Pump Start Relay erratically shuts off after a few seconds

Discussion in 'Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum' started by Sawgrass, Oct 4, 2019.

  1. Sawgrass

    Sawgrass New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2019
    Location:
    St Petersburg, FL
    I've checked troubleshooting tips but can't find this problem. My pump start relay shuts off / disconnects after a few seconds but not always. There is no pattern to its behavior. It happens about 20% of the time. Once engaged for 3+ seconds, it stays engaged.

    The only noticeable thing is that when it doesn't stay connected, there's usually an arc when it first connected. It's a Furnas PSR that's probably 30+ years old, and I wonder if the contacts are worn and causing resistance that the controller doesn't like. I can't find any relevant troubleshooting information for my controller.

    The system had been working well for the past 5 years, and the unpredictable shut down problem started a few weeks go.

    I have a shallow well, an Orbit controller, the Furnas PSR, and a Gould GT15 1 1/2 HP pump. Everything is inside my garage. For the first time today, I did see a tip that the controller and PSR should be at least 15' apart due to possible "interference." They are about 4' apart and as noted above, I never had a problem for 5 years.

    Before I swap out the old PSR for a new one, I wanted to check in for any ideas. Many thanks for any insights.

    Addendum: After posting this, I had an insight. The contacts remind me of the ignition contact points on a used '68 VW bug that I worked on as my first car. When those contacts fouled, I used an emery board to sand them. Just did that to the PSR contacts, tested, and works fine! So far.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
  2. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida Black Belly Whistling Ducks

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    Replace the pump start relay. They are cheap and easy to do. Don’t forget to turn off the power. When replacing check the connectors for the 24v relay coil. They could be corroded. They usually are spade connectors and the copper at the crimp degrade.

    Just to be sure it is not your controller, put a voltmeter on the pump start relay terminal and the common. When it cuts out there still should be ~24volts AC. If not it could be the controller. If there is no voltage remove the pump start relay wire and check voltage again. A shorted relay the controller may crow bar the voltage to protect itself. The resistance of a relay coil should be about 50 ohms or higher.

    Pump start relays do wear out.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
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