Breaker instantly trips for my Well Pump

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by Brandon M Anderson, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. Brandon M Anderson

    Brandon M Anderson New Member

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    Michigan
    I woke up today and my water didn't work. I replaced my 2 wire well pump 6 years ago along with the 2 pole 20 breaker, the pressure control module, and new wiring for the pump down the shaft. It was worked great until today. My breaker was tripped, I flipped it back on and it immediately tripped again. I replaced the breaker and the pressure module again today and it still instantly trips the breaker. If I disconnect the pump the breaker stays on, so I am wondering if someone could explain to me how to check my pump for a short with a multimeter? Thanks for any help.
     
  2. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    If the breaker trips, you have a short. LOL!

    With the wires disconnected, use the ohm setting of t he multimeter. With one probe on a motor wire and the other on a ground or motor case, there should be no continuity.

    Pressure control module??? Is that a regular pressure switch?

    PS close up1.JPG
     
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  4. Brandon M Anderson

    Brandon M Anderson New Member

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    Yes, that is what I replaced
     
  5. Brandon M Anderson

    Brandon M Anderson New Member

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    I have a multimeter, but have only used it for checking voltage. I am not familiar with Ohms so don't understand it.
     
  6. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/how-to-use-a-multimeter/measuring-resistance is one of many descriptions of how to measure resistance with a multimeter.

    Breaker off. Wires to the pump disconnected. Check for continuity from each non-ground pump wire to ground. Should be over 100,000 ohms, but if this is causing the problem, the resistance would be much lower. If you have a short to ground, inspect the wire path to the well. If you find a short, repair the wiring. The short could still be in the pump, but the hope is that it is somewhere easy to access.

    If that does not show a short, the short is probably in the pump. Measure the resistance between the non-grounded wires. A 1 HP pump would have a resistance of more than 2 ohms. Then there is the wire resistance. If you measure under 2 ohms, you know you have a short. While it could be in the wiring to the pump, it is probably in the pump. Or at the pump.

    So probably a failed pump. But it is worth checking for easy-to-fix stuff before pulling the pump.
     
  7. Brandon M Anderson

    Brandon M Anderson New Member

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    Thank you, I will check.
     
  8. Brandon M Anderson

    Brandon M Anderson New Member

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    So with setting at 200k red prong to red wire and black to ground it reads OL, same with the black wire. If I reverse it and have black prong to red wire and red to ground it reads -58.6.
    With setting at 2k red prong to red wire and black prong to black wire it reads .004. With setting at 200 it beeps and screen bugs out
     
  9. Brandon M Anderson

    Brandon M Anderson New Member

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    So with setting at 200k red prong to red wire and black to ground it reads OL, same with the black wire. If I reverse it and have black prong to red wire and red to ground it reads -58.6.
    With setting at 2k red prong to red wire and black pron
     
  10. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Now that's weird. That would seem to imply a voltage with a DC component. Try measuring AC and DC voltages instead.
     
  11. Brandon M Anderson

    Brandon M Anderson New Member

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    So Red to Red and Black to Black for AC and DC reads 0. But when do it Red to Red and Black to Ground reads .33 DC set at 20. 0 for same thing with AC
     
  12. Brandon M Anderson

    Brandon M Anderson New Member

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    just to double check, these are the wires going down to the pump disconnected from house wiring
     
  13. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    To be honest, I tend do doubt that you can read much into that. I suspect is some thermocouple effect. It's a curiosity. It is not probably not blowing your breaker. I can see it messing with your resistance measurements however.

    How about red to red and black to black, or red to black and black to red? What resistance?

    To make sense of that, you will also touch the two meter probes together to see what the meter shows when there is zero resistance.

    To measure such low resistances, it is nice to have a meter made for that -- a milliohmmeter or 4-lead ohmmeter ..... However for this purpose, your 200 ohm scale may be close enough. What do you read?

    Don't wait until the warranty on the pump expires.
     
  14. Brandon M Anderson

    Brandon M Anderson New Member

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    at 200 ohms it just beeps and screen doesn't read anything understandable (red to red and black to black)
     
  15. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Like the number is jumping around?

    Is there a ground wire run to the pump?

    What do you read when you touch the meter leads together?
     
  16. Brandon M Anderson

    Brandon M Anderson New Member

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  17. Brandon M Anderson

    Brandon M Anderson New Member

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    at 200 ohms lead touched together .5
    yes, ground ran to pump
    red to red black to black reads 4.2
     
  18. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    When you were taking measurements with respect to ground, were those to the ground wire running to the pump, or a different ground?
     
  19. Brandon M Anderson

    Brandon M Anderson New Member

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    the ground running to the pump
     
  20. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Location:
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    If the ohm meter beeps when you touch the two probes together, and it beeps when you touch one probe to ground and one to a motor wire, then the motor is shorted.
     
  21. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm. No red flag there. When you said immediately, was it less than a second, or could it have been say 7 seconds?

    I think what I would do next is to put an insulator between the left side contacts. A plastic bread clip would be good. Wire up the pump as normal. Turn on the power. Pump will not start. Does the breaker blow?

    Turn off the power. Move the bread clip. Try again.

    No blow? Turn off the power. Remove the bread clip. How long does the breaker take to blow?
     
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