Pump low pressure with unexpected shut off

Discussion in 'Pumps and Wells' started by AdamW, Jul 24, 2019.

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  1. Jul 24, 2019 #1

    AdamW

    AdamW

    AdamW

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    I'm thinking that my residential well pump has gone bad but I'm looking for some confirmation.

    I've read a ton of posts about similar issues but really can't put my finger on it as a definite.

    I bought my house about 3 years ago. The well and equipment were all installed (new well drilled) brand new about 6 months prior and had never been used (house had been empty about 4 years before that, no clue why they moved the well).

    Today my washer gets a No Flow error and lo and behold there's no water in the faucet either. I check the water "stuff" in the basement.

    My setup is a well control box and a "pump protector" connected to a pressure valve at the foot of the tank. When I reset the protector or toggle the breaker the system kicks in and pumps for about 10 seconds then the pump protector shuts it all down.

    Here is the hardware:
    • Coyote Pump Protector
    • Franklin Electric Pump Control box
    • Presumably a Franklin Electric pump but I can find no documentation on what pump is installed
    Here are 'specs' handwritten on the pump control box in sharpie:
    • "Pump set at 580' "
    • "1 1/2 HP"
    • "7 GPM"
    • "1" Rigid"
    Here are the behaviors:
    • Pump only pumps up to about 40 psi before pump protector shut down.
    • Resetting and continuing to pump more seems to only move psi needle slightly before shutting down again.
    • If I hook up a hose to the drain line and turn on the pump (drain into sump pit) then pump will happily keep on pumping without shutdown, presumably because there's no pressure buildup.
    • The pressure valve on the tank stays in the on position because hi-pressure has not been attained (about 60 psi)
    I have put a multi meter on the power and these #s are what I get:
    • Pulls a consistent 235 volts
    • Pulls about 14 or 15 amps before suddenly jumping to 17. This is where the protector kills the power immediately.
    I do not believe that anything is caught in the pump because it pumps as long as pressure is low.

    So I'm really looking for someone who knows much better than I and might lead me in the right direction if my assessment of a bad pump isn't accurate.

    EDIT: Noting that we've had about 6" of rain above normal for this month and above normal rainfall all year long so I'm confident the well is not lacking any water.
     
  2. Jul 24, 2019 #2

    Valveman

    Valveman

    Valveman

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    A picture would help. I don't know what kind of "pressure valve" you have that would say "60 PSI high pressure has not been attained?" However, a 1.5HP has a max amps of 11.9, so starting at 14-15 and jumping to 17 is not good. Since your voltage is good I am guessing the control box or the pump/motor is the problem. Increasing pressure causing the amps to increase usually means a bad thrust bearing in the motor. You can ohm out the wires and see if there is any short down hole. Other than that you will probably have to pull the pump to see the problem.
     
  3. Jul 25, 2019 #3

    AdamW

    AdamW

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    Thanks for the reply @Valveman. Maybe I should have been clear on the valve. it doesn't actually say it's not been attained. It's a mechanical pressure valve with a needle. When I say the valve stays on I mean the low pressure setting has put the electric into contact and the valve remains in this position when the pump is off because 60 psi is where the mechanical valve flips the switch and breaks contact.

    The upside is that the company that installed the well will be here first thing in the morning... and to top that off if the pump is the one I have deduced then there's a 5 year warranty on it and the install date was 4 years 10 months ago... and they'll have the invoice for it... so I might luck out and get the pump for free but I'm still gonna have to swallow that labor charge.

    I'll update here when I know more. Thanks again!
     
  4. Jul 25, 2019 #4

    Valveman

    Valveman

    Valveman

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    5 years still isn't very good. You need to figure out what caused the problem so it doesn't happen again. I don't think they will give you 5 years on the new pump, as you only have 2 months of the original warranty left.

    That is called a pressure switch that turns the pump on at 40 and off at 60.
     
  5. Sep 19, 2019 #5

    AdamW

    AdamW

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    This is an incredibly late reply... but i had lost where I had been posting and in need again I have managed to google out the same place again.

    So my update is two-fold. Magically when the well company showed up to inspect... everything worked as expected. Proper amperage, quick fillup, no shut offs. $200 bucks for a nothing burger. This worked for a while...

    Fast forward to today... and here we are.

    So the pump is back to the exact same behavior... What I've been able to troubleshoot out is:

    Amps going in and out of all wiring: Just under 8
    Voltage into the Pump Saver: about 118 each leg
    Voltage going into the Pump Controller: about 118 each leg.

    Voltage going from the pump controller to the well: This is where it gets odd???
    One line shows about 118 volts but the other line seems to read 290-ish. I read it multiple times and even went back to the other lines where they read as expected...
    Is this normal?! What I've read they should carry about half the weight of the total voltage.
    Is this possible? Can it take 8a, 240v in and output 8a, 410v out?!?!

    I want to believe the reading is wrong... but I also have to question if this is actually the case... is this slow pump and pump-saver-shutoff a product of this problem?
    Also, does this mean that the pump controller is bad sending way too much voltage down 1 leg (remembering that the combined total isn't anywhere near this amount)??? or would it be the pump causing more demand? The latter seems less likely because I'd expect that to cause it to draw more power in.. which it doesn't.

    These readings are very confusing to me as they don't seem possible.... so if I'm totally off-base just slap me with a large trout and set me straight...

    I really appreciate the input. Pulling this pump up 600' feet is the alternative and it ain't cheap!
     
  6. Sep 20, 2019 #6

    Valveman

    Valveman

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    A 1.5HP pump has max amps of about 11. Something is wrong if you see 14, 15, then a jump to 17 amps. The voltage after the control box is not important as the capacitor causes the high voltage. The fact that it is running at 8 amps and you have a coyote makes me think it is a low producing well. Running the pump dry will cause low amps like 8 or 5 for a short time, then it will jump to max amps and shut off when the impellers melt and stick together. Call the company you paid 200 bucks and tell them they still didn't diagnose the problem. They might have to spend a little more time figuring out what is going on. Intermittent problems are hard to find, but they need to stay on it until they figure it out. At the very least they should discount what needs to be done by the 200 bucks you paid for nothing.
     

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