Wiring A/C condensate drain pump

Have a Little Giant VCMA-15 condensate drain pump with a pan overflow switch. The pump has two low voltage connections coming from it which have been wired together for the 13 years that the installation have been in the house. These connection I presume are for the high level switch in the reservoir tank. Why are they wired together. It would seem to me that both the pan overflow and the high level switches should be in series with the thermostat circuit. What is the correct wiring for this pump? What am I missing here?
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Looking at the install manual online for a VCMA-15ULS there is only one switch and it has both NC and NO contacts available. What you do with either of them is up to the installer depending on the requirements of the installation. You would use the NO connection in the thermostat circuit to turn off the furnace and/or AC if the water level exceeds the max. Where you wire it in the thermostat circuit can determine if it cuts off just heat or cooling or both.
The NC contacts could be used to wire into an alarm system if you prefer that instead of the cuttoff approach.
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wrote:

I think you have it backwards. Normally Open means it's open until the switch is closed. That is the one you might use for an alarm. The Normally Closed one is one you could put in series with one of the thermostat wires to prevent system operation when the pan is full and the pump quit working. You can choose to stop the entir system from running or to prevent just the compressor from running. Your choice. Make sure you label it so the next guy isn't outside trying to figure out why the compressor quit.
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I don't think so. Did you read the manual for the pump? It says to use the NO contacts for the thermostat. The switch contacts are NO, but they must be held closed by the sensor mechanism until the water gets high.
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wrote:

I did not read the manual but I follow what you are saying, the switch is normally "engaged" when the float is down. Makes the labels on the switch backwards.
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On 5/25/2011 8:22 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

By the way I do not use the alarm but want only the high level shut down to work. Also it would seem to me that I would use the NC switch in series for it would open on high water and shut the unit down. The pan overflow switch is separate from the pump and is definitely in series.
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wrote:

**I would guess that they assumed the one limit switch would be sufficient. Just wire it in series the pan switch
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On 5/25/2011 5:24 PM, RBM wrote:

wires that are together into a series circuit. Really need someone with first hand knowledge of this particular pump/wiring.
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Is it possible a well meaning hvac person simply tied these two together with a wirenut since they were not being used? The absolute accurate test would be to use a ohm meter on the switch while manually moving the float.
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On 5/26/2011 8:01 AM, jamesgangnc wrote:

shows a com lead which would enable a series connection but there is not a third wire. Putting the NC and NO lines in series would shut down the unit completely. The NO line which is an alarm circuit would appear to have no effect if tied together with the NC line when there is no alarmfitted as is the case here. Still puzzled.
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You can't have both NC and NO without a third common wire. The manual shows it having 3 wires, but it's possible the manual is for a newer version.

As James pointed out a simple test with a VOM meter or even a battery and light bulb together with moving the float that works the switch is all that is needed to determine how it works. If there are only two wires, my guess would be 99% that it's NC when the water is OK and opens when the water is too high. That's how you'd want it to work to cut off a furnace, AC, etc.
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On 5/26/2011 9:21 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I'll plan on taking it down again today (as want to replace the pump switch the float operates), ring it out and report. Still puzzling for the two wires were tied together and when the float switch did not trip the pump to "on" the high level float cut out the A/C unit as intended.
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Look around the pan carefully, there may be another standalone safety switch.
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The actual pump switch is completely separate from the safety switch. I assume your pump is working and has worked since it was installed. And that the safety switch is not connected to anything presently in your installation. So it doesn't really matter what is done with the wires from the safety switch.
Am I incorrect on any of this? Does the pump work as it should as far as evacuating the water? If the safety switch is wired into the low voltage thermostat perhaps you should describe exactly what wires are connected to what as it relates to the safety switch.
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On 5/26/2011 9:27 AM, jamesgangnc wrote:

is completely separate. It has worked since installed. The safety switch worked when the pump switch failed. The question relates to rewiring it for there are two thermostat wires, two water overflow wires in the pan (those to go in series) and two low voltage wires "always wired together" coming out of the pump unit obviously for the safety switch. The safety switch should also be in series but a single connection in series can't be done.
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I don't understand the two overflow wires, you mean there are two safety switches?
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I'm totally lost here too. He says the pump shuts off the AC when the pump gets too full, as it should. Then there is mention of there being only two low voltage wires emerging from the pump and that they are tied together. If they are just tied together and not connected to anything, then how can the pump water gettting high turn off the AC? There is also mention of two thermostat wires? This isn't complicated, but we don't have an accurate description of what is there and how it's wired.
And if it already shuts the AC off when the pump gets too full of water, what is the actual problem and/or objective?
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wrote:

Not rocket science here. Take the two screws out, lift the cover, you'll see the two wires are connected to a micro switch with 3 terminals. Common, NO-NC. Attach the two wires to the common and NC terminals, then wire those two leads in series with the other limit switch

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On 5/26/2011 3:49 PM, RBM wrote:

The conclusion ... I hope!
First, thanks for all the suggestions, many of which were on the mark. Took the pump/tank off today (I'm an expert at it), disconnected the low voltage wires which were hooked together, hooked up the ohm meter and raised the float ... opened the low voltage circuit (thus when assembled shutting off the heat pump on high water level in the tank). Concluded that when installed the HVAC guys did not want to bother with the high reservoir shut down allowing the pan water level sensor to open the HVAC circuit. Put everything in series (high water level, pan water sensor and thermostat) left pump unplugged and when water level rose, it shut the system down. Cool now.
Perhaps when I first observed the problem the high water level was due to a dirty check valve in the overhead drain coupled with the power company securing the system remotely and then faulty pump control switch. Three things at the same time ... improbable, but I know the check vave was dirty and the pump control switch was hanging up.
$40 for a new $12 switch on a rush delivery while I cleaned the existing satisfactorily in WD 40. # hours of labor in positions I should not be in.
Again thanks for the informed thoughts.
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