Dont understand what my well/pump is doing

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by menzerick, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. menzerick

    menzerick New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    oregon
    so my well is 395' deep with an obstruction at 265',1 1/2 hp pump and from what my paperwork says it will draw down to 370' and then take 3hrs to fill back up to 265' it also says its at 1.5 g.p.m. .i have a storage tank,with a secondary pump that feeds the pressure tank and into the house.i have a 2500 gal storage tank. my question is why does it pump really well for about 10-15 min and then just stop.why doesn't it just pump at 1.5 gpm until the 2500 gal tank is full.i was thinking i needed a new well but,maybe not.im in Oregon.
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,932
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I doubt your 1 1/2 HP pump is only putting out 1.5 GPM. It is drawing down the well at a much faster rate.
  3. menzerick

    menzerick New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    oregon
    that's what I thought.i also have a pump saver on it that tells it to pump every 90 min.but im thinking about putting it on a 4hr timer instead just so it pumps more at a time.if my math is right it should fill up the tank in a couple of days.but its not any different than every 90 mins.i just don't understand why it just wont pump and fill it up.
  4. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,426
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    When the well is full you have about 150 gallons stored down there. You can pump 150 gallons out as fast as your pump will go. So with a 10 GPM pump it will take about 15 minutes to pump the well dry.

    But once the well is pumped all the way down, you can only get 1.5 GPM, so the pump needs to be shut off. It will then take at least 100 minutes to recharge the well. So the 90-minute timer sounds about right. The longer it times out, the more water you are leaving in the well. So if you need more water to get the cistern filled, I would set the timer for 60 minutes or maybe even 30 minutes.

    You could probably also put a 1.5 GPM restrictor like a Dole valve on the pump. Then the pump would run 24/7. But I think you will get more water with a shorter timer and let the pump produce what it will.
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,932
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Depending on casing/bore size and whether the pump is top fed, minimum cooling flow could be a factor when flow limiting with a dole valve.
    http://www.franklin-electric.com/aim-manual/page-6.aspx
  6. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,139
    Location:
    IL
    What does it mean to have "an obstruction at 265' "?
  7. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    900
    Location:
    ct
    Not sure if I buy into the top/bottom fed thing at least here in Ct.

    Around here almost every well has a static level 20-30 from the top, which means the pump is always submerged in water that is approx 54 degrees. It would take a tremendous amount of heat over an extended period of time to warm up a well that has 200' or 300 gallons of water in it.

    I can see using a flow inducer on large horsepower pumps or on pumps that are installed in wells that make large amounts of water but have low static levels, but rarely do we see a flow inducer over a 1/2, 3/4 or 1 hp domestic pump. We do see sleeves installed to help keep sediment from entering the pump.

    An obstruction means that there is something blocking the well which means the pump can't be set any deeper than 265'.
  8. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,932
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Not trying to split hairs, but the OP stated his pump was 1.5 HP. Anyway, I was not proposing a flow inducer, mainly just suggesting that cooling flow would be less at 1.5 GPM.

    Also WRT the obstruction, I haven't a clue what the OP means as he states his pump is well below said obstruction.
  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,139
    Location:
    IL
    Thanks... However that would seem to be in conflict with " from what my paperwork says it will draw down to 370' "

    I guess it is possible that the obstruction occurred after the pump was in place, and that he will not be able to replace the pump. Another possible interpretation is that the original pump was at 370 ft, but the replacement only made it down to 265.

    I had been wondering if it was some kind of intentional stop placed to prevent upper strata water from dropping to the pump, but normally you would not call something intentional an obstruction.
  10. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,932
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I have read about packers that do that sort of thing. I also read about draw seals but then those in theory are supposed to keep the pump from drawing faster than the well can produce.
  11. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,426
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Since the obstruction and the static water level are both at 265’, I would think the obstruction is a rusty spot in the casing that you have to work the pump through.

    Several years ago Franklin started saying you no longer need a flow inducer on their 2HP and smaller, “Super Stainless” motors, top feeding well or not. That is because they finally shortened up their motors until the bottom of the motor isn’t very far away from the top or pump intake. So there should be enough water circulation and heat transfer to keep the thrust bearing cool, which is in the very bottom of the motor, even without a shroud.

    With larger motors, the thrust bearing end of the motor is further away from the pump intake. This is why shrouds are more important on larger horsepower motors. However, it doesn’t matter how much cool water is standing above the pump in the well or even a lake. If there is zero flow, the water just around the motor will heat up and melt down the motor. Years ago I saw a demonstration that proved you could be pumping plenty of cool water out the pipe while water is boiling just a few inches further down the motor. Flow around the motor doesn’t just happen by itself, you have to make it happen.

    Anything Franklin tells you is just enough to get a motor through the short warranty period. If they wanted to tell you how to make a motor last much, much longer, they would be recommending a shroud and a Cycle Stop Valve on each pump.

    It just makes sense, the motor would stay cooler and last much longer if the small amount of water being pumped went past the motor before going into the pump. Just like it makes sense that because cycling off and on is the biggest killer of pump/motors, eliminating the cycling would make a pump/motor last much longer. But you are not going to hear that from a company who makes motors for a living.

    In wells with a high static level but a slow recovery, the water could be top feeding for quite some time before water starts coming in from below the motor. In many cases the pump is shut off as soon as this happens. Then the well is left to time out and recover, which means all the water it pumps is top feeding.

    I just put a shroud on any pump where I can make it fit. Then I only have to worry about the few where I couldn’t make a shroud fit.
  12. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    900
    Location:
    ct
    I would think that the jacket on the motor would become discolored from the heat if the water gets that hot.

    Do you have any links for that demonstration? I'd sure like to see it and use it a sales tool when I sell a replacement pump.
  13. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,426
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Yeah they turn every color in the rainbow when they get that hot.

    No the demo was at a Reda pump school, I think it was 1977. We were still using 3X5 index cards back then. Videos and Internet where still futuristic ideas.
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