Cold Pipes or something going out?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Croenan, Jan 21, 2004.

  1. Croenan

    Croenan Well-Known Member

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    Stuart, VA
    I am having a problem with my water shutting off, it's probably my hot water, but I am not sure. When I use a good amount of water, like in the shower or washing machine, my water stops after abut 5 minutes. Always at about the same time too. I am wondering if my pipes are partially frozen or if my water heater/water pump (well) is going out. Once the water goes off, and it's off throughout the house, I can turn the faucet off and wait a mintue and turn it back on and it's fine. I don't know if it would end up doing it again in five minutes because I really don't use that much water. I notice the biggest pressure difference in the hot water, rather than the cold, which is why I think it might be related to the hot water, but when the water goes out, I get nothing, no hot, no cold. It has been doing this for over a week now and I am worried. My neighbor has a similar problem with just her hot water in her washing machine and that problem is recent too.

    It has been very cold up here, but warms above freezing every day, sometime even up to 50. We had this kind of cold last year, but not for as long. Does anyone have any ideas or thoughts or things I should check on? I would hate to have the pump/heater go out on a friday night.

    Thanks
     
  2. Kung

    Kung Administrator Staff Member Supporter

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    I'm wondering if either your pump isn't going nutty, such that it's not pumping a lot of water....OR if your pressure tank isn't going on the fritz.
     

  3. retire2$

    retire2$ Well-Known Member

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    Since the hot and cold water stop I would doubt if it is your hot water heater. Possible cause would be low well water, pressure tank/switch problems, well pump problems.

    Things to check/do: (I'm assuming you have a submergible pump)

    Check pressure tank pressure gauge and then turn on faucets. Watch pressure gauge.

    If gauge drops can you hear the pressure switch click on to call for water? What happens - water yes/no

    If pressure gauge does not drop the 1/4 inch tube that is connected to the gauge may be plugged. Remove and clean after shutting off electric and draining tank. The 1/4 inch tube to the pressure switch may be clogged. Pressure switch may be defective/dirty contacts. Clean or replace.

    If the pump comes on and then after a few minutes it shuts off you may have a defective pump/wire. The pump has an overload switch that may trip and then automatically resets after the pump has cooled. If you have a volt meter you can do some testing but you will probably need to pull the pump and inspect the wires.
     
  4. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    one of two things wrong....either the trash under the pressure switch mentioned above or you have a bladder tank and the pressure on the tank is incorrect. The tank pressure should be set to 2 lbs below cut-in pressure.
     
  5. Croenan

    Croenan Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Stuart, VA
    Upon further inspection , observed.........
    The 100 psi gauge occasionally pegs out and then eventually kicks out , relieving pressure. The PRV onthe water heater sometimes opens(150 psi).
    The pressure switch is a Square D , that stands on a 1/2 inch stand pipe.
    The switch is obviously sticking , but not sure why. Sand in it , weak springs , dirty points , ?? Replacing switch looks pretty simple , but how do I set/check the pressure in the tank , bicycle pump with gauge?? Thanks in advance...
     
  6. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    The pressure gauge on the water system does not or cannot relief pressure. The gauge is defective.

    Why the PRV is venting is something I cannot explain, I doubt that the well pump can pump that high of a pressure. You may have a problem with the water heater and a defective element or thermostat. Usually this is a shorted heater element and one that is constantly getting voltage to it and thus overheating the water. Fix the well then see if the heater problem remains.

    Remove the pressure switch and clean the small orifice that enters into the switch from the bottom area where the pressure switch is affixed to the 1/2 inch stand pipe. It is full of trash in that area.

    After you get a good pressure switch in the system, drain down the water and observe where the pressure is when the pump turns on. Then relieve all the water pressure by turning the power off and draining the water from the system to where the pressure is 0. Now measure the tank pressure with a tire gauge at the shrader valve in the top of the bladder tank. Using the schrader valve either add or drain air from the tank until the pressure is 2 lbs below the cut in presssure of the pump motor.