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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Brown county, Ohio
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: 120 volt power sometimes

    Zzz would it work off one receptacle and not off another if it had moisture in the float switch. Rg how far away from the panel is the receptacle?

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    720

    Default Re: 120 volt power sometimes

    RG, all pumps should have a low liquid level shut-off switch, so the pump section will not run dry and destroy itself.

    A float switch is the oldest type but newer ones have conductivity switches. The specs usually say "on at 2", off at 4" or so.

    Have you actually tried placing the pump in a bucket with water in it?

    Or, there could actually be a float switch and it's stuck in the off position or it's defective.

    Good Luck from Wilsonville, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, http://thesemi-retiredelectrician.com

  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,629

    Default Re: 120 volt power sometimes

    Quote Originally Posted by JLMCDANIEL View Post
    Most motors have a small amount of ground leakage, my guess is that your submersible pump exceeds that allowed by the GFCI.

    Jack
    The original poster didn't describe a GFI in the circuit, so I'm guessing that's not the issue. (I haven't heard of a self-resetting GFI.)

    Another possibility: the receptacle outlet at the pool is just bad. Maybe the pump plug's prongs are a little thinner than the circular saw's so it doesn't make good contact.

    Or, possibly, when the pump is turned on the voltage drops below what is necessary to turn the pump (but the circular saw works OK). Connect a voltmeter to the circuit where you plug in the pump -- what is the voltage when nothing's connected, and what is the voltage when the pump is connected?
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,803

    Default Re: 120 volt power sometimes

    Quote Originally Posted by Fencepost View Post
    The original poster didn't describe a GFI in the circuit, so I'm guessing that's not the issue. (I haven't heard of a self-resetting GFI.)
    You're right Fencepost, that's what happens when yo're working on 2 forums at onece.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: 120 volt power sometimes

    Quote Originally Posted by The Semi-Retired Electric View Post
    RG, all pumps should have a low liquid level shut-off switch, so the pump section will not run dry and destroy itself.

    A float switch is the oldest type but newer ones have conductivity switches. The specs usually say "on at 2", off at 4" or so.

    Have you actually tried placing the pump in a bucket with water in it?

    Or, there could actually be a float switch and it's stuck in the off position or it's defective.

    Good Luck from Wilsonville, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, http://thesemi-retiredelectrician.com
    Maurice --- not all pumps have a float switch.
    I have a submersable pump that will run with or without liquid -- the manufacturer doesn't want it running dry mind you. They use a thermal cutoff to shut the motor down --- liquid that is being pumped is actually used to keep the motor cool.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: 120 volt power sometimes

    Quote Originally Posted by rgfisher View Post
    I installed a 120v receptacle in my pool area off a dedicated GFI breaker.

    When I plug in a 2 prong drop light it turns on.

    When I plug in a 3 prong submersible pump to pump off my pool cover - nothing. It is not tripping the breaker. I plug in the pump in my garage - OK.

    Any ideas?
    Quote Originally Posted by rgfisher View Post
    OK

    This gets more wierd.

    Following Maurice's suggestion I tried the pump at both the pool and garage receptacles, by holding the pump vertical and horizontal. No change. It obviously does not have a "float switch".

    Then I thought I probably have a "load" issue. I checked the pump and it draws 12 amps. I found a circular saw that draws 12.8 amps and plugged it into the pool receptacle. Worked fine!

    I'm still at a loss.

    Any advice would help.
    To recap ---

    GFCI circuit = check ( GFCI breaker )
    Circuit breaker ( GFCI ) doesn't trip = check
    no float switch on pump = check ( runs in the garage )
    circuit powers resistive load ( lights ) =check
    circuit powers inductive load = check ( power saw )

    I doubt voltage drop would be an issue since the power saw seemed to work fine -- after all the pump and saw are both inductive loads. At this point it doesn't seem to be a high leakage current at the pump since the GFCI isn't tripping.

    Questions --
    the saw -- is it a 2 or 3 prong cord ?
    Who installed the GFCI breaker -- was it installed correctly in the panel ?
    Who ran the wiring and connected the receptacle outside -- is it correctly wired ?
    Last edited by canuk; 05-04-2011 at 09:38 PM.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,803

    Default Re: 120 volt power sometimes

    Canuk, the saw is probably a universal motor and the submersible not. That could make a difference. Universal motors handle low voltage much better.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: 120 volt power sometimes

    True enough though if there were enough voltage drop to not start the PSC type pump motor ( for example ) then a noticeable speed decrease on the saw would be evident. I know from experience when running power tools off a faulty genny --- low voltage results in a very noticable performance issue -- in cases like a large saw it really doesn't want to run.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

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