Takes a while for water to flow

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Old 03-12-16, 09:12 AM
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Takes a while for water to flow

The well is 50 ft. deep and about 400 ft. from the house. The pipe from the well to the house is galvanized and about 50 years old. The well is slow. The water is hard.

The well pumps into a well manager in the basement of the house. The well manager is a 210 gal. holding tank with a bunch of controls and a cistern pump which feeds the pressurized water system for the house.

One of the controls shuts the system down if water is not flowing into the holding tank after a set number of seconds. I first set the control to the recommended 6 seconds when I installed the well manager seven years ago. Three years ago the system stopped working and I set the control to 16 seconds. The system has stopped working again. I manually checked and it now takes 18 seconds for water to flow into the tank. I have set the control for 30 seconds.

The pump was replaced about two years ago when a lightning strike took it out.

I suspect there is a leak in the pipe between the pump and the house. The soil here is about 50 foot of sand.

What do you recommend I do to troubleshoot the problem?
 
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Old 03-12-16, 04:37 PM
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What type well?
50 year old galv. pipe should have had to be replaced long ago, it rust out from the inside out and by now has almost closed up on the inside, and all the threaded connections are likely leaking.
Why in the world is the well so far from the house?
Got to be getting a huge pressure and flow lost over that distance.
 
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Old 03-12-16, 04:58 PM
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I will agree the water line is probably pretty well rusted closed.
If the pipe has a leak.... it could take many seconds to start resupplying water.

A defective/leaking foot valve will also allow water to drain back onto the well causing it to take longer to start supplying water.

Since the line from the well to the cistern is not under pressure..... you can't monitor system pressures to see if you have a leak.
 
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Old 03-12-16, 05:01 PM
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I'm assuming it's a submersible pump. If so, it could either be a leaky check valve at the pump, or a leak as you mentioned. If it's a leak, it could be in the vertical pipe from the pump to the pitless adapter or in the underground line from the pitless to the house.

If it's in the vertical leg, you may hear it when the pump runs, but often it is below the level of the water and then may not be heard. If it's in the horizontal leg, you may find a wet spot, but in sandy soil, probably drains too well.

About all you can do is dig down to the pitless, cut out a section of pipe and pressure test it both directions.

Or call in a well guy, who will pull the pump up a bit and then can pressure test both legs without having to dig down. Since the well is fairly shallow, they would probably just pull the pump, inspect the line and test the check. If all that is good, the assumption would be a leak in the horizontal leg. If it's that, you're probably best off just biting the bullet and replacing all the old galvanized as joe said. There are companies that can pull a new line through the old, using a machine that breaks up the old line as it's pulling the new, but probably cheaper to just trench unless you have a lot of landscaping or hardscaping in the way.
 
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Old 03-13-16, 07:33 AM
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The house was built in 1956. The previous two houses on this property had burned down. The current well was drilled in 1969. We bought the place in 2004. The well head was in a cinder block pit. Last year the well man installed a pitless adapter and filled in the pit. The vertical line is black polyethylene and probably does not leak. The well man planned to replace the horizontal pipe but the cold came before he could get around to it. It is not easy to find people to do things out here. We are remote. It is 72 miles to the nearest Wal-Mart.

The well man said I could replace the galvanized pipe with a PVC lighter and cheaper than Schedule 40 since it is not under pressure. Should I do this or go with Schedule 40 or something else?

Thanks for confirming that the leak is probably in the horizontal pipe. I hope the well man will be able to get to replacing the pipe soon.
 
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Old 03-13-16, 08:19 AM
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I'd probably just go with standard polyethylene water line. It comes in long rolls so fewer joints and is very tough. I imagine most of the expense is going to be in the labor anyway.
 
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Old 04-26-16, 05:54 PM
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Job done, problem fixed

The well guy came out and replaced the old pipe and old wire. A little less than 500 feet. laid the new pipe a couple feet from old pipe. Found three leaks. Three spots where ground was wet at bottom of new ditch. Water runs immediately when pump turns on. Flows a lot faster too. Thanks for the help.
 
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Old 04-26-16, 05:57 PM
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Awesome news. Thanks for letting us know the outcome.
 
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