Well problems

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Cygnet, May 13, 2005.

  1. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Anyone have any input here?

    This is a deep well -- water table at about 450-500 feet, pump at 630, hole depth 650. 5,000 gallon holding tank, shared between several households. Hole is fairly sluggish -- we can get 300-400 gallons out of it then it needs to rest for about an hour and a half. It's got a wellsaver on it and the flow is sufficient for the homes involved.

    The wellsaver kicks the well off when the hole goes dry. The pump then does not turn back ON when it should -- it never starts running again in 90 minutes or whatever we set it for.

    Figured it was the wellsaver, our well repair guy put a new wellsaver on it, but the brand new wellsaver did not resolve the problem. The well guy decided it was the "control box", billed us for a few hundred, put a new control box on it, and the original well saver, and ... a week later ... same problem. Well saver turns the pump off, and it never turns back on again.

    Aaargh. Help?

    (And why oh why does this always happen on the weekend ... invariably and with complete consistency.)

    Leva
     
  2. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    is it kicking out a breaker?

    was the sensor replaced?

    is the well recharging in the time allowed?

    were readings taken on the motor windings?

    it is possible the new unit was falty, (well saver, or the control box)

    how does the well kick on (pressure switch, or float switch)
    is that functioning correctly, burnt points could possibly cause problems,

    how are you restarting/resetting the pump to run?

    is the timer built into the well saver, or seperate unit?
     

  3. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Cygnet
    Turn the power off to the system then turn it back on. This should reset the timer on the pump saver. Sounds as if the clock is not resetting the pump saver to where the well pump motor is getting power after the off duration time period has lapsed. And I thought I had trouble when my 3/4HP was drawing 15 amps at 230 volts yesterday. Mine was only 180 ft down.
     
  4. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Not sure which "sensor" youre referring to.

    The well is recharging in the time allowed; it actually recharges faster than the time we give it, but we allow a little extra time for sediment to settle. (It's pure sand all the way down to the water table, and we tend to get a lot of very fine silt. This isn't the world's-worst-well but it's up there. It's very alkali and the water temperature is about 85 degrees. Can we say, "Corrosion?" anyone? But I digress. It's wet, which is more than a lot of people have for wells out here ....)

    Breaker isn't tripping.

    Motor read fine, the repair guy said.

    It's a float that kicks it on -- oh, now that's a thought. I wonder if the float's bad? It's shorted out before. The repair guy tested the circuits,but I know he didn't climb up there to visually eyeball it because replacing the control box "seemed" to fix the problem. Duh. I'll have to look at it.

    The timer's built into the well saver.

    If it doesn't turn on when it's supposed to, it will kick on if I flip the breaker for the whole system, so something electrical is bad somewhere and is reset by cutting power temporarily.

    Frustrating thing? It was pumping just fine this morning. It pumped about 800-1000 gallons overnight. So at least it's not a "water table" issue. I HATE intermittent problems ...

    Leva

     
  5. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    by sensor I was referring to the device that makes the decision that the water is nearing the bottom of the the well and the pump needs to be shut off, (some types have electrodes that drop in to the well to sense the water level) but after more looking my guess is this is not the type you have,

    but it sounds like to me some type of timer or relay problem, or electrical problem.


    ok I just looked up some low water protection devices, and if it is the type that senses the no load condition on the well pump wiring, there is a possiblity that there could be a corroded wire, or lose connection that is causing some type of faulty reading, to the pump protector, and because of that it is not reseting,

    but If the type I looked up, it senses the voltage and the amperage and then determines that the pump is running under a reduced load (not pumping water), and then kicks out the pump and then is to reset after a period of time by a timer that is adjustable, but it looks like to me the units are a solid state units, and more than likely there is no or little repair to the unit, but I would first check out all the wiring for an corroded or lose connections, and would try to look up the manufacture and give them a call and see if they have any ideas on what else there is to check,
     
  6. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You're right -- it's a solid state device, senses when the pump starts spinning free when it runs out of water. They're very common out here, as deep, challenging, sluggish wells are the norm, and the well guy said he'd rarely seen one break, ours is only 9 months old (it DID break in the fall) and replacing it didn't fix the problem. *beats head against wall*

    It's been pumping water every time I go over to the well. We're also drawing a lot of water (weekend) and had a guy deliver a load of water, so I can't be sure exactly how much water *IS* going in -- but it appears to be turning itself back on, at least. I marked the level of the water on the tank and will track it to make sure it fills back up.

    Sigh. Joys of living in the country. There are times when I'm tempted to buck up the 20 grand to get my OWN well rather than a shared well just so I don't have to deal with things like a neighbor running a lawn sprinkler on bare dirt when we're having well problems. (Wanted to "knock the dust down" ...) OTOH, well repairs split seven ways are easier on the pocket book ... six of one, half dozen of another.

    Our water delivery guy told us he delivers water to a community with 30-some homes on one 6gpm well plus a 10K holding tank for water deliveries ... said they'd tried drilling other wells and they were consistently dry holes ... so I don't feel too bad about our setup anymore.

    Leva

     
  7. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Almost all submersible pumps use Franklin motors. Inside the motor is an overload relay. It will open with elevated temperature and is set for 86F. If you have multiple starts within a brief period the overload could trip. With your water temperature as high as you stated it would be a lengthy and undertermined time for the relay to reset. This could create intermittent periods of operation and make you think the pumpsensor is defective. You can do a lot of reading here on the motor.
    http://www.franklin-electric.com/Manual/pdf/fullAIM.pdf