Shallow Water Well Jet Pump Buzzing

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  #1  
Old 06-15-14, 10:31 PM
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Shallow Water Well Jet Pump Buzzing

Hello all,

I've got a shallow water well at my home with a 1/2 HP Jet pump connected to a pressure tank.
Earlier tonight I heard a loud buzzing followed by a pop. I went to my basement and found that the fuse had blown for my Jet pump. It also smelled of magic smoke and the pump body was very warm.

I replaced the fuse and the noise started again immediately. I'm not sure if its actually attempting to draw any water at all or if the motor is just burned out. Not sure if this is electrical or mechanical.

My Jet pump pressure gauge is reading 0 PSI.
My pressure tank is reading 25 psi.

Does anyone have any advice on how to proceed here?


Standard info:

Well
1: submersible pump or jet pump.

Jet pump so far as I knowm with 4 year old 'repair' sticker on it.

2: age of well if known.

30 years

3: depth of well if known.
Unknown.
4: diameter of well if known.
Unknown
5: voltage of pump if known.
120V
6: brand of pump/controller if known.
Its rubbed off
7: size of tank if known.
unknown
 
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  #2  
Old 06-15-14, 11:23 PM
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If the motor got hot, smoked and blew a fuse...... it sounds like time for a new pump.
 
  #3  
Old 06-16-14, 04:25 AM
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Yea, That seems likely to me. I'm just always so unsure as a new home owner.

I went ahead and replaced the fuses. Here is a video to showcase the noise this thing is making.
Gauges stay at 0 PSI. If I let it run much longer it blows the fuse.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3XQUptkXTE

If I grab a new pump today is there anything specific I should know going into this?
Is replacing this thing too difficult? I'm a little worried about the priming process, since I have no running water to rime with.
 
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Old 06-16-14, 05:55 AM
Vey
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Don't buy an 3/4 HP pump. Replace the pump with the same size.
Collect milk jugs or buckets and get to know your neighbors and "borrow" some water for priming. Maybe one of them will come over and help you with the replacement.

Country folk have to rely on neighbors a lot more than city folk do.

Make sure you pay attention to possible suction leaks. Very hard to detect. If there is any PVC attached to the pump, replace it because if the pump body gets hot, the PVC deforms. PVC threads are notorious for leaking.

Read my post in the sticky about what to do if you lose your water supply. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/we...well-info.html

When you try to prime the pump, the priming water has to fill up the pump body and the intake pipe all the way to the check valve/foot valve.
 
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Old 06-16-14, 05:47 PM
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Thanks for the help so far Vey and PJ. I think I have a little more to go though.

I took my pump to my local machine shop and they repaired the starter motor and a bearing that had gone in it. I re-installed the pump onto my system, being careful to prime and keep everything sealed. I recharged my pressure tank and took it for a test run.

The tank size is 19 gallons.
Pressure tank is at 18PSI when empty as per specification for a 20/40 setup.
When the pump is off the tank rests around 38 PSI (per my gauge connected to the spout at the top).
My 1/2 HP repaired pump is reading between 40/45 PSI.

The problem is that I only get about 1.8 Gallons of water before the pump kicks back in. By specification I should get over 6 gallons at 20/40.The machine shop and plumbing store suggested that my pressure tank had sprung an internal leak and should be replaced.
This explanation is also in line with the starter motor failure.

Can I get a little commentary on that option?

I'm very thankful for the help and resources so far.
 
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Old 06-18-14, 06:34 AM
Vey
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I'm not a bladder expert, but a busted bladder is a common problem. I think if you search in here, you will find the answer.
 
  #7  
Old 06-18-14, 09:39 AM
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Here's an informative sticky from this forum.

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/we...well-info.html
 
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Old 06-21-14, 07:22 AM
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I did end up having a busted bladder in my tank. But my problems go much deeper than that I think.

I installed the repaired pump, replaced control box and replaced bladder last night.
Everything went smooth. The new tank came up to capacity, drained properly while running water and I thought I was done.

However this morning I work up to hearing the pump running when no water had been used. The well was cycling every 5-10 minutes.

I performed the following tests:

Test:
Shut valve to the house. Left well valve open.
Result:
Pressure in the system drops from 50 to 30 in approximately 5 minutes. Triggering the pump.

Test:
Allow tank to fill, shut pressure to the house and the well.
Result:
Pressure in pressure tank remains at 50 indefinitely. I can see the water in my pressure switch line being drawn back down into the well side of the system.

If I've been reading the resources you provided me correctly I can see two potential problems. Both of which are leaks on the well side of the system.

Potential problem #1
Vapor leak in the the well lines in my home

Proposed Solution
Apply putty to seams to see if leaks stop.

Potential Problem #2
Leak in the well line outside or a broken foot valve/check valve/various other well side valves.

Proposed Solution
Call the well diggers for an install.

Can I get a little confirmation that I'm on the right track? Thanks so much for the help thus far.

Chris
 

Last edited by Chris.S.PEI; 06-21-14 at 07:55 AM.
  #9  
Old 06-21-14, 09:05 AM
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I put putty on the seals for two lines that go from the pump out to the well. I allowed it to cure for over an hour and it made no difference to the water loss.

I slowly open the shut off vale to the pump and a significant amount of the water in my pressure tank exits down into the well.

My foot valve or some other well element must be broken.

I don't even know where my well is and the exit lines head under my deck (2-ft clearance, lovely)
 

Last edited by Chris.S.PEI; 06-21-14 at 10:51 AM.
  #10  
Old 06-24-14, 09:11 AM
Vey
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Putty won't help.

To test for leaks on the suction side of a pump, use the "shaving cream" test.
I've described it here before several times.
Here is a forum where they are talking about using it.
Suction side leak . . . Found in Pump Drain Plugs [Archive] - The PoolForum

Look for a check valve between the pump and the well. If there is one, it could be bad.
Otherwise you will have to cut out out a piece of the deck -- but that was inevitable anyway.
Just keep the pieces so you can reconstruct a patch.

Or you could add a check valve between the well and the pump. Lots of people don't have a foot valve, just a check valve right next to the pump. They are harder to prime though, so foot valves are better.

If you do put in a check valve, use a brass one, not plastic and I have seen bad check valves right from the store.
 
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