Is it time for a new well pump?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Bruce-65, May 26, 2005.

  1. Bruce-65

    Bruce-65 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Out in the Country!
    Greeting all! and thanks in advance for any help!

    I have a 20 year old 80' submersable water well that has started having problems. The pump is clicking on for 2 sec, then off for 15, on for 2 ..... It builds very little pressure with each cycle. It was down at about 20 psi last night and it took untill this morning to get it back up to about 45 psi (still going on and off at this moment).

    My first thought would be that the pump has failed (bearings, or windings) and is overheating and clicking off, cooling, and clicking on again?

    Could it be the starter? It just seems that if it was the starter it wouldn't pump at all...

    Anyone see this before?

    Thanks-
  2. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    It sounds as if you have a major leak. If this is happening when you aren't using water, you do have a leak. And the thermal overload may be shutting off the pump until it cools and comes on again. You could also have something sucked up against the inlet but you still have a leak because the pressure falls.

    Shut off the water to the house past the pressure tank. If the pump keeps coming on, the leak is on the well side of the tank. Probalby the chack valve in or on the outlet of the pump but in the well and specifically the drop pipe or a fitting. But it could be underground between the well and the house. Look for wet spots in the yard; possibly by the casing.

    If the pump doesn't run or the pressure fall, then the leak is on the house side. Toilets are prime culprits. Fill valves leaking and water running down the overflow tube or bad flapper valves leaking into th bowl. Otherwise it could be anywhere, especially if you have slab construction.

    This is killing the motor and you'll just hate the next electric bill..., and you really need someone to check it out and fix it before the pump quits. I suggest a pump guy, well driller or only a plumber that is capable of pulling the pump and that knows pumps and wells.

    Gary
    Quality Water Associates
  3. Bruce-65

    Bruce-65 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Out in the Country!
    Thanks for the info Gary. It doesn't appear to have a leak as far as I can tell. I shut the power off to the well when I first noticed the problem. It held pressure for an hour or so while I looked at the pressure switch, tank, and starter.

    The pump comes on only for a couple seconds and the pressure does not come up much each time (maybe a 1/4 psi each cycle). Perhaps something is blocking the well intake like you mentioned and it's overheating?

    If there was a chance of it being the starter I'd do that myself. If it's the pump, I'll call a driller etc. like you mentioned. With the info you provided, am I incorrect at assuming this is most likely a pump problem?

    Thanks again-
  4. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Okay no leak. Do you have a control box? It is usually on the wall by the tank and cable will come to it from the pressure switch and go from it to the well/pump. If so, it might be the start capacitor or relay. If not you have a 2 wire pump (2 hots and maybe/maybe not a ground) and if you have the box, it's a 3 wire pump (two hots, red start and green ground).

    I'd check the wires in the wire nuts under the well casing cap to be making good contact (no corrosion) and that the wire nuts are tight.

    I suppose the wires in the switch are clean and tight, and that both sides or pairs of contacts clean and they are closed when the pump runs.

    If you had an amp meter, and went to:
    www.franklinelectric.com you could check the amp draw at startup and the ohms of the cable and motor windings. It could be running on one leg of the 230, or 120 instead of 230 and overheating. You could have damged cable too.

    You'll need someone to check the electric stuff and pull the pump. You and they should be ready to replace the pump and/or cable.

    Gary
    Quality Water Associates
  5. Bruce-65

    Bruce-65 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Out in the Country!
    Thanks Gary. It does have the control box. It's located at the well head itself. It does get a lot of moisture where it is located, I'll check the nuts on the cap like you mentioned. I did replace the capacitor a few years ago, but I suppose it could have gone bad again.

    If I don't see anything, I think I'll call the original installer and have them take a look.

    Thanks for all the help.
  6. Bruce-65

    Bruce-65 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Out in the Country!
    It was the pump, got a new one this morning...

    Thanks again for the help-
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