Water pump intermittently not starting on very cold mornings - solution

7 months 1 week ago - 7 months 1 week ago #559046 by OurPatchOfDirt
Thought i would post this in case it helps others. Our water pump is about 5 years old was not pumping intermittently, associated with the coldest of mornings, but fine when tried a bit later or tap left on for a minute. This escalated to having to go down to the pump and hit the controller reset button several days later.

Solution was suggested by pump shop to replace the motor start capacitor. I sourced a capacitor from the shop based off the pump model tag.

There are many Youtube clips on capacitor replacing and safety - but safety first,  i ensured to unplug the pump. Capacitor is within the water proof box on side of the motor housing. Couple of screws to take the top off

Mine had spade terminals but replacement had just wires so had to use crimp terminals to connect to motor wires after cutting off the spade terminals but easy to fit.

I note i was told to replace with as close to original microfarads rating (within 10%) mine was 14mf. 

All working fine, no more intermittent waterless mornings.

Last edit: 7 months 1 week ago by OurPatchOfDirt. Reason: correction of gramma
The following user(s) said Thank You: mattib

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7 months 1 week ago #559048 by tonybaker
useful information! I believe it is wise to discharge the capacitor first before removing it. The purpose of the capacitor is to store a jolt of electricity to enable the pump to jump start and overcome the high force needed to get the impeller moving. Same thing happens to washing machines so it's good to know these things. Some of us could use an inbuilt capacitor in the mornings!

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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7 months 1 week ago #559050 by smudge
As a sparky I can say it is almost 100% to be the motor start capacitor, just because it is buggered doesn't mean it wont still hold some charge. Disconnect from power source of course, then short out the cap before touching anything else. If you don't know what that means then get a sparkie in.

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7 months 5 days ago - 6 months 1 week ago #559062 by Alan Gilbert
The start capacitor can indeed store a jolt of electricity, but that's not what it's there for.

It provides a phase-shifted current to an auxiliary stator winding, to cause a rotating magnetic field to get the rotor moving in the right direction. Once the rotor is up to a bit less than full speed, a centrifugal switch on the end on the rotor cuts the capacitor (and hence the auxiliary winding) out of circuit. 
Last edit: 6 months 1 week ago by Alan Gilbert. Reason: Remedied missing apostrophe.

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