Wiring Sub. pump

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by natepyoung, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. natepyoung

    natepyoung New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    SE Ohio
    Ok, you guys solved my cistern pump problem. I ended up buying a 1/2 hp 230 volt 2 wire sub. pump. A chart in the installation instructions says to use 14/2 wire and a 15 amp breaker. Both of which seemed low to me but, I did it anyway. So everything is hooked up and ready to go but, it just won't pull enough pressure to fill the tank. The pump kicks on until the pressure gauge gets up to about 30 psi then shuts off. Water runs at the faucet until the pressure drops. Then I have to reset the pressure switch for the pump to kick back on.
    I am assuming this wiring set up isn't enough. I also noticed someone else posting a similar problem that was solved by replacing the pressure switch. Any advise????
    Thanks.
  2. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    How far is the pump, as measure along the wire, from the breaker panel? I doubt that the wire is the problem.

    Check the voltage at the switch to make sure you have 230 Volts when the pump is running. If you have at least 220 Volts when it is running then you don't have a wire problem.

    What are the make and model of the pump? I can't imagine a properly sized 1/2 HP well pump that wouldn't deliver the pressure from a system to a tank.

    One problem you might have is if you got a high-head pump and are operating it against low pressure. You could be overloading the pump which could cause the internal overload protector in the motor to open. When that happens a pressure switch with low-pressure-cutoff would cause the switch to open and it would not restart. You can check that by turning off water usage and seeing if the pump stops (no increase in pressure) while the pressure switch contacts remain closed.

    If you got a pump that is not matched to the pressure of your system you might have to put a valve in the line to throttle the flow.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2008
  3. natepyoung

    natepyoung New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    SE Ohio
    The wire is about 60 ft long. The pump is "Water ace" made by Myers and model is R201A. I bought it at Lowes which I know is far from ideal but, options are limited here.
    The pump cuts off when the water usage stops, with the pressure switch on. I will have to do some shopping to check the voltage - still collecting wiring tools.
    Thanks for the reply. ?????
  4. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,549
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Sub pumps are usually non overloading. I have never seen one that would trip out the overload even when running in a barrel and pumping at 0 pressure. It sounds to me like you have this pump running on 115 volts instead of 230 volts. If you only have one 15 amp breaker, it is wired up 115 volt. If you have a double 15 amp breaker, it should be 230 volts. Turning your pressure switch up to 40/60 is not going to help but, shouldn't hurt anything either.

    If by some weird chance it is running on 230 volts and still tripping out, a CSV can easily put the back pressure required to lessen the flow rate. You just have to adjust the CSV for the same pressure as the pump starts. We even use the brass CSV's to put the needed back pressure on pumps to keep them out of upthrust, when a deep set pump is used with a shallow static.

    Don't worry about the small wire. It even helps the pump have a natural soft start.
  5. natepyoung

    natepyoung New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    SE Ohio
    Thanks again i am so glad this forum is here for us cheap DIYers. I have attempted the 40/60 psi change and it really hasn't changed. I really feel like there is no power getting to the pump. Which as Valveman put it, it is hooked up to a 15 amp breaker. I am going to try the 30 amp. Of course I forgot to pick one up on my last 2 hour trip into town. I'll update.
    Thanks again,
    nate
  6. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    The issue is NOT the amperage of the breaker. It is whether it is a 2-pole breaker and whether you have two hot wires running to the pump. See my post at 8:36 PM yesterday where I said: "Check the voltage at the switch to make sure you have 230 Volts when the pump is running. If you have at least 220 Volts when it is running then you don't have a wire problem."

    If you don't have a multimeter, get one on your next trip to town. If you don't have a meter and know how to use it you are like a blind surgeon trying to do a hernia repair.

    Check the voltage at the pressure switch. If you don't have 230 Volts or so, then you don't have the correct voltage applied to the pump. Check the voltage with the pump off and with the pump running.

    Check each wire to ground with the pump running. Each should be about 115 Volts.
  7. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    It is not unlike DIYers to spend half again as much with the trial and error method than they would spend by buying quality and having a pro put it in.

    Your statement that your going to buy a 30 amp breaker tells me you need a pro before you do some real damage.

    bob...
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