Need help changing to float switch for well system with cistern

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Suceress

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Hey, its me again! I"m the crazy cat lady out in the woods. Back with my never-ending projects. Recently my jet pump and pressure tank died which required some modifications to plumbing and we figured we'd update the electrical while we were at it.

I have a strange setup for my well system. There are two pumps, a cistern, and a pressure tank. The first pump is a two-wheeled belt-driven pump. The motor is 1HP 230v and max draw is 6.1Amps.

Currently it is operated by a liquid level switch like this one https://www.amazon.com/Schneider-Electric-9036DG2R-Pumptrol-Switch/dp/B006H3S2TK/
The switch sits on a block on top of the cistern lid and a metal rod with a float goes through the hole in the arm. It has adjustable things above and below the arm so that when the float drops below a certain level it pushes the arm down and triggers the pump to come on. When the lower bit on the rod pushes the arm back up, it shuts off. But the rod sometimes turns sideways and doesn't trigger a change. It hasn't overflowed in a long time, but it keeps getting stuck where it won't turn on and I have to physically pull on the rod to get it to work.

It is connected to 10/2wg cable. We recently fixed things up a bit so it now has its own breaker in a new sub panel. I believe both of the wires are hot and the other is ground. They connect from the breaker to the switch and then wires go back out from the switch to the belt-driven pump. A series of pipes connect to the pump to get water to come up through some PVC and then come down through the lid.

In this picture you can see the switch on the wooden block (original switch had a longer arm welded on so it could reach from the small pvc on top) and you can see the wires going to and from the switch as well as the pvc pipe going into the top of the cistern to bring water in. Lower down you can see some of the pipes and part of the belt-driven pump.
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Another view from inside the pump house. The motor is on the right side.
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Yet another view-- its hard to get a good picture of the wheeled side because the broken door is stuck in the way. I've ordered another weather-proof junction box and more conduit bc I ran out. The wires will be put in conduit and go into the junction box when they arrive.
1717639013042.png

I know its a hot mess in there but you should have seen it before. In fact, I'll show you. It was a bit of a nightmare. Most of those cables did not work, they were not rated for outside, the outlets were dead, switch didn't have a cover on, and rain could come in from holes in the roof. I patched the roof a bit and we took the power coming in from the main panel (which came up through the blue tubing in front of the cistern) and connected it to proper outdoor rated cable inside a weatherproof junction box, installed a sub panel, and used conduit.
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That's probably TMI, so I'll get back on track. I've been told I should change to a different type of switch for the pump. (and no, I'm not going to change out the type of pump because it would require getting a new well drilled and I can't even get the well service people to answer the phone or call me back). I'm working with a friend who is a certified electrician but he's not familiar with well systems.

I'm thinking of getting getting this float switch https://www.amazon.com/Float-Switch-Septic-System-Sump/dp/B0064BHEVM/
81QkovImzoL._AC_UL320_.jpg

It can handle up to 250v or 13Amps. However, I can't seem to find a good guide on wiring it. If it were set to 115v, then the wiring would be different, but everything I've been reading and seeing on Youtube indicates that it would need some sort of controller and I have no clue what to get.

My friend just sent me the link to this https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N3KO7SY but I'm not sure what else I would need or how it would be wired. I know he can find out-- figuring stuff out like that is what he does for a living. But I'm trying to find as much info as I can as well.
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I'm hoping I can setup a weatherproof junction box on the beam above the cistern and run the cable for the float through the hole that the float rod currently goes through. The cable would go to a junction box with some sort of controller (perhaps the one linked above). Then from that box the power would go back out to the pump.
So, has anyone used this type of system or something similar?
Would the above linked contraptions work?
Would I need something else or something different?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. And I know this is an electrical question but I'm hoping that since it involves pumps and cisterns that it's enough plumbing related to get some answers.
 

Blue Oaks

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Suceress

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Thank you for the replies!
Do you think the relay I linked would work?
@Blue Oaks the reason it says that float is not for potable water is because of the chemicals in the float. It's apparently toxic for drinking water. I've seen similar ones on Amazon where they say that the material is not potable-water safe. Either something inside that could come out if ruptured or the actual outside has chemicals or lead (or both).
 

Blue Oaks

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I can't help with the relay I don't think. If no one else can help, I'll try to dig into my system some more. It does in fact use a relay, but it's a bit confusing to my fragile little mind.

On the topic of my float switch. When I go to the link for the exact unit I bought it says it passed NSF 61.


"NSF-61 is a set of regulations that covers products that come in contact with drinking water in the USA including pipes, hoses, fittings, gaskets, adhesives, coatings, lubricants, faucets, drinking fountains, filters, water meters, valves, filters, and more."
 

Fitter30

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There are two types loads Inductive and Resistive Loads. Inductive is a motor where starting amps are higher than running, resistive are steady. Relays are made for resistive unless they state on them a hp.
 

Suceress

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Thanks, BlueOaks! I'm also looking at a float from rainbrothers that they advertise as being safe for potable water. I really should also look into some sort of whole house filtering system at some point.

Thanks, Fitter30. I think I understand what you're saying, but I don't know how to apply that info to this. LOL. It's been almost 30 years since I took electronic engineering in college.

I still have my friend looking into things. In one of the rainbrothers' videos they showed their float having one leg of the float interrupt one of the hot legs to the pump while the other hot leg connected directly. I'm still confused about it. Maybe because I'm tired.
 

Suceress

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I read on reddit that the relay I was thinking of using could burn up as it wasn't meant to be used for that purpose, but I found another set of relays specifically for pumps up to 240VAC and 10A. But instead of a float, it uses sensors that touch the water.
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Theoretically, I would only need 2 sensors- high and low.
Looks like it is a small device so it could fit in a small box on a rail.
Do you think this would work? I know it says its a relay but it is specifically designed for pumps. It looks like I could have both hots going in.

But then that does leave the ground wire not connected. Could I ground it to the metal shed? Or should I find a way to run all of the ground wires out of the shed and to a rod in the ground?

Additionally, could I use a 2nd one of these devices to interrupt power to the pressure switch (and thus to the jet pump) so that if the water level is too low, the pump can't turn on and push air while dry?

Would it be better to go with the 01 model or the 02? The first one does look simpler.
 

Suceress

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Eh, just realized those things can only use up to 12AWG and I'm using 10AWG. Amazon's AI answering said I would need a 20A SPST (single phase single stage) contactor rated for 230v or higher. I'm having a hard time finding the right one and I'm confused. LOL.
I'm asking my friend to look into things and see what he finds.

The jet pump stopped working bc the float lever jammed and didn't fill the cistern again. I keep seeing videos and diagrams where people use an MCB (miniature circuit breaker) and am wondering if that is necessary since my pump has its own breaker in the shed's sub panel.
 
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