Newbie No water pressure - 7" redheaded centipede fried in my square D Now What?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Capades, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. Capades

    Capades New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    San Antonio ,tx
    New to well life, water Stopped running so I checked the well house . All breakers were good but pressure was 0. I tried to reset the square d- nothing. Turned off all power and opened the square d and found the dreaded red headed centipede stuck to the contacts. I proceeded to remove and clean them as best I could with a toothbrush. Turned on power- nothing. Decided to check wires with multimeter. I have 220 going in but nothing going out ( not sure if that is because the contacts were not touching or if the switch is just bad) . Not the hot wiring kind of girl to find out.
    Would the switch at least spark if it were still good but not making enough contact to raise the pressure?
    Did I mention that of course this is all happening after the sun has gone down, while the husband is out of town on the night before school starts?
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,971
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Does your Square-D have a low pressure cut-off? It is a small lever on the side that has to be held just so to override it until the pressure is high enough.
  3. Capades

    Capades New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    San Antonio ,tx
    Yes, I held it in every way possible right before it would "click" - no change in the pressure.
  4. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,971
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    The lever has essentially three positions. Forward (toward you) is normal which will open the contacts if the pressure is too low. All the way back is in lockout and will hold the contacts open regardless of pressure. Somewhere in between it will close the contacts if held just so.

    Put your volt meter on the two lines going to the pump and slowly lift the lever. If it shows no voltage at all in any position of the lever, the contacts are not making and needs to be cleaned or replaced.
  5. Capades

    Capades New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    San Antonio ,tx
    Perfect thank you will do when in the early hours. I was not too sure about moving the switch while I had the meter on it. No way of telling the difference between dirty contacts and bad switch?
  6. Capades

    Capades New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    San Antonio ,tx
    Any suggestions besides a toothbrush for removing stuck on bug parts?
  7. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,971
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    If you have an emery board for doing your nails, you can whittle it down to fit between the insulators. Make sure the breaker is off!
  8. masterpumpman

    masterpumpman New Member

    Messages:
    729
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    An emery board usually works but be sure not to use a metal file! A part of the bug is still insulating the contacts! Yes, you should see a spark when you engage the low pressure cut off switch. Well Drillers and Pump Installers love bugs in pressure switches!
  9. Capades

    Capades New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    San Antonio ,tx
    Thank you thank you! The emery board was the big dollar tool I needed.
    I appreciate you sticking with me and my questions and I am sure to be back in the near future as issues come up.
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