Pump may have lost suction....


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Old 04-22-11, 02:56 PM
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Pump may have lost suction....

I think my pump may have lost suction. Our water pressure in the house started to drop real low & when I checked the well the pump was running & was very hot (had probably been running a while) & the pump was struggling to put up 40 #'s of pressure. We haven't had any rain in months so I'm wondering if we've pumped the well dry. I shut it off to let it cool, I'm hoping I can turn it on after it cools off & that it will pump again after some recovery time. I've seen mention of a "wellsaver" device on here some time back that will shut the pump motor down if it stops pumping. Any advice about that device would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks

TexasFire
 
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Old 04-22-11, 03:08 PM
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It sounds more like the foot valve. Wells have plenty of water usually, and the old well trick when the foot valve goes. The well guys tell you your well is dry. Homeowners believe this to be true.

Questions.

Do you have a well head outside?

Shallow well I would say since you touched the pump.

Does it have one pipe or two coming into the pump?

Let us know what happens when you turn the well back on.

Once primed, and as long as the pump is running you should have water. If the pump sits the water falls back into the well. Not water situation.

Also you may have a leak in the line from the well pump to the ft valve somewhere.

If this is the case they are fairly easy to replace.

Foot Valves used on piping for Water Wells, Explanation & Repair Advice

Mike NJ
 
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Old 04-22-11, 09:28 PM
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It is a shallow well pump. When I turn it on it comes up to about 30#'s or so. If I open the drain on the sediment trap it gets a pretty good flow but never increases pump output. There is only one main suction pipe coming out of the ground that the pump sits on. I was thinking of taking the pump apart tomorrow to see if the impeller is fouled. Any reason I shouldn't be able to do that?
Thanks

TF
 
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Old 04-22-11, 10:56 PM
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Causes of continued pump operation include lost water supply in the well. You would get air.

The pump may have suffered internal damage to a seal, bearing, or impeller.

The well piping may have a leak. You would get air.

A leaky foot valve in the well. You would get air.

The pressure switch I dont think is your issue.

Well tank not an issue. You would get rapid cycling.

So the well pump only pumps 30psi? And the pump never shuts off because it cant reach the cut off pressure correct?


Yes you can take the well pump apart. What is the make/model pump? How old?

I would think its the pump. If you turn all the water off and the pump does it hold at the 30 or so PSI?

Let us know


Mike NJ
 
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Old 04-23-11, 08:46 AM
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It's a Goulds jet pump. The pump is mounted directly on top of the well pipe several feet off of the ground. I have photos but don't have an on-line sharing service set up yet. The motor is on top of the pump. It appears the pump volute casing is held together by bolts on 4 corners. There is a 3/4" pipe dicharge on the side of the volute where the pressure switch assembly is connected. There's also a 1/4" plug on the front side of the volute that is likely for priming. This well has functioned pretty much flawlessly for the 3 & 1/2 years we've lived here with the exception of one minor pressure switch adjustment. So I'm guessing I need to remove the 4 bolts to separate the pump volute casing to see the impellar...

Oh, it doesn't hold the 30 PSI, it drops off, but if I turn it on it will put up 30 PSI. I also don't get any air.

So the well pump only pumps 30psi? And the pump never shuts off because it cant reach the cut off pressure correct? YES
 
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Old 04-23-11, 09:24 AM
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Oh, it doesn't hold the 30 PSI, it drops off,
I dont think its the pump.

If you turn the pump off and it does not hold pressure, you have a bad foot valve, or a leak in the line from the pump to the foot valve.

Is there any check valves in line? Look around. You will not see water leak out but will hear air sucking in if there is a leak in the line. If the ft valve the water leaks back into the well, but once you get prime it should pump up to proper psi.

I would say a leak in the line is most probable cause. I say this because you loose pressure when you turn the pump off.

Let us know.

Mike NJ
 
  #7  
Old 04-23-11, 09:28 AM
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OK, here's some pictures...



In case that didn't work here's the URL:Water Well pictures by Texas-Fire - Photobucket

I'll need to disconnect the wiring coming into my pressure switch & cut the 1" PVC discharge pipe in order to lift the pump & motor assembly up & off of the well. I think I'll glue a 1" PVC union back in the line to ease future work.

Thanks for your input! I'm in a pickle here on Easter weekend with a lot of guests planned to come tomorrow!!!

TexasFire
 
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Old 04-23-11, 09:58 AM
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Looks like a driven point to me. The point may be clogged.



Also there may be a screen under that flange.

You could try sending high pressure water or even high pressure air backwards through the pipe to see if you can de-clog the point.

Again it could be the pump.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 04-23-11, 10:21 AM
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You probably should do a vacuum test before you take anything apart.

Its in the trouble shoot manual. Checking suction.

http://www.goulds.com/pdf/IM102.pdf

Install the compound vacuum/pressure gauge in the 1⁄8"
hole in the shallow well adapter or the 1⁄8" hole between
the suction and discharge pipes on a dedicated shallow
well pump. This is the same hole that is used to connect
an air volume control.

High Vacuum (22" or more)
Suction pipe buried in mud
Foot valve or check valve stuck closed
Suction lift exceeds lift capability of pump
Low Vacuum or 0 vacuum
Suction pipe not submerged
Suction leak (check joints and especially unions)
Gauge needle fluctuates rapidly
Gaseous well
Air leak in suction line
Well producing less than pump capacity (throttle a
ball valve in suction line do not exceed 22" Hg.) to
reduce pump capacity.

It says any of these issues could be the cause.

6. Pump not primed, inadequate suction pipe
submergence, air leak in suction pipe
7. Discharge or suction plugged, closed valve(s)
8. Low voltage causing reduced motor speed
9. Impeller worn or plugged, no jet assembly
installed, or jet plugged
10. System head too high
11. Suction lift or suction losses excessive
12. Pressure switch plugged, incorrectly adjusted
13. Leaks in discharge piping or at house.

Mike NJ
 
  #10  
Old 04-23-11, 12:46 PM
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My output has jumped up to a little over 40#'s. I have an air compressor & could shoot a blast of high pressure air down the well but I'm afraid that I'll blow something apart. Isn't the foot valve a check valve? How can I blow against that?
Thanks for the manual, reading through that now....

TF
 
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Old 04-23-11, 12:59 PM
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Where do I find a vacuum gauge? Will I be able to get that at Home Depot or Lowes? Plumbing supply places won't be open until Monday...........

TF
 
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Old 04-23-11, 01:32 PM
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thats obviously a deepwell jet pump with a single pipe packer jet assembly in the well.. that is not a shallow well jet pump in the picture.

let the pump build to whatever it will and then kill power... if you hold pressure, its definitely a clogged jet assembly down in the well and the drop pipe is gonna have to come out.

taking apart the pump is a waste of time.. anything that could cause the system to not build pressure will be because of a problem down the well.

i'd say adjust the switch to where the pump will cut itself off and hope it will limp you through easter until you can get something done.
 
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Old 04-23-11, 03:31 PM
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Just water is correct. Page 2 on the left shows your set up.

http://www.pumpsandwells.com/miva/Jetpumpinstall.pdf

I am not familiar with what is down in the well, since its not a point or a foot valve.


Justwater, he says he looses the pressure when the pump is off.

There is alot of suggestions in the document, such as this"

All deep well jet pumps require back pressure
to operate the jet assembly. To insure we have
the required back pressure or drive water
pressure we must use a pressure control valve
or some type of flow restrictor in the discharge
line. The valve must be located between the
pump and the first discharge port. It is best to locate it as
close to the pump as possible.




Mike NJ
 
  #14  
Old 04-23-11, 04:10 PM
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Sorry folks, I have mis-spoken here.... The pressure is not dropping off when I kill the pump. It is holding at whatever it had when I shut it down. I've bled it off several times & just powered it back up. It ran for about 6 minutes & never got over 30#'s & the motor was starting to get hot so I shut it down. When it runs it sounds as normal as it always has. I found the Goulds model number on the back right of the pump, it is an SJ10.
Mine seems to look more like what is on the right side of page 2. I m currently making mods to simplify removal of the pump/motor assembly in anticipation of having to pull the drop pipe.

THANKS for all the input!

TF
 
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Old 04-23-11, 04:17 PM
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first off, i wouldnt trust the gauge.. especially being before the pressure regulator.

i would add a gauge to the other side of the regulator or if you have a bladder style tank you could take your readings from that. if it does in fact lose pressure when power is off, if it is off long enough it should lose prime.

i suspect the jet is clogged in the jet assembly down in the well. other reasons for not building pressure could also be bad leathers on the assembly.. or the worst case being the well pipe is rusted through somewhere between the ground and the jet assembly.

**i missed it, after reading your last post** this confirms my thoughts, i believe the nozzle in your jet assembly is clogged. you will need to remove the pump from the well adapter and pull the drop pipe. it could be very challenging to get the pipe up.. good luck!
 
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Old 04-23-11, 04:31 PM
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I have added a few pictures to the photobucket album: Water Well pictures by Texas-Fire - Photobucket

It appears that the transition piece between the pump & the top of the well pipe have 2 sections, the main suction piece & then another part off to the side. Thinking this might feed the internal jet pump down in the well? I read about the leathers & the seal/fit etc. It's tempting to try pulling the down pipe but methinks this is better left to experienced professionals so I plan to call the company that serviced it last. They left their sticker on top of the motor.....

TF
 
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Old 04-23-11, 04:41 PM
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i think thats probably a smart move. it might not be too bad, but you can easily bite off more than you can chew when messing with deepwell jet pumps and steel wells. good luck with it.
 
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Old 04-23-11, 04:48 PM
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Just for giggles did you read anything about the control valve? That the device with the long screw. It appears it has something to do with the water pressure shooting down the well.

After the pump is primed and flowing water at a steady
pressure you should open a few faucets and adjust the
pressure control valve to the pressure listed in the chart.

Failure to install and adjust
a pressure control valve will result in loss of prime during
peak usage such as filling a washing machine, bathtub or
using outside hose bibs.


I may be talking out the arse here though.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 04-23-11, 06:45 PM
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I did read about the control valve, but didn't make any adjustments. From what I gather, the pump discharge must always maintain a certain amount of pressure. Without something to restrict output, high demand could cause that pressure to drop & thus be inadequate for feeding the internal jet pump via that 2nd outside port to the well head. I wonder if the gauge I have in place is reading pressure off the pump discharge or pressure after the control valve. There are two other taps on the pump housing, one on the front of the volute & one on the side below the volute. I'm temped to tap & gauge both of them to see what's going on. I also don't have a gauge downstream anywhere, not even on my bladder tank. The line goes through a sediment trap & then on to a GE cartridge filter & water softener. There is a clear PVC drain hose on the sediment trap & I get a pretty decent stream of water out of that hose when the pump is running... You guys have been great with feedback, thanks again!

TexasFire
 
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Old 04-23-11, 08:23 PM
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My money would be on a split nozzle down in the jet. Make sure you tell your wellman that you have either a 2.5" or possibly 3" steel galv. well so he can bring the right leathers. At least it doesn't look like a std. 2" well from your pic.

Sometimes when the regulator gets messed up it's hard to tell...it will exhibit the same symptoms as a clogged jet nozzle. Best indicator is that the pump will not pump pressure or shut off even with a discharge valve closed.
 
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Old 04-24-11, 07:01 AM
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On a whim I did crank down on the adjusting screw on the control valve & the pressure did jump up to about 42#'s. I don't know what's in the guts of that valve but something might have failed in there. It was late & I was tired of fooling with it but may try further adjustment this morning.
Texas Wellman, I believe you are right, the pipe is either a 2&1/2" or 3" (not sure, I'd have to get an OD measurement) & appears to be galvanized at the bottom but its started to rust pretty good at the top. I plan to clean it up & spray galvanize it to protect it from further corrosion.

TexasFire
 
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Old 04-29-11, 07:36 AM
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I'm back in business! I had a professional well service company come out & pull the drop pipe. This is a 3" galvanized steel cased well that had a 1 & 1/4" suction line. Just above the jet pump at the bottom there was a small hole in the suction line so discharge pressure that should have been feeding the jet was leaking right back into the suction line. Two of the three sections of drop pipe were replaced along with a new jet assembly. Probably could have just swapped the leathers but I figured it's out, we'll replace it all. Well flow output is remarkable & pressure back where it should be! When I get a chance I will post some pics. I can't rave enough about the well service company I used, they did a great job.

TexasFire
 
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Old 04-29-11, 06:45 PM
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Glad you got-er fixed up.
Thanks for up-date....

That was a good idea to go ahead and put in new
stuff while it was out.
 
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Old 04-30-11, 08:30 AM
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Great to hear they fixed the problem and got her going. I will caution you that since your drop pipe had holes in it your casing will probably be next. I would venture that your well was probably drilled no later than the 1960's and by now most of the old galv. wells in this area are becoming extinct. But it could probably work a few more years and if you're like me I follow the rule "If it ain't broke don't fix it".

Originally Posted by TexasFire View Post
I'm back in business! I had a professional well service company come out & pull the drop pipe. This is a 3" galvanized steel cased well that had a 1 & 1/4" suction line. Just above the jet pump at the bottom there was a small hole in the suction line so discharge pressure that should have been feeding the jet was leaking right back into the suction line. Two of the three sections of drop pipe were replaced along with a new jet assembly. Probably could have just swapped the leathers but I figured it's out, we'll replace it all. Well flow output is remarkable & pressure back where it should be! When I get a chance I will post some pics. I can't rave enough about the well service company I used, they did a great job.

TexasFire
 
 

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