Deep well submersible pump problem.

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Old 04-07-19, 11:54 AM
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Deep well submersible pump problem.

We began having problems with sporadic flow approx. a month ago.

Today was the first day that I was able to drain the tank and try and figure what the problem is. Our well is 100' from the house and the line would freeze without a flow.

Anyways, this is what I found:

I drained the tank, but it was not waterlogged as has happened in the past. The bladder was down a couple of pounds so I brought it back up to 38 lbs (cut-in 40, cut out 60 as we've been running for years. The pressure switch is less than 2 years old and contacts look like new.

I returned power to the pump and water began to flow to the tank, but despite the contacts being closed, the water would only flow in fits and starts. Usually after running for 10 seconds or so, the gauge would jump around a bit then stall. After another 10 seconds or so, it would resume building pressure, then repeat. If I ran the tap at the pump house the pressure would drop to zero.

Ideas? All help appreciated.
 
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Old 04-07-19, 12:28 PM
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The storage tank has no bearing on system pressure. It only serves to store extra water between pump cycles. You can remove the tank completely and you should have normal water pressure. If you can confirm voltage leaving the pressure switch..... 240vAC for a 240v pump.....then you have a pump problem...... or a possible low water issue.

A servicing tech would use a clamp on ampmeter to watch current draw of the motor.
A lot can be determined by that.

Just as an example.... they may have lower priced ones.
Clamp on amp meter
 
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Old 04-07-19, 03:46 PM
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"...fits and starts worries me." That makes me think there is a low water level in the well and the pump is sucking air. As PJmax mentioned, watching the amperage draw of the pump can tell you a lot. If the current draw is dropping to nothing it indicates a bad pump but if the draw it jumping all over the place the pump might be sucking air.
 
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Old 04-20-19, 08:50 AM
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I had the current checked yesterday and confirmed no current draw from the pump. It had stopped all action in the morning. The pump is over 30 years old, so I guess it's surprising it lasted this long.

The pump is in a pool shed, so it means removing part of the roof, and other fun stuff to be able to pull the pump. From what I understand, the well is approx. 120' deep, and was drilled to intersect 2 undergound streams.

When I removed the pressure tank, I got a steady flow of water coming from the well.
I had to hook it up again after it didn't slow down after more than 5 minutes. This is with the pump not connected to any power.

Does this mean there is natural pressure forcing the water to the surface? If so, how is this dealt with when changing pumps?

Oh, the joys of country living!
 
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Old 04-20-19, 09:32 AM
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It sounds like your well may be artesian. It's won't affect pulling the pump other than you'll be getting much wetter and there will be water everywhere. Wear old clothes and plan on getting filthy. Every well I've pulled the pipe, wire and pump have been covered in a decent layer of slimy mud that gets on everything.

Do you know what type of pipe is down the well? If it's black poly you probably can pull the pump with the shed roof in place, especially if you have a helper. If your pipe it threaded sections of rigid you'll need to remove the roof and have a lot more fun (NOT).
 
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Old 04-20-19, 03:45 PM
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Thanks, PD.

I don't know what type of pipe is down there. Hopefully it's poly.

I need all the breaks I can get.
 
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Old 04-21-19, 06:17 AM
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If you are going to pull the well yourself learn how to tie a prusik knot. Then run a piece of rope from the prusik knot to something secure. This knot can be tied around the pipe and if you hold the knot with one hand to keep it loose the pipe will slide through but if you let go of the knot and put weight/tension on it the knot will tighten and grab the pipe. If you get tired gently lower the well pipe back into the hole until the knot grabs and it will hold it in place so you can take a break.
 
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Old 04-24-19, 07:41 AM
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Need more help. A couple questions.

Hi: I had decided to get a pro in to do this job, but can't get anyone to come until mid-may!

My wife will have left me by then...

So -it looks like a DIY job again.

Here are some shots to show what I'm dealing with. The well cap looks almost antique - nothing like current ones. Also, there is a wooden plug that looks like it serves the purpose of keeping the cable that prevents the pump from disappearing completely to the bottom of the well.

Can I remove all 5 bolts and the ABS fitting, then punch out the plug after securing the cable to a stud in the shed?

I assume I'll have to make a T-tool to connect to the pitless adapter. Or am I likely to find something different in this older model?

All help appreciated!
 
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Old 04-24-19, 08:06 AM
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Why not call construction contractors in your area and ask them who can do or help with this project. They might find someone you have not thought about.
 
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Old 04-24-19, 10:15 AM
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Well, that was interesting...

I tied off the cable securely, then loosened the front bolts on the split cap.

Instantly, the wooden plug and the pump wires disappeared down the casing, followed by a thumping sound 3 or 4 seconds later.

The cable had rusted through (of course). You're laughing now. Admit it.

Soooo. Next question. Since the pump is 4" dia. and the casing is 6", is there any problem letting the old pump rest in peace?

Can I Iower the new pump down, letting it go alongside the old piping?

If so, what rope is best to use to attach to the pump? Also - the pump discharge is 1 1/4". Should I use 1 1/4" poly pipe and reduce to the 1" fittings above ground, or reduce at the pump?

All advice appreciated.
 
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Old 04-24-19, 10:19 AM
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Where did the string separate? If the down the well pipe and wire are down the hole you need to fish them out. If it was only the pump and you got the pipe and wire out you can let the pump rest in peace.

When you re-do the well do NOT use steel cable. Eventually it can rust through. I most often use 1/4" polypropylene rope. In the well and protected from sunlight it will last almost forever.
 
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Old 04-24-19, 10:27 AM
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I pulled approx. 40' of cable up.

Is it possible to pull the pipe (still attached to the pump) out at this stage?
 

Last edited by TomLusk; 04-24-19 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 04-24-19, 11:45 AM
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I just plumbed the well and at approx. 60' I hit a creamy silt. At 40' approx. I make contact with something, I would guess pipe, but the weight slides by it easily. Above 40' there is no indication of any contact.
 
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Old 04-24-19, 12:29 PM
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You need to fish the pump, pipe and wiring out of the well. Do you know anyone with some scrap metal, metal fabricating skills and a welder that can make a grapple/hook to go down the hole? If not you can try to find a small grapple hook sometimes sold with fishing supplies.
 
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Old 04-26-19, 07:49 AM
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Hi again. Thanks for the grappling hook idea. I rigged up a lead weight with a couple of large hooks and lowered it down to the bottom of the well. Lifted a couple of feet, then felt weight. 5 minutes later I had the pump out of the well.
Now to attach the new pump and hopefully have water again.
 
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Old 04-26-19, 08:25 AM
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WOW, you got lucky! Sometimes fishing the string out of the well can take hours.

So, when installing the new pump. A synthetic rope, not cable gets tied to the pump and the other end tied to something big before you get close to the well head. If you loose your grip you don't want to loose anything down the well again.

I've always just run my wires in the open next to the pipe. I use good quality electrical tape to secure it about every five feet. In between each tape band I leave a bit extra wire to account for the plastic pipe stretching slowly with the weight of the pump. Some people run the wiring inside a plastic tube or conduit for extra protection.

Before putting the new string down the well make sure there are no burrs or sharp edges on the inside of the well casing that could cut or damage the wiring or pipe. You can file down rough spots or they do sell casing rings but you'd probably have to order it online.

When assembling black poly pipe and barbed fittings it helps alot if you heat the end of the black pipe. You can use a heat gun or propane torch. Then quickly shove the pipe all the way onto the fitting before it cools. Secure with two stainless steel hose clamps turned in opposite directions.

Make sure your well cap includes a vent. Long ago they just left an open hole but snakes and bugs can fall into the well so they now have breathers that allow air to enter the well but keeps critters out. This vent is also a good place, after everything is down the well, to pour in your chlorine to shock and sanitize the well since you've had the wire and pipe laying around on the ground.
 
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Old 04-26-19, 10:09 AM
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Well, my good luck didn't last. New pump installed, STA-KON connector kit with shrink tubing used to connect wiring. Everything hooked up and powered on.

Pressure switch manually closed to activate pump. Pump starts, spits out a couple of quarts of water. Then nothing. Let pressure switch loose and it opens. Manually close the switch and same thing happens.

How to troubleshoot this? I found out a friend has a clamp multimeter, but what numbers would I be looking for on what scale?

Thanks for all your patience.
 
 

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