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Pump Blog

Two Wire Versus Three Wire Submersible Pumps

When it comes to 2 wire versus 3 wire submersible pumps, I just have to defer to what Sergeant Joe Friday used to say: “The Facts M’am, Just the Facts!”

Most 4″ submersible well pumps used in residential applications come in 2 different configurations, 2-wire or 3-wire. With the 3-wire pump, the motor starting components such as, starting capacitors, running capacitors, relays, and thermal over loads, are contained in a control box, or panel, mounted on a wall, or post, above ground.

In the case of a 2-wire pump, the starting components are built into the motor, which is suspended off the bottom of the pump, deep in the well.

All electrical components have a life span, and are subject to fatigue under normal operating conditions, and on occasion will require replacement. Not to mention the fact that we live in the “lightning belt of the world”, and I can witness to the fact that I have seen control boxes and panels literally blown to smithereens, their components scattered all about, and more often than not, a simple control box or panel replacement will get the pump up and running.  And just what are Smithereens?

In most instances, the replacement of an above ground, control box, or panel, for a 3-wire pump, can be completed in less than 45 minutes, with no more damage to flora, and terra firma, than my 165-pound behind will inflict.  The starting components in a 2-wire pump motor however are non-replaceable, they are built into the motor, therefore, requiring the pump to be pulled out of the well, and the motor replaced. Due to the, time, costs, tire tracks, ruts, broken limbs, flattened shrubs and inconvenience, of having to pull the pump from the well to affix the repair, the 3-wire pump deserves your consideration.  Oh, one other thing worth mentioning, the 2-wire pump is only made for the 1/2, through 1 1/2-horsepower pumps, the larger horsepower pumps such as 2 horsepower through 200- horsepower, are not manufactured in a 2-wire design!

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the rest of the story.


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Erica Bales