Jet pump to submersable conversion questions.

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Wet Willie, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. Wet Willie

    Wet Willie New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    NC
    First time poster. This forum has been invaluable in keeping my jet pump setup limping along but you can on put so many band aids on a bullet hole.

    I've done a lot of research both here and on the net and I want to make sure I understand what I'm doing.

    Here are a few specifics on the well.
    • Well is 135' deep.
    • It's a 6 inch casing.
    • The well head (distance to water surface) is 74'
    • I only have 110 at pump house and not going to run 220 to it.

    Ok, now here are some of my questions.
    • Will a 1/2 hp 10 gpm pump be sufficient?
    • What is the difference between a 2 wire and a 3 wire pump?
    • Do I have to run a ground wire to the well casing?
    • As I understand the wire should be taped to the supply line every 5'-8', but the safety rope I use should stand seperate?
    • Does the nylon rope support the pump or is it supported by the pipe (PE) coming through the well cap like the current setup?

    I'm sure I'll have a few more questions but that will have to wait until I finish my coffee.

    -Wet Willie-
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,080
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Why not convert to 220V?
    A 2 wire does the start/run in the pump. A 3 wire does the start/run in the control box.
    You should most likely bond the ground to the casing.
    HP and GPM depends on your planned water use and on what your well can produce as well as the size of your pressure tank. Given the static water level, I think 1/2 HP, 10 GPM is a minimum.
    The wire should be taped to the downpipe as you mentioned.
    The pipe should bear the weight, not a rope.
  3. Wet Willie

    Wet Willie New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    NC
    I'm a jack of all trades EXCEPT electrician. The breaker/service box for the property is a fair distance and on the other side of the driveway so burying cable is out. I also believe it may be at it's limit running the house, a in ground swimming pool, and a hot tub. I'm still researching but for now I'm stuck with 110.

    Well is servicing a house with 2 adults, daily showers,3 loads of laundry per week, run dishwasher every other day or so. I'm currently considering a 3/4hp 10 gpm 2 wire pump but I'm still trying to find out if it's a 110 or 220 pump.

    So the rope is used to lower and raise pump and as a safety retrieval feature in case of pipe or pump breakage?
  4. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,080
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    If 110 is not used for other things in the wellhouse, the existing pair of wires could be used and no new wire needed. This of course assumes that there is space in the panel for a 220 breaker.

    One thing for sure... you have a lot more pump options at 220 than at 110.

    Lifestyle and irrigation are bigger factors. A shower could mean a single 2.5 GPM showerhead or full body sprays. A shower could be 2 minutes with the water turned off between lathering or could be a 20 minute stress reliever.

    How much the well can produce may be a factor. Tank size will be a factor unless you have a Cycle Stop Valve or you can match the draw to the supply.

    Measure how many GPM your current setup produces and decide if it is adequate for your current lifestyle.

    Yes. Some folks are dead set against even using a rope. If it were to break and/or fall down into the well, it can make pulling the pump a major PITA. Without it, if the pump were to unscrew itself from torque, then the wire is the only thing left holding it. The naysayers prefer to risk losing the pump down the hole rather than risk the rope jamming the pump in the hole.
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,080
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Perhaps I should elaborate on this a bit. Some pumps have plastic heads versus SS and getting a good tight fit on the threads can be difficult, the result being that the pump unscrews itself from torque. I assume you plan to use a brass or SS barb fitting, not plastic.
  6. bcpumpguy

    bcpumpguy New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Langley BC
  7. Wet Willie

    Wet Willie New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    NC
    I have 10 ga run to the pump house now. The problem is it runs a security light, a freezer in the shed and a 110 outlet. I think I might use the 10 ga and install a 220 breaker in the panel (there is room to switch the single for a double pole) and run 12ga wire to pump house for for the 110...only problem is I REALLY didn't want to dig trench etc.

    Yes, I can't find a 110v in stock locally and waiting is not an option.

    Hot tub is my stress reliever. Showers are typical 5 minute affairs. I don't have #'s but the well seems sufficient it's just the original jet pump setup has always been troublesome and now with age it's just given up the ghost.

    I'll use a rope for sure. I had planned on using a barbed brass fitting on the pump and using loc-tite also
  8. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,080
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Should I assume it is 2 conductor plus protection ground? If there is a third conductor, you have what it takes to have both 110 and 220. In hindsight, a conduit with pull rope would have been nice.
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,080
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    You might also want to ask in the electrical forum what the NEC requirement is WRT grounding/bonding. In my jurisdiction the inspector insisted that I bond my well casing to the house ground with #6 wire. I don't know under what circumstance the existing wiring is grandfathered in versus needing to be brought up to code.

    Here as well, we need to bury the line 3 feet deep and put caution tape 1 & 1/2 feet deep.
  10. Wet Willie

    Wet Willie New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    NC
    Again, I'm not an electrician. The 10 ga wire that is currently in place is 3 wire (I will need to check to be sure) so I guess that's 2 conductor + ground. I plan on consulting my BIL, a retired electrician, but in the mean time can you elaborate on both 110 and 220 from the single 10 ga I have now? Hindsight is 20/20 unfortunately this was in place when we purchased house.
  11. Wet Willie

    Wet Willie New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    NC
    Just checked, the wire running to pump house is labeled 10/2 with ground.
  12. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,080
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Generally 2-wire is actually 2 conductors plus protection ground and 3-wire is 3 conductors plus protection ground.

    The transformer on the pole or pad is likely a 240 Volt with centre tap. The centre tap is your neutral which gets bonded to the ground. The two hots, have 240 between them and 120 between each and the centre tap neutral.

    [​IMG]
  13. Wet Willie

    Wet Willie New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    NC
    So in essence I can run 220 through my existing 10/2 with ground into a box (of some sort) and pull 220 from box to pump AND use just one conductor and ground from "box" to power 110?
  14. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,080
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    No, that is not legal. While technically the ground it bonded to the neutral and would give you half the voltage, the neutral must be in the same jacket as the other two conductors and except in certain cases, it also needs to be the same AWG as the other two conductors.
  15. justwater

    justwater Well Drilling/Service

    Messages:
    327
    Location:
    FL/GA
    with water at 75', any sub will likely deliver much more water than your current jet pump can. i'd personally stick with the 2 wire pumps. if 220 is not an option and the wire size/lengths permit for the 1/2hp 110v sub... the 7 or even 5gpm models are better suited for your water level. the 10gpm model would probably work but kinda falls off the curve at your water level.

    if 220 is doable, then yea got more options.
  16. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,349
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    No You can not do that.

    It may work, but it will not meet code.

    The ground conductor is not meant to be a current carrying conductor.

    You can use it for 120 or 240, but not both.
  17. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    988
    Location:
    ct
    A 220v pump motor will draw less current or amperage than the same pump that operates on 110v, so you would be better off with a 220v unit. Not knowing what your drawdown level is, is a disadvantage, but I would use a 1/2 hp 5 gpm unit rather than a 10 gpm unit.

    If you have to use a safety rope to get your pump out, you should have used better pipe to begin with. Hang the pump on schedule 80 pvc or 160 psi poly, use a pump with stainless steel discharge head and be sure to use a stainless male X insert adapter with double stainless steel clamps to attach the pump to the pipe. Do not use brass with stainless! Warm the pipe with a torch and push it over the insert fitting, do not put it on cold or use a lubricate to help put it on!! Depending on which Loc Tite you use, it may not be rated for potability, instead use a Teflon paste of Rector Seal.
  18. masterpumpman

    masterpumpman New Member

    Messages:
    729
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    * Yes, a 1/2 hp 10 gpm pump will be sufficient.
    * The difference between a 2 wire and a 3 wire pump is a personal perference!
    * I prefer a 230 volt pump but a 115 volt is OK!
    * Do I have to run a ground wire to the well casing? No, a ground wire must be connected to the pump case!
    * The wire should be taped to the supply line every at least every 10'.
    * I wouldn't install a rope because of future problems of the rope binding the pump in the well.
    * I recommend installing a CSV or Pside-kick on all water systems except when open pumping into a lake or pond. http://www.cyclestopvalves.com/index2.html
  19. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,080
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    If unclear about the choice of HP and GPM, get familiar with pump curves. Everyone seems to agree on 1/2 HP but not on the GPM. Given the water is at 74 feet, moving 10 GPM with 1/2 HP IMHO is on the edge of the curve and depending on what pressure you want in the house, and how many floors there are in the house etc., it might be cutting it too close. A 5 or 7 GPM would have more margin.

    It would be good to know all the reasons for converting from jet to sub as some of those reasons would factor in the choice. Some folk struggle with the concept of GPM versus pressure and just see it as a pressure problem. Trying to mitigate a GPM problem in the wellhouse won't work if the problem is the plumbing in the house. Agreed that any of the mentioned pumps would out-perform the jet that was there.
  20. Wet Willie

    Wet Willie New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    NC
    Ok, so some of my questions are answered and some answers raise more questions, not to mention some questions received different answers. Either way I really appreciate everyone's feedback.

    So far I've decided on the following:
    • 220v pump possibly 3/4 hp because it's in stock at big box home improvement store.
    • Run 220 through existing 10/2 wire
    • Run additional wire for needed 110v

    I'm undecided on use of rope mainly because it sounds like a good idea but don't understand how it could jam and cause problems with a 4" pump in a 6" casing. I plan on using my existing pipe and assume that it's sufficient for the conversion. I'm also confused about the torque arrestor, that seems like more of an issue than the rope when/if I need to pull the pump....how snug of a fit does it need to be to work properly? I'm also having trouble locating submersible wire locally but haven't checked plumbing supply because they're closed until tomorrow.

    As far as the reason for conversion, hopefully I can clear that up a little.

    The original setup as I understand it has been troublesome for years but my history only goes back 2 1/2 years. If you flushed the toilets multiple times you would lose water, showers were limited to 2 a day one in am and one in pm or you would lose water. When running the washing machine you would usually have to interrupt it during fill up and wait for pressure to build back up or you would lose water. More recently the pump would run continuously and might reach a maximum of 30 psi. When you lose water I could reprime the pump and have water again but would lose it again if the previously mentioned actions were taken. I checked for leaks, cleaned and then replaced pressure switch. I then found this site and learned about foot valves and injectors so I replaced them....this raised the pressure a little and gave some relief for about 2 months before going back to the issues. I pulled the lines again and checked FV and injector and all was good. We has a professional come out and he said the well was sufficient for our needs but the pump was worn out and that even in tip top shape the jet pump setup was at it's maximum for our application. At this point a toilet flush will cause loss of water and I'm lucky to get 20 psi out of set up.

    The well serves 2 adults living in a 2 bath 1 story ranch with a dishwasher and a washing machine. The well is slightly above the grade of the house and we don't use irrigation, sprinklers, etc but do occasionally run the garden hose on "mist" overnight to compensate for water loss in pool.
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