Our Sears submersible pump is acting up again.
The first incident was during a -5ºF overnight, when we found we had no
Turned out the overload breaker on the pump controller had tripped.
My wife was running a load of wash and also washing dishes at the time.
We had several additional incidents after that, and then I cleaned all the
contacts on the pressure switch and cleaned and tightened the circuit
breaker connections at the main feed panel. And then it was pretty much fine
after that (we did have one overload trip incident in February, but none
Tonight, I was flushing the water tanks, which called for shutting off the
pump and draining the system. I started and stopped the pump a few times to
agitate the sediment at the bottom of the pressure tank, so it would drain
out. After a few cycles, the pump refused to start up again. It took 20-30
attempts before I was able to re-start it. And then after it'd been running
for a minute, I'd shut off the breaker and wait for the pressure to drop and
turn it back on, but the pump would not start.
So here's where my wire color question comes in. I can't find anything on
Google about this:
What are the functions of the Black, Red and Yellow wires? Can anyone point
me to a schematic of the pump motor (1-phase, 220V)?
Here's what I am observing when the pump fails to start:
Black to Red: 220V
Black to Yellow: 220V
Red to Yellow: almost zip, less than 10V
When I finally got the pump to start, I took another set of readings.
Black to Red: 330V
Black to Yellow: 220V
Red to Yellow: 220V
I note that the red and yellow connect to a relay. I am wondering if that
relay might be intermittent (although, I can smack it with the back of a
screwdriver handle and it doesn't help, so I think it's not a mechanical
problem). The capacitors look like the day they were manufactured. No
leaking electrolytes, no rust.
If the motor were physically stuck (locked rotor), what would I expect to
see in terms of voltages on the three wires? The house lights hardly dim
when I turn the pump on, but the overload will always trip in about 3
Given these facts, where would the problem be most likely to be located?
Help is appreciated. Thanks!
Mark & Mary Ann Weiss
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