puller if the well wasn't too deep or, put down mats of some kind. or left after writing you a check for the yard I tore up so far but there wouldn't be any service charge to you.

    And after the fiasco, I wouldn't be billing you $2K+ and leaving your yard all torn up. The Case guy should have known better too.

    Now it seems he didn't test to see why the old pump wouldn't run and now put in the wrong pump and your problem was the old pump simply couldn't lift water from the depth of the water in the well,and maybe the new box was bad instead of the pump. And then to flow control to 2 gpm, you won't have but a trickle at one fixture. Then he still charges $1500 and nothing for the yard. If I were you, unless I OKed the dragging the 450 across the yard and then later around the house, he wouldn't get paid until the judge sorted out who owes what to whom and when to pay it. And Christmas is a week away tomorrow.

    I'd really like to see pictures and hear the rest of the story.

    I didn't see your last reply before I replied...
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2009
  13. tab

    tab New Member

    Messages:
    24
    gary: they did install a new pump, pipe, wire et so it's not a total loss on my part. i won't be calling them back though. clearly the pump should have been pulled by hand in the first place. they put the exact same pump back down the well, a 1/2hp franklin/goulds. anyway, my problem now is that 2gpm choke on the well. i need advice.

    i looked at the old pipe and the water line is clearly visible as rust buildup on the white PVC. i have a column of water about 45' above the pump. i'll have to do the math but a 6" x45' hole should hold about 40 gallons of water. if my well is refreshing at 2gal / minute, it will be totally full in a few hours and i have about 20 gallons in the pressure tank. i don't use nearly that much water in a day so i should be able to remove that ******* 2gal/minute choke which i really don't like and will probably tax my pump ending in premature death. it's the same pump as before but now is choked to 2 gallons per minute. this sux.... can i take that choke off without worrying of pumping dry if i only use about 20gal of water a day, if that?
  14. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    A 6" well has 1.47 gal/ft of water above the pump inlet. That 45' = 66 gallons. The average American uses 60 gals/day. And while you take water out, the recovery rate gpm flows in.

    I'd remove the flow control and put it on a shelf in case I needed it later.

    Where's the pictures?
  15. tab

    tab New Member

    Messages:
    24
    thanks for that info. i'm going to remove that $%#%%$!!! choke and just run it straight from the pump. i may call the well bastards to do it because they are screwing me around trying to get me to drill an entirely new well. i think that they intentionally ran my well dry to get me to pay for an entirely new well which is what they recommended. this is a scam....

    i'll up pics later.

    thanks,
    tab
  16. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,249
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    Just because both pumps have a 1/2 hp motor does not mean they are the same. The 1/2 hp pump comes in 5, 7, 10 or 13 gpm models.

    Installing the choke has the same effect on the pump as raising the head. In the long run you might be better off with a pumpsaver.

    Have a high-end professional landscaper write you a quote for repairing the yard then bring the quote back to the well guy. If he won't do anything for you, take them to small claims court for the full amount. Make sure you document everything and take pictures of the damage. More often that not a case like this will settle before it ever gets to a judge.
  17. tab

    tab New Member

    Messages:
    24
    cacher:

    thanks for the info.

    i just called the owner today. i don't know if he knows what little rip-offs he's got working for him. i have a message on my machine that i have not gotten yet. they might say that the $500 they took off the bill was "the deal" and i should go away.

    working on getting some pics up here. hang on.
  18. masterpumpman

    masterpumpman New Member

    Messages:
    729
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Except for having an unqualified and inexperienced pump man tear up your yard, not using a Pump Puller http://www.pumppuller.com/ instead of a pump truck and adding a 2 gpm flow restrictor that you didn't need and giving you the option of installing a Pump Sensor to save your new pump from running dry. . . he didn't make much money at $1500.00. You can feel good about that.

    As Gary said, by your figures you should have about 66 gallons of usable storage in the well plus what the tank stores. That would be more than enough for one person.
    NOTE: A 1/4 gpm well with a properly installed pump system can supply 300 gallons per day enough for a family of 3 for all uses.

    My recommendation is to remove the 2 gpm flow control and not pump the well down. Just be careful not to pump the well down.

    To save the pump from ever running dry you may want to consider installing a Cycle Sensor www.cyclestopvalves.com.

    I wouldn't suggest that you do anything legal against the pump man (unless he/she has a bad reputation). Word gets around and if you ever need pump or well service again, you may find it hard to get someone to work for you.
  19. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

  20. tab

    tab New Member

    Messages:
    24
    here are just two pics. those ruts and deeper ones run for a few hundred yards through my 2ac plot.

    i contacted other well professionals and got some advice. the man who worked on my well could NOT provide me with his license number. after i asked, he went from being uncooperative to very cooperative. as it stands, he's going to remove that 2gpm choke and install a pump protector at no charge to me. i may get him to fix my yard too. :cool:

    but i also learned today that those two-wire motors have less starting torque than a 3 wire and when the capacitor goes bad you have to pull the fricking motor rather than just replace a $10.00 part in the pump control box. i'm not happy about that either. he should have installed the exact same thing that i had before. i even had a brand new control box for a 3-wire motor.

    i am very easy on my water usage. a 1/4gpm refresh can supply 360gals of water daily! 2gpm can supply, 2,880gals a day! i use about 15gals / day... i even pee outside whenever possible. and flush my toilet about once daily. i did my laundry at the laundromat yesterday. 2gpm refresh is not terrific but it will work for me.

    Attached Files:

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