Ruled out everything possible - opinions wanted


  #1  
Old 10-26-13, 08:13 PM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 11
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Ruled out everything possible - opinions wanted

Hello - 1st post (and will get right to it)

Suddenly, no water and no pressure. Assumed the pump was going bad. 2 wire submersible in ~180ft well (Gould pump).

Changed the pressure switch first (30/50 w/a 36 gallon bladder pressure tank) - not the issue.

Voltage was good at the pressure switch and at the pump. Pulled the pump up and replaced with brand new Gould 1/2hp 5GPM.

Same issue - no water/no pressure. Maybe the drop pipe is clogged. Snaked and it was packed with what we think is sulphur particles (and other sediment). Also snaked the pipe going from the house to the well casing.

With new pump 65ft in the well (50ft water line) and pitless adapter out of well casing, water flowing great now after snaked.

Put all back together and set adapter back in place. Flip the breaker and hit the pressure switch. 20lbs of pressure and nothing more. Replaced pressure gauge and check valve at tank. Still same issue.

Pulled pump up 25ft - removed pitless adapter, added barb, tee, pressure gauge and ball valve. Turned pump on - Pressure gauge pegs and holds pressure. So pump is good.

Ran well pipe directly to tank in house bypassing house to well pipe. No more issues and getting water like it was new.

Where is my issue? Does the pipe from the house to the well casing have a leak or did it collapse? Is there anything I'm missing before digging 5ft under?

Thanks in advance - really appreciate the help!!
 
  #2  
Old 10-26-13, 08:50 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 62,067
Received 3,422 Upvotes on 3,068 Posts
Welcome to the forums.

That sure is a strange problem. Actually at this point you've pretty much determined it's in the line to the house so it doesn't make a difference if you have a leak or the pipe is collapsed..... you're going to have to dig it up.

How far are we talking ?
 
  #3  
Old 10-26-13, 09:03 PM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 11
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Probably about 30ft and 4 1/2ft down. Just want to make sure I rule everything out before we start digging. There's a sidewalk that will need to partially come up as well as possible part of the front porch. Will need heavy equipment too.
 
  #4  
Old 10-26-13, 09:33 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 62,067
Received 3,422 Upvotes on 3,068 Posts
You've checked the well at the top of the pit. If it's not getting to the house it doesn't leave many possibilities.
 
  #5  
Old 10-27-13, 05:24 AM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 11
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
During the troubleshooting phase, and when all was hooked as normal, we disconnected the pipe from the tank that comes from the well into the house. Placed that end into a shop vac and turned the pump on. Water was flowing great so we know water is making it from the pump up the pipe, through the pitless adapter and into the house. It just won't hold pressure that way. That's what's making us believe there's an issue with the pipe between the house and the well casing. Is there any way to test that pipe? Some sort of air pressure test? The pitless adapter is 52" down from the top of the well casing.
 
  #6  
Old 10-27-13, 05:44 AM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 25,962
Received 1,767 Upvotes on 1,580 Posts
Your water & water pressure will do the same thing as an air test. The pump has a check valve that prevents the water & pressure from flowing back to the well when the pump is off. With everything off (not using any water) in the house your system should maintain pressure. You can cap your water line at the well head if you want to rule out the possibility of a leak in the stuff down the well and just check the house and line to the house.

What material is the underground pipe? I have had luck using the old pipe to pull the new a short distance under obstacles like sidewalks. I use an excavator (track hoe) to dig what is accessible. Securely attach the new pipe to the old and use the excavator to pull the old pipe and eventually/hopefully the new follows.
 
  #7  
Old 10-27-13, 05:57 AM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 11
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
We pretty much did test the drop pipe for leaks when we capped the pipe and stuck a pressure gauge on it. We know for a fact that the drop pipe is good and does not leak (and the pump is good too). Our thought is that the pumps check valve is working and any water between the well and house is leaking out that part of the underground pipe since no pressure can be maintained.

It's all 1" black PVC (160 psi I think).
Good idea about the excavating tip.
 
  #8  
Old 10-27-13, 10:16 AM
Z
Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,104
Received 93 Upvotes on 85 Posts
Harry Im just a newbie, but my buried (4 ft) well pipe leaked and I dug it up (only 20 ft long) and replaced it with 200 psi black poly. But I had a check valve at the pressure tank in the house which masked the problem until the pipe (steel) collapsed enough so I got no water in the house.

As I said Im just a newbie, but if your pipe is black poly I thought that it was unlikely that it would collapse, although I know if its is buried with sharp rocks near the pipe that could eventually cause punctures (at least I think so). If your run is only 30 I would think there would also not be any connections in that 30 section that could possibly be a leak source. I would think that it would be one continuous pipe since that stuff comes in long rolls.

I dont have a pitless (I need one) and I only know what I read and what I see in diagrams. But did you actually eliminate the pitless connection out at the well? I thought that the connection there could sometimes leak if the O ring seals fail. Or maybe you eliminated that as described by your troubleshooting? (my ability to picture things sometimes leaves a little to be desired. LOL)

OK - I just saw that you said black pvc - not black poly. My bad. But still - could it be the pitless connection?
 
  #9  
Old 10-27-13, 07:08 PM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 11
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Update:

We had no other choice but to dig up the pipe going from the House to the Well and did that today. A 2" crack was found on the pipe between the house and the well. So this explains the reason why we were losing pressure (or not holding pressure) at the tank. Replaced the 1" PVC pipe (160psi), surrounded by a 4" sleeve, new wire and hooked all back up. System working as designed. Will post pic of damaged pipe shortly.

Question: It appears now that I may have introduced more sediment into the pipes inside the house and would like to flush the system out. What is the easiest way to do this? (both Hot and Cold)
 
  #10  
Old 10-27-13, 07:33 PM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 11
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Attached is a picture of the 1" PVC pipe going from House to Well

Name:  pvc pipe.JPG
Views: 767
Size:  29.6 KB
 
  #11  
Old 10-28-13, 05:08 AM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 11
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
I may have spoke too soon because it appears I still have a pressure issue. It is affecting the whole house. Pressure appears strong at the faucet but quickly decreases and then comes to a crawl. I have pressure at the tank and the pressure switch is functioning correctly (on @ 30 / off @ 50).

It is a strong possibility that there is a bunch of stuff in the lines and hopefully back flushing it will help. Just need some guidance on the best method in doing this.

Thanks again for the assist.
 
  #12  
Old 10-28-13, 07:10 AM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 25,962
Received 1,767 Upvotes on 1,580 Posts
If you have good pressure at first then diminishes it could be a clog or restriction. Generally when installing a new line I open a spigot closest to the pressure tank & switch and leave it open until the water runs clear. Do not allow anything else in the house to use water until the line is flushed. If you do use water the sediment can get to appliances (washing machine, dishwasher...), clog toilet fill valves and clog faucet aerators.

Do you have good strong flow from anything? Do you have a water filter or softener?
 
  #13  
Old 10-28-13, 07:34 AM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 11
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the reply -

Now I'm not getting any flow at all from any water source. No water softener, filter, etc..

It sounds like I have a clogged pipe somewhere close to the main water source but my fear is that it's beyond where I could have access to.

Any easy way to 'dislodge'?
 
  #14  
Old 10-28-13, 09:33 AM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 25,962
Received 1,767 Upvotes on 1,580 Posts
You mention that the pressure switch and tank were working properly. Is the system maintaining pressure there or do you see the pressure drop on the gauge when a spigot is opened?

Since everything is now stopped I would start at the beginning and keep moving through the system until you find where the water stops. Disconnect the main line before the pressure tank & switch and turn the pump on for a second to insure you have flow to that point. It's also a good way to flush out that part of the line. If you've got water there you know the clog is somewhere beyond in the house. I would suspect any shutoff valves especially if they are not 1/4 turn ball valves. And, don't forget to check flow restrictors on faucets, aerators and clogged faucet cartridges.
 
  #15  
Old 10-28-13, 11:42 AM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 11
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
The system is maintaining pressure - and the well pump is flowing.
The clog is definitely at the house side. I have all of the aerators off at this point and most of the faucets are opened. I was contemplating closing the valve to the house, cutting the pipe after the pressure tank and allow the water in the house to drain back out. Attach a T-fitting with a boiler drain (this way I wouldn't have to make another cut). Then turn the house valve back on and maybe the pressure will push the 'stuff' through.

Thoughts on that?
 
  #16  
Old 10-29-13, 05:47 AM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 11
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Update:

I was able to find the clog. While inspecting around the pressure tank and main water line from well, I could hear what I would describe as a 'hissing' sound coming from the first elbow past the house shut off valve. Tapped lightly on it with a hammer and swoosh she went.

So for now, water has returned to the home with a few issues with cold water in two of the bathrooms. But I am assuming it is a sediment issue at the cold water inlet at those faucets since the hot water is running fine.

When I replaced the well pump, I didn't replace the drop pipe which I probably should have. I was thinking about replacing this weekend but trying to figure an easy way to uncoil the 200ft of poly pipe. It seems like it would be pretty challenging to replace otherwise. Any good tips for this one?
 
  #17  
Old 10-29-13, 06:36 AM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 25,962
Received 1,767 Upvotes on 1,580 Posts
When pulling a well pump a extra pair of hands is a big help. One person pulls the pipe up and out of the well while the other person's job is to deal with the pipe and wire as it comes out the hole. Wear old clothes as everything will likely be coated with a slimy fine silt.

Installing with black poly is pretty easy but uncoiling the pipe is the biggest headache. It's sort of a wrestling match. I weigh or tie down one end of the pipe and roll it out on the ground. Thinking before hand to have something ready at the other end to tie or hold it down. After laying it out on the ground, cut the pipe to length (be ready for the loose ends to coil up and try to hit you in the face), hook up the pump, tape the wire & polypropylene rope to the pipe, install whatever fitting is needed on the top end of the pipe. Tie off the loose end of the pumps safety rope to something secure that cannot fit down the well. Start the pump down the well and the person at the well insures that the wire & pipe don't scrape or shave on the well casing. The helper lifts up and feeds the pipe to the well person.

Don't forget to shock the well afterwords since you've certainly contaminated it with something.
 
  #18  
Old 10-29-13, 09:47 AM
Z
Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,104
Received 93 Upvotes on 85 Posts
Pilot Dane -

...Installing with black poly is pretty easy but uncoiling the pipe is the biggest headache. It's sort of a wrestling match. ...
I only had to unroll about 30' and that's what I remember "a wrestling match". LOL. I think I heard that if possible you might put the roll in the sun for a while . I don't think that helped me however. I'm pretty sure I did if fact try that, but not absolutely sure, years ago.

Wonder if it would help if you put the roll in a tub of warm (or hot?) water.
 
  #19  
Old 10-29-13, 03:18 PM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 11
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
In the past week, I have pulled up the well pump multiple times troubleshooting issues - understand the importance of having at least another set of hands.

I agree that there is not really an easy way to uncoil the new poly piping before installing.

Is shocking the well absolutely necessary? I have read numerouse articles about this both positive and negative.
 
  #20  
Old 10-29-13, 04:13 PM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 25,962
Received 1,767 Upvotes on 1,580 Posts
If you think of the pipe & wiring dragging across the lawn where deer and birds have pooped then shocking the well is a good idea. But, despite what most hypochondriacs think we humans are pretty tough and most micro buggers are harmless says the guy who's had giardia... bad water is not fun. In general though I consider drilled/deep well water to be much safer than all surface waters. I have never had trouble from not treating a drilled well but I will not drink from a river or stream without treating it first.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: