well pump/storage tank question

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by retire2$, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. retire2$

    retire2$ Well-Known Member

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    My water lines were blowing air along with water at the faucet. The toilet tank (not the bowl) would bubble after the float valve in the tank shut off the water. The water volume was fine it just would blow air along with the water. I shut off the pump and drained the storage tank. The tank expelled the water along with the gushing air. I then took an air pressure reading of the storage tank. The air gauge did not move - 0 PSI. I replaced the storage tank. As I am waiting for the glue to cure (the directions specify letting the glue set for at least 2 hours before putting the system under pressure) I can hear the water line coming in from the well gurgling. The well pump is approximately 15 years old and I am wondering if the check valve in the submersible pump is going bad. I have a check valve at the beginning of the T for the storage tank (submersible pump, well pipe, check valve, T, storage tank). The well is over 350 feet deep (pump at 325 feet) and I just checked the water volume in the pipe. The static pressure has water in the well casing 60 feet down.


    What are your thoughts?

    Thanks in advance for any and all comments.
     
  2. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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    Obviously you're getting air in the system before the storage tank which means water is draining back before that point. Nowadays they install standoffs in a well to prevent the startup torque of the submersible pump from twisting the well piping and wiring and causing them to rub up against the casing and wear through the piping or insulation. You could have a pinhole leak in the well pipe. Other than that possibly a check valve in the well.
     

  3. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    The storage tank is a bladder or non bladder type?
    I have seen enterprising persons with non bladder tanks drill a small hole in the pipe coming from the pump. This hole was to purposely let air into the pipe to create a conventional tank that would never water log. This modification can let too much air into the tank and the water will drop in the storage tank as well as send air into the point of water use. To counteract the excess air, sometimes a float operated valve is installed to allow air to escape if the water level drops too low. Any chance you had such a valve in the old tank?

    If there is a hole in the water supply line or if the check valve is not seating you should observe the pressure gauge dropping when no water is being consumed at the points of use.
     
  4. Does sound like a leak between the check valve at the pressure tank & the water level in the well . After the pump kicks off the pressure in the line bleeds off & air enters the line . You could install a pressure gauge in the line between the check valve at the tank & the well & probably watch the pressure drop but it would only confirm our suspicions & wouldn't fix the problem . You might be able to shine a good flashlight down the well & see & possibly hear the water spraying out the leak . This would need to be done right after the pump kicks off while there's still pressure in the line . Most professional well men will tell you to remove the check valve at the tank . It only hides other problems & the check valve in the pump is all you need . Was the tank you replaced a bladder tank & did you replace it with another bladder tank ? Some of the older non bladder tank systems had a device in the line that admitted air into the line to keep the tank from becoming waterlogged . If you replace a non bladder tank that has one of these devices with a bladder tank you need to remove the device .
     
  5. arabian knight

    arabian knight Miniature Horse lover Supporter

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    Try this. Shut the power off to the pump. Shut off the power to the hot water heater.
    Open cold water faucet, fill something like a washing machine etc. Helps save some water. Let the water just drain out. and the air then will also bleed out. Let stand after a spell. Shut the faucet off. Turn on the Pump let it pump back up with pressure. Once that is down Turn the hot water heater back on.
    See if that will get the "air out" I do that every few months on the "bladder system" I have. And after a time and the submersible churns the water enough again, the air builds up, So I repeat the steps. Works like that now going on 14 years now, I just keep ahead of it, like when I need to fill a water tank, I get it nearly filled, then shut the pump off let the air come out, then I am fine again, for awhile.
     
  6. Rustaholic

    Rustaholic Well-Known Member

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    If there was zero pressure in the bladder of the old tank just maybe the bladder went bad and that is where your air came from.
    Please let us know what happens when you turn your puimp back on.
     
  7. retire2$

    retire2$ Well-Known Member

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    Update on my progress. I replaced the old bladder type Well Mate pressure tank with a new bladder type X-Trol pressure tank. I also replaced the pressure switch with a 40/60 pressure switch to match the new pressure tank. I still have some air in the line but no where near the amount I had before replacing the pressure tank. I can live with that for the time being.

    When the snow melts I plan on pulling the pump. As I stated in the original post the pump is 15 years old. With the pump out I can pressure test the water line from the pump to the pitless adapter and from the pitless adapter to the house. If the pipe checks out I will replace the pump.

    Thanks again for your suggestions.
     
  8. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    I maintain a number of wells. Keep all the paperwork for the Well Mate tank. I have experienced a number of failures with the fiber glass tanks. Most of the problem is with leaks. Apparently the inside of the fiberglass tank surface must be rough. The first sign of the problem will be leaking at the schrader valve. Do not think of replacing the bladder as the bladder costs as much as a new tank! For future tanks a company called Flexcon makes a decent tank. The Flexcon tanks are marketed under a number of names so you may have to do some searching. Always buy as large a tank as the well house and the budget can stand. Doing so will prolong the life of the system.
     
  9. retire2$

    retire2$ Well-Known Member

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    Sorry it took so long to get back with my findings. When I removed the pump from the pipe the check valve on the pump was stuck open. I did not test this any further as I had already purchased a new pump. After replacing the pump everything is now back to normal. No more pressure or air problems.

    Today I was going to replace the top part of the pump with a recently acquired pump with a burnt out motor. After removing the electric motor I shook the upper housing and the check valve starting going up and down. I reattached the original electric motor to the pump. I will put the pump in storage for the time being and will offer it to someone who may be cash strapped to see if they want to give it a try. If the pump doesn't work correctly I still have the other pump with the burnt out motor that I can switch the top sections.
     
  10. Allen W

    Allen W Well-Known Member

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    I thought about your well pump and tank advise the other day while I was at my father in laws. The little gal working for him wanted to know why the well pump kept kicking on and off. First thing I noticed was the 10 to 15 gallon pressure tank that had been installed, then the well pipe twisting every time the pump cycled. Then she told me the chosen grandson had done the installation.
     
  11. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Allen W

    "I thought about your well pump and tank advise the other day while I was at my father in laws. The little gal working for him wanted to know why the well pump kept kicking on and off. First thing I noticed was the 10 to 15 gallon pressure tank that had been installed, then the well pipe twisting every time the pump cycled. Then she told me the chosen grandson had done the installation."

    IMO using those small tanks is a waste. The lower price of those is a false means of economy for the home owner.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011
  12. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    There is no need to trash the pump. Just install a second check valve on the pump side of the bladder tank. I you are still get some air I believe that you have a small leak above the pump. Please reassure me that you did not get the Well X Trol model 202 after my inputs.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011