Bursts of air in line

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Steval, Dec 9, 2006.

  1. Steval

    Steval New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Hi - Recently (about 2 months ago) we changed our pressure tank and all was great. Came home yesterday and flushed the toilet and it sounded like it was going to explode. There was a lot of air in the line. I went and checked pump house and all looked fine. The tank, though sounded really hollow. I turned the closest faucet on and watched - the water had a lot of air in it and was rusty - but then cleared and was the pressure was fine. Had great, normal water all evening - but in morning same problem. When we use the water it is fine - but when it sits without use - air builds up. Please - any help would be awesome! A friend said the foot valve? What is that and where is that and if it's that - is it hard to fix? We have a Grundfos submersible pump from the 80's? I think. Thank you!
  2. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    What kind of tank did you have before and what tank do you have now?

    bob...
  3. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Although they do the same thing, prevent water from flowing back into the well, sub pumps have a check valve, jet pumps have a foot valve.

    If the check valve was leaking the pump would come on each time the pressure fell to the cut-in setting on the switch. And usually there would not be air in the line. If the leak were in the line (above the water level n the well, and you had a check valve at the tank, then that could suck air into the line but.... it sounds to me as if you have a dry well condition or some other problem, especially because of the dirty water and then waiting a while gets rid of the problem for awhile until the problem returns. A leak usually wouldn't quit leaking.
  4. Daveyboy

    Daveyboy New Member

    Messages:
    18
    I'm having a similar problem with my system...I haven't replaced the pressure tank but I changed the switch and some other electronic stuff and since then I have periodic bursts of air - it's as though the tank needs to be bled.

    I'll be watching this one!
  5. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    You both need to look for a check valve in front of your tanks.

    bob...
  6. Daveyboy

    Daveyboy New Member

    Messages:
    18
    I don't mean to hijack this thread (sorry Steval) but I can audibly hear the check valve at the tank fluttering on and off. I'm pretty sure there's a faulty cv smewhere and I assume it's at the pump - would that cause the air spluttering, too? Even if it's underwater?

    If not then maybe there's a third cv at the wellhead's coupling? I don't understand how the cv would cause the air splutter unless it is above the water line. So, even if I can hear my pressure tank's cv working, it might not be working 100%?

    Tell you what, Bob or Gary, why doesn't one of you head over to my place and help me troubleshoot! I'm only a few thousand miles away!

    Thanks again for the advice.
  7. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Gary's got the motor home, so it'll be him coming out. He's going to be like Ron Hazelton only with water filtration. He will tell your wife how to install the softener while you and watch while drinking a beer.

    If you have a check valve at the tank. Get rid of it!

    bob...
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Yeah, we've been roaming around the country since 10/1 and in TX for over a month and leaving Baytown tomorrow on our way to Edgewood NM or northern KY to see my good buddies Steve, Steve and maybe Andy in OH too since we'd be just across the river from Cincinati OH in KY. Along with some 'affiliates', friends and suppliers. I suppose I could fix a pump system or two here'n there along the way; I do have tools with me. I know I could supervise. Well, as long as there's good beer and we can pull the awning out and set up our patio chairs (with the beer pockets on the arms). I'm not fixing much lately but I am selling more'n more softeners and filters daily.

    I hope my good budides Steve, Steve and Andy don't read this, I dearly want to surprise them.

    So Daveyboy, where are you, if I can drive my motor home close to the well we may show up.
  9. Daveyboy

    Daveyboy New Member

    Messages:
    18
    The beer's chillin' and the address is Vancouver Island, BC. Only a few hours north of Northern Washington via ferry...Near Victoria, BC!

    Are you serious about getting rid of the check valve at the tank? Won't thet let water seep down to the pump and make it take 30 seconds to get back up?...And wouldn't that take all my pressure and make showers unsatisfying?

    PS: you can back your rig up to the wellhead and you'll have an ocean view from your awning.

    Confused and jealous of the roadtrip,
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2006
  10. Rancher

    Rancher Guest

    There should be a check valve integral to the submersible pump, the only reason for a check valve at the tank is if you have a "galvanized" tank i.e. not a bladder tank. Then the check valve at the tank is part of the air make up system that adds air to the tank on each cycle.

    Rancher
  11. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    VI BC! Nice. It will be next summer until we are in the neighborhood but it is in our list of must sees.

    All submersible pumps have a check valve in or on the outlet; which is in the well. All jet pumps must have a foot valve in the well. So if it's a captive air precharged bladder type, you don't need one at the tank and having one will hide a leak between it and the one in the well. It can also cause the pump to run constantly due to a large enough leak because the switch doesn't see shut off pressure.
  12. Rancher

    Rancher Guest

    It will also cause the CV at the pump to leak and fail since the only pressure it sees is the water pressure due to the depth of the pump.
  13. Daveyboy

    Daveyboy New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Yeah Gary, come on up! It's lovely up here and you're welcome to come! Everything's nice except for my darn water system!

    So I have a big blue bladder tank and a cv at the tank. I'll remove the cv, right?

    And theoretically after that I'll be able to tell if the CV at the pump is not functioning - which I suspect. Okay, I'm on that cv at the tank.

    Now, what about the sometimes brownish water coming out during the spurts - is the colouring from sediment in the pressure tank, build-up of gunk along the lines or something more sinister? I think Speedbump mentioned in an earlier post that it's likely a few years worth of tank debirs/sediment getting blown out by the air. There is a lot of water in the well so it's not sucking mud from the bottom.....
  14. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I disagree with Rancher. Your check valve won't usually leak due to a leak in the drop pipe above it. Most are spring loaded.

    The brown water can be oxidized iron due to the air or, mud caused by the leak spraying water causing turbid (dirty) water. Or the air shaking loose sediment build up in the pipes but not the tank unless you had a galvanized or otherwise not a captive air bladder type tank.
  15. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    That and the water upstream of that check valve washing up and down the pipe every pump cycle. That alone will stir up the mineral buildup on pipes.

    bob...
  16. Daveyboy

    Daveyboy New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Thanks for that.

    Haven't had water for the past 4 days due to the huge storm that hit PNW last week. Winds gusting up to 100MPH with sustained hurricane force for over an hour. Knocked out electricity to 250,000 homes in BC and many more in WA and OR. Anybody know about hooking up my pump to a solar battery pack!?! We've lived here for about 6 years with only occasional power outages for an hour or so here and there...This year, this month actually, the power's been out for a total of 7 days due to 2 separate storms. Climate change anyone?

    Next project: solar backup for the pump...Build a generator - anyone know where I can find a 5KW voltage inverter?

    D'boy
  17. Rancher

    Rancher Guest

    Solar is the wrong choice for an area with bad weather. 5 KW generators work very nicely during power outages, they are even the power source of choice in AZ in off the grid areas.

    Rancher
  18. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Come down to Florida for vacation, bring a couple hundred bucks and you can buy a dozen unused 5kw generators.

    Since all the Yankees that moved here recently experienced all the Hurricanes, they all went to L*** and HD**** and bought one. Now their a dime a dozen since we had nice weather all year.

    bob...
  19. Daveyboy

    Daveyboy New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Tell you what bob, box 'em up for me and ship 'em my way. I'll share the moola with you. I won't share with rancher though. He says I live in an area with bad weather and I'm pretty touchy about that...so...you know...he's of my Christmas list this year.
    D'boy
  20. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    I can't imagine Rancher saying that. 100 mph winds are just a breeze to us Hurricane types.

    bob...
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