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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Re: Water Well pump/wire problem

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John in la

02-16-2013 05:41:19

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This is a above ground 1hp jet pump. The pump; water tank; and pressure switch are all in a 4x4 pump house in my yard.
The wire runs to the main fuse panal on my house and this is where the breaker is.
I have replaced the breaker and pressure switch with new but that did not help.
I am using 10-2 UF-B W/G direct bury wet location wire and it is in conduit from the fuse box in to the ground and again where it comes out the ground and up the side of the pump. Each conduit has a long sweep 90 on the bottom in the ground so the wire runs straight out rather than bending around a corner. I just do not understand how a wire can break buried in the ground.

One question I do have now. Someone suggest I put the entire length in conduit. Do I still have to use direct bury wire with conduit.
I can get Orange 10-2 Romex NM-B W/G Indoor Wire and enough conduit to do the job for about the same money. Would this be OK to use???

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John T

02-16-2013 06:42:44

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 Re: Water Well pump/wire problem in reply to John in la, 02-16-2013 05:41:19  
Im rusty as an old nail on the latest Code, but best I recall you can use direct burial rated cable like (UF Undergroud Feeder) or if you wanna bury conduit you can use individual enclosed THWN rated wires. The W in THWN versus say THHN wire is for wet locations as I recall. Of course just trenching in UF cable is easier but Id go deeper then only a foot, warning tape above the cable isnt a bad idea. Plastic conduit is permissible unless under driveways and it needs to be rigid or IMC when it comes up above the ground and enters a building..........

If shes tripping a breaker even when opened and capped of at the pumps end, must be a bad/shorted/chewed cable well DUH

Have you calculated voltage drop at your load?? If necessary you may need to increase wire size??

John T No warranty Im rusty remember

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02-16-2013 06:16:46

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 Re: Water Well pump/wire problem in reply to John in la, 02-16-2013 05:41:19  
John, if you lived where frost is a problem, I'd say the problem was caused by earth movement. But since you're down south, I'd guess you have critter problems. A foot deep is barely enough to avoid gophers, moles and ground squirrels; if there's a spot where the cable is a bit shallow then it would be vulnerable. Bury it deeper and you should be OK. You also want to make sure there are no rocks in the trench. Even if you don't have frost, vehicles driving over the cable can cause problems if the cable is in contact with a rock.

I don't believe you can use Romex underground even if it's in conduit. It's still a "wet" location, since any water that gets into the conduit won't be coming out. I sure wouldn't skimp on something I have to trench in.

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John in la

02-16-2013 06:58:32

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 Re: Water Well pump/wire problem in reply to MarkB_MI, 02-16-2013 06:16:46  
Thanks Mark

Called the orange box store and they have a 6in wide by 36in deep trencher for $150 a day that comes on its own trailer. That ought to get me down deep enough.

Looks like I have a busy weekend ahead. Better get after it.

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02-16-2013 07:10:59

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 Re: Water Well pump/wire problem in reply to John in la, 02-16-2013 06:58:32  
Hi John,

I've used one of those smaller Ditch Witch trenchers, and they'll get the job done. But it will be a workout to trench 250 feet of wet clay, especially if you have any tree roots to deal with. (I'm assuming that in LA, wet is the only variety of clay you have.) I see that the nice man in the picture happens to be trenching in dry sand; you may not have the same expression on your face when you're behind that trencher. Make sure they show you how to engage the differential lock. Also, I happened to notice that our local HD had the chain backwards on one of its trenchers, which I'm sure made for great fun for the next guy to rent it!

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