well pump problems


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Old 12-30-11, 09:18 PM
J
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well pump problems

I am helping a friend with his well and water issues. He told me that his deep well pump was burned up and asked me to help him change it. We have had one issue after another since.
We pulled the old pump. A red jacket 1/2 horsepower, 230 volt single phase submersible pump. The well is approx. 270 to 300 feet deep. The casing is 6" in diameter. We replaced the pump with the same brand, same type just a one horsepower instead of a half horse. We installed the new pump and proceeded to start it manually at the pressure switch next to the pressure tank. The switch is set to turn on at 60 lbs and off at 80 lbs. It has been set this way for years with no trouble. When I started the pump the pressure built up and had my friend turn on the faucet farthest from the pump to get the air out. When the air cleared he shut it off. Immediately the pressure started dropping quickly and when it got to the 60lb cut on pressure the pump kicked on but the pressure continued to drop almost instantly to zero and the pump kicked off. I assumed it was the check valve in the top of the pump. We pulled the pump and the check valve was not in the pump but still in the box. I put it in the top of the pump. It is nothing more that a piece of plastic with an o-ring at the bottom that gravity seats on top of the pump to stop the water from free flowing back through the pump when not running. We put the pump back in and proceeded to start the process over again. This time the pump worked fine even after shutting off for several cycles of checking the check valve by letting the pressure drop to 60lbs on purpose then letting it build back to 80lbs making the pump shut off to check the valve. After doing this 3 or 4 times it started doing the same thing with the valve in place in the pump. What could have happened? We replaced the entire waterline with new when we changed the pump and there are no leaks in the line. Could this check valve be faulty in this new pump? I have no other explanation for what it is doing. Does anyone here have any ideas? We have pulled this new pump two times already and frankly I am just about tired of being tired of it! Thanks for any help.
 
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Old 12-31-11, 03:24 PM
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Did you reset the pressure in the tank?
http://www.doityourself.com/forum/we...ml#post1453545
and you do know that 30/50 or 40/60 are the usual pressures? Some pumps can't pump to 80, but usually those are wearing out.
 
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Old 12-31-11, 11:17 PM
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Yea, set the pressure in the tank to 58lbs, two pounds under the cut on pressure. I asked him why he wanted the pressure so high and he says in his house if the cut off is set at 60lbs the pressure is almost too weak to push water through the shower heads. Why I don't know. This one horse pump is rated for 13 gallons a minute and seems to have no problem keeping up the flow or the pressure. He may just have to give up on the high pressure and let me set it like it should be. Maybe that is part of the problem? Too high of a cut off pressure?
We ended up pulling the pump again. He took that pump back. We could not get the check valve to seal. When he got the other pump I refused to put it in until he let me go get a brass spring loaded check valve to put on the end of the pump and do away with the ten cent valve provided in the end of the pump. Worked perfect today while I was there. I left and about 6 hours later he called and said he lost his water again. I dont know what the problem is, I am going back in the morning to try and solve the problem. AGAIN. LOL. What a mess.
 
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Old 01-01-12, 09:16 AM
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Did you empty all the water out of the pressure tank before setting the air pressure in it?

I would question why the pressure dropped to zero. The pump should have turned back on before the pressure dropped that low.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 01-01-12 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 01-02-12, 06:23 AM
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"the pressure is almost too weak to push water through the shower heads. Why I don't know

Probably because they need cleaning out. Hard water means lime deposits which plug up the holes. I soak mine in vinegar.
 
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Old 01-02-12, 10:54 AM
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Eighty pounds at the pressure tank sounds way to high to me. Maybe you overloaded the pump running it that high, considering that the pressure will be higher at the pump's location a few hundred feet down.

Sixty lb. sounds about right for a pump turn off. Less if the pump is spec'ed for less. So pump turn on has to be somewhat lower, like 40 lb or less at the pressure tank.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 01-02-12 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 01-05-12, 05:23 AM
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It was a new tank. Not sure about why the pressure went to zero either. That was the main issue.
 
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Old 01-05-12, 05:26 AM
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I think it is mainly he is used to city water around here. The water pressure here in my house is quite high. Tried to explain to him that it would wear the pump out prematurely running it that high, but he insisted on leaving it that way.
 
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Old 01-05-12, 05:36 AM
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I finally convinced him to let me put a brass, spring loaded check valve at the pump and do away with the cheap plastic check that comes in the pump. That solved the problem. Not sure why the plastic one in the pump would not work it looked fine to me but absolutely would not seal. Just let the water run straight back through the pump as soon as the pump kicked off at 80lbs. I think that is why the tank pressure went all the way to zero so quickly. The pump could not come on and reprime fast enough to maintain water pressure and the pump just cut off. So, as of now, the system is working, even at the high pressure of 80lbs. The pump may not last long set that high but it should peel the skin off while it is running. Thanks for all the help, it was appreciated.No Beer 4U
 
 

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