Submersible well pump, Who should I believe?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by Gary j Everett, Feb 26, 2020.

  1. Gary j Everett

    Gary j Everett New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2020
    Location:
    Shelton CT
    I've owned my home with a submersible well pump for over 17 years and have had no trouble with the well or pump. I'm selling the house and the Buyer had an inspection, requesting that the pump and wire be replaced because the starting current is 27 amps. Yet from reading other threads here discussing similar issues it seems that a starting current of 27 amps isn't unusual.. Should I believe the inspection? The pump is 1/2 hp, 230 volts, 6.2 amps, and is installed at a 100 ft depth, but don't know the make or model . I understand that the weight of the water will impact the starting current. Can someone advise on this? I seem to recall my own well service company telling me the same thing sometime in the past, but have not had any issues.
    How can this be verified as normal for that depth or as a real problem? Does running current provide any clue?
    Thanks in advance..
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Pumps have a surge in current on start (first second). That is normal.

    Also, is this a 230 volt pump (2 pole breaker), or 115 (single pole breaker)?

    If the surge is longer than a second, does this have a control box? If so, replace the start capacitor.

    How about he replaces it and if the new one does not have an initial surge, you pay for the new pump. ;-) I am not a pro, and this suggestion was half in jest.
     
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  4. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    To get the current rating you really need the name plate from the motor to know the Lock Rotor Amperage rating or LRA. The current does seem high and since your well service company mentioned it, it is noteworthy to take there recommendations. I found a chart for a 1/2hp 240 volt pump and at 100 feet the 12 gpm downgrades to about 3-4 gpm at 100 ft. I'm not well guy but upping it to 3/4 or 1 hp may be easier on the pump, as you said, to push up on that column of water. The real voltage of the motor is what is at the end of the wires at the pump connection. A voltage drop will cause higher current draw on an AC inductive load.

    However, you need to look at the consequences. It's not easy to get a buyer for a home especially in the middle of CT winters and it could be a deal breaker. Having to pay to have a new pump installed maybe worth it so you don't lose the sale especially that you need to unload this home for your next one. Holding onto the home for a few more months for the next buyer may cost more, your first offer is generally the best offer. Say it cost $2K for a new installed pump, you'll be happy that the closing will continue and the new buyers will be in a better mood at the closing.

    https://generators.smps.us/surge-current-calculator.html
     
  5. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Locked rotor current of a 2 wire motor is 32.4 and for a 3 wire with a control box is 23.0. I don't see anything wrong with your locked rotor current and that is not a way to tell if your pump is worn out. High or low running amps would be an indication of a problem, but not normal locked rotor current like you have. Starting that pump with as much "water weight" as you can put on it will actually reduce the starting current. Locked rotor current, especially the duration part is greatly reduced when starting a pump against a closed valve. Locked rotor current will even be less when the pump starts at 40 PSI (using a 40/60 switch) than when starting from zero pressure as when first energizing the pump. I know this sounds just the opposite of what your brain is saying but it is true. If locked rotor current is the deciding factor, check locked rotor current when starting at pressure or against a closed valve.
     
    LLigetfa likes this.
  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Occupation:
    Semi-Retired
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Many home inspectors feel compelled to write something up to justify to their customer that they were money well spent.
     
    taylorjm likes this.
  7. Gary j Everett

    Gary j Everett New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2020
    Location:
    Shelton CT
    Thanks to all for their replies. From what I can tell, the Buyers inspection company is trying to sell equipment as they said everything needs replacement, even though functionally there are no issues.
    What annoys me is that they offer no explanation or justification for their evaluation- they just say that because of the high starting current the pump and wire should be replaced. Trying to get MY service company to push back against these claims is the hard part. I found out today that the pump is a Gould, and was actually installed by my service company. Unfortunately, though, their records only show what was done and when, not any details . So there's no history of the starting current when it was installed or when I had it inspected when I purchased the house. I'm next going to reach out to Gould to ask them, assuming I can find who to call.
    Any suggestions?
     
  8. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    There are 8 question marks on this page so far. Six of them are yours.
     
  9. fitter30

    fitter30 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2020
    Occupation:
    Retired service tech
    Location:
    Peace valley missouri
    Had a 15 year old pump replaced 4 years ago pump company reused the wire 294' deep. Sfill working without a problem.
     
  10. craigpump

    craigpump In the Trades

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    Occupation:
    Self employed water system tech
    Location:
    Connecticut
    How badly do you want to sell your home? CT is a tough market, I know, I live here! I know most of the pump guys in the area and there are a few that seem to find something wrong on every inspection hoping they'll get the job. Plus, it's winter and things are a bit slow so they're looking for work. I'd get a second opinion.

    On the other hand, if you don't change the pump and lose the sale the next prospective buyers inspector may find the same issue. As my mother said, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
     
    valveman likes this.
  11. Chucky_ott

    Chucky_ott Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2018
    Location:
    Ontario
    Offer them a credit of 50% or 75% of the replacement cost. They can then decide to pocket the cash and take their chances or change the pump themselves.
     
    JOE.G, V Scott and valveman like this.
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