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Thread: O.T. Gould Shallow Well Pump Won't Start

  1. #1
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    Default O.T. Gould Shallow Well Pump Won't Start

    Hi,

    I have a Gould shallow well pump that will spin when power is turned on but it won't reach the speed necessary to kick in the centrifugal switch. I replaced the capacitor with a new one yesterday and it didn't make any difference. The well pit that the pump is in is pretty moist and things were somewhat corroded inside of the motor end cap. I cleaned it out pretty good with compressed air but it still won't spin up to full speed. It does look like it is spinning at the proper speed to start. Any ideas besides calling the local well guy?

    Thanks,
    Brian
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  2. #2
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    Does that one use electricity directly, no electronic package?

    I believe some do not, I remember that we got a request for proposals from them years ago for a VFD type device that had to start a standard well pump (very high current surge).
    1601

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    Hashim Khan

  3. #3
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    I never had a well pump, but the motor should be similar to a regular single phase capacitor start motor. Do you have a good power supply to the motor? It starts under full load and current surge will be significant. If there is no sufficient voltage at motor terminals during startup, it may never start. You may be able to check it on a bench. Also check all electrical connections from the panel circuit breaker/fuse all the way to the pump terminals, you may find a loose/corroded connection which creates a big voltage drop during startup.

    You should also check your centrifugal switch. Is it free to move under centrifugal force?

    A few years ago I have tried to start my sump pump with an undersized generator. The pump would not start and the generator was jumping up and down. The generator output was sufficient for the pump FLA, but not for the startup amps.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Tiers View Post
    Does that one use electricity directly, no electronic package?

    I believe some do not, I remember that we got a request for proposals from them years ago for a VFD type device that had to start a standard well pump (very high current surge).
    I don't think it has any electronics. There is a small plastic thing with one wire coming in and one wire going out but I'm not sure what that is. The capacitor blew a few years ago and a new one had it running as soon as I replaced it. The well pit gets pretty warm when the pump runs a lot.

    This time a outdoor faucet accidentally got left on and it blew the front out of the capacitor.
    OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

    THINK HARDER

    BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikey553 View Post
    I never had a well pump, but the motor should be similar to a regular single phase capacitor start motor. Do you have a good power supply to the motor? It starts under full load and current surge will be significant. If there is no sufficient voltage at motor terminals during startup, it may never start. You may be able to check it on a bench. Also check all electrical connections from the panel circuit breaker/fuse all the way to the pump terminals, you may find a loose/corroded connection which creates a big voltage drop during startup.

    You should also check your centrifugal switch. Is it free to move under centrifugal force?

    A few years ago I have tried to start my sump pump with an undersized generator. The pump would not start and the generator was jumping up and down. The generator output was sufficient for the pump FLA, but not for the startup amps.
    I'll double check the connections with a meter. The centrifugal thing is not moving but it is free. I also sprayed a little wd40 on the pivot points. It works freely by hand but doesn't move when the motor turns when I power it up.
    OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

    THINK HARDER

    BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

    MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

  6. #6
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    While you have your meter out check your startup winding for resistance. It may have burned when capacitor blew up.

  7. #7
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    If no electronics, that's simpler....

    Possibilities are

    1) Centrifugal switch is maybe stuck or welded shut.... You say the weights move OK, but it still may not be able to open the start switch if the switch itself has a problem. Leaving a faucet on should not have bothered the capacitor, which should be out of the circuit i n under 2 seconds at starting.

    2) Maybe the winding is fried as a result of the faucet incident.... if the start winding was "on" that long, it may have had its insulation damaged, and might not work right.

    Other things are possible, but it surely sounds as if there is a motor problem.
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

  8. #8
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    Problem solved.

    Today I called the well drillers to see what needed to be done to get the cottage water without having to hook up to the neighbors outdoor faucet.
    I was fully expecting to have to replace the motor. The repair guy looked it over and asked me if that was my new capacitor. I told him it was but if he had a new one we could try it. That wouldn't be the first time a new part didn't work.

    No joy. Same thing. The motor would spin up to maybe 500 rpm's and not kick in the centrifugal weights. As we were discussing new motors he took his pliers and turned a switch on the top of the motor that is used for switching from 120 volt to 240 volt. He plugged it in and it started like it should have. A few more cycles and it still works fine. I think the moisture from the well pit probably corroded the contacts in the switch.

    The best part is that he said he would just write it up as an estimate and not charge me. "Just make sure you call us next time you need well work". I told him that I have been using the company for over 40 years and have a well problem with another house that I just purchased. Once I close on that deal I will tackle my next well saga.

    Thanks for the input guys.

    Brian
    OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

    THINK HARDER

    BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

    MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

  9. #9
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    Thank you Brian for providing the feedback. This is the best way to learn things...

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