wrong guage wriing for pumptec?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by warrens, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. warrens

    warrens New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    quebec
    I have a well, approx 400 feet deep and about 100 feet from the house. The pumptec never detects a dry well condition, to remedy this it was suggested I have had a cut off switch put on the control switch.

    The well is very poor and runs out often,.

    Usually the cut off switch works fine however, fairly regularly-I have been in the house about 3 years and it has happened at least 10 times now, even with the cut off switch the well has run dry and the pump has heated up the pipe so that it bursts about 5 or 6 feet from the pump. Each time this happens I have to call the well guy out to pull the pump and replace a piece of pipe which is getting pretty expensive. Each time he tries something else-thicker pipe nearer the pump, solid metal pipe near the pump but nothing seems to work long term

    He has explained that the pumptec doesnt work because the wire guage is wrong , too thin ,in the well so the pumptec doesnt work correctly.

    My question is this-is this a correct assumption regarding the pumptec not working due to the wiring and if so is there a way to remedy this without changing the wire which I believe will run quite expensive. One thought was maybe the "cycle sensor" being used instead of a pumptec as I believe this may shut off in dead head situations which the Franklin doesnt?

    Also i read about recalibrating the pumptec but I dont seem to have many options-it has one green and one red light then inside i only have the option to adjust the reset time not the sensitivity.

    NB The pumptec is not faulty as I have a second well on the property ( I have to use both to get just enough water!) and I have swapped over pumptecs and on the second well it functions correctly..

    Many thanks for any help
  2. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,430
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    A low pressure cut-off switch is used to shut a pump off if you have a big leak, or if the well is pumped dry. But there are times when a low pressure cut-off switch cannot detect and protect the pump against dry well conditions. This occurs when the well pumps dry just about the same time as the people in the house shut off the faucets. While refilling the pressure tank, the pump loses prime and is unable to pump the pressure tank up to the cut-off pressure. And because there are no faucets open, the pressure tank does not drain down to the really low pressure setting that shuts off the pump for safety. So unless someone accidentally opens a faucet in the house within a few minutes, the pump, pipe, motor, and everything else gets hot very quickly. Getting away with this more than a couple of times without burning up the pump is just luck.

    In really deep wells, or when using a Dole valve, the pump is restricted to very low flow (almost deadhead). With some pumps there is very little difference in the amp draw between deadhead and dry well condition. The pumptec and Cycle Sensor both look for low amps to determine a dry well condition.

    Once the pumptec calibration button is pressed, the pumptec takes a snapshot. This determines the low amps for a dry well, by setting the low amp trip point 25% below the snapshot. When the amps are already low from a deep well or a Dole valve restrictor at “snapshot” time, the amps will not drop an extra 25% when the well is completely dry. I am not even sure what the “sensitivity” button on the newer versions of the pumptec is for. I think it reduces the 25% to a lower amount. You maybe able to make a pumptec “sensitive” enough, if you adjust this setting until the pump shuts off, after you are sure the well is pumped dry. I was told even the older models have a sensitivity dial. You just have to open the case to get to it. But I am not certain of this. Either way it seems like a trial and error type of setting.

    The Cycle Sensor has a digital display that shows the amps in real time. You can actually see the amps at which the well is pumping water and compare to the amps when the well is pumped dry. The actual low amp trip setting needs to be between these two numbers. The Cycle Sensor can be set in 1/10th of an amp increments. So for instance it can be set to detect a dry well at 4.8 amps, even when the pump produces water at 4.9 amps and only drops to 4.7 when the well is dry.
  3. tvl

    tvl New Member

    Messages:
    138
    Location:
    South Carolina
    I am using the Pumptec QD and have had very good experience with the unit. The main reason I picked the QD unit was because it easily fit inside my current control box AND had BOTH sensitivity and time out settings. The ability to adjust the sensitivity may just help you resolve your issue. As you are well aware, the present unit that you are using does not allow you to adjust sensitivity. I would contact the folks at Franklin Electric, explain your situation and see if they think the QD model will help resolve your concern.

    Franklin Electric Technical Assistance: 1-800-348-2420

    Pumptec_Setting_July2012.jpg
  4. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,430
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    That is a good idea. Then ask them why their older models didn’t have sensitivity adjustments and the newer version does. Wonder who they are trying to be more like? Then find out just how sensitive they are. Ask if they will adjust by 1/10th of and amp, and how you would know by looking when it is set correctly? All will work for some applications, while only some will work on all applications. But the pumptec is what you want if fitting nicely in the existing box is your main specification requirement.

    [​IMG]
  5. warrens

    warrens New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    quebec
    Thanks for the replies.

    Valveman, I think I get the principle behind the pump still pumping although the well actually feeds a reservoir tank so the only "faucet" open would be in fact the ball valve that operates this, so maybe this is why it is rarer than expected since if I understand correctly it would only occur when the well is running dry at the same time as the ball valve stops activating?

    Neither of you mentioned the wires being too thin as creating a problem for making either a Franklin or a cycle sensor work, so I assume that with either one of the options calibrated down enough the wire gauge is not relevant?

    thanks for your input
  6. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,430
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Wire too small would cause low voltage, not low amperage.
  7. warrens

    warrens New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    quebec
    I have just had the motor replaced, I guess there is a chance that this motor will trip the pumptec when needed however initially i didnt think I had sensitivity calibration but it looks like I may have -although hard to get at. Would you know if and which of the 2 lower dials are for the sensitivity-the top one is obviously the re set timer dial.

    thanks pumptec2.JPG
  8. tvl

    tvl New Member

    Messages:
    138
    Location:
    South Carolina
    A while back when I spoke with technical support about their different Pumptec models, it was my understanding the Pumptec did not have a sensitivity setting as did the QD Pumptec. I guess I could have misunderstood what was stated or the older models such as yours did offer this functionality????

    It may be in your best interest to give Franklin Electric a call to see what the two additional pots are used for. I really don't think the two pots shown in the photo were meant to be adjusted by the end user .................. but, I could be wrong. I would like to think that if the pots were to be adjusted by the end user, there would be some kind of information readily available such as the reset time documentation shown in your photo.
  9. warrens

    warrens New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    quebec
    thanks TVL I will give them a call but I am guessing that they will say "no serviceable parts etc" and suggest another model-I was just hoping someone may know as although it may not be intended for the end user to adjust-it would seem to make sense that there is an adjustment somewhere in it.

    I may end up just trial and error adjusting it
  10. DonL

    DonL Banned

    Messages:
    4,005
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    Looks like the bottom Red Pot may have let some of its smoke out.
  11. warrens

    warrens New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    quebec
    I am pretty sure it is all functioning correctly since i have a second well system and when I swap pumptecs around they each work on one but not the other
  12. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,430
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    See I told you there where adjustments on the inside. However, I don’t know which is which. No matter how much “advice” you get, it is still a trial and error adjustment. This is unlike the Cycle Sensor, which has a digital display to show you exactly what the pump is doing and exactly where the low amp setting is. BTW, too small of wire causes low voltage and “high” amperage, which could have caused the heat that “let the smoke out of that bottom pot”.
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