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Replacing your submersible water pump can be easy, but before pulling that pump from the ground you need to safely assess what type of system already exists. Then you're ready to start the process of getting everything replaced and wired properly. The main breaker panel should have a wiring schedule handwritten inside the front door panel. Use this guide to find which circuit is your submersible pump and turn it off. Now look to see if the breaker takes up two breaker spaces or one.


InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website. This article describes troubleshooting a submersible well pump that was causing tripped circuit breakers and that pumped water only at a slow, reduced rate and pressure.

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Ultimately using some simple electrical tests the homeowner traced the water pump problems to a nicked well pump wiring circuit wire. How to check voltage, current, resistance to help diagnose well pump problems such as tripping breakers, blown fuses, weak pump performance or no water delivery from a well water pump. Watch out : electrical wiring is dangerous: you could be shocked or killed. If you are not trained and familiar with proper, safe electrical wiring practices don't try it. On by mod - how to test a submersible well pump wiring and motor - typical resistance values.

This sounds to me as if the motor is overheating or is damaged and is drawing high current amps. There are at least two common electrical tests: 1. A test of the pump wiring i tself for deteriorated or damaged insulation low resistancebreaks infinite resistanceand dead shorts to ground zero or close to zero resistance 2. A test of the pump motor windings for evidence of wear or shorts abnormally low resistance Tests of the pump wiring are made by individually connecting between each wire at the well head and ground.

If the well casing is plastic then you have to connect your ground lead to the circuit ground. I give some examples below. It's difficult to make an exhaustive check of the wires for leaks or weak shorts to ground without pulling the wiring out of the well since at the wire ends there will be a connection through the pump motor - giving some resistance but not a quantity that we know without help from the pump manufacturer. Watch out : if you do not know how to perform electrical wiring and circuit tests safely you could be shocked or killed or could start a building fire.

Work with power off and disconnected from the pump circuit. You need to know the normal resistance for your specific well pump brand and model.

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You need to know the approximate total length of the wire as there is a correction factor to include for wire length. You can also check resistance between each lead and ground - and to the well casing as sometimes that will show up a short not between wires but between one wire and ground. Goulds Pumps, an ITT company, offers an excellent submersible well pump diagnostic and service manual.

See s 24 and 25 therein for notes on how to make a resistance check of the pump wires. The illustration I show above is excerpted from Gould's pump manual. On by Anonymous - the 20amp pump circuit breaker keeps being thrown. I have a v submersible well pump that has worked fine for almost 2 yrs but now the 20amp breaker keeps being thrown, but at different intervals. It may run all day or it might trip in 5 mins. How do I check the wires to see if there's a short between house and well or if the short is in the well itself? The wire from the house is buried really deep.

Start at the breaker panel

My home well is doing some weird stuff. First of all, I have 25 amp breakers going to my 1.

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I ohm ed out the motor and it is open infinite resistance to ground both legs and 3. The symptoms that I am seeing is that it it taking my well about 7 to 10 minutes to fill up I have a gallon galvanized tank with no bladder.

When the water pressure in the tank gets to about 30 psi, the water in the house starts discharging air and water combined.

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I have changed the starter cap. I was thinking that the caps may be bad and it was pulling too much current at start up and tripping the breakers. I'm not sure if the system is water logged or not. Any ideas? Joe, Tripping breakers on the pump circuit often mean that the pump is drawing high current [or that there is an actual short circuit].

Well pump wiring size vs distance & voltage

If we don't have a short in the circuit then unfortunately that makes us suspect a failing pump motor. Keep in mind that motor tests are tricky because once parts start spinning an internal winding can move, changing the electrical properties of the device. If it might help you, take a look at our electric motor diagnostics at.

For readers who are qualified and know how to use electrical test instruments, for safety and completeness also see. I'm speaking beyond my competence but from what I've been studying just recently, there are useful relationships between motor current draw and other conditions besides a failing motor.

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Illustration at above-left: orange extension cord wiring used to hook up the pump pressure control switch is an improper and unsafe electrical installation. So we could argue that a pump running against a waterlogged pressure tank might see higher than normal pressure but I doubt it.

A water logged pressure tank will quickly if not immediately reach cut-out pressure and turn off the pump unless the pressure control switch is itself faulty and not sensing that the tank is up to pressure. I think I'd pull the pump and check for binding bearings, damaged impeller that's binding, and if those looked good I might take it to an electric motor repair shop for more expert testing. Check also that your well pump wiring has been properly sized for the distance from building to well pump e.

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This table is a general guideline for well pump wiring sizing. I've got this thing working. I went to go on vacation the last couple of days but had issues so I had to come home. Image at left, not from Joe's home, illustrates un-protected V wiring entering the well casing at the casing top of a water well located in a building basement. I was showing V at the cut off box at the control box. I tested this theory I actually seen the leg go off with the meter by taking my generator and hooking the V side up to the pump.

I have a watt generator, so there was no issue running the pump. It took about 5 minutes to fill the gallon tank.

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It took forever [for the water tank pressure] to get past 25 psi, but once it hit 30 psi it took about 2 minutes for it to reach the cut off pressure of 68 psi my pump and tank are quite a ways from my house and I adjusted the pressure. I had my wife and kids take showers, run the washing machine, and even used the sprinkler in the yard for a couple of hours and watched the pressure gauge and everything worked as normal.

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With that being said, my power wire from the breaker box to the well is buried underground. I dug it up today and found a burned spot in the insulation.

Determine of wires

I cut the insulation back and found that the leg I was loosing when the pump came on was damaged. I guess there was a nick in the wire when I buried it and didn't notice it. When the pump was not running, there was no current being pulled even though the voltage was still there. When current started passing through the wire, there was enough missing insulation to trip the breaker - like a ground fault on a V system. I am an industrial electrician and I'm very familiar with VV systems. I wasn't sure in my original post if I was seeing an issue with the air pressure in the tank or something along those lines.

Install a submersible pump q&a

Check wiring against the pump installation manual diagram, check all connections for tightness, shorts, burns, damage. A loose wire can cause intermittent pump or other electrical device failures as well as a hard failure that means no power or blown fuses. Remove obstruction in impeller housing, inspect for and replace damaged impeller or frozen motor. Use a VOM in ohms setting to check resistance across the capacitor. If the meter does not move no current flows the capacitor is "open". If the air temperature is over degF, the pump may be too hot and its thermal overload switch tripping because of the environment, not a pump problem.

Watch out : If the pump motor won't shut off you should turn off electrical power to the pump to avoid damaging it, then diagnose the problem. top illustration courtesy of Carson Dunlop Associates. On by Greg Rhymer. Hi, I am replacing my submersible well pump this new one is listed as single phase v with four 4 wires. I only have three 3 wires at the well head and that continues through out the remainder of my system being the breaker shut off and the pressure switch.

Greg, I'll be glad to research this further as from your question and image I'm not confident I can give a correct answer right-off. What are the brand and model of the new pump? What are the brand and model of the old pump?

Well pump wiring & electrical circuit diagnostic table

Do we have a wiring diagram from the original submersible? Or the old control box? Watch out : I cannot advise you to connect your pump to this control before we know more, as a short circuit could kill you. A 2-wire V well pump may have the following wires present and connected as given at the control box:. Above: Example wiring details using the Franklin Electric Pumptec-Plus pump controller - citation and manual links provided below.

Watch out: your pump wiring requirements may differ: consult the IO manual for your pump and pump controller. Illustration: Franklin Electric provides this Pumptec Control Box that includes a pump protection circuit that prevents the pump from running dry: particularly suitable for low-yield wells.

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