Splitter/junction for 10/3 high voltage wires in well shed

Help Support House Repair Talk:

zannej

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2014
Messages
2,822
Reaction score
968
Is it called a Piggyback junction?

This is connected to my post about my cistern/well/pumps posts.

I have pump running on 230v & 6.1A (can go to 12A if wired at 115). Right now it has a crappy float switch that I want to replace, but the switch acts as a junction to go to the 2nd pump. (Eliminating pumps or changing much with that setup is not happening since we have no idea how). We currently have a D-box float switch & the lever keeps getting stuck down because the rod turns to the side and jams. I plan to replace it with a weighted float hooked through a contactor. The cable is 10/3 (well, one is 8/3 but we plan to replace it with 10/3 since the 8 was a substitute for some wire that burned up).

Right now the cable that supplies power comes out of the ground, goes to junction box where a cable comes out to the switch. From the switch it goes to the air compressor pump (that draws water up in to the cistern). From the switch it goes out to the jet pump (that pumps water from the cistern to the rest of the house).

I don't like relying on wire nuts because they can be a pain. I'm trying to come up with a solution to connect the wires so that one set can go to the contactor and another can go to the jet pump). I've seen some little 3-way boxes but they are mostly max 10mm with some up to 15mm and 10/3 can be close to 17mm. I believe individual 10awg is around 6mm so it might even go to 18mm.

I have a waterproof junction box that I can use and I can probably use electrical tape as extra insulation inside the box to make sure nothing touches.
So, first I'm looking at Teansic 150PCS Semi-Insulated Piggy Back Spade Quick Splice Crimp Male Female Terminals Connectors Assortment Kit for A.W.G 12-10 16-14 22-16 Wire which would leave some metal partially exposed (hence tape). they hook in to each other but take up quite a bit of space.
1632458667108.png1632458748315.png
There is also 120 PCS Wirefy T Tap Electrical Connectors – Quick Wire Splice Taps and Insulated Male Quick Disconnect Terminals which comes with little spades that slide in to make connections so there is nothing exposed.
1632458824771.png1632459179030.png

The latter would require a longer continuous wire but might take up less space if I do the layout properly. I could have a 3-way junction box and run the incoming cable in through the bottom, run one part out to the compressor pump, and the other out to the jet pump.

I imagine it would look something like this (maybe with the orange outside not peeled back so much)
1632460327238.png

I am also trying to find the right contactor. I need something that can do at least 230v and 13A (I've seen plenty with 20A and up). That's AC power. (I'm guessing VAC stands for Voltage Alternating Current). I kind of want a rail mount one so I can put it inside a weatherproof box that can be set near the junction box.

Since the switch is wet to NC, I believe I need NO contactor. Something like this maybe? AC Contactor, 2P 20A 2NO 24V 220V/230V 50/60Hz Household AC Contactor DIN Rail Mount, No Noise and Electric Spark, Insulation Material, Operation Security

Note: The red wire may be white in reality but white wouldn't show up well for the image). So black would be Live, White would be neutral, and Green is ground. Green would skip connecting to the contactor and would go straight to the pump.

What do you guys think?

I could also use assistance making sure that the contactor is wired properly. I will have a certified electrician hooking things up, but he mostly works on cars, computers, and arcade games (although he's done the wiring in his house-- which was inspected by a licensed electrician and approved).
 
Last edited:

afjes_2016

Established Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2016
Messages
635
Reaction score
279
I agree with you snoonyb on that style of connector. They are far more sturdy and in my opinion the locking device that clamps down on the conductor of your style has far more holding power and will be far more reliable in the future. The other ones remind me of mobile home self=contained switch and receptacle devices - they are junk.
 

Eddie_T

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2015
Messages
916
Reaction score
653
If you have confirmed that both pump motors are wired 230v you only need 2 wires. Out of the first J-box in the shed start a run of 12-2 w/gnd (hot-hot-gnd), at a convenient point tap off a pair to each pump, the ground wires can just be twisted together or spliced (your call, no current). Of course the air pump line will be via the float device. If you want 115v to a receptacle you need to also plan a run of 12-2 w/gnd (hot-neutral-gnd) from the first J-box.

Of course you could use the 10-3 w/gnd in lieu of 12-2 w/gnd and not connect the third wire at either end. At some point you have to face the reality of what's there/needed 115v or 230v and wire accordingly. If you don't have a meter you shouldn't try anything.
 
Last edited:

zannej

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2014
Messages
2,822
Reaction score
968
Thanks Soonyb, (I almost typed Snoopyb again- keep reading it wrong LOL). Of the ones in that link, are there any you think might work for this particular application? Do they have 2 ports out as well as the port in? And are they rated for higher voltage?

I kept seeing little white plastic things inside of some of the waterproof junction boxes and was trying to find those particular little things but they look like they are only 2 way instead of 3 way.

Thanks Eddie! Are the ones you linked rated for higher voltage? The weird crimping ones I linked say they can handle up to 30DAC. Seller said it can go up to 400VAC but said it was rarely used over 300VAC.

I like the crimp ones you linked. Worst case scenario we can still go with the wire nuts inside a weatherproof box. I could still bring the line in from the bottom and have others go out the sides.

Do you have diagrams of what you are describing with the 2 wires/ Or is it just basically the same but only running 2 without the ground. I think the jet pump does connect to a ground wire but am not certain. I looked it up and confirmed it does run on 230VAC. (It can do 115/230 according to specs. It's a Goulds J10S 1HP.

This is the spec sheet https://www.lockewell.com/pdf/goulds/j-series.pdf

I need to look again at the wiring. Can't get pics because my phone disappeared. I've never lost a phone before but this is not my week. I halfway wonder if I could ground the pumps to the metal pipe coming out of the ground in the shed. I think it may be some sort of makeshift grounding rod. But I don't know if that is a good idea in an area that sometimes floods when cistern overflows.
 

Eddie_T

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2015
Messages
916
Reaction score
653
You run grounds for safety but don't run neutrals for 230v only. The ground wires keep all the metal housings at zero volts. Since your green is a ground you may not have a neutral in your cable. It's OK to run the green through a 3-way splice, so it would be hot-hot-gnd. If the switch has a metal chassis or housing the green should be connected to it as well, just not switched.
 

zannej

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2014
Messages
2,822
Reaction score
968
Ah. Ok. I think the "neutral" in this case is actually a hot. My friend said the pump has 2 hots and a ground. But the float calls for the connection of two wires (that would usually be hot and neutral) but leaves the 3rd wire free. It only has 3 wires because if you hook it to blue and red (eg) it makes it NC but if you hook it to blue and white it makes it NO. One setup makes the pump turn on when water is low and the other turns it on when water is high (like for draining water with a sump pump).
 

Eddie_T

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2015
Messages
916
Reaction score
653
Rather than starting over with a new set of problems I would choose the more economical (and understandable) path of making the existing set-up work. I would find the optimal location for the float switch, shim a pad for level mounting to the tank lid and attach with construction adhesive (not caulk). Make the pad large enough so the switch (rather than the pad) can be moved if necessary to achieve smooth rod operation. Using the same switch and terminals that are now used will ensure that you have the right NC or NO concept w/o any re-engineering.

Once you have it working reliably clean up the wiring. Don't try too many changes at once or you might end up with confusion and no water.
 

Eddie_T

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2015
Messages
916
Reaction score
653
A farmer neighbor of mine added an indicator light in his kitchen to tell him when the well pump is running.

I was thinking that you could easily place a light on the exterior of the shed (assuming the shed can be seen from the house) to indicate when the air pump is on. Connect the light between a switched terminal and ground to get 115v. You might prevent flooding.
 

zannej

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2014
Messages
2,822
Reaction score
968
We can't really see the shed from the house too easily. It's only partially visible from the kitchen window and there are obstructions.

I really do want to change out the float thing because even when it is at the right level the lever sometimes still gets stuck down. The float thing seems to be lower maintenance. I wish I could get some sort of test setup to see how it works before actually installing it. I do plan to switch to using a cycle stop valve for the jet pump. But, that is back burner after some of the other stuff gets fixed.
 

Eddie_T

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2015
Messages
916
Reaction score
653
Another thought for splicing, use crimp ring connectors and a short brass machine screw/nut to hold them together. The advantages being you choose the angles and ring connectors are readily available. Don't worry about voltage ratings as you will tape them anyway.
 

Eddie_T

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2015
Messages
916
Reaction score
653
I really do want to change out the float thing because even when it is at the right level the lever sometimes still gets stuck down.
That's why I suggested that you mount the switch on a proper level pad so that its position can be optimized w/respect to the float rod.
 

zannej

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2014
Messages
2,822
Reaction score
968
Good point. I'm half tempted to see if I could find a way to extend the rod and mount it to the pipe where the old one used to be. But I would still eventually like to go to the weighted float.
 

Eddie_T

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2015
Messages
916
Reaction score
653
Level the Square-D double pole switch and grease the float rod and it should work fine if the set points are correct on the rod.
 
Top