The Advantage Of A Separate Control Box For A Submersible Well Pump

Construction & Contractors Blog

Although well pumps are designed to last for years, a bit of up-front planning is useful to minimize the difficulty of potential future repairs. The removal of a submersible pump is challenging, and it often requires the use of an overhead hoist. Property owners planning a new well or servicing a current pump may simplify some future repairs by installing a control box above ground.

A pump with a separate control box relies on components in the box to energize the pump motor. The advantage of a separate control box is its accessibility. If the pump stops working, the problem may lie with the control box components. If the fault is limited to the control box, there is no need to replace your pump.

Fully-contained submersible pump models are available also. All of the necessary components are contained within a sealed pump housing. Electricity is sent directly to the pump from the water tank pressure switch. For pumping systems designed to work in conjunction with a separate control box, the box is installed between the tank pressure switch and the pump.

Aboveground components

A starting capacitor is located in the control box to provide an initial surge of electricity to start the pump. The control box also contains a relay switch that provides continuing energy to the pump after the pump reaches its normal operating speed. Some control boxes are constructed of two halves that snap apart after removing a couple of screws.

Ease of access

If the water supply to your faucets suddenly stops, one of the first actions of a repair technician is to turn off the applicable circuit breaker and inspect the control box. Lightning strikes and power surges sometimes leave visual signs. A capacitor or relay switch might display a singed appearance, likely indicating failure.

Convenient testing

If damage to the control box components is not obvious, technicians test the strength of the capacitor output and the status of the relay switch. Experienced well pump technicians know how to safely discharge a capacitor before testing it. Either of the components can be replaced if found to be defective.

If testing reveals no problem with your control box, the underground pump becomes suspect. With the circuit breaker switched back on, a voltmeter is used to confirm that the control box is supplying power. The pump may have to be removed if it does not pump water at that point.

An aboveground control box becomes increasingly practical as well depths increase. Contact a water well contractor, like Modern Pump & Equipment, for more information and advice about submersible well pumps.


31 July 2015

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