Well pressure problem


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Old 02-18-18, 07:55 PM
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Well pressure problem

Okay so I have read a few other threads here that are related to my problem, I'd Luke to hear it from the horses mouth though. I am a refrigeration/hvac mechanic so i do have a pretty good general understanding or a water system.

I have a well, not sure of depth, with what I can only assume to be a submersible pump as I dont have a pump in my house or at the bottom of the well head. About a week ago my water would from time to time lose pressure over night, and if I ran the bathtub or my water softener ran a cycle the pressure would drop below my pump cut in (approx 40psi) and then obviously my pump would turn off and I'd have to manually get the water ressure back up. It has since gotten much worse and as of basically yesterday morning my pressure will not come up any higher than 20psi. It will come up quick and then just stay at 20. What i have done is took apart all the pipe that is in the house (2 90's a few plastic prices of pipe about 7 inches and a ball valve as well as the pressure gauge and pressure switch) I cleaned out all that pipe as I have horribly hard and ferric water, hence the softener. My pressure tank is reading 20psi though the factory charge is 28, I assume it has dropped over the years due to ppl checking pressure or slight leakage at the Schroeder valve.

I moved into the house a couple years ago and havent had any problems with pressure at all. As far as I can see there are a few possible problems. A leak between the pump and the house, clogged up water lines between the pump and house, a plugged up pump intake or a bad pump impeller. Could be a combination of a few of these?

is there a chance that the lower tank pressure idea causing a problem? Where should my pressure be at?

I'm really hoping to not have to pull up my pump quite yet as it is -15 Celsius out there but if that' where my problem likely is then I guess I'd have to.

that is for reading any help or thoughts are appreciated.
 
  #2  
Old 02-19-18, 05:43 AM
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Do you have a working pressure gauge on the water system? If not put one on the system as it's very hard to properly diagnose if you are just guessing at pressures.

Make sure nothing in the house is using water. All toilets are full, no RO filtration system making water.... Let the system get up to pressure so the pump turns off. Note the pressure and see if it holds for the next 5-10 minutes. If the pressure holds steady then your piping and everything is sound. If the pressure drops then there is a leak somewhere.

Now open a faucet and let the water run. At what pressure does the pump turn on? Then also report back with the pressure the pump shuts off.
 
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Old 02-19-18, 05:47 AM
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It kind of sounds like you may have a frozen pipe. Does this problem tend to happen when it is just a bitter cold day?

As for your pressure tank. If your pressure switch cut in level is 40psi you should set the air in the tank to 37 -38psi. 2 to 3 psi BELOW your pump's cut in level. To measure the air you need to drain all the water from the tank so that there is no water pressure in the tank.

I would also want to look for any leaks. With no one using any water. No water softener drawing water or auto ice makers, etc., the water pressure should be maintained. If it is reducing it is an indication of a water leak somewhere. If the above items are not drawing water and you do not have a leaking toilet or a big mess dripping from a ceiling, then it would indicate a leak from the house to the well.
 
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Old 02-19-18, 06:58 AM
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Yes there is a working pressure gauge, that' where I'm getting my pressure readings from.
I kind of doubt it' a frozen pipe as it is all burried about 16 feet down and it happens even on days that its mild outside. When all water is drones from the house the tank pressure is 20psi but I cannot get the house pressure above 20 when all taps are closed
 
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Old 02-19-18, 08:14 AM
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OK. I should mention in this post that I am not a well guy or plumber, but simply someone who knows a few things about well systems. The thing I am not very familiar with are the signs and symptoms of a pump that might be failing, so perhaps others can chime in on that one, if it can be checked. Let's hope that is not your problem because it would probably be your 2nd most expensive repair.

The most expensive would be if your well is running dry and you needed to drill a new one. If your pump was running out of water to pump you would most likely be getting bursts of air when you open a tap. If you are not getting quick air bursts, when you open a tap in the house, then you probably have dodged that bullet.

The next thing I would look at is the possibility that the little water tube going to your pressure switch may be all clogged up with sediment or minerals or anything. It would then send false readings to your pump, when it is supposed to come on and off. I would take that off and try to clean it up as best I could and see if that gets you back in business.

In any case, if you have a 40psi cut in pressure for your pump's switch you should have around 37 to 38psi of air in your pressure tank when all the water is drained out of it. Lower air pressure usually just reduces the AMOUNT of water you get between cut out and cut in and not a change in the water pressure your tank can supply. That being said, if the amount of water you get, between pump cycles is reduced, it means your pump needs to come on more often and work harder, which can degrade the pump and or kill it completely.

As I said, if you do have a pump problem, someone else will need to chime in to help you with that.
 
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Old 02-19-18, 11:08 AM
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There is definitely water in the Well, I can see it, and I know for sure that my switch is working okay. My switch is closed 100%of the time so my pump is running 100% of the time and cannot still get water pressure above 20 psi even though the cut out pressure is set much higher
 
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Old 02-19-18, 12:00 PM
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OK, well that rules out a clogged up water tube keeping the switch from switching on properly.

It is starting to sound like the pump is loosing it's power but why and how to diagnose that without having to pull it up is a little above my pay grade, so we may have to wait for those smart guys to come along. I suppose it could also be a leak between the pump and the house. Perhaps a check valve is keeping the water from flowing back and indicating a leak but once the pump kicks a lot of the water shoots out the leak and prevents the house pressure from rising to the level it should. Kind of like turning on every tap in the house and wondering why the pressure is low.

You said that you can see the water. I assume you are looking directly down into the well. Have you been there when the pump is on to possible see or hear a water leak, like I mentioned?
 
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Old 02-19-18, 12:25 PM
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If it were a Jet Pump, I'd say that the Impeller is clogged with sand or debris . . . . but I gather that this is a submersible pump.
 
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Old 02-19-18, 12:44 PM
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Yes eagle I was looking down the well and no I haven't done it while the pump is ru Bing, that was my next step cause that' what I'm think8ng might be the problem is that there is a leak somewhere there
 
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Old 02-19-18, 04:35 PM
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Did this problem suddenly occur or has your pressure been slowly dropping over a while?

How are you able to see into your well? What does your well look like? Is it a large hole a couple feet in diameter or something smaller like 6" diameter? Are you certain that you have a submersible pump? Is there somewhere else in your house or on your property where there might be a pump above ground?
 
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Old 02-19-18, 05:19 PM
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The well is about a foot and a half in diameter and I'm positive the pump is in the well unless it is buried underground, no possible way that it is in the house.
 
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Old 02-20-18, 04:41 AM
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Wells like that are usually "dug" wells and tend to be shallow. They are also shallow enough that a above ground pump is often used though it is possible you have a submersible pump.

Have you done the test I mentioned earlier where you make sure nothing is using water? If nothing in the house is using water look at the water pressure. Then turn the breaker to the well pump off. Then go look at the pressure gauge. It should hold steady but if it drops (looses pressure) there is a leak somewhere. If the pressure holds without dropping then it's time to pull the pump out of the well and possibly replace it.
 
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Old 02-20-18, 07:22 AM
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...it is all burried about 16 feet down...
^^^^^^^^^

What is buried 16 feet down?
 
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Old 02-21-18, 01:17 AM
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Do you have a water filter ahead of tank? If so, filter may be clogged!
 
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Old 02-21-18, 02:25 PM
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Is the pipe in the well that goes down to the pump made of galvanized steel? Over time they can develop rust holes that could cause your problem. Steve
 
 

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