Recommendations for modernizing well system

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  #1  
Old 04-28-19, 10:25 AM
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Recommendations for modernizing well system

When I purchased my home a few years ago, it came with the well setup pictured below. Everything is functioning, but it is in an obviously unsafe condition and I would like to update the electrical setup. I would consider myself an experienced DIYer, having grown up learning from my father who is a contractor.

Some background: my house was built in 1956 and I don't know much about the well itself because I haven't been able to locate it. I have an idea of where it is in the yard, but the head is underground with no visible cap at the surface. I had to have the entire house rewired when I bought it to replaced whole house low-voltage system, but the wiring for the well was not touched at the time.

A few things to note:
  1. The fuse box was rusted when I bought the house. Unclear if it came into direct contact with water at some time or if it's due to overall basement moisture rusting out the old box over time. Can the fuse box be eliminated entirely or should it be replaced? The well pump is currently on a dedicated double 20A breaker. The wiring was not replaced as you can see, but it would not be difficult for me to replace the wiring from the fuse box back to the panel.
  2. I'm currently having an issue with water coming up the vent pipe and dripping down, I think due to the amount of rain we've had lately in CT, so the white towel pictured is to wick away and drip water into a bucket right now so it doesn't end up in a pool on the floor.

I'm hoping for pointers and product recommendations to correctly modernize this setup. Any pointers about the non-electrical aspects of it are appreciated as well. Thanks!




 
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  #2  
Old 04-28-19, 08:04 PM
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You need a disconnect at the pressure tank setup, a standard double-pole switch (rated 20A) will work fine. That replaces the fused disconnect.

My OCD would probably want to replace the existing BX (armored) cable with new MC cable. It looks basically the same, but will have better conductors/insulation and a separate ground.

I would definitely replace the BX cable from the breaker box to the new disconnect. It can likely be standard 12ga NM/Romex cable.

I probably wouldn't replace the pressure switch or the controller unless they are showing more age than in the pic.

There's not a whole lot you can do with water infiltration with the current setup. Some silicone caulk might help some, but it likely won't help much.
At some point, you'll need to find the well... but might as well wait until something happens and get the well company to help find it.
 
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Old 04-28-19, 08:41 PM
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The old three wire pump controller can be removed. Unfortunately it looks like a two wire submersible pump was swapped in for what was once a three wire pump.

What's the difference ?
Less expensive
Not as long lasting.
Harder starting.
 
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Old 04-29-19, 06:19 AM
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Thanks for this information. So is the control box just being used as a junction box?
 
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Old 04-29-19, 09:42 AM
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Yes.... the red and black pump wires are attached directly to the L terminals.
If that box was in use the three wires would be on R-red, Y-yellow and B-black.

That's a combo control box and disconnect. When wired as intended..... with the relay/cap part pulled out.... the well would be dead.
 
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Old 10-29-20, 08:52 PM
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Im finally getting around to this and noticed the well is on a double pole 20A breaker with the older BX 2 conductor wire. Should I be pulling 12-3 NM-B from the panel to my new 20A double pole switch?
 

Last edited by vinmassaro; 10-29-20 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 10-31-20, 09:32 AM
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Im finally getting around to this and noticed the well is on a double pole 20A breaker with the older BX 2 conductor wire. Should I be pulling 12-3 NM-B from the panel to my new 20A double pole switch?
If you have a 2 wire feeder, why replace it with 12-3 NM-B cable? Are you anticipating a new pump motor in the future that requires both 240 and120 volts? I think I'd put high on my priority list a search for the well head.
 
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Old 10-31-20, 04:12 PM
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Is this the only power source to the well house? If it is the only source I would pull 12/3 so that you can have 120 volts if needed.
 
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Old 10-31-20, 05:04 PM
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If you have a 2 wire feeder, why replace it with 12-3 NM-B cable? Are you anticipating a new pump motor in the future that requires both 240 and120 volts? I think I'd put high on my priority list a search for the well head.
It's old BX without a dedicated ground wire so if I'm going to remove these boxes, I might as well update it back to the panel right? I see a double pole 20-amp breaker and I haven't pulled the cover off my panel yet to confirm that it's only using one half of the breaker. I will be hiring a well company to locate the well and raise it to the surface.

Is this the only power source to the well house? If it is the only source I would pull 12/3 so that you can have 120 volts if needed.
Yes, it's a single dedicated circuit from my main panel, across the basement to where the well wiring goes out to the yard. This is what I was thinking, but wasn't sure if it was necessary.
 
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Old 10-31-20, 06:08 PM
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Many times people have come here wanting to put a light in the well house and they only have 240 volts. I would run the 12/3 and put in a mini sub panel so you can have a light and a receptacle if you need it.
 
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Old 11-01-20, 05:22 AM
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Hi, if you are hiring a well co. let them suggest the proper controls for your system, you could still pull a new cable, NM type, as mentioned, I would also install a new wood surface to secure everything to, is this tank/ control in sight and with in 50’ of your service panel? if so no need for a disconnect switch by the tank.
What is that green line?

Geo🇺🇸
 
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Old 11-01-20, 05:43 AM
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You might try visiting your local building inspector or land use department. They might have a property plan. I live in CT and mine shows the location of the well and septic system.
 
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Old 11-01-20, 12:59 PM
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Many times people have come here wanting to put a light in the well house and they only have 240 volts. I would run the 12/3 and put in a mini sub panel so you can have a light and a receptacle if you need it.
It's in an area of the basement with plenty of light so no issue there.

Hi, if you are hiring a well co. let them suggest the proper controls for your system, you could still pull a new cable, NM type, as mentioned, I would also install a new wood surface to secure everything to, is this tank/ control in sight and with in 50’ of your service panel? if so no need for a disconnect switch by the tank.
What is that green line?
Ground wire going to copper coming out of wall
 
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Old 11-01-20, 09:19 PM
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Actually NM is no good for burial. You need a proper underground cable.
 
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Old 11-02-20, 05:29 AM
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Actually NM is no good for burial. You need a proper underground cable.
Only replacing the line from main panel to the well tank, not the underground line to the submersible pump.
 
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Old 11-05-20, 05:38 PM
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If you have a 2 wire feeder, why replace it with 12-3 NM-B cable? Are you anticipating a new pump motor in the future that requires both 240 and120 volts? I think I'd put high on my priority list a search for the well head.
It's old BX without a dedicated ground wire so if I'm going to remove these boxes, I might as well update it back to the panel right? I see a double pole 20-amp breaker and I haven't pulled the cover off my panel yet to confirm that it's only using one half of the breaker. I will be hiring a well company to locate the well and raise it to the surface.
Still no reason to use 12-3 NM-B cable. All you need is 12-2 NM-B. 12-2 still gives you a dedicated bare ground.
 
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Old 11-09-20, 10:12 AM
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Still no reason to use 12-3 NM-B cable. All you need is 12-2 NM-B. 12-2 still gives you a dedicated bare ground.
Ok, but is there any situation in the future where I may need an extra wire that would make sense to just replace with 12/3 now?
 
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Old 11-09-20, 12:11 PM
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Ok, but is there any situation in the future where I may need an extra wire that would make sense to just replace with 12/3 now?
Yes, that is why in my first comment I asked you that?

Are you anticipating a new pump motor in the future that requires both 240 and120 volts?
Perhaps a 120 volt control box or additional motor or even a light/receptacle?
 
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Old 11-09-20, 05:45 PM
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Ok, but is there any situation in the future where I may need an extra wire that would make sense to just replace with 12/3 now?
No there is not. You have access to 120 volts so no need for the neutral for the pump.
 
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