no water after pressure tank adjustment

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  #1  
Old 06-12-05, 11:02 AM
balu
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no water after pressure tank adjustment

I have a deep well with a submersible pump and a bladder tank. Some time ago I had a guy in to fix a water softener and I casually mentioned to him that we had low water pressure. "I can fix that", he said and went on to adjust one of the nuts on the pressure switch box (not knowing any better I did not intervene). He did not touch the pressure tank.

Since that time our water system has completely gone downhill. The water shuts off constantly, I can't even fill the clothes washer. I tried to adjust the pressure switch and dropped the cut on pressure to 20 but the problem got worse. I did some reading on the Internet and decided to try to increase the air pressure in the pressure tank, because the pressure appeared really low.

After the water shut off once again yesterday I turned off the pump and the water to the house and pumped more air into the bladder on the pressure tank (up to 28 psi) and adjusted the nut on the pressure switch (but I really have almost no idea what the pressure is now). The reading on the pressure gauge was the same as the air pressure in the tank (there was no water in the tank).

BUT THEN...when I tried to turn on the pump and open the water line to the house the reading on the pressure gauge immediately dropped to zero and no water is coming up from the well. When I turned the switch on the pressure box to manual and I just can't get any water running.

I fiddled around for a while trying to get the water running but had no luck. One thing I noticed was that the pressure gauge was initially reading the same pressure as that of the air in the bladder tank (until I tried to turn on the water to the house when it would drop to zero). When I turned off the lines to the house it would slowly rise back to the tank pressure but after a few tries the pressure reading just stayed at zero even thought the air pressure in the tank had not changed. If I tried to use the pressure switch to bring in some water from the well with the line to the house closed the pressure reading would actually DROP slightly rather than increase

When the pressure tank has no water in it should the pressure gauge read zero or should it read the air pressure of the pressure tank?

Can a submersible pump lose its prime?

Could I have created some sort of vacuum effect in the water lines to the pump that stops water from travelling up?

How long might you have to hold the manual switch located on the pressure box? Could it be as long as 10-15 minutes.


Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 06-12-05, 12:19 PM
P
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If the pump is not pumping, the pressure switch should read zero.
A submersible pump should not lose prime (unless the water level drops too far).
It's doubtful that you've created a vacuum.
If you have to hold the lever up to start the pump, you probably have a switch with a low pressure dropout. You generally have to hold the lever up until the pump reaches 20 psi, or so.
Try taking a line from the well pump loose and see if the pump will even bring water to the surface. If not, you have a problem down well.
Ron
 
  #3  
Old 06-12-05, 12:47 PM
balu
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Hi,

Thanks for your response. If the pressure guage should read zero when the pump in not running, but instead it reads the pressure of the the air in the pressure tank as you fill it with air what type of problem does that signify?

How long is it reasonable to hold the lever on the pressure switch. Usually I only have to hold it for a couple of minutes but is it conceivable I might have to hold it for 10-15 minutes in this case? The needle does not budge even after a couple of minutes.

Thanks
 
  #4  
Old 06-13-05, 07:20 PM
B
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no water

sumersable pump should not need priming....drain air from tank....leave a valve open and start pump i would think you should get water...if so...adjust off/on cycles to your needs.....drain tank shut off all valves except valve to let water in from weel to tank......insert proper amount of air and then restart pump
 
  #5  
Old 06-15-05, 07:48 PM
balu
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Thanks everyone for your input. I ended up calling someone to come in and look at our system and he thinks our 7 year old Jacuzzi pump has quit.

A few more questions if you don't mind.

Can someone tell if the pump is completely broken without pulling it up?

Should it be tested in some way when it is pulled up?

Can it possibly be fixed and put back in the well or should we just replace it?

He wants to put in a Grandfos, is anyone familiar with this pump? I don't see it mentioned much. We have a heavy iron content in the water and he says the metal impellers? on this brand are better than the plastic ones everyone else uses.

I am looking at a $2500 (Canadian) bill so I want to make sure I don't spend more than necessary.

Thanks so much;
 
  #6  
Old 06-16-05, 07:06 AM
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Taking amp readings on the motor as it is running will tell you whether or not the pump is actually pumping water. You'll need to know what the run amps are for your particular motor.
Pumps can be tested after they're pulled by putting them on a test bench. Many pump houses have such a setup.
Inspect the piping as it is pulled from the well. It is entirely possible that you have a leak in the well if the pump is running, but no water gets to the surface.
Usually the labor costs prohibit repairing a submersible pump, unless you just need to replace the motor, which can be done.
Grundfos is a good pump. They use stainless steel impellers in their pumps.
Ron
 
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