Mouse shorted out the wire to my well switch and now I still have no pump after fix

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

  1. driz

    driz New Member

    Messages:
    36
    It's a standard shut off type pressure switch to a well pump mounted in a mobile home rental. I get a call from tenant that there is no water. I go over and try switch to find there is power to the pressure switch but no pump. The gauge read zero and flickered momentarily when I toggled the switch. When wiggling the wires a bit I get a nice flash 2 feet away and a small fire. No biggy, a mouse had gnawed the wire feeding the switch but easy to get at. I cut the wire and wire nutted it in a box, blk wt, grd. no way to screw it up. When I got done with the operation all I have is what I have before, Of course it's late in the day since she didn't bother calling me until then and I can;t find my multimeter.. Lookin at it I get a flash acorss the 2 contacts nearest the toggle lever. I see no flash on the other side of the switch. I did put a simple power test light to the tops of the contacts and had power on both sides so it looks to have power in and out to the Red / Blk leads going to the well. The red / black leads did get singed pretty badly by the burning wire from the mouse short though the insulation is still intact. I couldn't test the wire beyond that singe damage as I don't have ahttp://www.terrylove.com/forums/images/smilies/smile.pngn inductive tester.
    Ok that's where I am right now. I;m assuming it's time to spring for another inductive test light or is there anything else that could be going on here? What am I missing here or damage could have occurred by the mouse short? Mickey :):)is gonna get a Decon snack real soon so he and his relatives won't be so hungry to eat romex again soon.
  2. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,495
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Check to make sure you have 240 volt at the switch. You may have a bad breaker and only be getting 115 volts to the switch.
  3. driz

    driz New Member

    Messages:
    36
    I'll have to give it a check with a decent multimeter. I have to question though could the breaker cause the wire to short out like that and burn through? That's a new one to me but I haven't done all that many well pumps and pressure switches. As always with these damned trailers I wish I could get right at it and sit comfortably but like always it is behind a panel and you have to reach in there. Trailers suck. no matter how you cut it. I wonder though if somehow the points on the left side of the pressure switch got burned as a result of whatever happened. I keep wondering why the right two spark and the left two don't . Correct me if I am wrong , both the red and black wires that go off to the well are hot to give it 240 volts correct?
  4. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,495
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    I am thinking maybe the burned wires messed up the breaker, and only half the breaker is working. This would result in a spark on only one side of the switch and the pump not starting.
  5. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,249
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    This needs to be properly tested with a real meter.
    No sense thinking too hard about it until these basic steps are complete.
  6. driz

    driz New Member

    Messages:
    36
    I found it. It was 2 problems. The pressure switch got changed out since it was old, no biggie but that wasn't it. Still power going out but no pump so went out to the well head with a friend of mine and pulled the cover that was loose anyways. The wires must have abraded through and shorted onto the casing. A fairly quick splice and it was working fine. The mouse damage inside must have been there all along and coincidental. I'm just glad it was only the wire and a 25 buck switch I didn't need and not the 300 buck pump.

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