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pump and starter relay problems

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by greasemonkey, Jun 14, 2002.

  1. greasemonkey

    greasemonkey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

    I need some help troubleshooting a submersible pump. The specs are as folows: Its a 3hp submersible, I don't know what brand as I've never seen it. Its controlled by a franklin electric 3hp delux pump start relay. The statring capacitors and starting relay, as well as the main contactor are all housed in the relay box. The box is supplied by a 30 220 volt breaker. There are three wires plus a ground running to the pump. The relay is activated by a line voltage pressure switch plumbed into the mainline. When the controller turns on a valve, pressure in the mainline drops closing the pressure switch which activates the pump relay. The pressure switch is set so that the pump does not cut in and out while the system is running The relay has two overload protections, 1 for the starter circut, and 1 for the main circut. There is no GFCI protection in the system. Now for the problem : there is a 15 volt difference from the pump start control box to earth ground. The main overload protector also trips frequently. The control box is only "hot" when the overload is not tripped. The box is brand new as I relplaced it this spring. The pump seems to be generating sufficent flow and pressure to run the system. There are no obviously frayed wires or other visible signs of a voltage leak in the pump control box. I do not want to change the pump if I do not know that it is bad. There could be a voltage leak in the pressure switch (its one of those square D switches that's mounted next to every pressure tank I've ever seen) as it's in a damp location, but it's electrically upstream of the pump box, and the pump box only shocks me when I reset the overload protector. The overload protector does not trip as soon as it's reset. In fact, after installing the new box, I was able to perform the spring turn on and everything appeared to be working just fine when I left. The old box was giving me shocks, plus the contactor was pretty nasty looking, which is why I replaced it in the spring. I didn't realise that this one was shocking me until I messed with it today. The property management company called to say the grass was brown and the sprinkler system wasn't working.

    Thanks for your help

  2. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712


    You got me on this. Don't risk life and limb. Get a qualified electrican or pump and well guy that does his own work to look at this. Is this 3 phase? 3 wire plus a ground??? I thought in 220-240, single phase 3 wire pumps you had 2 hots and a nuetral going to the pump. You sure something isn't cross connected? Call a pump supplier too. Keep us posted.
  3. greasemonkey

    greasemonkey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

    I ended up billing the customer for an hour of troubleshooting before telling him to get an industrial electrician....its a 220 / 240 volt single phase system, there are three wires plus a ground exiting the control box for the pump...all the starting circutry, which is typically enclosed within the motor housing is held in the control box....there are only two wires and a ground entering the box from the breaker panel...I guess the extra wire is for the starting circutry, but anyways, I don't know enough, and I imagine most residential electricans wouldn't either...My company didn't install the system so I have no idea who made the pump....


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