Well problem

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Christiaan, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. Christiaan

    Christiaan Dutch Highlands Farm

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    We are having a concern about our well pump. It is a surface pump. It switches on and off repeatedly whenever there is a water usuage, and will also do it a few times a day when no water is being used. This causes the water to surge rather than flow smoothly, too.
    Any ideas about what is going on?
    Thanks in advance for any help.
     
  2. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It sounds like the holding tank is water logged. Most of these pressure tanks have a bladder in them that hold air which will compress when the pump pushes water in the tank. The air pressure will put water out you faucet when the pump isn't even running. This keeps your pump from kicking on and off repeatedly. See if your tank has an air valve on top similar to one on a tire. It should be for putting air into the bladder.
     

  3. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    that's what Im thinking
     
  4. shiloh

    shiloh Active Member

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    YEP. When we rented a house several years ago the well pump did the same thing. Turned out that the bladder was not even holding air. I have no idea how old the holding tank was. Had to replace the holding tank to fix the problem, but that is better than wearing out the pump first.
     
  5. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yup, expansion/ pressure tank. You got no air left in it. If it's an old one with no bladder they need to have air added every few months - it slowly disolves into the water.

    If it's a newer type with a bladder, I'd suspect it is shot, tho it's possible the bladder only needs air added.

    --->Paul
     
  6. stirfamily

    stirfamily Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Same thing happened to us about a year ago. Had to replace the holding tank, the bladder had gone bad.
    karen in Indiana
     
  7. Pouncer

    Pouncer Well-Known Member

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    Another possible cause is that the tank itself needs draining. Find the hose bid at the bottom of the tank, and attach a hose to it. Turn off your main water line, and allow the tank to drain completely. Be very very careful adding air back into the tank. You can overfill them, even with a pressure relief valve (on top)

    My hubby used to drain ours, then open all the valves and blow some air from the compressor through it. Worked like a charm....sometimes the bladders fall over and water gets on top where it shouldn't be.
     
  8. Christiaan

    Christiaan Dutch Highlands Farm

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    Thanks everyone! Now I'll know what to say when I find a reliable well man to look at it. The tank looks fairly new, we've only been here 4 years, so I hope I don't have to replace it.
     
  9. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Be sure to have it looked at soon. Water pumps do not like to be started & stopped so often, it is very hard on them.

    Is it a bladder tank, or just aregular tank with no bladder?

    They are pretty easy to figure out, & if just a tank, no bladder, all you need to do is add some air, like adding air to a tire. The bladder tank is only slightly more involved. :)

    --->Paul
     
  10. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    What color is the tank? Is there a name on it? With this info I may be able to tell you if it is a bladder tank.
     
  11. suitcase_sally

    suitcase_sally Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Some bladder tanks have replaceable bladders. We own two properties that have tanks with replaceable bladders.
     
  12. shelljo

    shelljo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It could also be one of the valves in the well. Ours was bad, so it had to be replaced. (can't remember the name of the valve, it was up in the pipe above the well below ground.)
     
  13. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Check valve. Or foot valve if it is at the bottom of the pipe. A leak/hole/crack in the pipe going down the well can do similar thing. His first message would lean towards it being no air cushion in the tank tho. But it is possible the check valve is bad. Also possible the pressure switch is acting up, or there is a blockage on the pipe nipple to the pressure switch. But 90% of the time, from his first message, it will be a lack of air cushion.

    --->Paul
     
  14. Christiaan

    Christiaan Dutch Highlands Farm

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    The tank is a Well-Rite, bright blue, from Flexcon Industries with a Jan 1997 manufacturing date. It has a rubber stopper on top and a capped nipple. I don't see any valve on the bottom, though. The website says it is a controlled action diaphragm.
     
  15. boonieman

    boonieman Well-Known Member

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    Is the capped nipple you refer to like a valve stem on a tire? That's what's usually there for adding air. If you take the cap off the nipple and water comes out, the bladder is ruptured and the tank will have to be replaced. (If it's like the valve stem on a car you'll have to depress the little stem inside like latting air out of a tire to test it) If you take the cap off and there is no air pressure when you take the cap off, (again, after depressing the valve core stem) AND no water leaks out, you've lost the air charge due to an air leak in the upper part of the tank. That's what I'd check first.
     
  16. Christiaan

    Christiaan Dutch Highlands Farm

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    Wellman came today while I was out and I haven't talked to DW yet to find out the details. Just know they are coming back next week to install a new tank. Her note says around $600!! Yikes! So much for Xmas.
     
  17. boonieman

    boonieman Well-Known Member

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  18. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Way HIGH!! I had one installed----aroung 40 gallon for 1/2 that, but I only Hired it done because I was down in the back when it had to be done. Alot of older tanks you can instal a air valve similiar to your car wheel for a few dollars----then add some air once a month and save all that cash for Christmas. Its simple to do in most cases. Of course if you have pvc pipe in your pump house----anyone can instal a new bladder tank--Easy---If you have a question about how to instal it your self-----All these people can direct you. Good Luck!! Randy
     
  19. Jack in VA

    Jack in VA Well-Known Member

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    I just got one at Lowes for about $120 and spent maybe an hour replacing it.
    Works great!
     
  20. Christiaan

    Christiaan Dutch Highlands Farm

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    Yeah, I was going to visit Lowes before I let them do it. I've had Lowes install stuff before and been happy with their work and the price. $600 seemed awfully high even including the installation.
    Next on the acquasition list will be a small compressor. :rolleyes: