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Posted: 10/24/2016 11:40:42 AM EDT
my boss wants me to "fix" a pump. The techs claim they have to "jiggle" the cord to get it to work.


My first thought was a wire short, until I opened the switch:




I'm no electical expert, but this seems excessive for normal wear and tear... even for a "really old" switch


Do I need to just swap out for a new switch? Or does this pump have bigger problems
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 11:43:04 AM EDT
Needs a grounding rod to drain off the excess electricity.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 11:47:07 AM EDT
Looks like it arced to me. Needs replaced
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 11:51:04 AM EDT
From the other side of the switch... I'm not the first one to "repair" this switch. Why do I feel like I'm getting bubba's sloppy seconds... or thirds...




Link Posted: 10/24/2016 11:52:21 AM EDT
Put a new switch in. Has been arcing for some time and slowly eating away at the contacts.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 11:53:24 AM EDT
Something is causing the switch not to fully close or open causing arc. No one wondered why it was getting hot?

We were replacing some 30 amp relays last week for a greenhouse temperature control. Couldn't figure out why the relays wouldn't pull in, just chatter. I'm not sure what we did, one relay finally pulled in enough to have this neat green fire erupt inside. It was only a 30 amp relay, but it's enough to tighten your sphincter.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 11:57:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/24/2016 12:02:37 PM EDT by AeroE]
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 11:57:20 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By joemama74:
Something is causing the switch not to fully close or open causing arc. No one wondered why it was getting hot?

We were replacing some 30 amp relays last week for a greenhouse temperature control. Couldn't figure out why the relays wouldn't pull in, just chatter. I'm not sure what we did, one relay finally pulled in enough to have this neat green fire erupt inside. It was only a 30 amp relay, but it's enough to tighten your sphincter.
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Chemistry techs are not that smart when it comes to electricity....


Link Posted: 10/24/2016 12:03:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/24/2016 12:04:17 PM EDT by dmfl54]
Replace the switch, that will be $150, we accept CC or checks.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 12:08:19 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By MBUZICHOMA:
Looks like it arced to me. Needs replaced
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SPNI. That switch is fried.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 12:08:21 PM EDT
Probably just needs a new switch.

Check the resistance and inductance of the coil and compare to spec if worried about the motor.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 12:12:52 PM EDT
that switch is breaking the neutral (white). should be breaking the hot (black).
I never switch neutrals
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 12:17:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/24/2016 12:17:46 PM EDT by Diesel_Maximus_2992]
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Originally Posted By mrrick:
that switch is breaking the neutral (white). should be breaking the hot (black).
I never switch neutrals
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I'm not good with three phase AC. Explain?


ETA: are you saying the idiot before me installed this switch fucky?
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 12:21:48 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Diesel_Maximus_2992:
I'm not good with three phase AC. Explain?



ETA: are you saying the idiot before me installed this switch fucky?
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Originally Posted By Diesel_Maximus_2992:
Originally Posted By mrrick:
that switch is breaking the neutral (white). should be breaking the hot (black).
I never switch neutrals
I'm not good with three phase AC. Explain?



ETA: are you saying the idiot before me installed this switch fucky?


Single phase, and the white wire should be straight through and the black going to the switch terminals assuming the wiring is correct on the plug end and the pump end.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 12:24:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/24/2016 12:26:33 PM EDT by dbd870]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Diesel_Maximus_2992:
I'm not good with three phase AC. Explain?



ETA: are you saying the idiot before me installed this switch fucky?
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Originally Posted By Diesel_Maximus_2992:
Originally Posted By mrrick:
that switch is breaking the neutral (white). should be breaking the hot (black).
I never switch neutrals
I'm not good with three phase AC. Explain?



ETA: are you saying the idiot before me installed this switch fucky?
Umm that is not 3 phase. The black - ungrounded (hopefully!) conductor should be switched. The white - grounded conductor (not green ground wire) should not be interrupted. This is assuming it is a 120V circuit. I have seen more than 1 240V circuit where the white conductor was used as an ungrounded conductor.

And I agree, make sure you have a properly rated switch.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 12:32:06 PM EDT


I'd replace the cord along with the switch. Better yet, replace the cord and mount a switch on the pump itself.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 12:34:15 PM EDT
Uhhhh, are you sure your qualified to change out that switch?
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 12:36:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/24/2016 12:37:22 PM EDT by Diesel_Maximus_2992]
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Originally Posted By maddmatt:
Uhhhh, are you sure your qualified to change out that switch?
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As qualified as anyone on location

I just don't usually fuck with electrical stuff. I'm better at the mechanical


Link Posted: 10/24/2016 12:42:35 PM EDT
I'm thinking the mysteries of alternating current might be too much for you.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 12:43:04 PM EDT
Hi I'm an electrician look at the pump it should have a name plate with the voltage and amperage listed on it if it's less than 6 amps an inline switch from home depot is $4 it will work I'm assuming it's a small air or water pump maybe a half horse power http://m.homedepot.com/p/Westinghouse-Brown-Feed-Through-On-Off-Switch-7050600/204836051
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 12:52:04 PM EDT
It took more time to take pics and post a thread than it would have to cut a new switch in...
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 12:53:04 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By 1srelluc:
I'm thinking the mysteries of alternating current might be too much for you.
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Do not need to know the "mysteries"

Already confirmed the switch was wired improperly (confirmed the white is indeed wired to the neutral prong)

Already looking for a switch that can handle the spec of the pump.

I can do basic clipping and re stripping of the existing wire for a clean connection

All I needed to really know was whether or not the wear patterns were an indication of more complicated or severe damage. I believe I have that answer now.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 12:54:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/24/2016 12:56:29 PM EDT by Diesel_Maximus_2992]
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Originally Posted By lazyr2u:
Hi I'm an electrician look at the pump it should have a name plate with the voltage and amperage listed on it if it's less than 6 amps an inline switch from home depot is $4 it will work I'm assuming it's a small air or water pump maybe a half horse power http://m.homedepot.com/p/Westinghouse-Brown-Feed-Through-On-Off-Switch-7050600/204836051
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Actually your not far off

It's a Dayton 1/3 hp vac pump.

That switch is close, but not quite strong enough
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 12:59:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/24/2016 1:02:11 PM EDT by Sundowner08L]
Here's the way to look at the point about switching the black wire. Imagine you want to use water to spin a paddle wheel. You take a hose, run it out to the paddle wheel in a closed box, and run another hose to drain the water. You want to be able to control the paddle wheel with a faucet. You could put the faucet in the hose that delivered the water, or in the hose that drained the water- either one would work. Let's say the hoses were running through your house. If you put the faucet in the return hose, there would be water pressure all the time in the delivery hose, the paddle wheel box and the return hose, right up to the faucet. It any portion of the circuit sprung a leak, right up to the faucet, your house would flood. But if you put the faucet in the supply hose, there's no water pressure in the supply hose (after the faucet, of course), the paddle wheel box or the return hose unless the faucet is turned on. There's much less chance of flooding. Switching back to electricity, the water pressure is an energized circuit, and a leak is a ground or line fault, possibly through you. The faucet is the switch, and the black wire is the supply hose. The smaller the portion of energized circuit, generally the better off you are. Which is why almost anything with a switch has a polarized plug, to make sure the switched line is the black or hot wire.
Link Posted: 10/24/2016 1:03:14 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Sundowner08L:
Here's the way to look at the point about switching the black wire. Imagine you want to use water to spin a paddle wheel. You take a hose, run it out to the paddle wheel in a closed box, and run another hose to drain the water. You want to be able to control the paddle wheel with a faucet. You could put the faucet in the hose that delivered the water, or in the hose that drained the water- either one would work. Let's say the hoses were running through your house. If you put the faucet in the return hose, there would be water pressure all the time in the delivery hose, the paddle wheel box and the return hose, right up to the faucet. It any portion of the circuit sprung a leak, right up to the faucet, your house would flood. But if you put the faucet in the supply hose, there's no water pressure in the supply hose (after the faucet, of course), the paddle wheel box or the return hose unless the faucet is turned on. There's much less chance of flooding. Switching back to electricity, the water pressure is an energized circuit, and a leak is a ground or line fault, possibly through you. The faucet is the switch, and the black wire is the supply hose. The smaller the portion of energized circuit, generally the better off you are. Which is why almost anything with a switch has a polarized plug, to make sure the switched line is the black or hot wire.
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I figured that was about the gist of it, but that is an awesome analogy. And I learned today.
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