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Extending life of well pump relay...??

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Posted by sno on February 11, 2010, 1:52 pm
 



I just replaced my well pump relay due to arcing wearing away the
contacts...

It seems I am replacing the relay about every 1.5 to 2 years...and it
seems to happen always in the middle of winter...it is a bummer to
replace it when the weather is bad...I would like to get maybe 6 more
months out of one....

The pressure tank is fine...I realize that if I get a bigger tank the
pump would cycle less....but do not want to spend the money on a bigger
tank especially when the tank I presently have is good....

I seem to remember something about hooking up a capacitor in some manner
to prevent arcing on relays....does anyone have any ideas or know how to
hook up capacitor...??....and the value that is needed...
or any other tricks...??....the pump is wired to work at 110 volts AC...

thank you for any help....have fun....sno



Posted by Josepi on February 11, 2010, 2:26 pm
 


I guess your pressure tnak is not fine then.

Caps and MOVs can be placed accrossed contacts. MOVs can be placed across
coils and motors.


I just replaced my well pump relay due to arcing wearing away the
contacts...

It seems I am replacing the relay about every 1.5 to 2 years...and it
seems to happen always in the middle of winter...it is a bummer to
replace it when the weather is bad...I would like to get maybe 6 more
months out of one....

The pressure tank is fine...I realize that if I get a bigger tank the
pump would cycle less....but do not want to spend the money on a bigger
tank especially when the tank I presently have is good....

I seem to remember something about hooking up a capacitor in some manner
to prevent arcing on relays....does anyone have any ideas or know how to
hook up capacitor...??....and the value that is needed...
or any other tricks...??....the pump is wired to work at 110 volts AC...

thank you for any help....have fun....sno




Posted by Ecnerwal on February 11, 2010, 2:56 pm
 



Snubber: for instance (a little ways down the page)
http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/vol_4/chpt_4/2.html

I wonder if you are low-balling the quality of your pump relay, since
the typical square D relay works many years without trouble.

Anyway, to avoid burnt contacts - use a Solid State Relay - no contacts
to burn, no moving parts.

Since the well industry is so far behind everything else electrically,
you probably can't do this in one part.

Use the pressure switch to switch the input to a SSR that is at least
twice (and more is better) the rated amperage of your pump. Use the SSR
to actually control power to the pump. And get another pressure tank
(you can add one, rather than having to throw away a good one and
replace it with a bigger one - and the one you add does not need to be
where the first one is.)

Then again, an SSR may die even faster, if the real problem is that you
need to bond your well casing to your grounds, and put surge arrestors
on the well wiring. Delta LA302 or LA302R (easier to find at reduced
price, but not quite as beefy as the LA302) and perhaps a CA302R for
good measure. Lighting can play havoc with wells.

--
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by

Posted by sno on February 11, 2010, 3:52 pm
 

On 2/11/2010 9:56 AM, Ecnerwal wrote:

Looks like a snubber is the easiest way to go....will try it....
googling snubber leads me to believe a 100 ohm resistor and 100 or
greater nanofarad capacitor with voltage of about 600 volts or so should
work...

thank you very, very much for the help and information....have fun....sno


Posted by You on February 11, 2010, 7:34 pm
 

In article


Finally, someone who is thinking of fixes that are 21st Century
Technology... I mean really, all this 20th Century Technology is fine,
but antiquated... A good SSR, with 120, or 240 Vac Control isn't all
that hard to come by... ANY good electrical supply House will have them
Off the Shelf... I mean Really... who uses contactors these days....

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