my well pump

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by tina62, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. tina62

    tina62 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    I can't figure out what is going on with my pump. When I turn the faucet on by the pump to get the water it doesn't come out. When I turn the valve on the pipe that lets the water come out too a little water comes out then it stops. My sprinkler system won't work. I was wondering if maybe the tank doesn't have pressure. The gauge they put on the pipe says 11. Please if someone can help me I would appreciate any help. We have a sta-rite tank pump.
    Tina
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,134
    Location:
    New England
    First thing to check is the circuit breaker or fuse that powers the pump. Since you mentioned sprinklers, I'm guessing things couldn't be frozen solid in ice :) . If it is tripped, try resetting it. If it trips again, it could be either the circuit breaker (they do go bad, just not that often), or the pump or wiring has a problem.

    If the circuit breaker is on, do you ever notice if the pressure rises? Have the lights been dimming for no perceived reason? If the pressure rises, then quickly falls, the check valve may be letting all of the water go back down into the well, pushed by the pressure built up in the pressure tank.

    If the pressure quickly rises, then the pump shuts off, then the pressure tank's bladder may be shot - basically what is happening is that since water doesn't compress much, as soon as the pump turns on, the high pressure turn off point is reached, and the pump shuts off. If the bladder (think balloon in the tank) is bad, there is no space to compress and nothing to push the water out of the pipes unless the pump is actually running.

    11 pounds SHOULD have the pump running all of the time, since it is below the minimum for any normal system.
  3. Deb

    Deb Plumber

    Messages:
    200
    Location:
    Idaho
    Deb

    No air pressure in the pressure tank will not cause no water. Could you have a frozen line? The pressure (as indicated on the gauge) should be at zero if you have open valves and are getting no water. Your gauge could be broken however.
    Well systems can be complicated and a no water condition can be caused by a large number of different things. This is most likely beyond your ability to diagnose, I would recommend that you call a well/pump person.
    Deb
    The Pipewench
  4. tina62

    tina62 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    no pressure

    My husband checked the pressure on the tank with tire gauge and it was at 0 so he put in 40 we had the valves open and the water was coming out. then it stopped when he got to 40 so now we turned the power back on and are going to let it set for a few with the valves closed. Thank goodness it is just for the sprinkler system. thanks for any replies. I hope this works.
    Tina
  5. Deb

    Deb Plumber

    Messages:
    200
    Location:
    Idaho
    Deb

    The air in the tank needs to be 2 lbs lower than the kick on pressure for the pump, you should not just arbitrarily add or remove air from the tank. Air always needs to be adjusted with all the water drained from the tank

    I cannot follow what you are trying to say here at all...

    "My husband checked the pressure on the tank with tire gauge and it was at 0 so he put in 40 we had the valves open and the water was coming out. then it stopped when he got to 40 so now we turned the power back on and are going to let it set for a few with the valves closed."

    What valves were open? Where was the water coming out? Was the power on? What did the pressure gauge say? What exactly do you mean by "when he got to 40"? What stopped when he got to 40? The water? The pump? When did you turn the power back on? Did you have it on and did the pump operate? What are you letting it sit for?

    No air in the pressure tank will NOT cause a no water situation--it will cause the pump to short cycle. So, if that was all that was done, I would guess that the problem is not solved. You should also check the asccuracy of the gauge since it showed 11 lbs when it should have shown none.

    Deb
    The Pipewench
  6. tina62

    tina62 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    my pump

    I am saying the valves were opened on the pipes that are connected to the pump from the well. We turned the power off cause that is what the directions on the pump said to do. It also said to open the valves to let the water out of the tank. When he put air in the tank when it got to 40 psi the water stopped coming out of the pipes. We then closed the valves like it says and turned the power back on. We heard a click on the pipe that is on the well hole in the back yard. But we didn't get anything from the well pump itself. Can't hear it on.
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,134
    Location:
    New England
    The tank should have 2 pounds less than the turn on pressure setting. Shut off the pump, open a faucet, read the pressure. If it is zero and you put 40 pounds in it recently, it is leaking out and the bladder is probably shot. Try to pump the air pressure up while the faucet is opened with the pump off. If the bladder is bad, as you add air, you'll push water out of the tank, but you will not be able to build up and maintain thatpressure. Leave things off for maybe 1/2 hour or so after (if) you get the pressure raised with a faucet opened. If it drops, again, either the air valve or the bladder is leaking. You could try some soapy water around the air valve and see if you get bubbles, but my guess is that the tank is probably shot. The telltale symptom of no air in the tank is if it sounds like a dull thud as you rap it from top to bottom. The part where the air is should ring sort of like a bell, and sound quite different from the part that has water in it. Especially after just getting filled up, the part with water in it will be cold, while that with air in it will be warmer. If after turning the pump back on get get some water, the pump works. Now, it could be that the well is not producing as much water as it used to, and that is a problem, too. Worry about that once you figure out if your tank can maintain pressure. Note that the empty pressure will rise to the upper shut off pressure from the pump after it stops (with no faucet opened.

    There is also a check valve somewhere between the tank and the pump. This only lets water go from the pump to the tank. If the valve is bad, the pressure tank will push the water back down through the check valve (one-way valve) eventually causing the pump to turn back on to maintain pressure.

    So, there could be lots of things wrong, but often it is the tank. You need to elimiinate them one at a time. The tank must be able to hold air pressure, and that is easy to check so start there.
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Since he pumped air in the tank up to 40 psi, he effectively stopped the switch from closing and prevented the pump from running. So drain the water out of the tank. Replace the pressure guage. You have to have 19-18 psi of air pressure in the pressure tank with no water in it. Adjust the air pressure to 19 psi. Turn on the power to the pump. You should get water into the tank and the house plumbing if you have the shut off valve open on the outlet of the pressure tank. If not, open it and watch the pressure gauge fall to 20 and the pump should come on.

    Gary
    Quality Water Associates
  9. tina62

    tina62 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Called a repair guy

    I called a pump repair person and he is telling me there is electricity going to the pump but we need to replace the pump. He is saying it will cost us 800 dollars. I was wondering how hard it is to take the pipe from the well which is just over 2 hundred feet I think and bring it up to get to the pump and replace it. I was also wondering if the wire at the top of the well could be messed up. I know the breaker popped the one night and that is when our problem started. I am hoping we can do it ourselves and maybe husband can check the wire at the pipe above the well. Thanks for any help.
    Tina
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,134
    Location:
    New England
    200' of pipe, the wire, and the pump could easily be anywhere from 200-500 or more pounds. Kind of tough to hold and pull out of the hole, then you have to get the new one down to the proper depth and secure it. Without the skill and tools required, not a thing for a DIY'er, I think (I've never done it). A real bear if you do something wrong and have to pull it back out or drop it and lose it down there.
  11. tina62

    tina62 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Got the well pump fixed

    Well I got the well repair guy to come today and he replaced the pump with a new one the propeller was broke on the old one. My husband and I are glad we got a professional on this one. We wouldn't have been able to get the pipes out there were four of them it may have cost us money we had to borrow but it will be worth it in the long run. The guy was really nice. Put a new gauge on the pipes top side. We have a year warranty I am hoping this pump last longer than the last. He said the old one was a plastice one and the one he put in is stainless steel. He told us we will probably have to replace the tank soon and told hubby how to do it and gave him the pipe we will need when we replace it. So thanks for all your help I will keep coming to this site to see if there is anything I can use for things around here. I am going to get the septic pumped next when we get our income tax back. It has been a little over three years since we did that last and don't want it to back up like it did before and we called. Thanks again all that helped with advice.
    Tina
  12. Deb

    Deb Plumber

    Messages:
    200
    Location:
    Idaho
    Deb

    Don't just get your septic tank pumped. Check to see if you need it pumped. Tasnks should be pumped when the sludge gets to about a 1/3 the depth of the tank. You should check it annually. My tank has not been pumped for 6 years and I am at least another year away.
    The pump was something that you needed to have done professionally. I would not even recommend pulling one that was 75 feet.
    Deb
    The Pipewench
  13. tina62

    tina62 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    thanks

    our well is over 200 ft deep but the pump isn't that far. He told us we could have done it ourselves but should see how it is done first. But with the four pvc pipes that was 80 ft deep for the pump so it would have been fun pulling them out. They weren't heavy. He had a lift on his truck. I just hated spending 800 dollars right after christmas which we had to borrow to get.
    The septic tank we were told should be pumped every 3 years. Not sure if that is because we are in Florida or what. We don't want to have the problem we had the last time and everything was backing up in the house. The only way to check it is to open the tank and we don't want to dig the yard up.
    Thanks again everyone.
    :) Tina
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