Submersible barrel test

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by THarp, Sep 8, 2007.

  1. THarp

    THarp New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I just pulled a submersible pump from some property I recently bought. While trying to barrel test it, the pump will kick on and pump water for a few seconds and then stop pumping.

    I still have the 80 feet of pipe installed on the pump just as it was pulled. I have this 80 feet of pipe in a big loop to get to the electricity and the barrel. There is no pressure switch and I just wired it directly to a breaker to test it.

    It is a Webtrol pump made by Franklin Electric 3/4 HP and 230V. I guess I was expecting it to keep pumping since its getting juice constantly. (no pressure switch) Am I correct that it should keep pumping or is it doing what it should?
  2. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Some pumps run at a condition that overloads the motor if there is no pressure to pump against. If the pump, or the control box of a 3-wire pump, has a thermal overload switch it can shut off if overloaded.

    Another problem is that the "barrel test" condition could overload the thrust bearings and damage the pump.

    You could put a valve on the discharge and throttle it to limit flow to the specified flow range of the pump.
  3. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,549
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Did you wire it to one breaker or two? One breaker means 115 volt which will make the pump act that way. Two breakers is 230 volt and it should run. Also, if it is a 3 wire motor, you need to run the power through the control box and then to the motor. A bad capacitor in the control box will also cause the same symptoms.

    Submersible pumps like yours won't overload when just running in a barrel. Running wide open from a barrel causes upthrust, not down thrust, and will not hurt a thrust bearing. However, not enough back pressure will let the plastic impellers ride up against the plastic diffusers. This can cause your impellers to melt to the diffusers and lock up the pump. You need a little back pressure as with partially closing a faucet or valve to limit the flow, which will also simulate the pump being down in the well.
  4. THarp

    THarp New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    It's wired to two breakers. I have 230V. There is no control box with capacitors. It is a three wire pump. It pumps for maybe 15 seconds and then quits the pipe is still vibrating a little. If I leave the juice on in about 30 seconds the pump will begin pumping again but only for another 15 seconds or so. I plugged up the outlets with my hands and it builds up quite a bit of pressure.

    In the well the pump would have the pressure of the water in the pipe and gravity to deal with...correct? Just wondering if this pump is worth putting down a well... at least it's only 80 feet and not that heavy. I may give it a try

    Also the last time (15yr) that I checked my well was 99 feet deep and 50 down to water. Should I put the pump deeper than 80 feet?
  5. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,549
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    If it won't work in the barrel, it won't work in the well. Check the amp draw. Should be around 7 amps. If it is pulling high amps, it is going to keep tripping out.
  6. THarp

    THarp New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Got it

    Yeah the control box was needed it has a capacitor and another little electronic gizmo on it. I had only the bottom half of the box and borrowed the top half from my dad and got the pump to pumping like crazy. I've got a new control box on the way.

    Now I just need to find the well depth and figure out how deep to go with the pump. It's 69 feet down to the water line but I ran out of twine.:D

    Thanks for the help. It's really nice to get a few clues from people with more experience.
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