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Troubleshooting Submersible Well Pumps 101: Overloads Tripping

Is your well water pump overload protector tripping in your control panel?

I have outlined some troubleshooting steps below to help investigate the possible cause.

Caution! Electricity can be very dangerous, especially if you are inexperienced. Always use caution working with electricity and turn off power supply breakers when testing components within the electrical system. If you are not 100% confident you can perform any of these tests safely, call a professional.

  1. Check the Voltage. Voltage needs to be at +/- 10% of motor ratings. Check that sufficient power is getting through the system by reading voltage at the pressure switch, control panel, and at any other components that power is running through. If you find that your power is too high or low at the power panel you may need to contact the power company.
  2. Check for Overheating. Other heat sources or direct sunlight can cause the overloads to overheat and prevent the pump from operating. Shade the control panel, provide ventilation or move the box away from the heat source.
  3. Check the Control Panel. Give the control panel a visual exam for obvious signs of defects and wear. Look for loose connections, burnt or melted components. Your previous check of the voltage at the control panel may have already led you to the conclusion that this may be where your problem lies. Individual components inside the panel may be replaced, however, they are expensive. If the panel is over 10 years old replacement is recommended.
  4. Check Splice Connections. Check all electrical splice connections for corrosion and other obvious signs of problems. Normally, there will be a splice connection at the top of the well between the submersible cable and the UF or THHN, where the wire enters the home, and between the pump motor and the submersible cable. Obviously, the connection at the pump motor can’t be checked unless the pump is pulled out of the well.
  5. Check the Pump and Motor. If the troubleshooting in the 4 steps above do not resolve your problem, it may be time to replace the pump and motor. Upon pulling the pump and motor you can check the splice connection at the motor. There are a number of procedures for checking out whether you have a defective pump and/or motor. The Franklin Electric AIM (Application - Installation - Maintenance) Manual is what I recommend to help you or your pump technician determine the cause of the problem. Click here for a link to the manual on the RC Worst website.

Hopefully this blog has given you some insight or a solution to your problem. You can also check out our video titled “Troubleshoot: Water Well Pump Overloads Tripping” on the RC Worst YouTube Channel or give our experts a call at 855.329.4519.

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