pump trips breaker

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by lhogle, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. lhogle

    lhogle computer programmer/analyst

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    near Austin, TX
    For a while now, our pump, which is only used for outdoor water (watering lawn etc) trips the breaker ever so often. after resetting the breaker, it works again. About a week ago, resetting the breaker no longer turned the pump back on. The pressure control valve is suspect, however, the pressure gauge is practically rusted away. After reading up on how water wells work, I hope we haven't done major damage by not addressing this sooner.

    A. Could the pressure gauge damage cause the tank to loose pressure?
    B. Could a faulty pressure control valve cause the breaker to trip?

    Thanks,

    LHO
  2. Jazz Cat

    Jazz Cat New Member

    Messages:
    1
    you might need to recalibrate your pump protection switch

    Do you mean the circuit breaker on the fuse box or the electronic pump protection system that should be present to protect your submersible pump?

    You said "trips the breaker" which is *not* the same thing I'm talking about, but, FWIW I had a similar problem with the electronic control that turns the pump off if the well runs dry. I became aware of the problem when my 3500-gal holding tank was at only 30 percent of capacity instead of topping off whenever a few hundred gallons had been drawn. I bypassed the switch and the pump ran fine; i.e. the well wasn't dry, and the pump worked. I sat there next to the tank monitoring water flow for a half hour before deciding that the problem was not the pump or the level of the water table. I followed mfr's directions to reset the electronic caibration control with a tiny little screwdriver (basically resetting the control circuit then turning the screw *just* till the pump kicks on). Then I sat there for another couple hours making sure everything went OK while my pump and well refilled the 2500 gal missing from my reservoir.

    Hope this helps.

    BTW I am *not* a water professional, just the owner of a fixer-upper house...
  3. lhogle

    lhogle computer programmer/analyst

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    near Austin, TX
    tripping circuit breaker

    It's tripping at the main circuit breaker supplying electricity to the pump.
  4. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    A. Could the pressure gauge damage cause the tank to loose pressure?
    Not unless there is water leaking out of the gauge, which you would see. The indicator mechanism is usually what goes on a gauge.

    B. Could a faulty pressure control valve cause the breaker to trip?
    There are two types of pressure control valves that I am aware of. One is a regulator to control pressure in the system. The other is a regulator on a deep well submersible pump. Neither seems to exactly fit your description. What kind of pump do you have? How is it contolled?

    Now for some guessing.
    One thing that is consistent with the symptoms you describe is a pump failure. If the impeller starts to sieze, it will take more current, which will cause the motor to overheat and the excess current will trip the circuit breaker. Eventaully, it could fail in a "locked rotor" condition and would not start, possibly burning out the winding. If the winding is not burned out, then it should trip the breaker when you turn it back on.

    A waterlogged tank could cause the breaker trip and pump failure.

    Questions:
    What kind of pump do you have? Submersible? Shallow well jet? Deep well jet?
    If you can't see the pump, it is probably a submersible and you will have a wire and a pipe coming ind from the pump. If a submersible, are there any controls other than a pressure switch?

    If it is a deep well jet (Possible but very unlikely) there will be a pair of pipes going to the well.

    Tell us more about the "pressure control valve". Where is it located in the system. What pressure does it control?

    What controls the on/off of the pump? Is it a pressure switch?

    What kind of tank do you have? Bladder or non-bladder? Do you know that it is not waterlogged? A waterlogged tank can lead to a pump failure and even to tripping the circuit breaker.

    Come back with more info and we will help you.
  5. lhogle

    lhogle computer programmer/analyst

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    near Austin, TX
    Sorry, wrong terminology. It's the pressure switch that I suspect is bad.

    I really couldn't tell you a lot about what kind of well it is.
    The setup looks a lot like this: (you might have to copy and paste the whole URL)
    http://216.239.51.104/search?q=cach...t off power to pump.&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=2

    The switch in question is a FSG2 Square D and looks similar to this:
    http://cgi.****.com/WATER-WELL-PRES...categoryZ57013QQcmdZViewItem#****photohosting

    There may be rust/corrosion from a previous leak, but right now it's not waterlogged. The reason I suspect its that switch is that last spring, after not having used the water for a while, the pump would not come on at all. After tapping on that switch it suddenly started working.

    I'm just hoping that we haven't burned out the pump.
  6. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    You shouldn't be trying to do anything without a working pressure gauge. Go to HD and get a pressure gauge and install it. You should get a gauge with a range of 0 to 100 psi, but if all they have is 0 to 160 psi that is ok.

    If you believe the switch is shot, and you are comfortable with installing a new one, get it at the same time. When you come back with the gauge, you can test your switch and take the new one back if you don't need it.

    We will assume that it is a submersible unless you come back to tell us different. The picture in your link shows a submersible pump with a control box. You should NOT be able to see a pump around your tank.

    If you have a control box, the wiring should be from the circuit breaker -> pressure switch -> control box -> pump in the well.

    There is often an overload relay on the control box, if you in fact have a control box. It might have a button sticking out. Push the button and listen for a click which will indicate resetting the overload switch. If the breaker is on, the pump MAY try to start.

    If you want to be talked through it, send me a PM on this site with your phone number.
  7. lhogle

    lhogle computer programmer/analyst

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    near Austin, TX
    Thanks Bob.

    The sequence does appear to be in the order you describe. I have not looked in the control box by the pump. I guess though, even if that is why it's not coming on now, we need to figure out why it is tripping the circuit breaker in the first place.
    I probably won't be able to look at it again until the weekend.

    Would I need to release pressure in tank before replacing pressure gauge?
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2006
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,802
    Location:
    New England
    If you don't have a shutoff valve to isolate the gauge, you'll take a shower trying to replace it without turning the pump off and relieving the pressure in the tank. While you have things apart, check the pipes and fittings, these tend to rust from the inside out and can actually restrict flow.
  9. las

    las New Member

    Messages:
    3
    short in the wire

    I had similar problem with my pump in till one day I Could no reset the breaker any more

    I pull the pump out from the well and the electrical wire was broken which feeds the pump

    I guess was tripping the breaker in till the wire was still holding on
  10. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    When you go back to check the pump, an Amp Meter would be a very handy device to check the motor with. If you know the horsepower, we can tell you the normal amp draw. If it is above the normal amp draw, you then can begin to troubleshoot what the problem may be. This is where an ohm meter is handy. If you don't have access to these items, it will be very hard to trouble shoot a submersible pump.

    If you have a three wire pump, which means you will have a control box with at least three wires coming from it (red, yellow and black) there are two components that can be bad. A relay and a start capacitor and sometimes a run capacitor. These can also be checked with an ohm meter. An analog meter is necessary for checking the capacitors.

    bob...
Similar Threads: pump trips
Forum Title Date
Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog HELP!!!! Well Pump trips breaker, home with 2 sick kids! Oct 16, 2008
Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog Pressure Switch Trips Pump Delays Jul 13, 2008
Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog Well Pump Shuts Off, Trips Breaker Nov 8, 2007
Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog Need a pump very quickly Friday at 9:58 AM
Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog Air Lift Well Pump Jul 8, 2014

Share This Page