Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

Extending life of well pump relay...?? - Page 4

register ::  Login Password  :: Lost Password?
Posted by sno on February 12, 2010, 2:08 am

On 2/11/2010 7:46 PM, westom wrote:

I ordered the parts today for a snubber....will see if arcing
stops....if it does not then will borrow some test equipment and see if
I can figure out what is going on...

The pump itself is about 10/15 yrs old in that time the only thing that
has gone wrong is some rocks got sucked up somehow and had to replace

I had a new switch box installed last year and wire was completely
replaced....so probably not a wiring problem, in addition have not had
relay last in all the time have had the pump....this is first time have
replaced relay since the new wiring....about the same time period as in
the past.....

Have noticed that the contacts only arc on one side...maybe because one
side opens before other...??....one side opens hot wire
  the other opens neutral...

Anyway will see how the snubber works....and then go on from there....

Thanks everyone for their thoughts and help....have fun.....sno

Posted by westom on February 12, 2010, 6:10 am

  Wire means every part of the cable from breaker box to the pump.
For example, is the connection to the circuit breaker loose?  Then a
meter would report a constant lower voltage to the pump.  That low
voltage means the pump draws a larger startup current.

  If the weakened or defective wiring is in the well, then only a
current measurement might show a result.  But that means you know what
a normal startup current is.  Not something a digit meter will

  If the pump was working without contact failure for 15 years, then
another reason for failure - wire gauge too thin for that distance and
pump - probably is not a suspect.

  The troubling part.  Why is that pressure switch good enough for
hundreds of thousands of other pumps just like yours?  Why do those
other 100,000 switch contacts no need a snubber?  Start by suspecting
the snubber is only 'curing a symptom'.  Or is the new switch grossly
undersized for that pump (especially if it is deeper than most)?
Again, an example of why numbers result in more useful replies.

  Meanwhile, how often does the pump power cycle in an hour?

Posted by sno on February 12, 2010, 7:00 pm

On 2/12/2010 1:10 AM, westom wrote:

It cycles aprox. every 1.5 minutes....when I have three faucets running
(bathroom tub and sink faucets full on) the pump runs continuous....that
works out to 960 cycles per day....28800 per month....during winter
about 3 months...86400 cycles..
which works out to somewhere between 50,000 to 100,000 per year....about
the 100,000 is rated for....so as I suspected, reason for not lasting is
the water running in winter....

If snubber works should greatly extend the life...

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

Posted by westom on February 12, 2010, 10:18 pm

  Consider changing (widening)  power off and power on pressure points
so that the pump does not power cycle frequently.  It may also extend
pump life expectancy.

  That number explains contact failure.  A larger amperage switch
(with that snubber) would help.  Using multiple switches will not help
(as I think another has explained).

  Another solution to consider is a quarter inch pipe that taps the
main water pump with small recirculation pump.  That pump simply
rotates water constantly inside the pipe.  More expensive homes use
this same technique so that hot water is always immediately available
at every remote faucet.  Same hardware might be a solution for your

Posted by sno on February 12, 2010, 11:47 pm

On 2/12/2010 5:18 PM, westom wrote:

good idea....will try it with the snubber....

Have been thinking....if snubber does not work....have a friend who
works for a plumber....maybe can get a used hot water non leaking water
tank...and add it to the system as a pressure tank without bladder...a
40 gallon tank would take some time to fill up....and i have the room
for it next to my present hot water tank.....

thanks for your ideas and help.....have fun.....sno

This Thread
Bookmark this thread:
  • Subject
  • Author
  • Date
please rate this thread