Need advice asap - well


Old 02-06-07, 05:40 AM
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Question Need advice asap - well

First, the history:
We bought a house last spring. The water worked fine, however the well pump did seem to kick on more frequently than it ought to. We had water nonetheless up until the pump quit working about 2-3 weeks ago. We called the guy we bought the house from as we were supposed to have a 1 year warranty. He had his fix-it guy (not a professional plumber) come out and install a new pump and bladder tank. We had water for a very short amount of time. We called the guy and he came back out, re-primed and we were back in working order. Well we thought so. The pump would run and we wouldn't get water. I kept re-priming it (now that I knew how from watching him and reading up on it) and we had water for an hour or two after, but that's about as long as it lasted. My wife then called a plumber friend of a friend who drove out and looked it over. He said it needed a check valve and that should fix it. I bought and installed a check valve. The water worked yay! Well it worked for about 24 hours then the same problem. Pump runs, no water. I unplugged it a bit and checked the prime. Was still full of water so I plugged it back in and it worked again... for about 24 hours, then it happened again. I talked to an engineer I work with and he recommended installing a pressure gauge to see if the leak was on the effluent or influent side of the pump. I did that and the pressure held just fine until we used water (We didn't use water for 2 hours or so after installing the gauge). So I called my plumber friend back home and asked him if I should try pulling the pipe and looking for a leak. He said I might as well, so I started tugging when I got home from work last night and it was in the ground pretty tight. I started digging some to see if it was cased or not. I found that it wasn't and as I kept digging I got to a bend. I thought that was strange so I kept digging. Lo and behold I found a check valve so I kept digging with my two boys (7 and 6 yrs. old) help. We found another bend and finally the pvc was tied into a metal pipe which mysteriously disappeared under the dining room of our house which was an addition to the original house.

Conclusion: It appears that when the addition was added they rerouted the well piping over to a new location and now we're sucking air somewhere along the line or either the pump is having a hard time sucking water through all those bends and piping (4 - 90 degree bends between the well and the pump and I'd say 6-10 ft. of 1" piping). The old pump sat on the ground and pulled water through it even though it ran more often that it should. The new pump is atop the bladder tank.

Question or otherwise desperate plea for advice:
1.) Is the problem a leak or is the pump just too far from the well and too many bends and pipe in between?
2.) Would moving the pump to the ground, and possibly closer to the well fix the problem? Should I do that?
3.) If I did that should I move the bladder tank with it or would it be ok where it is?
4.) Or should I just call a plumber or well company to come have a look and fix it all the while plunging into the depths of debt?

We need to get this fixed fast as we have 4 kids, a pile of dirty dishes, a mountain of dirty clothes and we're pretty much broke, at least until payday. Your help is much appreciated.

The new pump is a Flotec Shallow Well Jet Pump FP 4012-10.
Old 02-06-07, 07:41 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Im just bouncing an idea here (there are others with more knowledge),
Is it possible it is the well itself isnt able to keep up? When it goes off and you have hours (or a day) of non use then it runs fine for a day (maybe cause the well has had time to recoup and build a reservoir)?

Is there air in the lines?
How deep is the well?
What flow does it produce?

Until it is fixed, get some new large garbage cans (plastic).
I suggest getting it running again, cleaning the tub and filling it. Fill the cans (in the house). You can use the water in the tub for toilets and the other for dishes and such. Put some up in jugs for drinking.

We have a major problem here in Maine. Our system burst a pipe underground and we are now running water through an above ground pipe that has to keep being emptied to prevent freeze up (-6F with -25F windchills). (Just so you can say "kids be happy with what you have" LOL)

Hope you get this fixed soon.
Old 02-06-07, 07:43 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Flow tech pumps are garbage and if the guy that installed it had any real experience he wouldn't have suggested it. At this point i would call in a Water Well Professional that will give quick professional advice that can save you alot of money.You have now dealt with 3 people about resolving your issue but none of them have been able to pin point the problem. So spend the cost for a service call and get real advice from a well guy. It sounds to me like you have a vacume leak that is probably beyond the check valve that you found in the ground.

Old 02-06-07, 05:01 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: ontario canada
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sounds to me like the water level is at or near the limit that the shallow well pump can pull works for a while ...a day or so..and then not...the times it this say ...after you have not used it for a while...when it does work...can you do a load or two of washing and then it quits again..i guess what i am saying is ...when it works do you use a little water and it keeps working o r do you use a big bunch of water and it quits....when it quits can you check the water level in the well? when it is working is the water level higher

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