Still number one

It’s not uncommon for me to get the question, “What’s the number one cause of failure with a Franklin submersible?” When someone asks that, they are almost always thinking in product terms. They want to know, “What breaks the most?” But, the actual answer here is that the number one cause of failure in a submersible installation is mis-application of the product, not the product itself.

One of the reasons I can say this is because of the reports Franklin Electric’s Field Service Engineers write after each site visit. Just reviewing this week’s reports tells the story. Of the 13 reports I reviewed this week, only 2 involved failures we couldn’t immediately identify as application- or installation-related. Here’s a quick rundown of the other eleven:

  • Multiple control boxes replaced due to overloads tripping – FINDING: pump was binding due to sand
  • Short service life of large submersible motor – FINDING: restricted cooling flow due to a massive build-up of iron bacteria
  • Multiple contorl box relay failures – FINDING: rapid cycling from a water-logged tank
  • Repeated issues with an irrigation pump installed in a river – FINDING: fluctuating river levels were causing the pump to periodically run dry
  • Premature motor failure – FINDING: failure was the result of very short run times and continuous starts and stops
  • Premature SubDrive failure – FINDING: insect intrusion
  • Premature PMA failure – FINDING: pellet chlorinator was over-chlorinating, causing corrosion
  • Higher than expected electricity costs with SubDrive – FINDING: geothermal settings set incorrectly by geo-contractor
  • Overloads nuisance tripping – FINDING: generator frequency set at 63 hertz
  • SubDrive causing interference – FINDING: poor grounding
  • Pump not meeting curve – FINDING: leads reversed on 3-phase motor

Although this is an admittedly unscientific sample, it’s a fair representation of what we see in the field. This doesn’t mean that all failures are due to mis-application by any means. And, Franklin Electric’s Technical Service team is pleased to assist and be a resource.

And trust me, our industry isn’t alone here. The good news is that at each of the site visits above, the dealer or one of his employees came away with more insight that he had before. So, with some friendly guidance from Franklin Electric, he got better at his profession.  All in all, not a bad outcome at the end of the day.

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