Goulds Pump Pressure Problem

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by GerryB, Mar 31, 2007.

  1. GerryB

    GerryB New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Hi, I'm hoping someone can help. Recently, I did a whole lot of laundry and suddenly, my water pressure went done to nothing. (My well is 250 feet deep) The next day everything seemed fine, but I decided to call a pump professional just in case and seeing it hadn't been serviced in 5 years. Right from the start I didn't get a good feeling from this person. He filled the tanks pressure to 30 something lbs because it only had 10 in it. But then he starting saying that the amps were running at 17 when they should be running at 6. Now, I don't understand any of this stuff, but when he asked if my water pressure would change or turn off for a second then turn back off, I said no... because other than the other day, I have never had a problem. The next morning, I'm taking a shower and the water pressure is changing. Not a lot, but enough for me to think that this guy did something so he can charge me for a new pump and wire for $1150. Is there something I can check, before I call another pump professional? It's Gould's Pump Model V60. Please help.

    Thanks
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2007
  2. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    I think the Goulds V60 is a 20 gallon tank. Did the well man say the pump was a V60?

    If you get your pump and wire replaced, tell him not to cut up the wire and to leave the old wire and motor with you. They are probably worth at least $100 as scrap.

    If the pump is using 17 Amps when it should be using 6 Amps, then it shouldn't be running at all. He should tell you what the horsepower is.

    The air pressure in the tank should be about 2 psi less than the starting pressure of the pressure switch.

    You might be able to check the pump by connecting a hose to a spigot, open it all the way, watch the pressure when the pump is running, and measure the flow rate by measuring how many seconds it takes to fill a 5 gallon bucket. If they installed a 20 gallon tank, then the flow rate should probably be somewhere in the range of 6 to 10 gallons per minute.
  3. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Your low air pressure in the pressure tank was causing short cycling of the pump motor. That ruins motors and pressure tank bladders while causing a high electric bill.

    The short cycling could prevent you from feeling/sensing a pressure change which you now feel/sense due to the pressure tank being set up properly based on your pressure switch settings; probably roughly 30/50. There should be 1-2 psi less air pressure than the cut in switch setting; 30.

    Running out of water was probably due to the water level in the well falling to the inlet of the submersible pump in the well allowing it to suck air. That was caused by all the water you used for laundry. That is not good for a well or pump, so water conservation is a good idea. Especially if you are in a drought area.

    If the problems are not prevented, expect the pump to quit. Its life has already been shortened. I suspect the pump guy told you that and gave you a quote and left. I also suspect you've had water since, so why are you wanting to contact another pump guy?

    A V60 is a pressure tank, not a pump.

    You won't get anything for the cable and pump unless you take it to a scrape yard but you won't get anywhere near BobNH's $100; even if you throw in the old pressure tank that may have a bad bladder.
  4. GerryB

    GerryB New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Thanks for your responses. Yes, the Goulds is a pressure tank. The model on the side says V60. The reason I wanted to get a 2nd opinion, is because I didn't get a good feeling about him. He came in and said shallow wells are very common in this area. When I mention our hom inspector said that a 250 ft well is more than enough for 2 people and should really not have any problems, he quickly changed the subject. Then he changed my water filter but didn't know he had to take the o-ring out, clean it and use vasaline to put it back. He kept trying and the water kept leaking from the seam... When I realized what he was doing, I told him how to fix the problem. Then he asked if I was getting any water pressure problems. I said no. Then he started fideling with the screws on the electrical box. No my water pressure is going on and off. It's never happened before. Maybe I'm just paranoid. Maybe I do need a new pump.
    What do you think?
  5. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Bob and Gary have pretty well covered your possible issues, and one of the simplest things you can do to verify one thing or another as being either okay or problematic is the testing already mentioned. The pump man did a good thing by pressurizing your tank and possibly adjusting pressures to extend the life of your pump, and now you can follow up be seeing how it performs. So, let a garden hose run outside and see how your pressure guage fluctuates and how long it takes to do that while the hose is running open, then see how long it takes to fill a pail and let these guys know what you have found out, along with whether or not you ever again lose all pressure.
  6. GerryB

    GerryB New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Thanks for all your help guys!
  7. Raucina

    Raucina Previous member

    Messages:
    515
    Go by your instinct and observation and NEVER let this guy back on the property.

    You can find another pump guy or electrician, and be sure to pick the oldest guy in the book and with a license number that goes back the furthest. Those are the guys NOT trying to buy a new truck and dune buggy with your money.

    If he was honest about 17 amps running and the full load should be say, 6, then you may be losing water momentarily if that submersible motor has a temperature switch built in. Submersibles can short cycle IN the well on their own if they are starved for voltage or are over pumping [incorrectly sized]

    You should have another guy test amps and resistance down all the wires. If he only did an AMP read and did not compare resistance values to spec, then throw him out, he is not a pro.

    Yes save the wire. If you dont strip the insulation, the value is small though. Most scrap yards only pay top $ for clean copper.
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    He probably didn't want to tell you that home inspectors know next to nothing about wells... and have a debate about it.

    Usually you dopn't have to take the oring out if the o-ring is good. The use of any petroleum products ruins those o-rings and the plastic of the head and housing sump. Water is all that should be needed but vegetable oil works if you don't have food grade silicone grease. The cause of needing a lubricant is over tightening the sump.

    He was adjusting the settings of the pressure switch and the air precharge pressure in the pressure tank. All good things and those things should be checked like every year or two. As we see your air pressure was way low and that ruins the pressure tank and pump motor.

    So... if you have water now, you don't need anything else and the fluctuation in water pressure and flow is telling you the setup is finally correct; it's normal. So enjoy and budget for a new pump down the road a ways.
  9. LevityLab

    LevityLab New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Richmond, New Hampshire
    My hot water pressure recently dropped at my two faucets and in the bathtub. The bathtub gives virtually no hot water. The cold water flows maybe twice as much, but is still lower than when I moved in to my southwest NH home 6 and 3/4 years ago. The strange thing is I used to hear like a motor/pump noise coming from the V60 unit before this problem started, but do not hear any noise from that unit now. I looked up the V60 online and it's just a a water tank with a diaphram separating, (I assume), an air reservoir to pressurize my water system. So it doesn't seem to have any kind of motor. So pressurization must be from my well pump (300 ft. well). I looked at the gauge and it shows 40 PSI, which from above posts seems about normal. I do have a lot of mineralization, and do not have an inline filter. I'm having a plumber come tomorrow.
  10. masterpumpman

    masterpumpman New Member

    Messages:
    729
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Go by your feelings! Some service people call themselves pump service people when in fact know very little about well pumps! Unless they are qualified Water Well/Pump "WWP" people. In Virginia and many other states the "WWP" on their license means they have taken a well drilling/pump installers examination. Not every plumber or electrician is qualified to service well pumps, but some are! I'd "Google" for a pump service person near your area, then give several a call and ask them your pump questions and you'll know from their answers whether you want them to service your pump system. In most states you can look up the license bureau and lookup the service person's license number to see what type of license they have.
  11. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    945
    Location:
    ct
    Porky,

    Here in Ct if a homeowner finds out you are not licensed, he doesn't have to pay the bill.

    I have turned in one unlicensed guy to the licensing board but they do nothing, he is still out there selling his services...
  12. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,469
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Yeah but, if the gauge is good and you really have 40 PSI and only the hot water line is the problem, then a good plumber maybe exactly what you need.
  13. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,167
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    The fact that you do not have a license does not necessarily mean that you do not know what you are doing.

    It may mean that you do not have insurance, and that savings can be passed on to a customer.

    Around here people are glad to pay workers that have a green card, and You would be hard pressed to keep up with the work they do. And they do it for a good price.

    If you do not pay your bill, then expect them to come after you. They will make you pay, one way or another. Pulling the system out is the best way to get the attention of a none paying customer. At it is legal in most states.


    Have Fun Everyone.
  14. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    945
    Location:
    ct
    Once you leave a job in Ct, the system becomes part of the real property. If you come back for it, the homeowner can have you arrested for theft.

    You're right, a license doesn't mean you know what you're doing, but it does indicate that you are willing to follow the law. If you aren't going to do that, what else will you do wrong?

    Yep, savings passed on by not being licensed or insured. You know, that's a hell of a business plan, I can see it now "Mikes Uninsured, Unlicensed Plumbing" we save you money while pissing off our legal competitors. LOL....
  15. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Yeah, but think of all the money they help save taxpayers by not bothering the inspectors.
  16. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,167
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    lol


    Most people want something for nothing, and they get exactly what they pay for.
  17. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,274
    Location:
    IL
    Doesn't sound like sabotage to me. You had a problem. It went away. It came back. That is the nature of intermittent problems.

    What kind of problem could explain your symptoms? Suppose there was a short in the pump causing excess current draw. The pump heats up after heavy use, and shuts down due to the heat. I don't know if pumps have over-temperature shut-offs or not; I am an amateur.

    Those suggesting more troubleshooting are right. But nothing you wrote would give me a bad feeling about your first guy. A second opinion would not be a bad idea.

    Getting a submersible pump 200 or so feet down replaced for $1150 seems pretty reasonable to me.

    If you are at all DIY, you might want to get a clamp ammeter such as this. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Triplett-Mini-Ac-Clamp-On-Meter-0-300-Amps-Ac-9200/203345771

    You would have to be able to clamp around a single wire going to the pump. If you see 17 amps while the pump is running, I would get your pump replaced. The problem would probably be the pump. It could, in theory, be the wires with the problem, but that seems less likely.

    I am not a pro.
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