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Excessive electrical current draw somewhere

My electric bill shot up to three times the normal rate. I called the local utility co. The nice lady said to throw each breaker and watch the meter. I threw the one for the effluent sump pump in one of two 1 thousand gallon septic tanks. Whoa Nellie, sho nuff that meter wheel slowed way down.
So I decided for now I'll just keep the breaker off and turn it on for five minutes a day. I hope the pump didn't burn itself out. I would think maybe there would be a thermal cut off switch as in some other sump pumps. Not sure if a short, float stuck or what.
Any experience with this kinda thing?

Re: Excessive electrical current draw somewhere

Chris, you didn't say if the pump is actually in the tank but if it is it is highly probable that it has developed a ground fault which consumes power but is merely generating heat in the tank.

Or the on-off switch is stuck in the on position.

In either case you're wasting electricity and eventually arching will occur, which is not good since the tank is full of methane gas, which could explode.

If you don't have test equipment but would like to try a test: 1)note how fast the meter is turning 2)turn off the 2 pole breaker (I assume it's a 240V pump) and lift one lead off the breaker (either one is fine), and tape the end.

3)close up the panel and turn the breaker back on. If the meter still spins as fast as it did in step (1) you have a ground fault, which is also electrically dangerous. If the meter has slowed to what you saw in step (1) the on-off switch is stuck on, which is less costly, but in either case an electrician will be needed.

4) you should then leave the breaker in the off position.

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