Just wired in new 230 volt (1-1/2 hp) water well pump. Do I have too many breakers for this pump?

The first breaker is a 30 amp double-pole inside the 200 amp main panel house box. The second breaker is a 30 amp double pole in the Reliance transfer switch box for my generator. The third is a 30 amp breaker that's 100 feet out to well house, connecting to the relay control box & then running down well to pump.

  • 1
    what voltage is the pump connected to? .... also your post is really cluttered and difficult to read .... please edit it
    – jsotola
    Feb 3, 2019 at 22:38
  • What's the purpose of having a breaker out at the canopy? Feb 4, 2019 at 0:18
  • Jsotola, kicked out some clutter, might be easier to understand now.
    – Oily Tex
    Feb 4, 2019 at 1:37
  • ThreePhaseEel, yes this is why I was asking, as I can see the need for 1st breaker in main house panel, then there has to be one in the Reliance transfer box, but didn’t see a need for the one in well house, but I did tell the electrician to wire me in a 120 plugthe for a small electric heater, so he had to have a place to step down from 230 to 120 volt, so that makes sense, however Do you think their could be safety issues ?
    – Oily Tex
    Feb 4, 2019 at 1:46
  • Was the feeder from the transfer switch to the pump run with /2 or /3 cable? Feb 4, 2019 at 2:29

2 Answers 2


There is no rule against having multiple breakers in the same circuit. The drawbacks are only the wasted money and more things to troubleshoot when something goes awry, i.e. the well pump stops working and now you have 3 breakers to check instead of one. But you have a slightly different situation after you posted this:

... but I did tell the electrician to wire me in a 120 plug [the] for a small electric heater ...

What that did was change up the definition of your circuit from being a "branch" to being a "feeder". A branch circuit is one that is the LAST circuit before the load. If you had ONLY the well pump at the very end, then the one breaker in the panel at the house was the only one necessary. The one out near the pump could have been a non-fused disconnect switch within sight of the well. The same could have been true of the "Reliance" box circuit as well (although most likely they only come with breakers).

But by having the electrician add the 110V circuit at the well head, you now have TWO load circuits, so you need TWO branch protective devices there, and the breaker in your house panel is now the feeder for those branches. It's not a problem regarding the size, either way they are just protecting the conductors so as long as your feeder conductors are at least #10 you are fine, as well as your branch conductors for the pump itself. But now your 110V circuit must have another branch protective device. Assuming there was a good reason for the transformer (i.e. no neutral conductor run out to the well), you must have some sort of branch protective device for the primary of that transformer at the very least. Hopefully there is. Could be fuses, could be another smaller 2 pole breaker, but there must be something there protecting that transformer.

  • J.Raefield; wow JR, you just taught me a lot with the additional information you provided. Read it 2 times already & still learning, thank you so much for teaching me & others, Oily Tex
    – Oily Tex
    Feb 5, 2019 at 1:31
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    J.Raefield; yes, your correct again ! ! ! the 110V branch heater plug does have a 20 amp breaker opposite the 230V ( 30 amp ) breaker for well pump, thank you.
    – Oily Tex
    Feb 5, 2019 at 1:43

I don't see a problem the 3rd breaker provides a local disconnect and this can be a safety factor issue. If you remove the local breaker you will need a lockable breaker at the house because the pump house location is not "within site".

  • Ed Beal, thank you for the reply, what I thought might be a bad safety issue, has turned out to be a good issue, spending a little more money to keep the house from burning down, thanks to everyone’s contribution
    – Oily Tex
    Feb 5, 2019 at 15:47

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