Well Pump Shuts Off, Trips Breaker

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by enigmalss, Nov 8, 2007.

  1. enigmalss

    enigmalss New Member

    Nov 8, 2007
    Any help on this would be appreciated:)

    Existing System: Well with 12gpm rated capacity, clean water, and trouble free operation when supplying home.

    New Addition: Olive orchard with micro-drip/sprayer sprinkler system.

    Problem: Activating sprinkler zone begins water flow from pressure tank, then pump kicks on and restores pressure tank to cut-out pressure...then repeats. I can run the pump/sprinkler system like this indefinitely. BUT since I don't want my pump to have to cycle so much, I estimated the number of zones that I can run and keep the pressure in the pressure tank from rising/falling. This, in theory, keeps the pump happily running along while maintaining pressure. HOWEVER, if I allow all zones to run one-after-another the pump shuts off after about 2 hours. Sometimes it trips a breaker, but sometimes not. However, I can just cycle the breakers and it seems to solve the problem.

    1. I pulled the in-line "Y" filter screen out and it had some silt. The filter is just before the sprinkler valves. But even without the filter in, the pump still shuts down after continuous use.
    2. Could the well be "drawing down" so that, even though it was rated at 12gpm, it can't sustain that flow for long periods? That might explain the pump shutting off due to no water!
    3. How might I prevent the pump from cycling on/off but deliver less than the 12gpm rated flow (assuming there is a draw down problem)? I guess this is kind of like a variable output pump theory? This could keep the pump on continuously but not cause a draw down.
    4. Or should I just go nuclear and drill another well, install a solar well pump, install a big storage tank, and take out a loan on my mother's pearls to cover it all?

    Thanks in advance,
  2. Rancher

    Rancher Guest

    You need to be there at the 2 hour point to see what is happening.

    Submersible pump?

    Could be pumping the well dry, but that wouldn't stop the pump.

    The pump could be pumping the well dry and then going into thermal overload, however it would then reset, and the breaker wouldn't pop.

    Bad pump?

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  4. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Mar 15, 2006
    Pump Controls Technician
    Lubbock, Texas
    This is another perfect application for a Cycle Stop Valve. With the CSV you can you can adjust the irrigation demands to match the wells output. If the well is only capable of say 8 GPM, then you can run just 8 GPM without the pump cycling. You can actually run as little as 1 GPM for a drip system without the pump cycling. If the well will really make 12 GPM, you may have already cycled the pump enough to damage the motor. This can cause the overload to trip even if the well is making 12 GPM and you are now keeping the pump running continuously as it should. The pump may be old enough to not have an internal automatic resetting overload. Also could be just a weak breaker. They tend to get weaker with each reset. Check your amp draw. Amps running higher than max allowed, your motor is already damaged. Amps running at or below max allowed, weak breaker.

    I don't really think you are pumping the well dry, as that would have probably melted the impellers together by now and permanently locked up the pump.
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