City water tower Johnny Habell/iStock/Thinkstock

City Water Tower Plagued by Electrical Issues

City Well No. 3 in Pierce City, Mo., has had continuing electrical issues and the Public Works superintendent is puzzled as to why.

A city water tower has been plagued by blown motors for three years, according to a nearby local newspaper, The Monett Times.

City Well No. 3 in Pierce City, Mo., has had continuing electrical issues and the Public Works superintendent is puzzled as to why. "We've blown four motors in the last three years," he said. "We sent two of them back to Franklin Electric [located in Davenport, Iowa] to be inspected and the report came back that it was due to an electrical surge," the newspaper reported. 

The superintendent, Alan Frantz, has had numerous engineers and electrical professionals at the site to determine where the problem might lie.

"Empire Electric came up and put a new transformer on the pole, ran all new wiring to our pole, and then we had a certified electrician come in and install a new weather head, run new wire down our pole, and under ground for about six feet and into the building," Frantz said. "We also had new electrical wiring installed inside the building, along with a soft start, a sub-monitor, VBlox surge suppression equipment, everything. You name it. But, we're still losing motors to electrical surges."

A territory manager at Franklin Electric told aldermen all four reports on the motor analysis indicated electrical failures. And Frantz said that there were no recent lightning strikes to account for a power surge that took out the latest motor.

Art Lewis, of Flynn Drilling Company in Rolla, suggested installing a grounding grid, since none of the current equipment has registered a spike in power, The Times reported. A grounding grid could cost at least $2,000. The system would include four copper-coated poles installed within a six-foot perimeter of the building, and a copper wire wrapped around the building and attached to the poles.

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