HELP! Disappearing/Corroded iron pipe plugs on a Gould's Pump

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Galaxieman, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. Galaxieman

    Galaxieman New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    South Florida
    I have a 50 foot drinking water well.

    The pump is a 1.5 hp Gould’s Pump (Model Number: J15S). The serial number of the pump is J9910598, so maybe it was made in 1999?

    Anyway, this pump has run flawlessly since I installed it new, about 10 year ago. Recently I noticed a slow seeping leak at the head end of the pump. The leak was coming from both of the pipe plugs in the pump housing. In the picture below you can see the two plugs and the rust stain from the leaks. Finally, the leak became bad enough that I had to do something (the pump is in my garage). I tried to slightly tighten the pipe plugs. Big mistake!....they both turned very easily and immediately sprung very big leaks!

    I removed both of the original iron plugs, cleaned the threads in the pump housing (the threads were dirty but in perfect shape) and replaced with two brass plugs using teflon sealing tape. Those brass plugs were in the pump when I took the picture, below.

    The second picture below is of the hex head iron pipe plugs that I removed from the leaking pump. Notice that the plugs are severely eroded on the inner thread end. There is at least 1/4 inch of the plug that is missing! I put a similar uncorroded plug in the photo for comparison.

    My questions....What caused these plugs to corrode away? Is this a common failure? Should I be replacing them with brass or the original iron type?

    Thanks.....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,897
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Check the PH of the water for clues as to why it corroded like that. Also, check the service panel electrical ground and bonding to the plumbing.

    Despite brass being outlawed in CA for fears of lead, I'd stick with brass.
  3. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    You need a schedule 80 pvc plug - never leak, never rot. Brass always gets stuck in iron. Look at your old gate valves.
  4. Galaxieman

    Galaxieman New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    South Florida
    PVC sounds like a good idea....would I be able to get Schedule 80 pvc plugs at Home Depot/Lowes or are they a 'specialty' item?

    Should I replace ALL the plugs in the pump, including the primer plug, with PVC?

    And...what do you mean by "Look at your old gate valves."?

    Thanks....
  5. masterpumpman

    masterpumpman New Member

    Messages:
    729
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    South Florida, Yep the shallow water is 5.5 PH. That's what eats up all iron products. Change to PVC plugs if possible!
    NOTE: your shallow water will eat up a nail in less than a month. We use to install a nuetralizer injector in the system but I don't think they are available today because they were troublesome and problematic.
  6. Galaxieman

    Galaxieman New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    South Florida
    Porky...thanks...that explains it! I guess I am lucky that the iron plugs lasted 12 years!

    BTW, from your South Florida experience, will BRASS be OK instead of pvc?

    Thanks....
  7. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Plastic is better than screwing two dis-similar metals together.
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