Cold Weather Well Pump Overload Problem

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I understand now. In my case, this can be a piece of 3/4" plywood with a notch big enough for the pipe to fit through, but small enough to stop at the couplings.

It is -2F here, with a high of 7 yesterday afternoon, and a blanket of snow on the ground. The good news is we have not had a reocurrance of any overload trips. So far, so good. Two nights in a row of sub-zero temps should have been enough to trigger the problem, if it was a freezing pipe.

Yeah, it's really pretty dry down there. And good idea on the ammeter/baseline measurement. I'd like to have a record of that info.
-- Take care,
Mark & Mary Ann Weiss
VIDEO PRODUCTION . FILM SCANNING . DVD MASTERING . AUDIO RESTORATION Hear my Kurzweil Creations at: http://www.dv-clips.com/theater.htm Business sites at: www.dv-clips.com www.mwcomms.com www.adventuresinanimemusic.com -
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Mark & Mary Ann Weiss wrote:

...
I'd feel more comfortable if it were a piece of plate rather than ply although your well/ pump is enough smaller (ergo lighter) that will probably be safe enough...it's a real "aw shxx!" if it fails... :(
....

...
Well, for once they did as promised...after the 70F the other day, it's given us about 2-3" overnight and still snowing--supposed to keep up a light but steady snow most of the day...now will be the time for ours to fail again... :)

You too, good luck w/ it, and spring <will> come...or are you some of the crazies that <like> the cold? :)
-dpb
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greetings,
I originally posted this to the wrong group (dang newsreader):
I went through a similar process a few years ago with my well pump (Franklin 1-1/2 HP). In addition to the capacitors and the overload breaker in the control box, there was a start relay that had developed an open winding. It would stay in the "start" position drawing ~11 amps for about 10 seconds until the overload breaker popped.
This happened shortly after an electrical storm where there was a strike within a quarter mile. I didn't see any obvious damage to the relay - no burn/scorch marks or anything. Very fine gauge wire is used to wind the relay coil, so it may have opened up just because. Your's may have developed a temperature-dependent fault.
hope that helps, L
Mark & Mary Ann Weiss wrote:

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normallyif a cap goes bad , it's bad ,and the moter won't run period til caps replaced . is there a pressure sw. there w/ a set of conrtacts ? I would first take an amp reading and compare w/ motors plate. it's not gonna pull more amps due to temp. if amps ok look at the o-load mechanism or make sure all connections are good including grd & nuetral
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Had a similiar problem last winter. Found that line voltage was sometimes very high, above 250volts, and controller had an overvoltage detector which tripped when it hit 252volts. Most of time voltage was at 240 - 250 but would sometimes peak to >252. It was random and hitting reset would fix the problem until next time...sometimes days later. It seemed that higher volts occured during very cold weather. Don't know why...maybe power company increasing voltage to compensate for heavy cold weather draws?? or less resistance in lines at below 0 degrees??? Who knows. Problem was fixed when utility stung new wires during highway reconstruction. Probably not your problem but may be worth checking. Good luck.

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Had a similiar problem last winter. Found that line voltage was sometimes very high, above 250volts, and controller had an overvoltage detector which tripped when it hit 252volts. Most of time voltage was at 240 - 250 but would sometimes peak to >252. It was random and hitting reset would fix the problem until next time...sometimes days later. It seemed that higher volts occured during very cold weather. Don't know why...maybe power company increasing voltage to compensate for heavy cold weather draws?? or less resistance in lines at below 0 degrees??? Who knows. Problem was fixed when utility stung new wires during highway reconstruction. Probably not your problem but may be worth checking. Good luck.

While this is probably not the problem here, I do also note that we only get 'adequate' voltage in the winter, but not the summer. During the winter, I can use my recessed fluorescent troffer lights in my studio, but during the summer, the won't come on unless I flip the switch on/off several dozen times. The only time they come on without fiddling with the switch is when we're on generator power. Utility voltage is low during the warm months here too. Just ask the fluorescent ballasts in my ceiling. :-) Right now, we're reading about 215 volts across the 220 rails at the main breaker box and the fluorescent lights work fine.
BTW, pump was still working this morning and we continue to get water pressure in the building. Starting to look like it was bad connections on one 220 leg.
-- Take care,
Mark & Mary Ann Weiss
VIDEO PRODUCTION FILM SCANNING DVD MASTERING AUDIO RESTORATION Hear my Kurzweil Creations at: http://www.dv-clips.com/theater.htm Business sites at: www.dv-clips.com www.mwcomms.com www.adventuresinanimemusic.com -
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Glad to hear you may have fixed the problem. Just a thought, I am no expert... but your voltage at 215V is on the extreme edge or outside of some power companies voltage spec's and I doubt that is good for your appliances, especially motors, in the long term. Nominal voltage is 240V, not 220. The spec for voltage at some power companies is: normal range 240+/-5% or 228-252, extreme conditions 240 +/-8% or 220-260. Outside of the extreme range, the power company is obliged to fix it on an emergency basis. Don't know what the specs are for your supplier but may be worth checking. When mine was high but within extreme limits, I was going to ask the power company if they couldn't fix it by changing the power tap-off on the transformer feeding the house. Fortunately they fixed it for everyone in the neighborhood with new power lines. Just my 2 cents.

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Glad to hear you may have fixed the problem. Just a thought, I am no expert... but your voltage at 215V is on the extreme edge or outside of some power companies voltage spec's and I doubt that is good for your appliances, especially motors, in the long term. Nominal voltage is 240V, not 220. The spec for voltage at some power companies is: normal range 240+/-5% or 228-252, extreme conditions 240 +/-8% or 220-260. Outside of the extreme range, the power company is obliged to fix it on an emergency basis. Don't know what the specs are for your supplier but may be worth checking. When mine was high but within extreme limits, I was going to ask the power company if they couldn't fix it by changing the power tap-off on the transformer feeding the house. Fortunately they fixed it for everyone in the neighborhood with new power lines. Just my 2 cents.
Yes, so far, over a week has passed with two below zero nights and no further problems. It appears to have been a poor connection between the master breaker and the pump controller.
I may just contact CL&P about this low voltage. It's okay in winter, but annoying that I can't use the overhead fluorescents in summer because of insufficient voltage. My TrippLite LC2400 line conditioner is always showing "extremely low" line voltage and is stepping it up to 127vac at it's output.
-- Take care,
Mark & Mary Ann Weiss
VIDEO PRODUCTION FILM SCANNING DVD MASTERING AUDIO RESTORATION Hear my Kurzweil Creations at: http://www.dv-clips.com/theater.htm Business sites at: www.dv-clips.com www.mwcomms.com www.adventuresinanimemusic.com -
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Mark & Mary Ann Weiss wrote:

The "range" for 220 power is plus/minus 10%, 12 or 15% emergency. Same for 240. So, 252 is OK for them to deliver if it's really 240, but if it's actually 220, which I suspect is the case , then by regs they can't deliver more than 220+10% which is 240, far from 252.
So, be certain of the rated voltage, and contact utility if there's a problem. The ten percent is good in North America, UK and most of European Union. Sources available upon request. Posts like this should include the country (and region if it's like Japan, etc.).
Pop

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Pop, I stand corrected. Did not realize that some utilities provide 220V nominal. Also I should have noted I was quoting from a power supplier in Canada. After further looking I found this supplier not to have typical limits. Canadian power companies typically spec power to the Canadian Standards Assoc CSA spec CAN-C235-83. This spec is: Normal range = 220-250V, Marginal/extreme range = 212-254V.
For ref. see: http://www.hydroquebec.com/business/moyen/sac/sac_qualite_onde.shtml
This is from my supplier Hydro Quebec. They do not spec percentages. And it appears the nominal is closer to 234V. By coincidence, this is what I get now that they fixed up the power lines. BTW when I was having high voltage problems, peaks were hitting 259V. The OP should check with their own power company for the relevant specs if curious. If out of normal range, I would ask for their plan to correct it.
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