Well pump not pumping


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Old 02-16-09, 10:02 PM
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Well pump not pumping

I was wondering if anyone has any idea what is wrong with my pump besides the obvious(not pumping water)

My well is 165ft. I have a 3/4 hp pump. it used to have a 1/1/2hp untill it went bad. The reason I went to a 3/4 is the guy at the hardware store told me it could do the job better than my old 1 1/2 since the old one was so old. ( i'm no pipefitter) so i took him at his word. The new pump has been working for 4 yrs untill last weeekend. ( the weekend prior the well pit froze, so i had to thaw it to get it working after the thaw everthing was fine)
Back to the present I went turn on the water and i noticed the pump was hot. ( this is a cabin, so when i'm not there i drain everything to the pit and isolate the house I leave the pump on)
I then turned off the pump and when i did i noticed that the pump sounded as if it was winding down, it has never sounded that way. I first thought the pit was frozen so i thawed it for 24hrs and made sure all the valves were working, i fired it back up and nothing. I'm pretty sure I may have lost prime ( this has never happened since i started leaving the pump on) I have not tried to prime the pump since it was 6 deg outside and it takes alot of water to do it, plus I think the pump is busted since it is making that winding down sound when I turn it off) Ofcourse I have no idea what I am doing maybe the pump is supposed to sound that way.

Well if there is anyone out there who can save a guy hours upon hours trying to figure out where to start I would be grateful
 
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Old 02-17-09, 05:04 AM
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Is this a jet pump with two hoses going down the well?

"when i'm not there i drain everything to the pit and isolate the house I leave the pump on" Is this correct, you drain the system when you are leaving the cabin but leave the pump "on"? You drain the water pipes but let the pump run continuously while you are gone?

I would try priming the pump. It will not cost you any money to try.
 
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Old 02-17-09, 12:43 PM
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yes i leave the pump on but there is water in the pipes that are in the well house, I leave it on incase i lose some pressure that way the pump will kick on,(it may or may not kick on) I didnt think there would be a difference since there was water in the lines, and just the cabin was drained. This is something I have done this for years( since i came up and didnt have prime) have you ever heard a pump make a wind down sound when it gets shut down????

Jet pump?? i dont have hoses. what i do have is two pipes comming out of the pump I believe one is flow and one is return but I'm not sure. the pumped I changed out 4 years ago must have been 30+ years old.

sorry for my ignorance and thanks for any help
 
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Old 02-17-09, 07:10 PM
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Yes, the pump motor will make a winding down noise when it turns off. It will be much more pronounced when the pump has lost its prime. With water in the pump the wind down may be less than a second where it might be several seconds long.

I would not leave the pump turned on when you drain the pipes and leave your cabin for just your reason. If the pump looses its prime for any reason it will run continuosly wasting energy and consuming the life of your pump (wearing it out). In regular use the pump only runs for a minute or two before it cycles off.
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A deep well jet pump will have one hose going to your house and two hoses going down the well for a total of three hoses. The pump pumps water down the well (yes, it sounds crazy). There is a venturi at the bottom of your well. The water is pumped through the venturi under pressure and it "grabs" well water and brings it to the surface. So you pump 1 gallon down the well and 2 gallons come back up.

A shallow well pump will only have one hose to the house and one to the well but they work at much shallower depths (about 25-35 feet) than the deep well version.
 
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Old 02-17-09, 08:14 PM
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Thanks for the help, at least now I know the winding down is normal. Since I have never lost prime( since i changed out the pump) what might have caused this?? I'm sure it can be a ton of things, (oh i forgot to add that when I changed the pump 4 yrs ago I replaced the footvalve) from what i could tell the old footvalve seemed to just be worn out, there wasn't any sediment, sand etc. Can the prime just be lost without any real explanation?? or is that the begining of a big expense? I guees I'm fishing for some hope. I'm gonna head back up when the weather breaks and try to prime it. last time I had to reverse pump it since I couldn't just prime it with the 10 gallons i had in jugs. Is there a better way?? but who knows maybe I'll have better luck. Thanks again for the help. this well stuff can be frustrating
 
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Old 02-20-09, 05:27 AM
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There could be leak somewhere. With the pump left on it will run until it pumps the well dry. The pump looses its prime but continues to run which is bad for the seals on many pumps since there is no water to cool and lubricate them. Since the pump lost its prime and is not pumping water the well will refill. You can also loose prime if a big "slug" of air gets into the plumbing.

Generally repriming the pump does not take too much water if the water level in your well is close to the surface. Just fill the pump housing with water and close the valve or reinstall the fill plug and turn the pump on. It will run for several minutes, you will hear some surging and funny noises as it purges the air from the pipes and then you will hear the pump bog down when it starts pumping solid water.
 
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Old 02-20-09, 12:40 PM
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Thanks Pilot, I will give it a try. I was thinking on putting in a new well with the submersible pump etc. its pretty expensive but it seems to be alot easier to maintain. crawing down in that well pit is getting old and so am I Thanks again for the help I'll let ya know if i get it going.
 
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Old 02-20-09, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by CampBamf View Post
Thanks Pilot, I will give it a try. I was thinking on putting in a new well with the submersible pump etc. its pretty expensive but it seems to be alot easier to maintain. crawing down in that well pit is getting old and so am I Thanks again for the help I'll let ya know if i get it going.
A new well??? Yes, expensive. But if your existing well is ok why would you abandon it? If you want to abandon the pit, you need a pitless adapter, not a new well. You can put a submersible in your existing well and put the tank (if it's in the pit now) inside the cabin somewhere.
 
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Old 02-21-09, 05:25 AM
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I agree. Don't get a new well just because your pump is causing problems.

I like submersible deep well pumps. They are always under water so the water keeps them cool for long life and they do not need priming. At about $300+ they are not too expensive. It sounds daunting but I can pull the line and pump up from 200 feet, install a new pump and put it all back together by myself in about an hour. It's pretty simple.

I would put the pressure tank and pressure switch somewhere inside your cabin where you have reasonably easy access. You can also put them in a well house right at your well if you do not have room inside the cabin but you will have a little more trouble with freezing.

Whichever route you go install drain valves in all the low spots so the system is easy to drain when you leave the cabin. Also turn the pump OFF when you leave. If there is a leak you don't want the pump running continuously while your not there.
 
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Old 03-16-09, 12:35 PM
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One problem found. I finally went to the cabin and tried to prime the pump, all that I seemed to mangae was to flood out the weel pit It wasnt really that bad but i did find that my goulds pumps case is beyond cracked!! so I think i got some one the problem figuredc out. I will be going up this weekend and am going to replace the pump. Now my question is what brand should i buy??? hopefully nothing else is busted but i geuees i'll find that out when i tear the old one out.. Thanks for any advice on what to get and where to go go next
 
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Old 03-16-09, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by CampBamf View Post
One problem found. I finally went to the cabin and tried to prime the pump, all that I seemed to mangae was to flood out the weel pit It wasnt really that bad but i did find that my goulds pumps case is beyond cracked!! so I think i got some one the problem figuredc out. I will be going up this weekend and am going to replace the pump. Now my question is what brand should i buy??? hopefully nothing else is busted but i geuees i'll find that out when i tear the old one out.. Thanks for any advice on what to get and where to go go next
Going by your first post when you said the temps were below freezing in your pit, I would guess that is the reason why your pump is cracked, although you said it worked ok after you thawed it out. For how long? Did it stay off if there was no water being drawn? Did the pit stay dry? I'm just wondering if you just got a tiny crack that you didn't notice but now has gotten worse.

Just being a shade-tree mechanic, I have no knowledge on what is the best pump to buy, I'll leave that for the pros here.

But unless you want to crack your new pump next winter, you'll have to do something to keep the pit above freezing, like a light bulb or other source of heat. The only problem with not living there is the bulb can burn out and you wouldn't know it. A heat tape is probably more reliable.

Depending on how much of your pit is above ground and how low the temps get, the foolproof idea is to insulate it well enough so it doesn't freeze.
 
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Old 03-18-09, 05:52 PM
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I'm pretty sure there wasnt a crack right after the freeze, do to the pump working without a problem. Now maybe I didnt drain it good enough after it ran, but i have not made that mistake before. as far as insulating I have done that(pink board throughout) I keep a light bulb on( it was on when i arrived) the pit is around 5 1/2 feet deep and the pump is 5 ft. below the surface. we had some low temps this winter -15-20+ without the windchill. I dont have a flat to the ground pit cover, it is about 4 ft. high with a door.( i used to have the flat but i grew tired of picking up the weight) I guess I will make sure to use some heat tape next time( along with drain it all the way) Now I'm just hoping to get it fixed soon. thanks for the advice.
 
 

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