no pressure from pump, help please!

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by jaegerilla, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. jaegerilla

    jaegerilla New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    texas
    ok... sure to be a long post but here goes... I have a 2" x 50 foot well with shallow pump above ground (a.o.smith 48m2fc4c1, 3450 rpm, 1.5 HP, 230v) and bladderless tank. 50/70 pressure switch. I have an additional pressure gauge with warning buzzer when pressure drops below 30psi in the house.
    1st day, buzzer goes off, i go check the well. no problem, tank needs a little air. adjust water/ air level, balance pressure, everythings fine. on at 50 off at 70, no buzzer. good.
    couple days later, here goes the buzzer again, no power in well house. check breakers, no problem. grab volt meter and trace it back to main fuse box at house, red wire not connected to breaker. rewire breaker, fire up pump, everythings fine. good.
    check out well house next day, pressure is up to 80psi at tank, but everything is working fine and my brain is too addled to realize "ooh 80psi...too high, do something" so I walk away happy.
    next day here goes buzzer again, check well house, full of smoke. kill the main breaker, pull the well motor cover... start capacitor meltdown.
    so... no one has a replacement locally (mallory 161-192mfd 110v 60hz) so I order 2 new ones on line, shut everything down an go visiting for a few days.
    get home, new capacitors are here, great... replace capacitor. fire it up... pray,... nothing. ok fine. check power... both fuses blown at well house breaker box. replaced both. fire it up.. noise but nothing. there is a V shaped "switch" (i'm getting in deep here, don't know what its called) that sits above the impellor "thingy" (see what I mean?) line in on one side, other side comes from start capacitor. I notice the plastic "seat" that rests on top of the impellor thingy is melted and preventing the impellor from spinning, so i free that up and try it again. sparks... lots of sparks. impellor is spinning, yes... but this is not good. I should probably stop here, and ask "what is the V thingy called and where can I buy a replacement" but i am stubborn... and cheap... can't find a repair manual for the pump motor online or elsewhere,... and need some dang water.
    so I disconnect and remove the V "switch", work with it a bit to get it back to the way it looked pre-meltdown, and replace it. fire it up, everythings doing what its supposed to, but pressure isn't rising, and overload circuit trips.
    ok, so maybe there's not enough pressure... im at about 20psi. start unscrewing the pressure gauge at pump, whizzz goes the water, ok... I've got prime. add pressure to the tank to bring it up to 30, same problem. brought it up to 52psi... again same problem. Pressure not increasing.
    ok... fine. drained tank, filled with air to 52psi... try it again. pressure gauge jumps to just under 70 while on and when overload pops drops back to 52.

    SO... i have prime, i have pressure, and i have a pumpmotor that spins but doesnt draw pressure. pressure switch is fine.
    Dry Well... maybe but I doubt it. clog or leak somewhere, possibly, well has run dry in past, and may have at some point in this process, but should have water by now. bad pump or impellor, not so sure about that.
    I really dont want to call the well man and find out it's an electrical problem, or that the well is dry.

    So... questions..
    in the pump motor control box is the start capacitor, the V thingy, the board where the power is connected, the spinny thing in the middle, and a round flat disk thingy I am also unable to identify. Could someone please give me the proper names of these items and explain what they do, and also mention if one of them might be the culprit.
    and... can anyone tell me what other tests I can perform myself, or actions I can take to get things running.
    and... can someone explain what other damage can be caused by capacitor meltdown, and/or dry well.

    Sorry to ask so much, I've read about a hundred forums now, most are vague, or submersible pump specific, or just say "call the well man".
    I love the well man, really I do, but I am in the middle of moving out of this house (keeping not selling) and into an apartment in a town 3 hours away where I can find a job with a decent wage, getting things arranged to get married, and my wallet is bleeding profusely, so I want to try everything I can before shelling out large dinero to bring in a pro.
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,917
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    TL;DR

    You should not run a shallow well jet pump to such high pressure. It could very well deadhead and melt down.
  3. jaegerilla

    jaegerilla New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    texas
    Thanks for the info, much appreciated, my dad set the system up that way 26 years ago, I just go on what he taught me, and try to learn as much as possible from there. I read a little bit about deadheading, not sure I understand it. A little more info would sure be appreciated.
  4. jaegerilla

    jaegerilla New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    texas
    thus far..

    ok... so... I understand the start capacitor, knew that before I replaced it. terminal board was obvious,... now understand stationary switch and rotating switch... still not sure what the round flat thing is. pump_motor_back_uncovered.jpg
  5. jaegerilla

    jaegerilla New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    texas
    oh, yeah... btw... long hard day... and as I mentioned addled brain. backed pressure down to 48psi.... 2 below, not 2 above... yeeeesh.
  6. jaegerilla

    jaegerilla New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    texas
    aha... as I suspected... thermal overload protector. stands to reason that it got smoked too.
    SO... will test it, but PROBLEM... if it's bad, is it from capacitor meltdown due to overly high pressure (high heat in motor cap melting stuff) or is it from something else. all comments/ suggestions appreciated.

    question 1.. answered. terminal board, thermal overload protector, start capacitor, stationary switch, rotating switch.
  7. jaegerilla

    jaegerilla New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    texas
    overload protector tests at less than one ohm in both positions. apparently it is good. makes sense, since it's been doing it's job. next I will replace stationary switch with new one. ordered one earlier, will take 2 days to get here. (I'm in the middle of nowhere)

    anyone has any suggestions in the meantime.... I could sure use the help, thanks!

    btw... that picture aint my pump motor, just one very similar.
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