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-   -   Return Pump Electric Question (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-saltwater-aquariums/return-pump-electric-question-58216/)

Pasfur 12-26-2010 01:51 PM

Return Pump Electric Question
 
The mag pump in my sump is causing the electric to trip. Nothing has changed on this setup, my 180. I isolated the cause to the mag. So, what could be causing this? Does this mean I need a new sump pump?

Warpig 12-27-2010 12:31 AM

Does it trip at random? or instantly when plugged in?
Do you know how much current the entire circuit is using?
if you are near the max on the circuit, I could see a pump that is drawing extra current due to some kind of load down or malfunction causing you to exceed the breaker's limit. If you are not near the circuit limit I would say no a loaded down pump motor should not cause a large enough spike in current but if your GFI is 15 amps and the circuit normally draws 12 I could see this scenario. you could test this by using an extension cord to plug the pump into a different circuit and see if the problem goes away or if it blows the other circuit's breaker too.
If it trips on the other circuit I would guess water is penetrating the sealed off 110V section within the pump that supplies the motor. i would only do this to test. i wouldn't leave it this way

Pasfur 12-27-2010 06:07 PM

It trips instantly, even if the mag is the only pump plugged in.

I tried another mag pump, same exact pump, and it does not trip. I think I overheated the original mag. Why? Because I am an idiot. About 2 months ago I was cleaning out my sump and decided to add a sponge prefilter to the return pump. I forgot to clean it because I normally don't use one. When I removed the pump yesterday the sponge was filthy, clearly clogged.

I assume that a burned out motor would trip the electric?

Warpig 12-27-2010 09:15 PM

motors have a coating on the copper windings to insulate them from each other. If you overheat the motor bad enough the coating on the copper windings can melt and you can either have two windings short together or in this case what is more likely is that water is getting to the bare wire of the winding and tripping the breaker

Pasfur 12-29-2010 09:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Warpig (Post 543728)
motors have a coating on the copper windings to insulate them from each other. If you overheat the motor bad enough the coating on the copper windings can melt and you can either have two windings short together or in this case what is more likely is that water is getting to the bare wire of the winding and tripping the breaker


I bought a new pump. From these comments I'm rather certain that it was in fact an overheated motor.
Thanks for the help.

Warpig 12-30-2010 02:23 AM

You are more than welcome... glad to offer something in return

Nick


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