New well pump installed, not working quite right


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Old 11-26-11, 09:17 AM
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New well pump installed, not working quite right

Hi everyone, I installed a new pump for my well that waters my lawn. We have 2 wells, not connected to each other in anyway. One for the house, one for the sprinklers. It is a Flotec FP 5242. 2 problems that I need some help with. When I turn the pump on, I have to prime it. It takes a few minutes but it eventually draws water and the sprinklers go on. I let them run a few minutes and when I turn the pump off, it sounds like water is "falling". It's the only way that I can describe it. I usually have to re-prime the pump to get water to the next zone. I have cycled through all 6 zones numerous times, letting the system run a few minutes in each zone. I've replace/fixed broken sprinkler heads. I'm not sure why I have to keep priming the pump each time and why it doesn't start the sprinklng right away.

Second issue, probably unrelated is electrical in nature. The pump is 240v. From the circuit breaker the wires run into a box that contains a light switch to turn power off or on to the sprinkler timer. I connected the 3 wires from the new pump to the timer the same exact way that the old pump was connected. The mechanical timer has a switch on it. Up is for the timer to control the pump on/off automatically which is what I want to use. Center is off and up is manual on. When I turn the light switch on to turn power to the timer, the timer runs the pump continuously even though the pins are not activating the automatic switch. Could I have the 2 non-ground wires from the timer to the motor backwards? Will it damage the motor to reverse them? Or do I need a new timer? Thanks!
Greg
 
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Old 11-27-11, 07:25 AM
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It sounds like your check valve either wasn't installed or isn't working. The check valve should keep the water from flowing backwards back down into the well.

(Can't help with your second question)
 
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Old 11-27-11, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Zorfdt View Post
It sounds like your check valve either wasn't installed or isn't working. The check valve should keep the water from flowing backwards back down into the well.

(Can't help with your second question)
When I had the old pump out and the the pipes cut,, I cut the inlet pipe so that the I was left with a vertical pipe . The new pump 's inlet is higher than the old one. Anyway, I could see water in that vertical pipe. I would assume the only reason that it would be there is because the check valve was working, otherwise that would flow back down to the well. I was looking at the system after I posted this and think I saw some water leaking from around the indexing valve (a 6 zone, Fimco product). Would that cause the same symptoms when the pump shuts off? Thanks for your help. I really appreciate it!
 
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Old 11-27-11, 10:33 AM
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"Anyway, I could see water in that vertical pipe."
Yeahbut.
Let's assume the check valve is good. Even if you have water above the vertical check valve, if you have a leak below the good check valve, then the water will go down inside the well pipe to the standing water level and you will need to prime. And you cut the line below the check valve -- and you put it back together. So, it could be (and I don't want to disparage your work) that the joint is not totally sealed.

PVC joints are famous for tiny air leaks. Shaving cream is what is used for suction leaks. Get some good thick stuff -- I like Barbasol -- and slather it around the joints while the pump is pumping water. Then turn the pump off. Look all around and under (hope you don't have a stiff neck or back) for a dimple created as the pinhole sucks air.

Ask me how I know this.
 
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Old 11-27-11, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Vey View Post
"Anyway, I could see water in that vertical pipe."
Yeahbut.
Let's assume the check valve is good. Even if you have water above the vertical check valve, if you have a leak below the good check valve, then the water will go down inside the well pipe to the standing water level and you will need to prime. And you cut the line below the check valve -- and you put it back together. So, it could be (and I don't want to disparage your work) that the joint is not totally sealed.

PVC joints are famous for tiny air leaks. Shaving cream is what is used for suction leaks. Get some good thick stuff -- I like Barbasol -- and slather it around the joints while the pump is pumping water. Then turn the pump off. Look all around and under (hope you don't have a stiff neck or back) for a dimple created as the pinhole sucks air.

Ask me how I know this.
Ah Ha! I will do the shaving cream test that you mention. I'm not a pro so I very well may have a not totally sealed joint. I think I may redo the plumbing from the top of the well pipe(metal) to the intake of the pump anyway. The indexing valve definatly leaks. I need to replace that also. Should I replace that first before the pipe from the well to the pump?
 
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Old 11-28-11, 01:25 PM
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The indexing valve is on the "high" side of the pump, right? So a leak there will not be very serious. The serious business is on the "low" (suction) side. Any leak there causes major headaches.

You mention Metal to PVC which means you probably have threaded PVC pipe as a transition. Threads on PVC are evil. Convenient, but evil since they leak so much even with tape or teflon goo put on.

Something else to think about. The PVC glue says it sets in 20 minutes and can be used in 2 hours. BALONEY!!! Every time I have tried that, I have been sorry! Wait at least 12 hours or longer (even longer is better) before you get curious to see if the leak is fixed on the suction side.
 
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Old 11-28-11, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Vey View Post
The indexing valve is on the "high" side of the pump, right? So a leak there will not be very serious. The serious business is on the "low" (suction) side. Any leak there causes major headaches.

You mention Metal to PVC which means you probably have threaded PVC pipe as a transition. Threads on PVC are evil. Convenient, but evil since they leak so much even with tape or teflon goo put on.

Something else to think about. The PVC glue says it sets in 20 minutes and can be used in 2 hours. BALONEY!!! Every time I have tried that, I have been sorry! Wait at least 12 hours or longer (even longer is better) before you get curious to see if the leak is fixed on the suction side.
Yes, there is a pvc conection that screws into the metal well pipe. Will wait the 12 hrs. thanks!
 
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Old 11-29-11, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by gregrph View Post
Second issue, probably unrelated is electrical in nature. The pump is 240v. From the circuit breaker the wires run into a box that contains a light switch to turn power off or on to the sprinkler timer. I connected the 3 wires from the new pump to the timer the same exact way that the old pump was connected. The mechanical timer has a switch on it. Up is for the timer to control the pump on/off automatically which is what I want to use. Center is off and up is manual on. When I turn the light switch on to turn power to the timer, the timer runs the pump continuously even though the pins are not activating the automatic switch. Could I have the 2 non-ground wires from the timer to the motor backwards? Will it damage the motor to reverse them? Or do I need a new timer? Thanks!
Greg
Have you resolved your second question about the timer?

Is your timer an Intermatic? If so, you have to insure that you are using the correct on or off trippers and that they are installed correctly. There are different trippers for on and off and it not slid all the way in before tightening the screw they may not trip the switch.

Also, it is possible to for the timer to be in the "on" position regardless of what the trippers indicate if you have been playing with the trippers. If you are doing your testing while the timer is in the "on" position your pump will run when the switch is in either the manual on position or timer position. There should be a arrow on the timer wheel indicating which way to turn it. Rotate it through a full day's cycle to verify that it is turning on/off as you want. If you cannot hear the pump running from the timer's location you may need a volt meter or tester light to tell when the timer is on or off.
 
 

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