I have one of these:
(Amazon.com product link shortened) />/
From the reviews, it appears this pump has a defective design such
that the power cord easily breaks right at the pump. At least
that's what happened to mine. Otherwise the pump has worked great.
Well I assume the broken power cord is how they get repeat sales.
Anyway, I wondered if anyone has ever taken one of these apart and
fixed the power cord, or you think it could be done.
I appears from this pic that a special tool would be needed to
remove the cord housing, but I don't know if that means you could
actually repair it.
I'm glad you posted this picture. I have a 250 watt (is that 1/3 HP)
pump like yours and it lacks a strain relief, like yours did. I'll
fashion one for the pump.
As for the broken cord, if it's above/outside the pump housing, you
might be able to repair it using a watertight skin/shrink wrap and
water-proof electrical tape. I've seen kits in hardware stores that
repair underwater electrical wire. just a suggestion to investigate.
I wonder if you take your's apart if oil will come out or not?
I'm wondering if the cover is indeed the oil seal. Does it look like
the connection around the cord is a seal, not just a strain relief?
That said, if it ain't working now, it isn't going to get any more so by
I would clean it carefully, with naptha, and s damp rag. Then once it
was thoroughly dry, I would hot glue pushed down inside the housing
all around the cord for at least one inch outside the housing. I have
done this a couple of times, the hot glue really sticks, and doesn't
move unless it gets very hot. Just did it this past weekend on the
cord ferom my electric chain saw where the cord wore thru the strain
relief and was in danger of pulling out of the saw.
Thanks very much for the responses. I've made significant
I've cut away a lot of the rubber fitting that housed the cord
connection, so now I will be able to solder, or maybe splice with
some kind of clamp, the broken wire back to the cord. Here are the
before and after pics showing what I cut away, and what I have to
It appeared the other two wires weren't far from breaking too, so I
just cut off the whole thing and will reattach all three wires.
So the issue at this point is - once I get the power cord soldered
and reattached - what do I use to re-seal everything - it is after
all a submersible pump. All the black stuff in the picture is
rubber-like material. The inner core is soft, and the outer part
is harder - like a hard rubber washer. I don't think something
like epoxy would work because I don't think it would adhere.
Whatever I use has to adhere to (preferably) the outer hard-rubber
part of the fitting, and to the outer insulation of the cord, which
is also black rubber (I think - it doesn't look like plastic, but
not sure). Of course when I say "rubber" I assume it's synthetic
stuff - neoprene or whatever.
Once I get everything reattached, I'm going to wrap the cord around
the pump handle about five turns, so the cord will never move again
at all in this area. So the sealant can cure flexible or hard.
Actually, thinking about it, I could possibly seal just around the
solder connection of each individual wire and just let the water go
whereever else it wants to. Those wires just have normal
insulation on them, so I would need a sealant that would adhere to
that to keep water away from the bare wire.
Any suggestions for how to proceed at this point would be
I'd probably attach a clamp to the handle and a cord handler that holds
the cord firmly at that point I think (w/o a picture of the handle
geometry, anyway). Whatever I did to hold it, it would _NOT_ wrap the
cord around something multiple times; it would be to support it and
My impression looking at the picture is that it appears the insulation
cracked from brittleness which makes me wonder how hot this thing
runs/ran even though I don't see definite indications of overheating.
How old is it?
As for the repair, I'd start w/ a good splice, follow up w/ heatshrink
and then either a purchased-to-fit (most Ace hardwares have a selection)
strain relief like from a small handheld appliance and pot it w/
silicone. I'd consider holding it w/ a small homemade fabricated clamp
fastened to the case either by JB Weld or similar or drill/tap a very
small couple of machine screws.
P&M becuase it's so long, but you should make it easier to figure out
what your email address is. Do the numbers between, or the ones
after, No and spam get removed or not? Or put instructions in your
Possibly, the best thing to use would be silicon tape. It's hard to
find, and not everyone calls it that. It looks like black vinyl
electric tape, but has a vinyl backing strip and a white plastic inner
spool, instead of the paper one on electric tape.
It's expensive, 7 or 9 dollars a roll, but well worth it for the
places it is especially suited. It performs like heat-shrink tubing,
but it isn't a tube, so it doesn't have to be slipped on, and if there
is something big on the end, like a plug or a pump, that's not a
problem. And it might be waterproof, when I don't think heat-shrink
Just yesterday I used it for the first time to wrap around a hole in
my garden hose. I used 5 inches of it, but 3 or 4 would have been
enough if I'd planned a little better. I'm not going to run the
water for 2 or 3 days, because though it goes on like tape, it
eventually turns into one blob, where you can't see the previous edges
of the tape.
You unroll 2 or 3 inches, get the start of the backing off (which is
difficutl. Maybe a knife blade would pry up the backing, instead of
my using my fingernail.) Then you hold the end in place while you
stretch the tape to about 3 or almost 3 times its original length and
wrap it around what ever you are taping. If you stretch it more than
3 times, it will break (You can tell when it has reached its limit of
stretching. Using the same amount of effort, it won't stretch any
more.) , but at 2 to 3 times, it pulls back after it is stretched, and
in doing so grabs onto the overlapping layers of tape and usually
whatever is being taped. I don't know if it will stick well to my
reinforced vinyl garden hose, but it might. I know it was the
perfect thing to use when a workman cut my phone wires, and I
solderied them, and taped them, and had to bury them. The phone
company said it was better than what they woudl have done. (Well
maybe that was the solder, since they use gel-filled crimp
Well, if it only "might" be waterproof, that's not much consolation if
it isn't, is it? :)
How waterproof it is will depend entirely on how well the wrap is done.
Certainly it or plain ol' black electricians' tape can make a
waterproof seal that will last almost indefinitely (I've uncovered
splices Dad did in the 50s that have been buried since that are still as
good as new in doing other work).
The point of the heat shrink wasn't so much for the waterproofing (altho
if use proper size to begin with and it is shrunk properly it will
certainly do the job) but to provide the electrical insulation on the
two conductors over the splice in a neat, non-bulky fashion. The
recommended waterproofing was to 'pot' the region w/ a strain relief as
There's nothing wrong w/ the tape solution particularly, just I'd still
go w/ the heat shrink first because it's so much easier to get a neat
job when the two conductors are in close proximity as these are--it's
more difficult to wrap tape around them independently than to place the
tubing on first then slide it over the splice area after soldering is done.
BTW, for clarification, I was specifically thinking at the time of
initial posting of small shrink, one over each individual conductor for
It certainly wouldn't be a bad thing to also use a larger diameter over
the whole area around the entire cable splice area.
I wanted to report that I have successfully completed the repair of
the pump. I ended up soldering the splices instead of using butt
connectors. My 30-watt iron worked fine. I used shrink tubing
just to prevent shorting, not really for waterproofing, which I
wouldn't want to depend on anyway.
Then I wrapped the cord around the pump handle three turns, and
secured it in place with some 14-gauge solid wire so the cord isn't
going to move at all from here on out. Then I just encased the
whole splice area with silicone. Here are the pics:
I think this should work well. I may need to attend to the
silicone from time to time depending on how well it holds up. But
the main thing is the immobilization of the cord. If I had a new
pump, I would use the same or a similar method, and then the pump
would probably last 25 years instead of 5.
I suspect that Little Giant knows that most of the failures of this
model result from the power cord design (the Amazon reviews
indicate that), and it's unfortunate that they don't choose to fix
the design. But I guess they would lose sales if they did that.
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Not so much on the cord around the handle bit imo. I think that's a new
failure mode waiting to happen w/ time, aging and heat.
I'd _STILL_ unwrap it and use a proper strain relief hold down of some
sort fastened to the handle.
Check on how warm that area gets when the pump has been operating for an
> Not so much on the cord around the handle bit imo. I
> think that's a new failure mode waiting to happen w/
> time, aging and heat.
> I'd _STILL_ unwrap it and use a proper strain relief
> hold down of some sort fastened to the handle.
> Check on how warm that area gets when the pump has been
> operating for an extended period.
I've been picking up this model pump by the handle for about
20 years, and it never even really gets warm. Remember that
the pump operates mostly in the winter, submerged, and the
water is pretty cold. If it continues to run when dry, the
body will get pretty warm, but not the handle.
So I think I'll stick with this fix. If it fails near the
handle, it's easily repairable there.
It ain't the handle I'm thinking of, it's how much heat does the cord
The break you showed looked like a brittle insulation crack to me from
the picture; I'm concerned when you wrap that cord around and put the
loops all together it's just going to exacerbate the problem you already
If it broke once't...
Just use a hose clamp s/ a piece of rubber or somesuch over the cord to
prevent chafing and provide the strain relief; eliminate the loops and
my guess is then it would last indefinitely.
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