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Reconditioning a Well Pump Start Relay?

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by [email protected], Aug 22, 2005.

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  1. Guest

    Recently our submersible well pump has been quiting after a few seconds
    and pumping only 1-2 gallons water. The pump control box has a light
    that goes on when the pump is running but has also not been working. I
    opened the control box and tested the bulb contacts when the motor was
    started. The AC voltage was ~0.

    As a result am guessing there is a problem with the start relay.

    Appreciate any tips or suggestions!


    Gene OHara

    PS Is there any way to post or attach a drawing of this circuit?
  2. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest

    What triggers the relay? You'll have to do some more troubleshooting before
    anyone can give you much help, the idea, as obvious as it sounds, is to
    narrow down the defective part and replace it.
  3. Ross Herbert

    Ross Herbert Guest

    Are you sure the relay is the problem or the pump itself?

    If your pump was properly installed with the electrics done by a
    competent electrician your system should have a suitable DOL Motor
    start contactor complete with overcurrent protection and the control
    solenoid of this contactor will be driven by the pump control relay.
    If the insulation within the submersible pump or wiring to it is low
    then the overcurrent detector on the contactor will cause the
    contactor to drop out even though the control relay is still operated.
  4. You may want to check to see if your pressure tank has become waterlogged.
    If that happens, the pump will come up to pressure and within just a very
    short time, will see full pressure because the air volume is greatly

  5. carneyke

    carneyke Guest

    The pressure switch has a piece of tubing that goes into a manifold,
    sometimes this tubing gets clogged with iron. Follow the tubing to the
    manifold, loosen the flare / compression nut, clean out the tubing end
    and insirt a nail or something into the manifold to clear any clogs.
    you open this flare nut and clean out the manifold residual water will
    come out if it is clogged. This may not be your problem but my
    manifold gets clogged every 3-4 years resulting in low pressure and
    pump cycling on / off. I have an AWFUL problem with hard water (iron).
  6. Guest

    James, Ros, Wayne, and Carneyke

    Thanks for your responses! Will try to answer all your questions.

    Before posting I checked the pressure switch: OK, drained the tank to
    check if this made any difference: No, and then used a short hose to
    run the well pipe outlet directly to a 5 gal bucket and measured ~1-2
    gal output before the pump shut off.

    There is an on-off switch next to the pump control box. I am thinking
    that the contacts may have become bad because sometimes when I have
    jiggled it when switching it on the control box light will come on and
    the pump will run until the pressure switch shuts it off.

    Sometimes during recent startups there is a vibrating noise from the
    control box which was mentioned in a posting I read as a relay noise
    indicative of a Bad relay.

  7. Sounds very likely that you have found your problem. Can you run with the
    cover off that switch and watch the action of it? Remember, safety first.

  8. jakdedert

    jakdedert Guest

    New to this thread...have you actually opened up the box and checked?
    Pitted contacts will be very apparent upon inspection. It could be as
    simple as a loose wire....

  9. Guest

    Removed the on off switch. It is a Hubbell 15A 120-277V AC only. Do
    not know who did the original job because the circuit breaker is 20A
    240 so would assume that the on off switch should at least be a 20A.
    Am wondering if there is any significant life expectancy for this
    switch if went to a larger one, like 30A?
    Did some quick checking and a 20A double pole single throw is ~ $6.77
    while a 30A is ~ $10.47

  10. carneyke

    carneyke Guest

    Did you try cleaning the pressure sense tube in the manifold ? It runs
    from the pressures witch housing into the manifold. Taping the pressure
    switch and having it start indicates the switch may be bad or the tube
    is clogged.
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