Well problem

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Jena, Jul 5, 2006.

  1. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    The other day, I ran out of water after using quite a bit (hose was running, washer was on and someone flushed). Pump (in the basement) was running, but zero pressure. I waited a couple hours, still nothing, so I put some more air in the tank (big galvanized OLD tank). Water flowed.

    Couple days later, same thing. Air pressure was ok, no water. Someone told me to shut the valve between pump and tank, turn on pump until I get pressure, then open valve slowly. That worked, back in water. I was told that I was using water faster than the pump could keep up, so running out it's prime. We quit using a lot of water all at once.

    Today it did it again. Kitchen sink was running and toilet was flushed...that's all. Went to check tank pressure, water came out air valve on top. I isolated the tank, opened a tap and used compressed air to get the water in the tank back to where it usually is, left 25 lbs of pressure in tank, open valve, we are back in business...for now.

    There is obviously a problem somewhere that I am not really fixing. I have no idea what it could be. Is my well running dry (180 foot, previously reliable well)? Is my tank shot (don't see how it can be as it has no bladder to go bad)? Other issues????

    I also noticed that when the pump kicks on at 30, it pumps to 50, then shuts off. As soon as it shuts off, pressure falls to 40 whether something is running or not. Would I be better off getting setting my limits at 20/40? It seems it will reach 50, but not hold it, but then I don't know if it supposed to or not.

    Thanks
    Jena
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Jena, is the pump above or below ground? jet or submersible
     

  3. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Jena, I think this is a jet pump above ground. If so, it is easy to loose prime and Not to get it back so I want to be cautious. I do not think you are getting enough water out of the galvanized tank. Carefully I want you to do the following. Isolate the pump from the tank. Put air into the tank and dump the water from the tank with the air pressure until the tank is nearly empty. Then very slowly and carefully open the isolation valve just ever so little and let the pump come on and Slowly open the isolation valve a little more. If there is a gauge on the pump side of the galvanized tank never open the isolation valve to where the pressure drops below 20 PSI. When the tank gets refilled the air charge should now be sufficient to give you plenty of drawdown. Drawdown is the amount of water that the tank will deliver from the time the pump cutsoff until the pump cuts back on. Leave the isolation valve set at where the gauge was showing that the pump was holding 20 PSI minimum as it filled the tank. In so doing this will match the output of the pump to the supply of the well and should avoid your problem. Leave the pressure switch at the 30/50 setting.
     
  4. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    Thanks agman. I will try it and yes it is a jet pump in the basement. I just want to be sure I understand....I leave that valve part way open, if that is where it ends up to keep 20psi with the pump running...right? I understand why to do it slow.

    Jena
     
  5. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Yes, Jena, you will leave the valve partially open. This will act as an orifice and will limit the discharge of the pump which in turn will not permit the output of the pump to exceed the capacity of the well to recharge. Most people think that limiting the discharge will load the pump motor but actually the opposite occurs. As the tank fills you will eventually see the total pressure of the tank on the gauge and it will be above the setting you made. Do not confuse that reading as it being the low dishcarge pressure, it is not so do not readjust.
     
  6. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    Ok. I did what you said and I ended up opening that isolation valve all the way. The pump still kept at least 20 psi.

    The only gauge I have is on the pump itself, that's what I used to go by when it was pumping up. Is that ok?

    Jena
     
  7. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    That is fine. Did you get plenty of water from drawdown afterward? Jena, have you ever observed the pressure of the water to drop low and the pump not to kick on for a brief (15seconds more or less) time? I have experienced the pressure switch have rust to build up in the male fitting on the base of the switch and limit the switch from sensing the pressure drop and the need to turn on. A delayed turn on with the switch will create delivery problems on a jet and create prime loosing situations. You have to remove the pressure switch to clean the hole in the base of it. Do not remove the pressure switch if you have any reservations about repriming the pump.