If someone ever asks me the importance of water systems contractors, I tell this story.
Years ago, I visited a big box retail hardware store (you know them) and proceeded to their pump section. I asked for their most experienced salesperson on water pumps (“I need an expert on this”). He soon arrived quite eager to help. Then, I told a fib … I explained that I was building a new home in the country and after my well was drilled, I wanted to install the well pump myself. I explained that I had never been the owner of a water well, but had heard there wasn’t much to installing one of these pumps. I asked, “What do you think?”, then proceeded to stand back and listen.
He assured me there wasn’t; I looked like someone who could do it. I politely asked a lot more questions to see where this would go. I just couldn’t help myself. Of all the bad answers, there was one that stood out and summarized it all. Looking at the store’s product display, the submersible pump had 3 wires coming out of the motor (2-wire + ground). I asked about cable and sure enough, “Right over here is our submersible cable; how much do you think you need?” Now, I had already noticed that the cable was 4-wire. That is, this outlet carried the odd combination of 2-wire motors and 3-wire submersible cable. So, my question was, “I am going to have an extra wire here; what do I do with that?” In my mind, I really thought I had him stumped, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Without missing a beat, he said, “Oh, that’s for a double ground. A lot of your better pump contractors around here use a double ground, so that’s what we recommend.” I was at a loss for words.
By the way, I still patronize this outlet and they are generally helpful and knowledgeable. But, I know a little bit about submersible pumps, and if I ever have a well (and I hope I do someday), I’m calling my professional contractor for the installation. One of the truly better ones … one who doesn’t use a double ground.