Water pressure mystery, we need help!


Old 12-02-09, 10:04 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Tennessee
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Unhappy Water pressure mystery, we need help!


Problem:No water pressure(10-15psi), pump running constantly.

This all started several months ago. After trying several things with no luck we pulled our submersible pump. It is 10 years old and we have very hard water so it was totally encrusted with minerals. We replaced it with a new 1hp pump, had great pressure, problem solved. Last week we realized the pressure was getting low again. Within a few days it was down to a trickle again. Turned off water between the pressure tank and house, still no pressure so we know it isn't with any of the house plumbing. We checked the check valves, and installed more of them. (The well is over 100 feet downhill from the house, and 100 feet down the well.) Replaced the pressure switch even though it was fairly new, that wasn't the problem. Thought maybe the pressure tank diaphragm was stuck and checked it. Seemed ok but my husband wanted a bigger one anyway, so we replaced it. The pump is still running constantly and no pressure. We checked the pit valve where the pipe goes into the well housing, it was fine. We have looked for leaks but it has been raining so much it's impossible to spot them, and we didn't see any months ago when having the problem either. Also, if it was a leak, why would the pressure have been fine after we replaced the pump and all the sudden go bad again?

Any ideas/advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 12-02-09, 06:45 PM
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: South Dakota
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Water pressure is a very simple thing. You either have it or you don't. Your sub pump pumps water into your pressure tank. Check to see if water is being pumped into your tank. If not your submersible pump is not working. If water is being pumped into the tank then you have a tank pressure problem. Don't take it for garnite that just becuase you put in a new sub pump that it is working properly. Check it out. Good Luck
Old 12-03-09, 11:02 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
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Jack is right to some extent. AT this point you guys need to start working your way backwards. If you shut off the water AFTER the pressure tank and leave the pump running does the pressure build? If so, then the problem is AFTER the valve. If the pressure doesn't build then the problem is BEFORE the valve. If you see no visible leaks at the pressure tank or the plumbing near the tank then the next place to check is at the well.

Turn off the power and head to the well. You need to get the pipe above the top of the casing and secure it so you can test the vertical pipe the pump is hanging on. You don't need to pull the pump out yet, just get the pipe it's hanging on above the casing so you can test it there. you need to test that line with a pressure gauge. connect a gauge to it however is easiest, have someone turn the power on for 5 seconds and see what the gauge does. Does it show good pressure there? If so the problem is between the well and the house. If it doesn't show pressure there then the problem is down the well.

If the problem is down the well it is probably one of three things:

1)The pipe or a fitting is broken/split and allowing the water to leak out there rather than forcing that water up the piping and into the house. Find the break/split and fix it

2)The pump itself is bad. Not likely since it's new but I have had seen brand new pumps be bad right out of the box and had them go bad a month after install. If it's bad it should still be in warranty. Contact the supplier and get a new one.

3)The pump is over-pumping the well and allowing it to draw in air and effectively "air locking" the pump. If the pump is "air locked" it will not pump pressure and will pump only a VERY small trickle of water (it may not pump ANY water at all). Usually turning the pump off and letting it sit for a while and then turning it back on will "burp" the air out of the pump and it will run again. If this happens the problem is a mismatched pump for the well OR the pump needs to be set deeper in the well OR the well needs cleaned because it isn't making enough water.
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