Got a new submersible pump. Brought the old one to a plumber's supply house and got one with the same specs: single phase, 240v 3-wire.

I attached the pump to the pipe, connected the wiring, and brought it down the well. The water level is so high I can see it about 15' from the top of the wall casing. The well is about 150' deep. But no water comes out the pipe when I flip the breaker on.

I took the pump out and placed it in a tub full of water, as in the picture below. When I turn it on, very little water comes out.

The pump is making the usual noise a pump makes when working. At the junction box, I'm getting 120v between each leg and the ground, and 240v between the two legs. Using a clamp meter I get 8.2A on one leg, 3.2A on the other leg and 5A on the ground. Don't know if that has anything to do with it.

Any ideas of why no pressure or volume?

enter image description here

inside of control box This is what's inside of the control box. Seems that they just gutted it and it's now just a junction box.

  • Check valve installed on the wrong end? Or in the wrong direction?
    – MTA
    Nov 3, 2023 at 21:51
  • @MTA I removed it. Still almost no flow
    – Cheery
    Nov 3, 2023 at 21:53
  • 1
    Did the original pump stop working, which is why you replaced it? If so, did you test or replace the capacitor in the control box in the house? A bad capacitor at the house could have disabled your original pump, and if the capacitor is still bad, your new pump won't work either.
    – MTA
    Nov 3, 2023 at 22:08
  • 1
    Caution: Running a submersible well pump wide open with no head pressure can damage the pump. See installation instructions for required precautions to prevent damage.
    – MTA
    Nov 3, 2023 at 22:15
  • @Ecnerwal I installed a new control box, and now have both pressure and volume. If you write your comment as an answer, I can mark it as solved.
    – Cheery
    Nov 4, 2023 at 16:57

1 Answer 1


You don't have the proper stuff in your (alleged, or former) "control box" to run a 3-wire pump, so the motor isn't starting.

You probably should have gotten a 2-wire pump, which does not need a control box.

Now you need to go back and get the starter circuit to go with your 3-wire pump, because generally once you get it wet or power it up or get out the door of the store it becomes non-returnable...

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