My pump quit working after running for 2 hours - circuit breaker not tripped

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by SactoStan99, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. SactoStan99

    SactoStan99 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Sacramento
    The box is Franklin model no 2823008110 (date 03a19 - must mean August 19 2003).
    I measured the voltages at the various connections inside the box
    L1, L2, Yel, Blk, Red, run cap, start cap, relay and every one was the same voltage of 120 (+ or - 5).

    I pressed the overload button but nothing happened.
    Not sure what to do next.

    Could it be the pump doesn't run if the water level is below it?
  2. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,459
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    You need to check amps with a clip around amp meter instead of a voltmeter. If it is pulling any amps the pump is running even though it is not pumping any water. No amps means something not right, probably a broke wire or bad motor. With a regular pressure tank system pumps will usually cycle themselves to death in an average of 7 years. But they usually pop the overload or something.
  3. SactoStan99

    SactoStan99 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Sacramento
    I've been looking for induction ammeters (clip around amp). You find a lot of DC's which must be simpler than an AC and not what I'd want to use (I have dc amps only on my multimeter).

    I have a number of questions about my well, such as:

    How much trouble is it to pull the pump up after removing the well cap? Do you need a winch?
    There are electrical connections to the tank. Would checking those for voltage tell me anything?

    I expect the pump is bad but want to check out the simpler items first.
    There is no noise or vibration when I break the power connection and reconnect it.

    Thanks for your reply
  4. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,459
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Depends on how deep the pump is set and on what kind of pipe if you can pull it without a winch. I think you have a broken wire so don't pull it until you figure out where the problem is. I bought a new multimeter with AC amps at Harbour F for 12 bucks.
  5. SactoStan99

    SactoStan99 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Sacramento
    Went to Harbour today and bought a Cen_Tech 95683 Digital Clamp MM and went around the house looking for ways of testing it.

    It has a peak hold button that doesn't work with voltages but works for AC current??
    Ran my 3/8" electric drill (no load) with the clamp on the power cord had .42 amps the 1st time and .24 the second. (the drill label says 0 -1200 rpm and 2.5 amps)

    Noticed the AC voltage is marked with a V and ~ under it except that their ~ is very flat (hardly like a sine wave and didn't notice that at first - they could have just marked it AC and DC like analog meters).

    How about measuring resistance at the control box - would that be helpful?
  6. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,459
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Don't use the peak hold button. Just clip it around one of the wires going to the pressure switch and see if it is pulling any amps.
  7. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,971
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    The tilde represents nominal (or RMS), not a sine wave.

    Resistance measurements are valuable but not a substitute for measuring amps. Clamp around just one wire at a time as valveman said.
  8. SactoStan99

    SactoStan99 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Sacramento
    In case anyone is wondering why it's taking me so long to check out my pump it's because it's on 5 acres with just an AG building that is 32 miles away and I only go up there (in the foothills) about once a week and gas is well above $4.25 per g in Sacramento.

    I was wanting to know if the meter was working right with the hold button - and if not I'd take it back -after I check out the pump :)
  9. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,246
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    If you clamp it around a power cord such as that on your drill it will not work because you are clamping around both the hot and neutral conductor at the same time. The clamp can only go around one conductor or the other to get a proper reading.
  10. SactoStan99

    SactoStan99 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Sacramento
    I have another old drill that the covering close to the handle has pulled away exposing the indiviual wires which I'll try out sometime.
    Thanks for the tip.
  11. sharonmoser

    sharonmoser Ruhrpumpen

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    India
    The only way to know for sure if the motor is operating correctly is to take current readings on all 3 lines going to the well. It helps a lot to know the HP and type of controller (capacitor start, capacitor start-capacitor run, etc).

    If the water level in the well is too low, you'll have air in the water lines.

    Usually, if there's a problem with the start capacitor, the motor won't start at all, and won't pump any water. The overloads will trip within 30 seconds.

    If the start relay fails to disengage, the motor will run at reduced speed and pump at reduced flow, and the overloads will trip in less than a minute.

    If the run capacitor is bad (if it has one), it'll behave a lot like a bad start relay.

    All of these problems will show up as excessive current.

    A lot of reduced capacity problems I've seen are caused by mineral build-up on the impellers or the intake screen, or a leak.

    If the system will hold pressure when the pump is off, and the current readings are normal when it's running, then the pump itself is suspect.
  12. SactoStan99

    SactoStan99 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Sacramento
    Good News, all I had to do to get the pump back online was clean the points inside the "rectangular" square D box - Pressure switch.

    I took the cover off when the pump went down and noticed a bunch of ants but I didn't notice there were 2 pair of points (mine only uses one pair).

    I did do the amp test at the control box and every wire tested was Zero so I moved on to check the pressure switch. This time all the ants were gone and I could see that the points were not closed.
    I pulled the "plug" below the control box to cut off the power and used a small screwdrive to remove the debris. :)

    Thanks for your help.
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