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Extending life of well pump relay...?? - Page 6

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Posted by sno on February 13, 2010, 1:55 am

On 2/12/2010 8:30 PM, ghio wrote:

You have to go back and read the whole thread....I keep tap running all
winter to prevent freeze up...cannot bury pipes deep enough to keep them
from freezing...I only heat/live in one room in winter so pipes run
through furthest wall can freeze.  As figured out everything is ok
except running the water all winter causes to many cycles of
relay...causing replacing of relay (burnt contacts) about every 1.5/2 yrs.

LOL....what you are talking about everyone who works with electricity
for any length of time has discovered....first make sure it is plugged
in....second turn on all switches....<grin>
third remember electricity is really magic...<grin>...and sometimes what
seems like the impossible can happen....

have fun......sno

Posted by ghio on February 13, 2010, 1:15 pm

As pointed out, you are treating a symptom. If you are running the
pump and it is cycling then the pressure switch is incorrectly set for
your needs. It would be a fair bet that your pump will not  have
enough leeway in the pressure switch setting for your needs you might
consider a remote switch to bypass the pressure switch while you are
only running the pump in "Anti-freeze" mode. As you want to run the
pump to prevent freezing, one could be forgiven for wondering why the
pipes are exposed in such a climate.

As far as what everyone who works with electricity for any length of
time knows, wiring a power point in the kitchen off a lighting circuit
in the lounge room to run the fridge is, well, ludicrous.

Posted by harry k on March 13, 2010, 6:38 pm

Even running water (trickle) all the time should not be causing it
_unless_ your pump is short cycling.  Even that would only add excess
operation cycles to normal and shouldn't shorten life that much.

One of my pet peeves (worked on too many wells of my folks, mine and
my neighbors) is people who install the 'goods' (tank, switch, etc) in
a stupid well house vice inside the house (basement or closet) where
it is easily accessible for service.  My neighbor drilled a new well,
installed all new piping into his BASEMENT and then put the tank in a
shed next to the well!!  Had to totally insulate that room and run a
light bulb all winter to keep it from freezing.

Harry K

Posted by Morris Dovey on February 14, 2010, 5:19 pm

On 2/11/2010 7:52 AM, sno wrote:


It seems to me that the real problem is your inability to bury the line
leading from the pressure tank to your house deep enough to prevent it
from freezing.

I'm wondering if you might be able to run that water line through a
larger black plastic pipe through which you feed just enough warm air to
prevent the water in the inner pipe from freezing...

If that's possible, then you not only solve the frozen pipe problem, but
you also solve the problem with the relay and you probably extend the
life of the pump at the same time...

Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
DeSoto, Iowa USA

Posted by Ecnerwal on February 14, 2010, 5:55 pm

Another option is "inside the pipe heat tape". If it freezes up, turn on
the heat, when it thaws enough for water to flow, turn off the heat
until it freezes again. Probably use a lot less power than running the
pump all the time, too. If you have a septic system, also much better
for that than running water all winter. Works better if you insulate the

Of course, if you insulate the waterline with sheet polystyrene (XPS,
waterproof, ground contact, usually pink, blue or green rather than
white) far enough sideways, it's just as effective as burying the pipe
deeper, and uses no power. A pipe with a 4 foot wide sheet of insulation
centered over it (right on top of the pipe) that is then buried 1 foot
deep is effectively the same as burying the pipe 3 feet deep.

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

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