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Water Well pump/wire problem

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john in la
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:31 pm    Post subject: Water Well pump/wire problem Reply to specific post Reply with quote

My 220 breaker for my 1hp deep well pump is tripping. It will not trip right when you turn it on but after 3 or 4 minutes it trips.
I threw some parts at it last night (new breaker and new pressure switch) trying to take the easy way out but that did not help.

Tonight I took the wire loose at the pressure switch; put wire caps on the ends of the wire and turned on the power. After about 5 minutes the breaker tripped.
So now I assume the wire has a break somewhere. Problem is it is 250ft long and buried about 1ft deep in the hard clay for the past 13 yrs.

Unless someone can give me some advise on how to narrow down where the problem is so I can fix it I guess I am headed to the orange box store in the morning to buy some wire.

Southwire 250 ft. 10-2 UF-B W/G Cable $224.00
 
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old
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Water Well pump/wire problem Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Well from what you say sounds like the pressure tank and switch is at your house but the well is 250 from the house right??? If yes is there a way to unhook the pump from the wire and then turn things on and see if the breaker trips?? Because if you can do that you can figure out if the problem is in the wire in the ground it the wire down the well. Reason I say this is a few years back I had a problem like that and found that about 3/4 of the way down the wires had rubbed and shorted out in my well so I had to replace the wires from the pump up to fix it
 
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huntingreen2day
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Water Well pump/wire problem Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I have seen the wires damaged that run down the well to the pump.
 
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John in MD
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:26 am    Post subject: Re: Water Well pump/wire problem Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Go to your breaker box and switch your well pump breaker with another 220 breaker of same amps, see if it makes a difference. I had a 20 amp start tripping on its own, they don"t last like they use to.
PS It was a square D.
 
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John in MD
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:26 am    Post subject: Re: Water Well pump/wire problem Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Go to your breaker box and switch your well pump breaker with another 220 breaker of same amps, see if it makes a difference. I had a 20 amp start tripping on its own, they don"t last like they use to.
PS It was a square D.
 
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TractormanNC
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:21 am    Post subject: Re: Water Well pump/wire problem Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I assume you have direct burial wire.
Buy some PVC conduit and put the wire in it. You will probably never have another problem unless someone cuts the conduit. If you do have a wire problem, pull out the old and pull in new wire.
 
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ohiojim
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:27 am    Post subject: Re: Water Well pump/wire problem Reply to specific post Reply with quote

like old said, there is usually enough wire at the well to come above the caseing, you could cut it there if they left you enough to reach, then put splice kit on after
 
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MarkB_MI
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:30 am    Post subject: Re: Water Well pump/wire problem Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I don't think you'll be able to find the short with instruments you're likely to have at your disposal. If it failed after only 13 years, I'd say it wasn't buried deep enough and it's likely to give you more trouble in the future. You might try first hand-digging around where it enters your house and pumphouse since you'll need to do that anyway to replace it; maybe you'll luck out and find the problem.
 
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nys
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:35 am    Post subject: Re: Water Well pump/wire problem Reply to specific post Reply with quote

If you decide problem is in the wire underground my electrician friend has a testing device he used to find a break in the undergroud to my shop. Just dug it up at break and spliced it. good luck
 
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Bret4207
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:56 am    Post subject: Re: Water Well pump/wire problem Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Had the same problem. Mine was a break underground between the pressure tank and well casing. Caused all sorts of problems- like stray voltage in our pool! I've seen the wire get worn through with submersible pumps too.
 
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El Toro
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:57 am    Post subject: Re: Water Well pump/wire problem Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I would try another breaker of the same amperage
as been suggested. Hal
 
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evilboweivel
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:04 am    Post subject: Re: Water Well pump/wire problem Reply to specific post Reply with quote

clamp an amprobe on at the panel with the wires capped off like you have them now.
any amp draw equals bad wire
no amp draw change breaker
also wire should be buried 30" minimum
good luck
 
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john in la
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:41 am    Post subject: Re: Water Well pump/wire problem Reply to specific post Reply with quote

This is a above ground 1hp jet pump. The pump; water tank; and pressure switch are all in a 4x4 pump house in my yard.
The wire runs to the main fuse panal on my house and this is where the breaker is.
I have replaced the breaker and pressure switch with new but that did not help.
I am using 10-2 UF-B W/G direct bury wet location wire and it is in conduit from the fuse box in to the ground and again where it comes out the ground and up the side of the pump. Each conduit has a long sweep 90 on the bottom in the ground so the wire runs straight out rather than bending around a corner. I just do not understand how a wire can break buried in the ground.

One question I do have now.
Someone suggest I put the entire length in conduit. Do I still have to use direct bury wire with conduit.
I can get Orange 10-2 Romex NM-B W/G Indoor Wire and enough conduit to do the job for about the same money. Would this be OK to use???
 
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MarkB_MI
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:16 am    Post subject: Re: Water Well pump/wire problem Reply to specific post Reply with quote

John, if you lived where frost is a problem, I'd say the problem was caused by earth movement. But since you're down south, I'd guess you have critter problems. A foot deep is barely enough to avoid gophers, moles and ground squirrels; if there's a spot where the cable is a bit shallow then it would be vulnerable. Bury it deeper and you should be OK. You also want to make sure there are no rocks in the trench. Even if you don't have frost, vehicles driving over the cable can cause problems if the cable is in contact with a rock.

I don't believe you can use Romex underground even if it's in conduit. It's still a "wet" location, since any water that gets into the conduit won't be coming out. I sure wouldn't skimp on something I have to trench in.
 
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John T
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:42 am    Post subject: Re: Water Well pump/wire problem Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Im rusty as an old nail on the latest Code, but best I recall you can use direct burial rated cable like (UF Undergroud Feeder) or if you wanna bury conduit you can use individual enclosed THWN rated wires. The W in THWN versus say THHN wire is for wet locations as I recall. Of course just trenching in UF cable is easier but Id go deeper then only a foot, warning tape above the cable isnt a bad idea. Plastic conduit is permissible unless under driveways and it needs to be rigid or IMC when it comes up above the ground and enters a building..........

If shes tripping a breaker even when opened and capped of at the pumps end, must be a bad/shorted/chewed cable well DUH

Have you calculated voltage drop at your load?? If necessary you may need to increase wire size??

John T No warranty Im rusty remember
 
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