Timer for a submersible deep well pump

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by matthew higdon, Jan 29, 2020.

  1. matthew higdon

    matthew higdon New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2020
    Location:
    arkansas
    hello all...

    new to the forum as a member, but been here many times over the years seeking info on well systems in times of set up or repair needs. today, i'm here needing to make a repair...

    i'm looking for a timer that will function within rather specific and necessary on/off parameters. mechanical > digital, but whatever i have to do. the intermatic C8865 i've been using has been seizing up and then we are nearly out of water in our storage tank. (i do have a float switch to cut off before completely empty). as you'd guess, the gears on the timer motor are worn from age, but with a little lubrication i manage to make it work, again......though, i really just need to replace it.

    for the last 15yrs, i've had the timer set up to trip at 30sec intervals every 15 minutes on a one hour cycle to continuously feed a 300 gal tank. with testing, i've found the well can sometimes/maybe handle 1 minute intervals every 20 minutes, but the former arrangement seems safer during drier seasons. (this all is because of our well's reduced capacity from when they were blasting/building the nearby interstate. the well collapsed burying that pump and reducing the depth by 20-30ft. furthermore, drilling to repair or for a new one was and still is way too expensive.)

    all intermatic C8800 models are obsolete/discontinued as are the replacement motors for them. so far, i've had no luck with ebay or online retailers in finding used or old stock inventory. same with similar units from other manufacturers like tork, diehl, and dayton, etc.

    i've got feelers out with one supplier in indiana if he can find something, but that's a wait game. in the meantime, i'm hitting up anyone anywhere that would have experience/knowledge and kind enough to point me to some options

    functional parameters:
    capable of a 30 second minumum on time
    15 minute minimum off time
    240v output SP/DT
    rural power outage/surge resistance
    UL rating or similar protection
    manual override would be nice, but not at all necessary
    no "smart" devices

    if anyone could point me in a direction to finding something to fit within these requirements, that'd be most excellent. thank you kindly!

    ~matthew
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I don't know how you define smart, but there are electronic devices made to shut down a pump for a programmable amount of time when the well runs dry. There may be some older version that did this without a microcontroller inside.

    So you are looking for an electromechanical timer that can let you select an on time as little as 30 seconds?
     
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  4. greenmonster123

    greenmonster123 Active Member

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    Nov 12, 2015
    Location:
    Sag Harbor, New York
    I would suggest looking into an irrigation timer with a relay
     
  5. matthew higdon

    matthew higdon New Member

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    Jan 29, 2020
    Location:
    arkansas
    you know...smart technology like the phones, tv's, appliances, etc. made to be able to communicate with using your phone. intermatic, atleast, has one. don't know if anyone else does, but i'm just saying i don't want to use something like that

    an electromech timer would be preferable, yes. but, digital or EM, right....as little as 30 seconds on.

    again, it's our well. i know sometimes a 1 minute on time would be okay as the trip/on interval with every 20 minutes of off time. but, i think it would be a stretch after 3-4 hours of cycling. the well just doesn't recover that fast in really dry conditions. atleast, that's how it was at the times i ran testing to determine safe and optimal cycling. ground water conditions may have changed. as it is, if/when the tank is low, it will fill back up fully within a couple of days. that works for us and i know it's safe for the grundfos.
     
  6. matthew higdon

    matthew higdon New Member

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    Jan 29, 2020
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    arkansas
    would you mind terribly giving me an example of what you're referring to so i have a basis for research?
     
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I have not used such stuff, but try googling asymmetrical flashing relay 240

    This should let you choose on-time and off time to be a different time over a wide range.

    I don't know how you tell the device to do its thing.

    This is one of those devices that can lock out the pump for an interval that you choose when the water runs out: https://cyclestopvalves.com/collections/cycle-sensor-pump-monitors
     
  8. matthew higdon

    matthew higdon New Member

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    Jan 29, 2020
    Location:
    arkansas
    thanks! i've been trying to learn about those relays. the guy in indiana doing some digging around on my behalf mentioned them. he just didn't explain how they work...which would be nice to find someone who'd do that because they're pretty inexpensive. however, going by the time interval settings and assumptions based on my limited knowledge, i'm thinking so far they won't work. i've only seen them go from 1 sec, 10 sec, to 60 sec and then on to minutes. i suppose if i had summer/dry conditions to experiment once again for under ground water capacity, then maybe i could determine if more than the 30 second on time would be reliably safe for the pump. and, those pump monitors are certainly expensive. i'll just have to keep researching into all that
     
  9. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Mar 15, 2006
    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Timers are not safe. 30 seconds could be more than the well can supply at times and the pump will be running dry. 30 seconds of run time is also not enough to dissipate the heat generated by start up. The Cycle Sensor will let the pump run as long as possible, getting the most out of the well as possible, before it sees the pump is running dry and shuts it off. Then the timer in the Cycle Sensor can be set from 1 minute to 5 hours for the pump to restart. Setting the timer in the Cycle Sensor to make the pump stay off long enough for the pump to run 30-60 seconds when it does come on is all you have to do.
     
  10. matthew higdon

    matthew higdon New Member

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    Jan 29, 2020
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    arkansas
    so, are you saying the cycle sensor is all i need? iow's, no need to run a plain ol' timer in conjunction? i'm asking because i've never heard nor seen a cycle sensor until posting here

    we have a grundfos (edit) "soft" start pump in the well, if that makes any difference regarding start up heat. we had to do the grundfos because it's smaller diameter was the only thing that would fit (due to the collapsing) and were sold on the idea that it would be the most gentle on our already compromised well wall. i had to pull it about a year ago due to a wiring issue. everything still looked good, and was able to still run all the pipe back down...ie. no obstruction
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2020
  11. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Yes. The Cycle Sensor has a built in timer. It knows when the well is dry, shuts the pump off, and starts the restart timer.
     
  12. matthew higdon

    matthew higdon New Member

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    Jan 29, 2020
    Location:
    arkansas
    okay. thank you! allow me to ask some questions, then. i've read a number of posts you've made (while searching) on the unit and you seem to know a great deal about them

    so, let's say i set it for 1 minute on time and 20 minute off on a continuous cycle. and, within say 4 hours 1 minute becomes too long, the pump starts running dry within the minute, and the sensor shuts off the pump. it then waits 20 minutes to restart, again? and, if it is running dry, how am i to know this is occurring so that i may modify the cycling times?
     
  13. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    AFAIK only the off time is programmable. The on time will be however long it takes to run out of water.
     
  14. matthew higdon

    matthew higdon New Member

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    Jan 29, 2020
    Location:
    arkansas
    i found the CS1PH3-15HP out of canada for less than half retail. it's new in box. would this unit work for our needs? my pump is 1/2hp and the monitor is rated for 15hp, but would it still do the job?
     
  15. matthew higdon

    matthew higdon New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2020
    Location:
    arkansas
    that sounds more like an application for on demand use. this will not do. i did state above i'm looking for something i can set/program with a short on time

    perhaps i should clarify, if not understood?

    the submersible pump's only function is to draw water at increments relative to the recovery rate i determined through testing. it fills the storage tank continuously until a float switch up top shuts if off so that we have reserve. then we have a jet pump to transfer that water from storage to the house and outdoor faucets
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2020
  16. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    You still would use your float switch.

    That SQ pump is supposed to have built-in run-dry protection. I wonder if you could just rely on that.
    1. How do I protect SQ against dry-running?
    SQ pumps have built-in dry-running protection, without the use of a low level sensor. A preset power value ensures cut-out of the pump in case of lack of water in the well, thus preventing motor burnout.

    The software simply checks the power consumption. When it becomes too low, it stops the pump for 5 minutes. After this period, automatic restart is attempted.​
     
  17. matthew higdon

    matthew higdon New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2020
    Location:
    arkansas
    that much i already understand, but thank you

    as for the SQ built in dry run protection....well...now that you mention it, i seem to recall that also being one of selling points for us when we got it. (it's been a day or three)

    this software....you're referring to the cycle monitor suggested? i'm a bit confused, gentlemen. valveman says it's what i need, but it's sounding more like it's not....at all
     
  18. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    IL
    What I don't know is how quickly the built-in pump shutdown works. The Cycle Sensor may be able to shut down before the water is actually exhausted.

    Also, the Cycle Sensor can let you pick well recovery times-- from 1 to 300 minutes
     
  19. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    You are making this way harder than it should be. Dry well protectors do no have a timer for how long the pump runs. They look at the amps the motor is drawing. Your 1/2HP pump will draw 5 amps when pumping water, and will drop to 2.5 amps when the well runs dry. The Cycle Sensor sees this low amps, lets the pump run for another 10 seconds and shuts the pump off. Then the timer in the Cycle Sensor can be set from 1 minute to 5 hours to automatically start the pump again. Of course the Cycle Sensor and float switch are wired together, so when the float switch rises to the tank full level everything stays off until the float switch is at the needs to fill again level.

    The SQ has this feature built in. Except you have no control over the pump starting up again in 5 minutes. VA says the 5 minute off thing is enough and they work fine. But there are many wells that need more than 5 minutes to recover, so the pump can run more than a couple seconds at a time.

    The Cycle Sensor will let you adjust the restart times up to 5 hours. But the shorter the off times, the more water you will get from the well.
     
    V Scott likes this.
  20. matthew higdon

    matthew higdon New Member

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    Jan 29, 2020
    Location:
    arkansas
    what can i say? i have a talent for it.

    i've watched the video and reread your replies several times. i do understand how the cycle sensor works in it's intended design as a safety feature. but, what i'm not understanding is how i'm supposed to make that work in the same or similar fashion as i've been accustomed to with my current timer. and, maybe that's the problem; trying to fit a square peg in a round hole

    so, your saying program the sensor for a recovery period, just the let the pump run until it's dry, the sensor will shut it off when the amps drop, and when the timer is up it starts filling, again? just let it perform/cycle like this to achieve the same purpose as i've been doing with a timer?
     
  21. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    That's it, but you may be able to set the current to detect when the pump is almost ready to run out of water. The box displays the current. When the water level drops, the current drops gradually before you run out of water. Then the current drops a lot when you actually run out. You adjust the setpoint as to what current to shut down at.

    Want to see the current drop with your current configuration? Clip a clamp-around ammeter around one of your hot wires at the breaker panel, or pressure switch -- whatever is accessible .

    With the SQ pump, no control box.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2020
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