making a230 volt run on 120volt well pump

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by richwelder, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. richwelder

    richwelder New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    illnois
    i have a franklin electric wiring box -model 2801054915 hp1/2. volts 230 . i opened up the box and i was reading both 115and 220 volt diagrams . i would like to be able to run 115 side if needed . my genarator does not have the high starting amps to fire up that [ resistor or coil thing] thanku if some can shed some light on my problem
  2. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,388
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    You can't run a 230V pump on a 115V generator. The starting amps from a generator will be much lower for a 230V pump than a 115V pump.
  3. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    The Current will double if you run it in 115.

    If your generator can provide the needed power then you could use a 1-2 step-up transformer.

    You should over rate for losses. If you figure 50% loss then you should have no problems running a motor, If you have enough start-up power, and use big enough wire conductors.

    You may be better off getting a 230 Volt Generator, That runs on natural gas.


    Be careful playing with electricity.
  4. richwelder

    richwelder New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    illnois
    i am sorry not to give more information my genarator is 4000 watts 30 amps running 220 i beleave i am a couple amps short
  5. richwelder

    richwelder New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    illnois
    yes sir i have 1977 onan rv Genarator 4000 watt 220 or 120 - 30/16 amps at 1800 rpm gas but recentlt converted to propane in my basement with a costom exshaust . i went to mcmaster carr i didnt see dcto ac transformers . i see the step ups 220/440 butt 440 makes me littel nerves . i do need to boost my amp from30 to maybe 40 i think that should doit
  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    NW Ontario, Canada
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    There is no such thing as as DC to AC transformer. You need an inverter to do that, but when you start talking about 220 to 440 transformers, then I get a very definite feeling that you have absolutely no idea what you are trying to do. You can "jiggle" the voltage all you want, but you will ALWAYS wind up with the same amperage, or less, than you started with. If your generator will not run your 220/240 pump, then you need a different generator, not a different voltage.
  8. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Not sure what all mods that you made other that fuel type, That was a smart move.

    As long as the gen is running 1800 rpm if designed for that (some gas models are originally rated at 3600rpm for 60HZ out)

    A 4000 watt generator should have no problem running a 1/2 horse water pump motor.

    1/2 horse is less than 400 watts. Of course you have to add Loss. Even at 50 % loss you have plenty of power. (but not for the whole house at the same time, IE air conditioners also)


    You should check your gen output frequency and wiring.

    You should have the proper Switchover / Transfer switch installed also.
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,841
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Maybe he doesn't have a 4000 watt generator. Did you do the math based on the volts and amps the OP claims the unit puts out?

    By my calcs he is coming up way short.
  10. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,819
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    Even if it was a 3000 watt gen then it should run a 1/2 horse water pump.

    It is probably a 8 hp gen.

    If it don't work then it is wired wrong.
  11. richwelder

    richwelder New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    illnois
    thanks

    i thank u all but i think should go back and start from scratch
  12. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,388
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Starting from scratch, you can't wire or run a 230 volt motor from a 115 volt gererator, unless you use a buck/boost transformer to transform 115v to 230v first. Even a 2,000 watt generator will start a 1/2 HP pump, but the generator has to put out 230 volts.
  13. richwelder

    richwelder New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    illnois
    ok something not making sense . i tested the volts coming out of the gen. and got 225 at 1800 to 2000 rpm the well would not turn on so then i made the mistake[months ago] of idleing up to 277 volts my lights almost blew up . fried the computer a tv ,gfi breaker and a coulpe power strips .that said my well needs 27 or 32 amps to kick on my max amp is only 30 but i dont know if it 30 on 120 or 220 [30/16] amps can it draw more amps on 120 or 220? whats the buck booster
  14. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,819
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    The 30Amp would be the 120Volt rating and the 16Amp would be the 220Volt for the generator output.

    You can not just increase the RPM to make more voltage, The gen needs to stay at 60 HZ out, so the gen needs to be at 1800RPM or your AC frequency will be off. The voltage you get is the voltage you get, Unless the generator has a voltage tap.

    If the Pump motor is made to operate at 230v then it will most likely operate at 220V.

    I do not see a 1/2 horse well-pump motor Needing more power than your gen can supply, If it is working properly. But it needs to be wired to the correct voltage.

    A 1/2 Horse Pump Motor should not require 27 or 32 amps at 220V to kick on. Maybe it is a 120V pump motor ? Your Gen should run a 1/2 horse motor if it is working properly and is wired correctly.

    Forget a buck booster if your power supply is not sufficient.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
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