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    kcora's Avatar
    kcora Posts: 4, Reputation: 2
    New Member

    Dec 22, 2005, 12:51 PM
    Circuit Breaker Troubleshooting
    I purchased an old farm with a water well. It was checked last summer with the pump company's pump (I assume they used their pump because there was no power at the property then) and it pumped well (15 gpm).

    Now I have electricity and tried to power up the pump. The fuses are the old screw-in type, 2 in series: 30A, Type T. I replaced the fuses to be sure that wasn't the problem. The fuse box has a lever that is pushed up to connect the circuit. When I pushed the lever, nothing. There may be other problems with the system, but I'm trying to determine if the contacts on the lever are corroded and not passing current.

    Can I test for continuity across the fuse box? I shut off the main power at the pole before I do anything with the well. I would like to replace the fuse box with a circuit box to eliminate that problem, but I'm not sure of the type of circuit breakers to use - can I use a double pole 30A (for 220V)? The fuse box is outside by the well pit and is separate from the house circuit breaker.

    Thanks for any help you can give me. I am so far out in the country that it's really costly to get well companies to come out to service it.
    labman's Avatar
    labman Posts: 10,580, Reputation: 551
    Uber Member

    Dec 22, 2005, 01:25 PM
    With the power off, no problem measuring conductivity from the incoming wires to the outgoing ones with a test light or ohmmeter. The meter should give a near 0 reading. Also check fuse to fuse. If you can't feed power down one wire and come back the other, the circuit is open somewhere and the pump isn't going to work. You should get a little higher than 0 ohms, but not much.

    I question the 30 amp fuses. My pump only draws 5 amps. Don't know how you would find out what the pump should draw unless you find a decal somewhere, or get it running and use an ammeter. Once you do find out what it draws, pick up a reasonable sized, double pole circuit breaker in a weather tight box. Tkrussel may have some more details on that. It is possible that for a farm, you have a much bigger pump than my house.
    kcora's Avatar
    kcora Posts: 4, Reputation: 2
    New Member

    Dec 22, 2005, 01:39 PM
    Thanks. I hadn't thought about it, but the circuit breaker should be sized to the pump. My well is 130' deep, with a 1/2 hp pump. I don't know if that's why fuse is so big. The pump was replaced in 1993, the fuse box looks much older. If the fuse was over-sized for the pump, that could have made the pump burn out prematurely, right?
    labman's Avatar
    labman Posts: 10,580, Reputation: 551
    Uber Member

    Dec 22, 2005, 01:51 PM
    Exactly. My 5 amp pump is 1/2 HP too. So you want something a little bigger than 5 amp protecting it so it doesn't trip every time it starts up. I don't know if double pole breakers come that small. One advantage of fuses, they come in all sizes and slow blow versions. I have a 20 amp breaker and a smaller fuse in a shut off near the pressure tank. A fuse on each pole is better.
    kcora's Avatar
    kcora Posts: 4, Reputation: 2
    New Member

    Dec 22, 2005, 02:07 PM
    Sorry, I'm confused. My well tank and electrical stuff is all in a 7' deep pit. I can only see one fuse box; it has 2 fuses that each says "Type T, 30A".

    You have a 5 amp 1/2 HP pump with a 20 amp breaker (which makes sense to me because of the higher current draw when the pump starts up). Is that 240V circuit breaker? And the smaller fuse - I'm not sure where to look for another fuse. All the controls seem to be on the top of the pit so they're accessible without climbing down (which I haven't done yet - too cold!).

    I guess I need to wait until I'm out there again. Until I get the water and heat problems resolved it's hard to stay out there too long. Thanks for your help. I'll be there right after Christmas and probably have more questions then. At least now I have some things to check.

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