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Steve G.
Steve G., Electrical Engineer
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 17987
Experience:  Spent 20 years as an Electrical Engineer, designing electrical plans and specifications.
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I want to connect the 3 wire arrangement from a submersible

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I want to connect the 3 wire arrangement from a submersible well pump to the 4 wire supply from a 5500 watt generator. However, I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to attach the 3 wires in the wire from the pump to a 4 prong 30 amp plug. Which terminals in the 4 wire plug do I attach the 3 wires from the pump to?
Hello there and welcome to Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be assisting you today. I am an engineer with over 30 years of electrical and electronic training, repair and installation experience. I will try and answer your question accurately and precisely so that we can get you on your way.

Now..the 4 wire supply from your generator is made up of two hots, a neutral and a ground. From hot to hot wire is 240V, and from either hot to neutral is 120V so two voltages are available from your generator - pretty standard stuff.

Your well pump is likely 240V so you have the two hots, no neutral and a ground.

So, you have a plug. Molded into it will be a NEMA configuration such as 5-30 or 6-50. Look for that and tell me what you have. Basically you are going to wire that plug as you would if you had a neutral - except you don't. The important thing is getting the ground wire in the correct place.

So, get me that config and we'll finish up.

Steve G. and other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The connector is called L14-30. I believe it's a 5-30.


I should also mention that I'm looking for the 240 volt arrangement.


Just read your answer again. It looks to me like I'm going to connect the hots from the pump wire to the two gold terminals in the new plug, and then the ground to the green one.

Not sure what you are telling me there. Is it a 14-30 or a 5-30?

>>>HERE<<< is how you wire a 14-30

a 5-30 however is a 120V plug/receptacle so it is inadequate for a 240V pump. Are you sure you have a 240V pump? Does the pump have the 5-30 plug on the end of the cord?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My bad. The one I need to plug the pump into (it is a 240 pump) is a 14-30. So I need to put a 14-30 male onto the 3 wire pump wire.

Ok, the pins should be labeled W,X,Y and G.

You will leave W disconnected. X and Y are your two hots. It shouldn't matter which way around you connect them, the pump should always rotate the correct way but if it doesn't - swap them.

The G is of course your ground.

That should work. My only concern is the breaker protecting that 240V outlet on the generator. If it is 20A, then your wiring is probably adequate but if it is 30A, you really need bigger wiring.

I'll be here if you need further help with this issue. Please let me know.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX really appreciate it. I believe the breaker protecting the 240 outlet is 20A. I'll verify that before I proceed.


Thanks again,



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks, Steve. Your solution worked. The pump will knock a bucket right out
of your hands.

Excellent news.

Good luck.