Well Pump - bad or clogged with mud?

Reply

  #1  
Old 05-19-19, 06:37 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 9
Well Pump - bad or clogged with mud?

I'm having issues with a new (to me) home that I purchased a few months ago. When I woke up this morning and went to use the water, the pressure was very low and eventually zero. Let me premise all this by stating that it's possible that I over-taxed the well. I was using a lot of water the past 3-4 days. Cleaning Pool sand filter, lots of laundry, people using toilets, dish washer several times, etc.

So anyway, I went down to visit the pressure tank which read 0 psi. Afterwards I checked the breaker to make sure it wasn't tripped, which it wasn't. So, I turned it off figuring there was definitely an issue somewhere. I then pulled the house filter and it was packed full of mud. Packed!

All the troubleshooting I did in as short of a description as I can keep it.

1.) Pulled cover off pressure switch at pressure tank. Contacts were engaged, as I imagine they would be with 0 PSI
2.) Grabbed my DVOM then quickly checked power on both (all 4 terminals) sides of the pressure switch. Voltage is 120v on both feeds to the switch and at the leads heading to the well pump.
3.) Went outside and popped the cover off the well. With the power off, I pulled the wires up to check for any damage, all was well.
4) Mounted an amp probe on the feeds down to the pump then had a friend momentarily switch the breaker on. Both feeds read 18.0 amps (uh-oh). I've read that normal load is 4-6 amp.
5.) Took a very bright flash light and aimed down the well. I can see water but not sure what I should really see?

I'm thinking the pump is clogged or I ran the well down too low? Is there anyway to backflush from the basement out to the well pump? Using air or pressurized water?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 05-19-19, 08:09 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 51,006
Likes Received: 163
Welcome to the forums.

I like to remind people when buying a house with a well...... make sure you get all the pertinent information for it. That would include pump depth, water depth, well depth, age/make and model of pump.

As a new to that location you are sort of flying blind.

When you measure for voltage you need to measure across the power terminals for 240vAC. If one of the 240v legs was missing you would measure 120v on either leg and the pump wouldn't run. You measured 18A of current which would indicate that pump could be running and just not pumping. If the pump motor was frozen the current would be much higher.

You can't blow anything back down into the well as there is a footvalve in the pump to keep the water from draining back down into the well when it isn't running.

Unfortunately it looks like you may need to pull the pump up.
 
  #3  
Old 05-19-19, 08:16 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 9
My apologies but I did forget to post one aspect of the troubleshooting.

There is 240vAC at the wires leading down the well pipe into the ground.

I will get my well information tomorrow. The government website that hosts that information has been down almost all day and I can't get to that information.

If I do need to remove the pump, do I dig down the 6-8 feet where the water line exits the well tube and heads towards the house? I would assume the pump can't come up until that line is somehow disconnected.

Also, as far as I can see (with a powerful flashlight) there is no pull string from the pump. Just pull up on the power wires?
 
  #4  
Old 05-19-19, 08:42 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 51,006
Likes Received: 163
Most well use what's called a pitless adapter. The water line connects to a fitting in the side of the well casing. Then the discharge line from the pump hangs on that fitting. It's a slip type fitting.

I'm not a well authority but usually there is a cable or rope loosely attached from the pump to the top of the well casing to help pick up the pump and piping. I don't think you can pick it up with just the wiring. They may make some type of pole where you could reach down and grab the water line, lift up on it and disconnect the pitless. Some pitless adapters have a threaded opening on top where you can screw in a piece of pipe to use for lifting.

My forum partner Dane will be by and shed more light on the process.

Name:  pit.jpg
Views: 84
Size:  8.7 KB
 
  #5  
Old 05-20-19, 05:58 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 20,127
Likes Received: 108
Many pitless adapters have a female threaded hole on the top side to accept a threaded pipe. Screw your pipe (handle) into it then you have something strong and secure to lift with. If there is a rope make sure it is tied securely to something that can't fit down the well. The absolute worst thing you can do is drop the well string down the hole.
 
  #6  
Old 05-20-19, 06:28 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 9
I am fairly certain there is no pull string for the pump or water line. I looked around as much as I could with a flashlight and only see the power wire and water line.

I've contacted a local plumbing repair place and they have all the pieces to make up a T-handle. I just need to measure down how far it is from the well cap down to the pitless adapter.

I'll try to keep this post up to do as I move forward.
 
  #7  
Old 05-20-19, 07:09 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 9
Just spoke with the local well and septic department. They provided me with information off of the original report from 1982 when the well was installed.

Well depth - 300 feet
Encountered water at 78 feet
41 feet of casing
flow rate in 1982 - 2 GPM

Now I have no clue what to do. I can see water but how do I know if I need to raise or lower the pump. Knowing that I sucked up a lot of mud, I'm not sure what to do.
 
  #8  
Old 05-20-19, 08:38 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 20,127
Likes Received: 108
Your pump was already hanging off the bottom some distance. One simple way is to pull the well and cut off 10-20 feet of pipe then hook it back up. You have a low producing well so don't go crazy and cut off a lot of pipe as the well is acting as a storage tank and raising the pump reduces your storage capacity.

If you want to actually know how deep get 300' of low stretch string or wire. You'll need a heavy enough weight so you can feel when it hits bottom and you want something big that will sit on top of the mud and not penetrate. Put the weight on the end and lower it down the well until you feel it hit bottom. Freshly deposited mud may be pretty soft so you'll have to imagine fishing for trout and pay careful attention to the tension on the line.
 
  #9  
Old 05-20-19, 09:54 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 9
That would be my initial plan...to pull the pump and try again. However, without getting any flow to the pressure tank. Do I need to possible unhook the pitless connection then try to blow the line clear from the pressure tank back into the well pipe/enclosure?

Is it worthwhile to also measure how far down into the well before I reach the top of the water line?
 
  #10  
Old 05-21-19, 05:42 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 9
Ok, a bit of an update and now looking for some advice.

I was able to yank the pump out last night. I send the pics to a friend who I know has done some work like this. I would like some input on installing the new pump properly.

He advised to install a torque arrestor and some plastic pieces to keep the hose and electrical wires from touching the sides of the well?

The pump that failed is a Goulds M05422. Ideas where the best place to purchase a new one? It's .5hp and I would imagine I should stay with that rating?

Anything else I should do while it's apart?
 
Attached Images   
  #11  
Old 05-21-19, 07:49 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 20,127
Likes Received: 108
The motor's horsepower is only half of it. You also need to look at the pump attached to it. If what you had worked then there is no reason to change.

Yes, for a well of that depth I would install a torque arrestor and the spacers won't hurt either. Don't forget to attach a 1/4" polypropylene rope to the pump and tie it off to something secure at the top of the well.
 
  #12  
Old 05-21-19, 08:33 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 9
I have looked all over the pump but don't see any information. I'll cut the hose off soon and take it over to a local plumbing supply place. They said they can most likely match it up if I bring it over.

Any standard on how the spacers should be installed? Every 20 feet, 50 feet etc? When using those spacers, is it ok so skip taping the electrical wire to the water pipe? That's how it was installed now. I would have imagined that zip ties would have been a better solution than electrical tape when the pump was installed years ago?

Thanks!
Matt
 
  #13  
Old 05-21-19, 09:49 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 20,127
Likes Received: 108
I usually see the spacers about every 50 feet on wells over about 200-250' deep. Shallower wells often don't use them. I still would tape the wire to the pipe. Make sure you leave some slack in the wire between each tape band to account for the pipe stretching a bit under the weight of the pump.

I too would think there is something better than electrical tape but that's all I have ever seen. I make a point of buying good quality tape and not the cheap stuff. Apply the tape without stretching it.
 
  #14  
Old 05-21-19, 10:59 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 9
That brings up another question. Is it ok or standard to reuse the water hose and wiring? I haven't fully inspected it yet.
 
  #15  
Old 05-21-19, 11:45 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 20,127
Likes Received: 108
If the pipe and wiring are in good condition I reuse it.

When getting your pump don't forget to get the wiring connections. You will need a crimper and a torch or heat gun. When sealing the waterproof shrink wrap heat the center until it shrinks and work your way to an end. You want to see a bit of the glue/sealant squeeze out the end.
 
  #16  
Old 05-21-19, 12:36 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 9
Thanks for the insight! I have only given the hose and wire a quick look. I'll go over the whole length and make sure there is no damage.

The plumbing supply place mentioned selling me a shrink tube kit for all of the wiring etc. Hopefully they mentioned the same things you are referring to.

I'll post pics of everything I have to complete the install before I start on it.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes