Diagnosing a Well, Cistern and Pressure tank water system

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by MBis, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. MBis

    MBis New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Colorado
    Diagnosing a Well, Cistern and Pressure tank water system

    Hello, A couple of quick question and then I will dump the mother load of my problems regarding my water system.

    Fist, I am trying to figure out the functionality of the submersible well pump. My current understanding is that the Red wire gets a big jolt from a control box’s capacitor in order to start the motor of the pump.

    Question(A): Does the Red wire continue to carry power after starting the motor?
    Question(B): Does the common (Yellow) wire carry any power, and what does it do?
    Question(C):The Black wire must be hot and what does it do?

    Alright, here is how my problem started.
    On a very cold night I left a faucet open and it trickled drops of water for six hours. Consequently something broke and now I don’t have any water.

    My water system is as follows(please see the 2 attachments. Pardon the directional arrows in the diagram because they might be misleading.):
    1) A ¾ gal per minute, 60’ well, with a ½ hp pump. The only wire that is getting power is the yellow one and hence my three questions above.
    2) A 1500 gal cistern with some floats and another ½ hp pump. All wires leading to it has power.
    3) A Pressure tank with pressure switch. The raiser of the pressure switch was caked with solid mud and so I replaced it (I don’t know how it ever worked for the last 10 years). Both wires of the pressure switch has power. The pressure tank is not flooded. I did the knock from bottom to top test and it seems that it is ¾ empty.
    4) There are 2 circuit breakers for the 2 pumps and the fuses are OK. I removed them and did continuity test. The circuit breaker#1 for the well pump has two 15amps fuses, and the circuit breaker#2 for the cistern pump has a 30amps and an 8amps fuse. Is this odd?
    5) 240v main wire powers both circuit breakers.
    6) The 15/15 amps circuit breaker feeds power to Pumptec-Plus (Pump protection system which in turn feeds power to Franklin Electric Control box (model 2801054915) which runs the well pump. One wire into Pumptec-plus had a constant 120v while the other wire got 120v when a switch inside the box was triggered manually. What is weired is that the 3 indicator light on the box showed no sign of life.
    7) I assumed that the circuit board of the Pumptec-plus was busted and so I bypassed it (may be I made wrong connections) and substituted the same functionality(I was told) with a cheaper and smaller gadget(“231 Insider 230vâ€) that fit right inside Franklin Electric Control box (model 2801054915). I tested the power coming out of it and it only powered the yellow wire of the well pump. (That’s the reason for my first 3 questions A, B, and C.
    8) Circuit Breaker # 2 with 30&8amps fuses powers a ‘Pumptec No Load Sensor’ pump protection system (model: 5800020116). Which in turn powers Franklin Electric Control box (model 2801054915). Two sets of wires comes out of it and heads toward the cistern. One conduit has RYB wires and the other has BW wires coming out of it. I tested all 5 wires at the junction box near the cistern and found that all of them carried 120v each.
    9) Finally, one hot 120v wire coming out of Circuit Breaker#1 and one hot 120v wire coming out of ‘Pumptec No Load Sensor’ pump protection system feeds power to the pressure switch.


    I am putting out so much detail only because I am totally confused and have no clue what is wrong with the system. I am hoping that some of you who are patiently reading this can point me in the right direction.

    Any help will be much appreciated. Thanks.

    Attached Files:

  2. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Is the cistern empty? Or is it just the booster pump that isn't working?
  3. MBis

    MBis New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Colorado
    My assumption was that the cistern had reached the appropriate low water level, and that all equipment at the cistern was working properly because all wires had voltage. This is why I didn't try to muscle the two heavy concrete lids off of the cistern and look inside. The inner lid is hard to reach and tough to pull out. I will do that when I can rustle up some strong arms.

    My first concern is whether I properly bypassed Pumptec-Plus(Box#2) and made the right connections in Box#3(L1 to L1 and L2 to L2, is this correct?). I am not sure because pump's yellow wire is the only one that is hot. Now I am pretty sure that I installed properly "231 Insider 230v" inside Box#3 because there was a diagram.

    My second concern is that the pressure switch could not have worked for 10 years in the condition that I found it(raiser tube fully cacked with mud, and I mean like cement). So is the wiring done correctly? Now for some history: Originally a 300' well was put in place, and according to their story, an apprentice was tasked to hook up the water system to the house. The result was that he floded every faucet in the house with mud. Then they had some one flush the pipes. After that a new 60' well was dug and a cistern was added. I believe the mud in the riser came from that fiasco.

    Another concern is why did Pumptec-plus die, or is it still alive! The Pumptec-plus people said that the 3 lights don't come on only if the box was not getting any power. I know from testing that one wire coming into the box is alway hot and that the 2nd wire got hot when I manually pressed the switch down that's in the box. That's why I assumed that the circuit board in it must have gone bad and so I bought "231 Insider 230v" as replacement and installed it in Box#3.
  4. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    We still don't know what your problem is? Do you have water in the house? It looks like it is wired correctly but, we don't know if the cistern has water in it, and if the float switch is up or down? Which doesn't matter if you have water in the house, because that means the cistern has water in it. But if you don't have water in the house, it could be the cistern is out of water, the booster pump is not working, or both.
  5. MBis

    MBis New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Colorado
    I don't have water, so I am showering at a friends house. Tomorrow I am off and I will check the cistern for water.
  6. MBis

    MBis New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Colorado
    Hello Valveman, I managed to check the water level in the cistern. There is a little more than 4 feet of water. A week ago I changed the pressure switch but I never added pressure to the tank. So I am going to do that now and see what happens. If you have any suggestions about what to do next please let me know. Thanks.
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