Air in the system.

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by chopped, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. chopped

    chopped New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    New England
    Let me start with a quick overview of my system.Its a deep punded well. and the pump is at about 120 foot down.static water level is 15 foot.The pump was replaced in 1996.Bladder tank , and pitless adapter installed in the 80's.
    Months ago I started having air in the system, and could 'see' it in the clear water filter.I found that mostly overnight it would accumulate and then would be a burst of air in the mornings with use when the pump would cycle on.
    I have a check valve just before the bladder tank on the manifold.At one point I could hear air hissing slightly from the pitless flange.I dug it up and replaced the pitless with a new unit.The new one has an o ring where the old one had a leather seal.It was good for a week or so but the air came back,I raise dthe pitless and the seall looks fine,
    My thought is this,If the foot valve on the pump were 'weak' then it would be trying to draw the water down and I believe that the pitless is still the weak link,As the check valve on the water tank holds the pressure fine on the output side.
    I assuming that if I didnt have the check valve before the tank that it would have pulled the water from the tank, but with the check valve it found the weaker link( the pitless seal), But I dont have many people tell me they have had pitless seals bad,(new).
    My next plan is to raise the pitless and put on a check valve just below the flange on the drop.My thinking is that if it is the foot valve, then it will temporary fix or Ill see a change, and then Id determine its the foot valve.
    Any opinions are sure appreciated as its driving me nuts lol
    Allan
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,974
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    IMHO adding another checkvalve is the wrong direction to take. The topside checkvalve is the source of your problem and should be removed. The checkvalve at the pump would have a better chance of sealing if it had pressure against it.
  3. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    941
    Location:
    ct
    Sounds to me like the check valve in the pump is bad and air is being drawn past the O ring in at the pitless when the pump shuts off. You could pull the pump and put a new check valve on it, but at 16 years old you may as well put a new pump in while you have everything pulled out.
  4. chopped

    chopped New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    New England
    thanks for the replys people. I was considering the check valve next to the inlet to the manifold and tank.My thinking was that if that was weak and leaked back then it would lower the pressure that was in the house system and tank.I found that that end maintained the constant pressure through the night, so unltimatly wasnt angling towards that part to closely.
    I raised the pipe line and pump off the pitless, and took the o ring out, and wiped all the 'grease' off it and then very ligtly used some cand paper over the surface and then reinstalled it on the connector.being dry i was careful going in so as not to loose it, and Knock on wood it is holding again with no air coming in.I hope this lasts,It originally sealed when first installed for a week ...
    how much pressure should be 'felt' when its mated and hanging? It didnt seem to tight a fit to me.
    my local harware store told me he has never had to sell or find a replacement O ring so I assume they are good once they seat?
    Ive seen a couple online for over 20 dollars.:eek:
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,974
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I still say you should try taking out the topside checkvalve. That way you will have pressure against the O-ring and against the checkvalve in the pump, the way they were designed to.
  6. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,246
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    Unless you have an air-maker system there should only be one check valve, which is the one in the pump or installed directly above the pump. Trying to hold up the column of water with an above ground check valve will fail, and puts the aquifer at risk. If your buried supply line ever had a leak it could pull contaminants back down into the well.
  7. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    941
    Location:
    ct
    You could do that, but if the check valve at the pump is bad the tank will empty back through the pump.

    If the check valve in the pump is holding, there will pressure on the O ring.
  8. chopped

    chopped New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    New England
    thats something I plan to do next. that and add another water tank to not have the pump run as often.. thanks..

    Interesting discussion on the check at pump .In another forum (not DIY) I read several differing opinions one included someone who said the local code guy required that. And they would install it and when he left they would remove it.So i guess there are different opinions on this .Does anyone have a lead on where to get another o ring for the pitless?
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012
  9. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,464
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    If the check valve at the pump is bad, it will have to be replaced no matter what. Adding a second check valve just causes the kind of problems you are having now. Differing opinions are based on the assumption that if one check valve is good, then two is better. This is not the case as anytime soneone has a problem like this, they have to remove the extra check valve(s) just to figure out where the real problem is. So extra check valves just mask the real problem.

    You can get an o-ring from any o-ring kit. Adding another pressure tank will only cut the cycling in half, not stop the cycling as a CSV would do.
  10. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,974
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    There is a good chance that exposing the checkvalve to pressure will make it seal and that it won't need to be replaced. There is also a chance that keeping pressure on the O-ring will help it seal. You won't know until you take out the topside checkvalve.
  11. masterpumpman

    masterpumpman New Member

    Messages:
    729
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    New technology recommends with a bladder tank you should have only one check valve at the pump. If the check valve at the pump leaks it needs to be replaced. Installing another tank is a waste. Installing a Cycle Stop Valve http://www.cyclestopvalves.com/index2.html or better yet a Pside-kick will reduce the pump from cycling and give you constant pressure. Keeping it simple is always best!
  12. chopped

    chopped New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    New England
    Good reading I will have to investigate more about this cycle stop valve. I havent heard of them.
    My setup has had a check valve only at the pump for 30 years, and also the foot valve in the pump outlet itself.As it turned out it was the leaking o ring in the pitless, so I wont at this point remove the checkvalve.If I hadbnt had it, then the water would have nothing to hold and seperate the water fromt he in and the water thats int he house pipes and tank.
    I dont think insatalling another tank is a waste. ,well maybe if I was just doing it to 'solve ' this problem. But another tank wouldnt change the problem I had as the water would have been beyond the checkvalve.
    I really want to have more reserve capacity for power outages, and it would also cut back ont he start and stop cycles overall on the pump.An example is that t takes three cycles generally to fill the washer , id like it to get down to one cycle.Even though the pump would run longer .
  13. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,464
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    If you want reserve capacity for power outages, get a generator or store a few five gallon jugs of water in the closet. You can’t count on a pressure tank, no matter how big to have any water stored during a power outage. With a 40/60 pressure switch, it would just be shear luck to be close to 60 when the power goes off. I have no luck, so every time the power goes off, my system would be at 41 PSI, and there would be no water in the pressure tank when I needed it.

    As for a larger or extra pressure tank “cutting back on the start/stop cycles overall”, that is not necessarily true. Even though the larger tank may let the washing machine fill in one cycle instead of three, how many times a day do you fill a washing machine? Even if you did 10 loads a day, that would only be 30 cycles. The real cycling problem happens when you run small amounts of water for long periods of time as with a sprinkler. Even with a big tank, sprinklers can cause the pump to cycle hundreds of times per day. A CSV would never let the pump cycle while running sprinklers, saving hundreds of cycles per day. So it would actually have less overall cycles with a CSV and small tank, even though it may cycle 3 times for every load of wash.

    So since a larger pressure tank cannot be counted on to store water for power outages, and it won’t reduce overall cycling as much as a CSV, then a larger tank would be a waste of money and space.
  14. chopped

    chopped New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    New England
    Just an update.I removed the upper check valve near the storage tank as suggested here, The one I removed was weak and when I touched the inner with plyers it fell apart.So I doubt it was sealling to well anyways.This has eliminated the air in my system, I do however have a very slight leak on the pitless inside part ,"O" ring I suspect. I can count one drop every 30 second (approx).(dropping and falling on the water surface) As long as that doesnt get any more I can live with it.Maybe it will seal finally.At least with the upper check removed the o ring seal should 'see' less that 30 lbs pressure , so maybe the constant pressure will help.
    It got me to wonderin if many peoples pitless leak some ,and never know it.?If I werent looking so closely then I probably would not have noticed it, as you cant view past the top of the pitless itself to see around to the bottom.
    All of this is a good learning experience.LOL
    I did a tes one night I shut the pump off and shut the house supply off. made sure it was up to the 60 lbs. I left it that way for 3 hours and barely noticed the pressure gauge drop.I hope to do another test like this over a longer time. But with the full house its tough to do.
    I know without the suggestions here I wouldnt have removed the upper valve, or if I did I would have just replaced it .And the problem would still be there, as it was leaking slowy out the pitless..So thanks all for the comments. Its what makes this a great site.
    Allan
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
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