Pump overload tripping at night

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by ehuddle, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. ehuddle

    ehuddle New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    weatherford, tx
    The overload on my pump control box has tripped 3 out of the last 4 nights. It only happens at night and we wake up to no water. When I reset it, the pump runs fine all day and then it trips again over night. I have been trying to figure it out with no luck. I measured current in the 3 legs to the pump and got Red = 1.1A, Black = 10.7A and Yellow = 11.0A. I'm not that familiar with electrical issues so I'm not sure if this is normal. I have a 3/4 HP pump that I think is running on 240V. Any suggestions?
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011
  2. ehuddle

    ehuddle New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    weatherford, tx
    As a follow up, I measured the resistance between the legs on the motor at the well head. I got 9.2 Ohms Yellow-Red, 10.2 Ohms Red-Black and 2.8 Ohms Yellow to Black.
  3. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Search and read the franklin AIM manual and it will give you all the specs.
  4. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,246
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    In most homes the pump will have no reason to run during the overnight hours, so it does not sound like an overload trip.
  5. ehuddle

    ehuddle New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    weatherford, tx
    My water softener recharges at night. The overload on the control box is what is tripping. I've tried to reproduce it by forcing the pump to cycle repeatedly with no luck. Is there anything a softener can do to cause the overload to trip?
  6. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Is the softener on a completely different circuit? *Maybe* the softener is somehow reducing voltage to the pump and the pump's amperage is going too high. Try manually cycling the softener while you watch.
  7. ehuddle

    ehuddle New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    weatherford, tx
    The softener plugs into the GFCI outlet in the garage so I don't think it's on the same circuit. Electrical is not my specialty. I'll dig into that a little more when I get home. I did manual cycle the softener and it did not trip.
  8. Texas Wellman

    Texas Wellman In the Trades

    Messages:
    532
    Location:
    SE Texas-Coastal
    Wow. Your first post gave all the info I needed to determine the problem. Your pump is pulling way too many amps.

    That motor, according to the charts, should pull no more than 8 amps. Your pump/motor is fixing to quit, you better get it fixed ASAP.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011
  9. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,466
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    TW is right, a 3/4 HP should pull no more than 8 amps. The real question is, how is it working at all? Probably already survived the average of 7 years and cycled itself to death.
  10. ehuddle

    ehuddle New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    weatherford, tx
    The pump has been in operation for 3 yrs as of October 16th when we moved into the newly built house. I was assuming it was the pump.
  11. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,466
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    The average life of a submersible is 7 years. If it only lasted 3 years, it must be cycing a lot. One of your neighbors pumps doesn't cycle much and will last 11 years. That is why the average is 7 years.
  12. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    The pump gets 120V from one line and then 120V from the other to get a total of 240V, and the softener gets 120V from one of those lines at the breaker panel. However, I have seen situations where a 120V outlet has been illegally tapped from one of those lines (such as at or near the pump) ... but that is obviously not your case there in a relatively new home.
  13. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,988
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I had a neighbor (who happens to be an electrician) mis-diagnose his pump by measuring amps. Turned out to just be a bad heatshrink that was sending current to ground. (Yes JW, current can go to ground)

    The jury is still out until the pump is pulled and the wire inspected.
  14. ehuddle

    ehuddle New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    weatherford, tx
    Don't make any assumptions here. I actually had to sue the builder of my home for poor construction. I can't even figure out who dug the well because he fled to the Virgin Islands during the court case. Long story...
  15. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,466
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    I doubt that yours is hooked up to the wrong voltage. But any driller who flees to the islands or even spends the off season there is probably not reputable.
  16. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Guess he didnt look up the AIM manual.
  17. ehuddle

    ehuddle New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    weatherford, tx
    I looked up the AIM manual but I don't know if it applies to my pump yet. Due to the previously mentioned lawsuit with my builder, all of the information about my house, including the well, is at the county courthouse. At this point, I don't know for sure that I have 3/4 HP pump or who the manufacturer is. I am going to the courthouse today to see what kind of pump I have and then try to figure out which way to go from there. I talked to a well guy in Weatherford today about replacing the pump and he said he thinks the current sounds right so I'm even more confused. But I didn't ignore your advice. I just want to be completely sure before I start pulling the pump out of the ground.
  18. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,466
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    I should have caught that. There is no reset button in a 3/4 control box. It would have to be a 1.5 HP or bigger. And those ohm and amp numbers are good for a 1.5 HP. So maybe you just have a bad start cap and something is leaking off during the night.
  19. ehuddle

    ehuddle New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    weatherford, tx
    It is a 1.5 HP control box. Centripro CB15412CR. Please excuse my ignorance but does this mean it has to be a 1.5 HP pump? I didn't find any info on the pump at the courthouse so now I have to tear my house apart or call every well service around to see if I can find who dug the well.
  20. Texas Wellman

    Texas Wellman In the Trades

    Messages:
    532
    Location:
    SE Texas-Coastal
    I thought about the control box/HP mismatch too in your original post.

    What made you think it's a 3/4 HP? Those numbers are OK for a 1.5 HP, as valveman said.

    Might just try changing the box and keeping an eye on it.
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