How to test wire from pressure switch to wire under ground

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by trotter13, Mar 7, 2019.

  1. trotter13

    trotter13 Member

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    I think I might have a short in my wire going from my pressure controller box to my well. It goes underground to my cement well hole as I call it. My well head is five foot down, inside a 5x5 cement square. Right now I've pulled the pump & the wires are disconnected. How would I test them before i hook them back up to the pump? Dont want to put shorted wire to a new well pump.
    Tom
     
  2. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Roll up the wire and put it in a bucket of water. Keep both ends out and check for a short.
     
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  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    I was re-reading symptoms.
    That sounds as if you have a pit.
    That sounds like you have a pitless. You are unlikely to have both. Which is it?

    If you have a pit, it is best to get the casing extended above ground and a pitless adapter installed. I had that done. Not cheap, but worthwhile. The problem with a pit is that well seals leak and pits flood.
     
  5. trotter13

    trotter13 Member

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    I have both, pitless is sitting above the well cap. I was quoted 800.00 to do that, but my cement is fine,never gets water in it.
     
  6. trotter13

    trotter13 Member

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    Wire is stuck in cement in the conduit cant get it to move. I might have drill a new hole. The conduit doesn't stick out at all to grab it and try to free it up. I have very little knowledge how to use the mm. I know how to check for voltage and ohms. But not for short to ground or short.
     
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Wire conduit is steel or plastic?

    How many wires are in the conduit, and what colors are they?

    1. To test the isolated wires for a ground fault, check the resistance from the wire to an earth ground. The resistance should be very high. What do you have? It is OK for a ground wire to have low resistance to ground.
    2. To check for continuity, short two wires at one end, and measure the resistance on those same wires at the other end. Resistance should be low. What do you measure?
    3. to check for wire-to-wire shorts, measure the resistance between the wires. The resistance should be very high
    If 3 wires are run, also short and measure a different pair also.

    Test leads are handy for shorting. The cheap ones often have a bad connection at their wire ends. I usually go ahead and add solder.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
  8. trotter13

    trotter13 Member

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    I have 3 wires yellow red black y= ground black=power red= power connected to the pressure switch, disconnect at the well right now. Pump is 230v.
     
  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Got it. No known symptoms right now, but you want to check things as best you can before continuing.

    If you turn on the breaker for 3o seconds, the breaker does not trip I presume. Not likely, but it would be easy to check. Your original symptom was the breaker was tripping when powering the old pump. The pump fail was the probable cause...
     
  10. trotter13

    trotter13 Member

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    Right , I did turn on the breaker with the pump disconnected it didn't trip. I cut off about 3 ft of wire from the outside because it was split in places and could see green corrosion in other places. That probably shorted out the pump in the first place. But that doesn't mean that the wires in the cement aren't compromised . Could short out tomorrow, next week or a year from now. I would love to pull out the wire from the original conduit and snake new wire right in. Would be a lot easier.
     
  11. trotter13

    trotter13 Member

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    Oh, forgot to mention that I spliced in new wire and tried it out before I pulled the pump. Funny tho I put a mm on the pump when it was out and test show the pump is good. Showed 1,1 on the ohms test.
     
  12. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Do you mean in the pit?

    The fact that you see conduit at each end does not mean there is conduit in the middle. Once you are 2 ft down, it could just be wire with no conduit.

    Try your ohmmeter checks. Even just the resistance to earth ground to the isolated wires will be useful. There is a more-sensitive type of ohmmeter called a megger. It uses higher voltage to measure leakage resistance. It can detect an almost-touching situation that a multimeter can miss.

    My pit had three wires running to it, because at an earlier time there was a 3-wire pump. The 2-wire pump was and is connected with two wires, and the third one is taped up for potential future use. Many think the well people should have used that third wire as a ground wire. It doesn't bother me. I felt my steel well casing was a good ground. I will stop here.

    A 3/4 HP pump will be more than 1.1 ohms across the windings -- more like 3 or more. However general multimeters are not that good at measuring very low resistances.
     
  13. trotter13

    trotter13 Member

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  14. trotter13

    trotter13 Member

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    Here's my wire metal conduit two power wires together showed 066 on ohms meter power to ground both read 1
     
  15. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if you could blow air thru to see if that is a continuous conduit.

    https://www.lowes.com/search?searchTerm=proconnex+anti+short looks like it could be helpful to avoid new nick.

    Edit #13 a bit for clarity.

    Edit: how does the other end look? Maybe pulling compound poured from a higher place would drip through at the pit. That would cause you to know that the conduit was continuous, and would lube up the pull.

    How long is the distance?
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
  16. trotter13

    trotter13 Member

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    Enters the basement 3 1/2 feet from there. Other side is still connected to the pressure switch. That is a straight run to the house.
     
  17. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    So you are saying that a single 10-ft piece of conduit would reach easily? Guess that makes it much more probable that you could just swap out the wires.
     
  18. trotter13

    trotter13 Member

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    So dropped the well and nothing. Got power to and from the pressure switch but nothing outside. It read testing voltage. .2 on red & .2 on black, testing one leg at a time. So I know the wires are fried in the conduit which is in the cement that wont come out. What a pain in the ass this is going to be!
     
  19. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    No resistance checks on the isolated wires.

    I think you are saying that it is the wires that will not come out.

    For a 3.5 ft distance, the shovel trench work should not be too bad. How deep is that conduit? Maybe a new shallower conduit is called for.
     
  20. trotter13

    trotter13 Member

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    Well i by passed the wires and nothing. And I dont know what the hell I'm doing with the MM. I don't know where to dial in to check resistance or how or which wires to touch. What I did so far was put the mm on ohms and 1 to hot the other to ground. I did both hots . One reading was 1 the other was 15.00 on the hots. I tested them from the pressure switch connected to the pump.
     
  21. trotter13

    trotter13 Member

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    Shovel? More like a jack hammer.the ground is frozen.
     
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