Effluent Pump keeps tripping breakers Aerobic Septic

Discussion in 'Pumps and Wells' started by Determined Novice, Jan 14, 2020.

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  1. Jan 14, 2020 #1

    Determined Novice

    Determined Novice

    Determined Novice

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    Issue started about 6 months ago. Sewer backed up and saw water puddling and no spray. Noticed the breaker for the pump was either shut off or tripped. I was told that sometimes people that mow will shut it off so they don't get sprayed. Breakers are ABB. Has 2 of the 10 amp and 1 20 amp. Reset the breaker and all was well for some time. The system would function as it should. Recently went out and it smelled horrid. I opened the chlorinator and it was full so the system hadn't been pumping. Checked the pump breaker and it was tripped. Reset it and nothing. Went to the main power panel and it was tripped as well. Reset both and it sprayed for some time. Hours it seemed. Went and did some other things and came back and the breaker for the pump tripped again. Reset it and it sprayed for quite a while again. Repeated this process a few more times. Today I switched the two 10 amp breakers. Same thing happened. I also tested the breakers and they tested good. I also bought a 15 amp breaker and tried that same issue and it tripped itself and also the 30 amp fuse in the main panel. I pulled the pump out (STA-RITE STEP 20-02) all looked well but had some debris on it's filter shield so I cleaned it off. Tried a dry start and immediately tripped the breaker. Lowered back in the tank tried again same result. Won't run for any time now immediately tripps. Any ideas as to how to fix this issue? Is it the pump is it the wiring is it something else??
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
  2. Jan 14, 2020 #2

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

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    Unless the breakers are gfci it sounds like the pump is mostly dead.
     
  3. Jan 14, 2020 #3

    Determined Novice

    Determined Novice

    Determined Novice

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    breakers are not gfci. any way to tell if it's a wiring or float issue or is that unlikely?
     
  4. Jan 14, 2020 #4

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

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    If one or more of the wires are not making good contact somewhere, they can arc, which is like a big surge trying to get high current across a weak bridge.
    It can be at a screw connection, push on terminal, or even inside an insulated cable if the wire is damaged inside.

    A surge can also happen at a bad switch.

    A surge can trip the breaker.

    A surge often makes a brief deep loud rumbling noise.

    Hire a pro to test everything, or probably cheaper to just buy a new pump if you can install it yourself.

    If that fixes it, great.

    If not, call a pro, have them check everything and may as well install new pump anyway.
     
  5. Jan 15, 2020 #5

    Valveman

    Valveman

    Valveman

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    That is very common with those "STEP" type pumps. Special made for effluent with a suction on the bottom, the motor is very small diameter and the bearings are tiny. Use a regular 10 GPM, 1/2HP submersible well pump. It has the inlet in the middle and needs a 4" PVC pipe for a flow inducer, but has much stronger motor and bearings than those bottom intake type pumps. Those STEP type pumps are made with planned obsolescence as the main design criteria. Either keep replacing them regularly like the company hopes you will, or find a better pump.
    shroud 3 pics sized.jpg
     

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