Water Systems


3-Wire Control Boxes

Single-phase three-wire submersible motors require the use of control boxes. Operation of motors without control boxes or with incorrect boxes can result in motor failure and voids warranty.

Control boxes contain starting capacitors, a starting relay, and, in some sizes, overload protectors, running capacitors and contactors.

Ratings through 1 hp may use either a Franklin Electric solid state QD or a potential (voltage) type starting relay, while larger ratings use potential relays.

Potential (Voltage) Relays:

Potential relays have normally closed contacts. When power is applied, both start and main motor windings are energized, and the motor starts. At this instant, the voltage across the start winding is relatively low and not enough to open the contacts of the relay.

As the motor accelerates, the increasing voltage across the start winding (and the relay coil) opens the relay contacts. This opens the starting circuit and the motor continues to run on the main winding alone, or the main plus run capacitor circuit. After the motor is started the relay contacts remain open.

 

CAUTION: The control box and motor are two pieces of one assembly. Be certain that the control box and motor hp and voltage match. Since a motor is designed to operate with a control box from the same manufacturer, we can promise warranty coverage only when a Franklin control box is used with a Franklin motor.

 


2-Wire Motor Solid State Controls

BIAC Switch Operation

When power is applied the bi-metal switch contacts are closed, so the triac is conducting and energizes the start winding. As rpm increases, the voltage in the sensor coil generates heat in the bi-metal strip, causing the bi-metal strip to bend and open the switch circuit. This removes the starting winding and the motor continues to run on the main winding alone.

Approximately 5 seconds after power is removed from the motor, the bi-metal strip cools suffi ciently to return to its closed position and the motor is ready for the next start cycle.

CAUTION: Restarting the motor within 5 seconds after power is removed may cause the motor overload to trip.

Rapid Cycling

The BIAC starting switch will reset within approximately 5 seconds after the motor is stopped. If an attempt is made to restart the motor before the starting switch has reset, the motor may not start; however, there will be current in the main winding until the overload protector interrupts the circuit. The time for the protector to reset is longer than the reset of the starting switch. Therefore, the start switch will have closed and the motor will operate.

A waterlogged tank will cause fast cycling. When a waterlogged condition does occur, the user will be alerted to the problem during the off time (overload reset time) since the pressure will drop drastically. When the waterlogged tank condition is detected, the condition should be corrected to prevent nuisance tripping of the overload protector.

Bound Pump (Sandlocked)

When the motor is not free to turn, as with a sandlocked pump, the BIAC switch creates a “reverse impact torque” in the motor in either direction. When the sand is dislodged, the motor will start and operate in the correct direction.


QD Relays (Solid State)

There are two elements in the relay: a reed switch and a triac. The reed switch consists of two tiny rectangular blade-type contacts, which bend under magnetic flux. It is hermetically sealed in glass and is located within a coil, which conducts line current. When power is supplied to the control box, the main winding current passing through the coil immediately closes the reed switch contacts. This turns on the triac, which supplies voltage to the start winding, thus starting the motor.

Once the motor is started, the operation of the QD relay is an interaction between the triac, the reed switch and the motor windings. The solid state switch senses motor speed through the changing phase relationship between start winding current and line current. As the motor approaches running speed, the phase angle between the start current and the line current becomes nearly in phase. At this point, the reed switch contacts open, turning off the triac. This removes voltage from the start winding and the motor continues to run on the main winding only. With the reed switch contacts open and the triac turned off, the QD relay is ready for the next starting cycle.