Only low pressure from jet pump

Old 04-01-12, 11:29 AM
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Unhappy Only low pressure from jet pump

Thanks for any help you all can offer. For the record we have had many electricians and plumbers checkout and work on this system, they just say that's all the pressure we can get with our system. I try to keep it limping along when the water stops completely. There seems to be some mysterious variability to the system as on occasion it works quite well.

The short version, current problem:

When the pump shuts off, the pressure gauge usually reads about 22 lbs. When the pump cuts on, the pressure gauge will go up to about 20lbs. and then drop down to about 10lbs., this is accompanied by a higher pitched warble when in the 20lb. range and the drops to a lower stressed pitch when the pressure drops and seems almost like a bubble of air or maybe just a loss of pressure shock. This will continue in this manner until about 25lbs of pressure is reached and the pressure switch cuts off the pump. It doesn't seem to be able to create 30lbs, will just run forever if set this high.

I don't want to haul off and buy a new pump if it's a valve or well pipe problem or vice versa. We have acid water (pH6). Is there a way to tell if the well lines could be corroded and would that cause this problem?

I have not tried priming the pump as it has not been open and it is producing water and pressure.


The long version and info:

1: submersible pump or jet pump. - Dual pipe deep well Jet Pump
2: age of well if known. - At least 15 years, probably 30+, w/ orig well pipe.
3: depth of well if known. - Have been told by previous owner 75' but perhaps not the most reliable source.
4: diameter of well if known. - Don't know, top of well looked around 8", pipe in well is metal
5: voltage of pump if known. - 115v I think.
6: brand of pump/controller if known. - 1hp GE, Water Ace r100, older, 11yrs?
7: size of tank if known. - 75gal? pressure tank, about 3'x2.5' red cylinder, 18 lbs. press.
8: The more details you can give. The more we can help. See below:

[also acid neutralizing filter, water softener and electric water heater]

Problems with well:

Low water pressure

Salty water in house from water softener, probably due to low pressure

Air in line, pushed through to house

Variable water pressure:

when last pressure switch was installed, it had to be lowered considerably because the pump was only able to create about 28lbs pressure max, according to new pressure gauge installed (old one was broken), this was two or three years ago.

Five months ago the pump would not turn on despite pressure drop with no water making it to the house, cleaned switch contacts, pressure switch settings were not changed, pressure switch worked again, very good pressure for about a month, the best we have had since we have lived here (15 years) [woo hoo!!!??], tapered off back to what is normal. (if the pump is failing why would we have had better pressure?)

Two days ago, after a shower, pump was hiccupping and would not shut off, discovered plastic insulator on well pressure switch was broken preventing pressure cut off and arcing when switched on at breaker, turned pump off at breaker, purchased 20 - 40 switch from lowes, had to lower switch almost as far as possible to get pump to shut off, water pressure is functional but low, cannot run multiple taps in house without significant drop in pressure. Pressure is still low after the pump cuts on.

[The pressure switch installation instructions mentioned that the switch should be grounded to the pump, there is no ground to the pump, only from the electrical supply wire. Is this a problem?]
Old 04-01-12, 01:44 PM
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i share your pain

I have gone through a similar situation this past week.

I am no expert but having just dealt with the situation maybe my post can help. when dealing with the low pressure problem it turned out to be debris in the venturi. worth a look good luck
Old 04-01-12, 08:16 PM
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I'll check tomorrow.



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