Lost all water to house, replaced everything...... still no water

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Huntzman, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. Huntzman

    Huntzman New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Illinois
    OK, I am at a loss. Yesterday we lost water. We last had water delivered at beginning of August.

    Here is a list in order of what I have done so far:

    1. First tried adding 500 gallons of water to tank. No change

    2. Friend came out last night and checked pressure switch and found power going out so assumed pump went out. Pressure gauge on line reads zero.

    3. Replaced pump with same pump: 1/2hp submersible. Set on roughly 28' of PVC pipe. Did a typical reinstall on electric (black to black, red to red, yellow to yellow). Pump turns on but water only trickles in house. No change in pressure gauge.

    4. Assumed next culprit was in fact pressure switch. Pulled old one, replaced switch (square D) using same connections as old. Noted yellow was ground wire. Pump turns on but water only trickles in house. No change in pressure gauge.

    5. Checked pressure tank (Well-X-Trol WX-250). Noted hollow sound on top, muffled sound on bottom. Doesn't appear water logged. Pulled off cap and valve bled air. Checked with gauge and noted that it registered at 20psi. Tank says it's rated for 38psi. Will 18psi cause something like this ?

    6. Added another 250 gallons. No change.

    7. Closed off the main valve feeding the house to remove it from the equation. Turned on pump. Pressure gauge still reads zero. Opened hose cock by pressure tank and just a trickle of water.

    At a loss and desperate. Any suggestions ?
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  2. sakhoney

    sakhoney New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Texas
    OK lets clear the air - you have drained a tank correct? That means your suction line has pulled in any garbage that was left in the tank. If a sitck or anything gets hung up in a collar and holds there then you have matter build up until the pump can no longer pull water - try blowing out the line with air.
    #2 Any filters in this system cause it sounds like one is plugged
  3. sakhoney

    sakhoney New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Texas
    #3 Check rotation on the new pump - sometime new pumps are wound different
  4. Huntzman

    Huntzman New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Illinois
    Honestly, I am not sure if in fact I did drain the tank. I just assumed because I lost all water in the house.

    Everything was replaced from the well pump all the way up to the pitless adapter.

    Just added another 250 gallons hoping that would correct the issues. Nope.

    I went down and shut off the house supply valve so I removed the house out of the equation. Then opened the hose cock at the pressure switch and still no pressure on the line.
  5. sakhoney

    sakhoney New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Texas
    OK - Start me at the begining - Are we pulling water from a well or storage tank - Photos would help.
    If its from a tank - is the tank above the pump?
    If so take the suction line loose and see if water flows out
    Got a phone # - I can call and help you walk through system. I'm good at water systems. I drill wells when I'm off from work and drill oilwells overseas where I am now.
  6. Huntzman

    Huntzman New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Illinois
    It's a residential house well (I live out in the country) not a storage tank. The pump is submerged in the well. Have about 28' of PVC pipe attached to the pump.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  7. sakhoney

    sakhoney New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Texas
    OK now were getting somewhere - There is alot of drought going on right now - Your water level is dropped.
    You good at DIY?
    If so - pull your pump. Its not hard but having a exrtra set of hands helps. You need a pipe wrench or pipe clamp in case while your pulling the well you get tired you can rest the pipe/pump and rest.
    Heres what I would do
    #1 pull pipe and pump from well- have a rag handy in case you get to wet pipe you can dry it off and keep pulling.
    If nothing is wet your getting close.
    #2 after the pipe has been pulled get a string and tie a nut on the end. Drop it in the well untill you here water splash.
    #3 tie a knot in the string - pull it out and measure the water level. if its below your pump then you will need to add more pipe to get you in the water.
    #4 What size casing are you working with - if its 4" it holds 1/2 gallon water per foot
    if the well only makes 5 gallons a minute and your pulling then you can see where the math don't add up
    #5 After you find out where the water level is - Put on a little more weight - Drop the string back in the well and see how deep the well is
    #6 Most wells have a 10 foot well screen - some 20 foot - the deeper you put your pump the more water that is in the casing for the fill up cycle
    Then you will need to bleach the well - Really a phone # to explane this will really help ya.
    If I did the job while I had everything pulled from the well I would add a Tee to the top of the well so I could pour bleach down the casing to disifect the well as needed - just plug the side with a screw plug
    Hope this helps
    SAK
  8. Huntzman

    Huntzman New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Illinois
    OK, got to late and I got too tired last night to respond.

    SAK,

    Just added another 300 gallons this morning trying to bring the water level up.

    The well is roughly a total of 39' into a soft bottom (This confirms what my neighbor originally told me that he thought it was a 40' well when it was first put in). The water top is at 26' so a usable area of about 13' right now. However, i triple checked and the well pump sits roughly at around the 30' mark (from pump bottom to pitless adapter coupling). A little on the high side. I plan on dropping it lower in the near future. After I get a shower !!

    The casing is a cast iron shaft, about 8" (d.) goes down about twenty feet or so into the main portion of the well. Not sure what the actual size (diameter) of the well itself is.

    One thing I did note last night. If I toggle the arm on the pressure switch to the "start" position, 1/2 between "off" and "on" the pump starts up and water flows into the house. The reading on the pressure gauge indicates between 15 and 20 psi. Once I put it to the "on" position the pump stops and water stops. The pressure remains the same until you use the water in the house and then it drops down. I can only keep pressure going by holding the toggle arm.

    Andrew
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,050
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    It sounds like you have a switch with a low pressure cutoff. You are not letting the pressure get high enough to get above the cutoff threshold.
  10. Huntzman

    Huntzman New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Illinois
    Honestly, never worked on anything like this before (wells). I was a plumber a lifetime ago (about 30 years) so I remember just enough to be dangerous.

    It is a Square D pressure switch 30/50. After I installed it I did not adjust anything on it.

    Andrew
  11. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,050
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    A Square D with low cutoff will have a little lever on the side that needs to be held "just so" to override the cutoff until such time the pressure increases beyond the low cutoff point. The cutoff point is not adjustable and generally follows around 10 PSI below the cut-in setting which you state is 30 PSI. Hold up on the lever until it reaches 30 PSI and then you should be able to let it go and not have the pump shut off until it reaches the cut-out setting of 50 PSI.

    You might want to consider upgrading to an EPS15/99 electronic switch which would simplify resetting of a low pressure cutoff.

    http://cyclestopvalves.com/index2.html
  12. Huntzman

    Huntzman New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Illinois
    In the past when we have run out of water, it was never an issue. Previously, once we had water put in the well I would throw the lever (what I referred to above as a "toggle") and the pump would kick on and run until it hit the cutoff. I never had to hold it in the "start" position. Now no matter how long I hold it there, I can only get it to go to 15/20 psi, and once we run something it immediately drops without the pump turning on.

    I just replaced the old one with this one thinking it was a pressure switch issue. I swapped out a square D for a square D. So there was no change in manufacturers. I'm in a quandry...........
  13. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,050
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Then you either have a bad pump or a leak in the line. If you have a checkvalve above ground, remove it and the leak will become evident. There should not be any additional checkvalves in line.
  14. Huntzman

    Huntzman New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Illinois
    Replaced the pump yesterday 1st, thinking that was the culprit.

    Then I replaced the pressure switch.

    When I close the main house valve, the pressure stays even, so there does not seem to be any leak in the line either.........
  15. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,050
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    That would only rule out a leak if there is no checkvalve after the pump.

    I'm confused about your comments about throwing hundreds of gallons of water into the tank, but then there is no tank?? So you are dumping water down the well? If so, there is no guarantee that you will be able to get back what you put down there. With only 13 feet of water in an 8 inch casing you could be pumping the well dry. Are you checking the depth of the water while it is being pumped?
  16. Huntzman

    Huntzman New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Illinois
    I don't think I am explaining myself correctly. Two days of no water will do that to a person.

    I have a well, not sure what the bottom is constructed of and I don't know any dimensions. I do know that it is 40' to the bottom and I have about 14' of water in it.

    I know that my pressure gauge says 20-24psi. With no water running in the house it holds steady. When the water is turned on it drops. I then need to hold the lever in the start position to get water flowing. It will then raise it back up to 20-24psi, but no more.

    I don't see any water logged areas of the lawn and nothing in the basement.
  17. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,050
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    A good 1/2 HP submersible lifting less than 40 feet should easily produce the 50 PSI needed to reach the cutoff preset. If it cannot, you have a bad pump, you have a leak in the line, or you are pumping the well dry.

    If you are 100% certain there are no checkvalves in-line that would mask a leak and you verified the water level in the well, then you have a bad pump. You didn't say anything about it being a new pump so it's hard to rule it out.

    Since you still haven't said anything that would convince me that there are no checkvalves inline, I contend that you have a leak.

    Then again, having a pump only 4 feet below the water is no confidence booster. Why would not set the pump deeper? Depending on the rate of recovery, the pump could very easily draw down the water in the casing and suck air. Try running a hose back into the well so that most but not all of the water goes back to the pump and see if the pump can produce more pressure.
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