Air in water lines

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by fellini123, Feb 1, 2005.

  1. fellini123

    fellini123 Well-Known Member

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    Ok I know this is a plumbing question not an electrical question, but maybe you guys can help!! About 6 months ago we started to get air in our water lines. They would spit and spurt whenever you turned them on. We finally got a plumber to come out and he checked the pressure tank, said that was fine. He then started talking about how it is a closed system and the only way air could be getting in is because we have a leak in one of the pipes outside.
    He says we have to trench and relay all of the pipes going into the house, the kennel, garage and bar!
    Is this reasonable?? I have never seen a leak, or any indication of a leak, but then we have clay soil and maybe I wouldn't. Plumber said it would be between 1300 and 2000 to fix!!! Gulp!!
    Alice in Virginia
     
  2. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If the air is indeed coming through a leak in a pipe, it would have to be a pipe between the pump, and the water in the well. All the other pipes have pressure in them, and nothing is going to come into these pipes. I assume your pump is not down inside a drilled well. I am guessing you have a shallow well pump somewhere away from the well such as a basement. The old fashioned piston type shallow well pumps were made to induce air along with the water into the holding tank which back then didn't have a bladder in the tank. They would get too much air and give you a spurt out the faucet when first opened. It is unlikely you have one of those. I realy think you need someone else to evaluate your problem.
     

  3. daeve

    daeve Well-Known Member

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    I've seen bad foot valves cause this. If they leak down while the pump is not running air can get into the pickup line and then when the pump cycles on it will pump the air into the lines going to the faucets.

    Same goes for a small leak or crack in the pickup line between the pump and well.

    If it's a deep well pump, not a clue...

    Get another plumber that knows pumps and wells. I think the one you had out there is seeing $$$ and not making sense. :no:

    HTH
     
  4. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    It has to be between the pump and the water

    UNLESS

    the pump is in the well and the pipe somewhere above is cracked and allowing it to leak out and let air in.

    Has your water been cloudy if so it could mean a crack above the pump and washing crud from the inside of the well casing down to the pump.

    Does your pump cycle with nothing running???



    mikell
     
  5. fellini123

    fellini123 Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry I should have posted this, It is a deep well, a VERY deep well!! With a submersible pump. Bladder type tank. The only cloudyness in the water has been water bubbles, once the water sits around a bit it turns clear.
    Daeve, I think he is seeing $$ as well, it is just some of the things he is saying just dont make sense to me!! But we have had a terrible time to get anyone to come out here!!! We have called about 5 different plumbers and he is the only one that has even called us back!!! Heavy sigh!!

    The wter table seems to be fine, as we have gone through several drought seasons, we use lots of water and we have never run short. A couple of times we have forgetton and left the water running to the horse trough for.......overnight, well over 12 hours. We still had water coming out but it was just a trickle. We turned everything off and in 20 minutes we had all the water we needed. So I think the well is fine.
    thanks for all the ideas.
    Alice in Virginia
     
  6. daeve

    daeve Well-Known Member

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    This makes me wonder where the entrained air in the water is coming from as this is most likely the source of the air bubbles you are getting out of the faucets.

    Does the water get clear after you have run it long enough to be getting fresh water from the well or does it continue to be filled with water bubbles?

    Also, after no water has been used for a few hours, is the water clear just after you turn a faucet on (after the trapped air exits) but before the fresh water from the pump gets there? I hope this makes sense.

    The only thing I can think of is that there is a hole/split/crack/bad gasket/etc in the pipe or pump housing or jet head down in the well before the check valve and the pressure when the pump is running is causing high pressure water to spray into the well water and churning it enough that air is becoming trapped in the water and then the pump is sucking it up and pumping enough of it up the pipe to give you good pressure and flow.

    There is normally a check valve either in the pump head it's self or just after it in the line. If the opening was in the pump, jet head or line before the valve, the pump wouldn't cycle as the pressure would stay in the line once the faucet was closed.

    You know anyone else with a well that could help ya'll out with pulling it? I just don't see any other source for the air to be getting in. If you have a cut off or disconnect just out of the well before the lines go underground you can cut power to the pump and take it loose then cut the pump on and take a sample of water from that point which will eliminate the rest of the system. If you still have bubbles you got no real choice but to pull the pump. Not a pleasant task but is doable with a couple of helpers and one person that knows what they are doing.
     
  7. retire2$

    retire2$ Well-Known Member

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    fellini123

    I would suggest that you try and localize the problem. Here are some suggestions:

    Run the water until the pump turns on. After the pump shuts off close the incoming water shut off. Wait awhile and then turn on a spigot. There will be enough pressure in the tank to get water. If there are air bubbles you have reduced the problem to after the inlet water shut off.

    Close the water valve past the pressure tank. Hook up a hose to the drain line next to the pressure tank. If you see bubbles at this point my first thought would be the check valve at the storage tank. If the check valve leaks some water will seep past the valve. When you turn the water on this volume will be replaced with air from the pressure tank.

    Some other things to consider is how old is the pressure tank, check valve and pressure switch. Just because a tank was replaced does not mean that the check valve or pressure switch was replaced at the same time.

    Good luck and keep us informed.
     
  8. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    Does it do it all the time or only after 5 -10 minutes. Your water level may be low enough to start drawing air and the pump may need dropped. Use only 1 faucet for your test outlet closest to where the water comes in the better. If is spits after the house is empty for the day then clears up for a while to start spitting again then it could be low water level. A well man can put another 10 feet on it. In Michigan the well cap will have the name and number of the well man on it and the well number listed with the county to give you the low down on the original water level, well drill depth and where the pumps hanging. Check the cap.


    mikell