Water Loss


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Old 04-10-20, 11:23 PM
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Water Loss

I'm wondering if anyone has an idea what could be wrong with my water. I have a 10 year old home. Mostly Pex pipe. Well water. I randomly lose all water pressure so that all faucets are just a trickle then nothing at all. It happens about every 2 weeks - 1 month and lasts about 30 minutes to an hour and it just starts working normally again. I've had numerous plumbers come check it out. I have replaced my water pressure tank which didnt help. It doesnt coincide with cold weather or when I use a lot of water. In fact it seems to happen more when I'm not using that much water. Nobody seems to know what the problem is. Any ideas would be helpful.
 
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Old 04-11-20, 12:34 AM
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Not the pro but asking a few questions that may help other pro's. Type well and pump , Deep submersible, above ground pump, How deep well? ope we can hep.
 
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Old 04-11-20, 01:23 AM
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It is a 200ft well. Deep submersible pump. Been down there for about 10 years. Quite a bit of iron in the water. I had a well pump company come and give the pump a workout and they said it performed perfectly. Also, my water passes through an iron breaker water filtration device and a regular rope style filter. I change that filter regularly. The company that sold me the iron breaker said it wasnt the problem either. So far my water problem has stumped 3 different plumbing companies.
 
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Old 04-11-20, 04:32 AM
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Well water.
From your description the first thing that came to mind was the pressure tank. You should have pressure gauges on the lines/tank that can be monitored to determine the pressure when the system is working and not working to give some clue as to what is going on!
 
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Old 04-11-20, 05:33 AM
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I'm not saying it's not the pressure tank, but It is brand new and its been checked several times. I sent pictures of the gauges to a local plumber when i didnt have water and they were normal according to him.
 
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Old 04-11-20, 06:36 AM
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I remember my first house that had a well and pressure tank with similar symptoms to yours. Found out the water in the tank would absorb the head of air into the water over time so the pressure would rapidly reduce when any faucet was opened resulting in low flow. The pump would come on and shut off after the faucet was closed. This cycle repeated unless the tank was drained of water allowing air into the tank. When water was pumped into the tank, the correct ratio of water to air in the tank was established until absorption repeated. As I recall , a device to maintain air/water ratio was installed on the tank but it seldom worked.
 
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Old 04-11-20, 07:17 AM
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Maybe your well water level has lowered and you are running out of water occasionally. The fact that it recovers on its own after 30 minutes or more seems significant. Do you have any type of special controller(s) for the pump? I installed a Pumptec pump protection controller years ago, and if the well runs dry the Pumptec stops the pump and then automatically retries again 30-60 minutes (can be set) later.

But I think the standard pump motors (not 100% sure though, but 99%) will stop if they overheat because of no water, and then when they cool down they automatically reset themselves and try again. So that could explain what you are seeing. Maybe you could also talk to any neighbors and see if any of them have a problem that looks like they may be running out of well water.
 
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Old 04-11-20, 07:20 AM
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When the water stops go take a look at the contacts on the well pump pressure switch to see if they are closed and sending power to the pump. I'm curious if your well may be going dry.
 
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Old 04-11-20, 08:09 AM
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Sounds like the water level is dropping.

I had something similar with a shallow jet pump, had to re-prime it every couple of months, then every couple of weeks, then time for a new well.

Most newer wells will have an exposed cap, and well drillers often scratch 3 numbers on the bottom of the well cap. -well depth -pump depth -water depth
If you're lucky, you can extend the wiring and pipes in the well.
 
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Old 04-11-20, 05:45 PM
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I would definitely pay attention to the pressure gauges. You probably have one at the pressure tank. It would be helpful if you could add one easily to after the filters.

If your well is running dry, the gauge at the pressure tank will drop when you're losing pressure at the faucets. If the pressure tank gauge remains high, you may be having a filter issue (though as you know, filter issues usually don't come and go).

That would be my first steps to narrow down where the issue lies.
 
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Old 04-11-20, 08:02 PM
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One easy thing that may cause this is too much air in the well tank.. If this is the case they bladder will collapse and block the inlet/outlet of tank and cause water to stop flowing..

If you have a 40-60 well switch then the tank pressure gets set two psi below the low.. 38psi.. But as a safety net I usually put 35 psi in the well tanks. This reduction is used for pump lag. it takes a few psi for the pump to catch up when water is used...

The pressure tank psi must be adjusted with the tank empty. you cannot test with water or any pressure on it.

Look at the pressure gauge. Whats the max psi read after the pump turns off? Now run some water.. At what psi does the pump kick on?

Try that and let us know...

If that dont work we will move on to plan B.

 
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Old 04-11-20, 08:11 PM
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Thanks for all of the input! I'm certainly no expert, but I dont think the water level gets too low. It's only off for like an hour at a time and when it returns the pressure is perfectly normal and I can shower, do laundry, all of that stuff that uses a lot of water and it doesnt lose pressure. It's always all or nothing. Also, when I lost all water the last time, I checked the pump and it was still running. I'm assuming that it would have the safety on it to shut off if it was dry. Also, I had a well drilling company check it a day or two after it ran dry once and they said it had plenty of water. They did everything short if pulling the pump which might be my next step. It could be the problem with the air in the tank though. I'll check the gauges when I get home next week. Unfortunately I'm away on work until Tuesday. I'm hoping I can figure it out soon because it's getting to be a pain in the butt.
 
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Old 04-11-20, 09:12 PM
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when I lost all water the last time, I checked the pump and it was still running. I'm assuming that it would have the safety on it to shut off if it was dry.
No. Most well switches are not the low pressure cut off type. If yours was..... there would be a metal arm coming out of the side of the switch that would have to be manually reset on a low pressure trip.

Curious.... how do you hear your well pump running 200' below the ground ?
Does it resonate on the supply pipe ?
It's good that you can hear it running..... many people cannot.

If you do hear it running and you aren't getting water..... your well could be low.
If the pump was running and pumping.... the gauge should be up in the normal pressure range.
 
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Old 04-12-20, 04:33 AM
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If you hear the pump running but are not getting water I still suspect that the well might be running dry. Most submersible pumps do not have "run dry" protection. They have a thermal overload that will turn it off if it overheats but if the pump is running without a load (no water) it might not get hot enough to trip the temperature switch. The only way to know if you are running out of water is to check the well when you are not getting water.
 
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Old 04-12-20, 11:37 PM
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Thanks all! I appreciate the help a lot. I think I'll continue on with my plan of pulling the pump and checking it out first hand. It's been down there for 10 years now, in heavy iron water so I should probably check it out anyway.
 
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Old 04-13-20, 08:18 PM
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Geez you dont need to pull the pump to check it..

Maybe a cap at the box is going bad and the pump dont start at times. You can test the windings with an amp draw test. Test when you have water and when you dont..

But if you want to pull pump go ahead. Its your house..

some pumps have all the stuff in the box built into the pumps

https://www.ecmweb.com/maintenance-r...e-pump-systems

https://www.hunker.com/12437731/how-...mp-control-box

https://www.rcworst.com/blog/Trouble...ngs-Resistance
 
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Old 04-14-20, 05:32 AM
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There is no reason to pull the pump. What will you do with it once you have it on the surface??? All you can do is look at it and ask "why is it so slimy and dirty". Any testing can be done from the surface. But, if you pull the pump you might as well replace it as that's about the only reason to pull a pump.
 
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Old 04-20-20, 02:58 AM
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My intention is to replace the pump. I've had it checked out twice and each time it checks out fine, but so does literally everything else. Like I said, I had 3 different companies check out the system as a whole. Now I've had 4 as of yesterday, after I couldn't find a single thing wrong with it on Thursday. Every single piece on my water system is brand new at this point except the pump and the pipes. Theres literally nothing else to fix or replace.
I just highly doubt the well is running dry. A lot of times that I find it's not working I've hardly been using the water at all and it just magically comes back to full capacity for weeks or months on end without any issue. In fact it seems like it acts up the most when I use it the least.
 
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Old 04-20-20, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Hoyt22
Every single piece on my water system is brand new at this point except the pump and the pipes. Theres literally nothing else to fix or replace.
Usually, this means that various pieces need to be adjusted / tuned to work together. By analogy,
you can replace every part in a lawnmower engine, and it won't start, unless you get the fuel-air-spark tuning right.
 
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Old 04-20-20, 08:10 AM
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I just highly doubt the well is running dry. A lot of times that I find it's not working I've hardly been using the water at all and it just magically comes back to full capacity for weeks or months on end without any issue. In fact it seems like it acts up the most when I use it the least.
I think maybe that could be throwing you off on a tangent. Iím no expert but Iím pretty sure itís the case that if there are multiple wells in your area that run off the same aquifer, and the aquifer may be on the margin (which can change during the year, mine does) of supplying enough water for all houses, then it can appear random to you as to when the well runs dry. It would not be strongly correlated with your particular usage.

And, since, as you say, it looks like the equipment canít be the problem, then that would strongly indicate that the well is running low.

Now I've had 4 as of yesterday
Didnít any of those plumbers at least suggest the possibility of the well running out of water after they couldnít find a problem? Seems like that would be negligence on their part- after all you paid them. And yet not one of the four plumbers even broached that subject? Doesnít seem right.

I havenít done this myself, but it doesnít sound like itís that hard to check your well water depth. Something you could do yourself. If it were me I would check the well water depth Ė and especially check it at the point in time when you have no water.

Just my two cents.
 
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Old 05-13-20, 09:09 AM
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Solution

Just wanted to update this. The problem became more frequent and finally I was without water for over a day. I had the pump pulled and it was shot, along with both check valves. I wasnt running out of water. No problems since.
 
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Old 05-16-20, 07:24 AM
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Well good to hear. I know pumps arenít cheap (especially with installation) but thatís a lot better than having a supply problem. Hope youíre now good for many years.
 
 

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