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Default Pump house wiring

Since my post asking about well pump house wiring I went to several
neighbor's places to look at their pump house wiring. They ALL have
the lights connected to 1/2 of the 240 supply to the pump. NONE have
breakers for the light(s). My feeling is that when the wells were
first drilled and the pump lowered that was as far as the well driller
went. Building the pump house and wiring it up were left to the
homeowner. Just as in my case. I ran the power to my pump. When the
electrical inspection was done the inspector did not look at the pump
wiring. Didn't even ask about it. I'm putting a sub panel in my pump
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Default Pump house wiring

I'm putting a sub panel in my pump house.

Wise man.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA

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Default Pump house wiring

Because Ken gave you wretched advice. Now, let's look at this two ways:

What is the right way:

a) 4-conductor,10-gauge or better from the Main Panel to the pump house, fused at the main by a 30 Amp double-pole breaker.
b) In a four-position 240 Volt sub-panel, one double-pole breaker at 20 Amps to the pump, using 12-gauge or better wire. IF the pump is designed for 240 Volts, and has no internal 120 Volt functions, then the wire to the pump may be 3-conductor wire, that is hot/hot/ground. Such systems are not designed to require a neutral. IF there are 120 Volt functions within the pump, you MUST use 4-conductor wire by code, being Hot/Neutral/Hot/Ground. Your pump instructions will have all this information.
c) One single-pole breaker to lighting - and there is no reason not to make this a 20 amp breaker feeding 12-gauge wire.
d) One single-pole breaker to the receptacle(s) - as above.

Ideally you will install a WR-rated GFIC as a receptacle. You may consider installing a GFIC breaker for the lighting as well. When it comes to power in damp locations, belt-suspenders-Velcro is the way to go with safety in mind. NOTE 1: WR-rated GFIC devices have a short life - I have never had one last even five years. You do test them regularly, I hope? But they are well worth that cost for safety.

NOTE 2: Well pumps have, or should have an EQUIPMENT GROUND CONDUCTOR (EGC). And this is why they do not require (and should not be on) a GFIC device as you _WILL_ get false trips using one.

The wrong way - expect the one double-pole breaker to protect everything. In my experience, under ideal conditions, properly maintained, and so forth, this will be fine 90% of the time. It is that niggling 10% that should be bothering you.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA
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