Pump goes down to below 30 psi after reaching shut off pressure of 50 psi


Old 06-23-12, 05:50 PM
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Pump goes down to below 30 psi after reaching shut off pressure of 50 psi

Okay sorry for the LONG introduction but I feel everyone needs to know everything that has transpired. If you dont want to read ALL the history you can jump down to "OUR PROBLEM NOW" or "SUMMING IT UP"
We have an above ground spring, at a drop of about 10 feet maybe 15 feet. It is about 450 feet away. For many years we used a piston pump with no problem. We have had a jet shallow well pump for about 6 years. For 5 years we had no problem that pump was maybe a 1/2 horse power at most, might even have been 1/3. We had 1 inch pipe intake, no check valve, and a 10 gallon I believe non bladder, but might have been bladder tank (we still have the tank).
Last year, we had trouble, cant remember exactly what, but we replaced the pump with a brand new 3/4 hp, it worked for some time then quit, so we got it exchanged they only had a 1/2 horse power. We drew water no problem with the pipe exposed from the splice about 100 feet from the house, laying on the ground the rest of the pipe was underground. It did occaisionally lose its prime but come snow we buried the pipe and it only worked for a few weeks then quit. We went all water with that pump pumping water out of a barrel that we filled in the house.
This spring we tried same pump, same pipe and we could not get it to work and pump totally quit, would not start at all.
So I bought a new (but it had been bought 2 years ago sitting in the box, as far as I know it had never been used) 3/4 horse power pump with 6.6 gallon pressure tank. I believe bladder, but it does have a nipple on it, we check, pressure was fine at 28 lbs.
We ran a 1 inch pipe totally on top of the ground, with new everything, including the foot valve at the spring. We did not replace the portion that went into the house. We worked with getting it to work til finally the best we could do, is it would pump up with a check valve installed, and shut off. But without check valve, we could hear it sucking back quite a bit. It was set up about 10 feet into the house going through the cellar first then up to the pump. With check valve, it would shut off and then when you tried to get it to go again, it would not suck up the water and start, so we used the barrel again for awhile. We had several other issues, we replaced the foot valve, as I thought that when trying to fill the pipe from down at teh spring, I had pumped the foot valve up and down and thought I might have gotten dirt in it..... so replaced and filled from up the house.
I decided I was going to cut out the section that went under the house and took the pump outside and put it where I had only the elbow to come out of the spring and one splice about 50 feet away. It would pump up and shut off and no pressure loss at all... I think, or it MIGHT have went down to 40 lbs upon shutting off. No check valve just pipe and pump......
*****OUR PROBLEM NOW********
So I brought it in the house not as far in the house and not going down to get into the house. I simply put the pipe in through the window. So still new pipe all the way now (about 450 feet horizontally and about a 10-15 vertical lift), 2nd or 3rd foot valve, and no check valve, and my husband got it working. I had tried and it would bounce and not shut off totally and he ran a bunch of barrels of water and got it to work without check valve. It would go down to about 40 when shutting off.
So then we got a hot spell and it started pumping up, shutting off, dropping below the 30 lbs so starting again and doing this 3-4 times then finally shutting off. The reason I say we got a hot spell, is that in 100 degrees weather with black pipe laying on top of the ground, the water coming into the house for maybe 20 gallons was quite hot...... Then it finally got so it would not shut off at all.
***SUMMING IT UP******
The drop in pressure is immediately after the pump shuts off, so thinking that it is not a leak, although I did go down to the foot valve and tighten the clamps on the elbow it was leaking there. So dropping to below the on pressure level immediately and then pumping up quickly shutting off, dropping starting again. New pump, new pipe, 450 feet, new foot valve, no check valve (system worked with lower hp pump and no check valve but bigger pressure tank for 6 years), 6.6 gallon pressure tank, 3/4 hp pump. Do NOT want to go to a submersible as our pipe cannot be buried deep from the spring and therefore need to have the pump up where we can "catch" it if the pipe begins to freeze...... And digging a real well is out of our price range right now. I have not called a plumber as our situation is so out of the norm, the couple of plumbers I HAVE spoken to have been clueless, they mostly say you cant draw water that far with a jet pump!
Old 06-24-12, 07:21 PM
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So my husband shut the pump off and let the water all out of the taps and checked the pressure in the pressure tank and it was at 0...... guessing our tank is no good?
Old 06-25-12, 05:21 AM
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Or lost its charge. Could simply have an air leak at the filler. Might try replacing the valve (should be standard automotive tire valve stem core) and re-pressurize to 28 psi.

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