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Tapping in to Well Electric

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crunch
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 264 Niagara County, NY
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2007-05-04          141788


I have an area about 100 feet from my house where I keep my boat. I currently run an extension cord over there for a motion sensitive light and battery maintainer. It crosses the lawn where I mow and I was thinking about burying a PVC pipe and running the extension under ground through the pipe. I know I could bury ground rated wire but this is more costly and I don't know how permanent I want this to be. My well is also near the boat. I could tap into the well electric and install an outdoor plug but the wife is balking - saying that she doesn't want any problems with the well pump. Sometimes ( I hate to admit it - she is right). :) How would you handle this?

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2007-05-04          141791


It's a good question. I'm wondering the same thing. We had to add a plug-in wrap-around heat strip to our well head to prevent freezing. Each winter I drag an extension cord out to plug it in and it sits out there for six months. Since the well head is 220 I was wondering if I could tap into one phase to provide 110 for the heat strip without screwing up the pump. ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-05-04          141794


I'm not an electrician but...isn't a matter of knowing the amp draw and comparing that to the rated amperage capacity of the circuit? I mean if the rating is 30 amps and you only draw 20 that leaves 10 amps left to work with right?

And besides a well pump isn't always running anyway.

You might do well to replace that extension cord with a higher gauge wire though and bury it. I have buried extension cords ---ahem---against code temporarily with no problems. ....

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2007-05-04          141796


Yeah, that's true of total amp draw, but ... it seems a load will cause a voltage drop and if one phase has a slightly lower voltage than the other phase will it have a detrimental effect on the pump motor? Sorry, crunch, for hijacking your thread :) ....

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Tapping in to Well Electric

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crunch
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 264 Niagara County, NY
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2007-05-05          141797


No problem Ken , that's an interesting question. EW - since I wasn't the original owner of this house I don't have the paperwork on the pump so I guess I would be playing a little russian roulette by tapping into the line. I couldn't read your full response because I haven't managed to upgrade this account to premium yet (my other post). ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2007-05-05          141798


I realize you are talking 100 ft, and i'm talking about 15 ft., but the people who have the trailer next to ours at the river buried a length of 4 in. PVC between their trailer and the hookup post for the water and electricity to keep it out of the way for mowing. In the spring he pushes the big black trailer cord and his water hose thru and in the fall he pulls them out. Woeks pretty nice. BUT, water hose and big black cord in same PVC???? Mine lay on the round so the mowing guy has to move them but he's never complained, he move everybody elses too except the neighbor. Frank. ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-05-05          141800


Frank, your mowing guy---maybe the reason he doesn't complain is because he's subjected to all that electric shock and can't speak! :) ....

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Tapping in to Well Electric

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touch1
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 15 Fairborn Ohio
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2007-05-05          141801


If you just need to power a security light try Harbor Freight Tools. They have solar powered lights, item 93361. Please see the link below.

I hope that this helps:) ....


Link:   

Click Here


 
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harvey
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1539 Moravia, NY
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2007-05-05          141802


Typically your well pump line is only live when the pump runs. Unless you have the pressure switch and all out at the well.

Run a seperate UF grade, 12/2 or 14/2, wire just under the sod. Me thinks it's the simplest and easiest semipermenant solution. ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2007-05-05          141804


EW; I don't remember what the mowing guy charges, but it's hardly enough to buy the gas let alone hauling an old Lawn Boy up there that wouldn't ever start. The guy next door with the PVC for his power cord and the water hose is one of those so neat and proper type guys that it almost makes you throw up. Sorry, maybe you are that type too. Enjoy your Saturday. Frank. ....

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2007-05-05          141805


D'oh, Harvey you're right! That will never work. ....

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Billy
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 975 Southeast Oklahoma
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2007-05-05          141816


crunch, there's a lot of ifs, ands or buts here. You say you want a 110 plug-in and your well pump wiring is closest? That's where I'd start, that is if this line is hot all the time? This motion light isn't gonna draw much of anything but I don't know about your battery maintainer. What I'd try is two separate 110 plug-ins. One off L1 and one off of L2. This way if both came on at the same time they wouldn't share the same hot wire.

It really boils down to amp draw, wire size and breaker size. The well pump is gonna pull some pretty good amps but only for a few seconds at a time, at start up. The other two aren't gonna pull much at all. ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-05-05          141822


Frank: "The guy next door with the PVC for his power cord and the water hose is one of those so neat and proper type guys that it almost makes you throw up. Sorry, maybe you are that type too."

:) I wish I were--you oughtta see some of the stuff I've been known to do (not really ;) ) ....

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cutter
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 1303 The South Shore of Lake Ontario, New York
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2007-05-05          141823


It is not a big deal to run 100' PE conduit and install a short post with a weatherproof outlet. You can rent a commercial edger with a new blade to dig the little trench for you, probably around thirty bucks for half a day.

Hardest part will be routing the electric from your box to the outside wall, and depending upon your circumstances, that could be a simple job as well. I hate to see extension cords used for anything other than that for which they are designed. Asking for trouble. Good luck.

....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2007-05-06          141840


EW; Dream on, the wife says a "Hail Mary" anytime a visitor goes in my shop for fear they will trip over something and sue us. Even the ambulance chasing type lawyers park out front waiting for a hit. Stay neat. Frank. ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2007-05-07          141868


Crunch, I am not a well expert by any means but many people here who have wells have a 110 outlet on them for a light or heating element. To be fully safe you should be wiring to an insulated wire for the neutral side of your 110 outlet, which you may or may not have. The concern I would have is with the neutral side and ground. If you have a metal pipe in the ground that may be sufficient, but some pumps are using PVC which wil not take care of your ground/neutral side at all. The checking of the load is part of it and as has been pointed out a motor has a heavy start load compared to the running load. But if you has using numbers already used a 30 amp circuit to your pump and it is only drawing 20 amps, so you wire into that circuit your 110 circuit is protected by that 30 amp breaker if you don't add another breaker at the outlet or fuse. So if you use 12 guage wire for the 110 outlet and there was to be a short in it, it could heat enough to cause a fire and never trip the 30 amp breaker. Of course if you decide to buy another wire or pvc pipe, you must be clear of the already buried wire to the pump. See if you can get that wire and any other wires marked.

Someone has used the term PHASE in this conversation and someone else has used the term LINE. They are not the same. If your pump is 3 phase and I guess it could be, be sure someone who knows 3 phase is working on that circuit. kt ....

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crunch
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 264 Niagara County, NY
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2007-05-20          142244


Thanks to all. Based on what I've heard I will stay away from tapping into the well electric for now. I will probably run a "well" pitched underground pvc pipe with heavy duty extension cord as originally planned. ....

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