Please help me document my well and water system

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by SimonT, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. SimonT

    SimonT New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Midwest
    I was lucky to get a dream home in a foreclosure that had sat empty for nearly 2 years, I think due to its size and issues with leaks in the roofs scared most people off. I have resolved all the roof leaks and now turn to look at the water issues.

    A well and having a water softer is completely new to me and that's what I wanted some help with to try and document what I have to then be able to address the 2 issues of low water pressure and constant water pressure.

    What I wanted to do is post a set of photo's of what I have and then try and fill in the standard form to try and work out some options on what I can do to resolve these issues.



    Type of pump
    Submersible
    Three wire (control box)

    Size of Pump
    Motor Horsepower? possible 1HP
    Pump Model # Unknown
    Date Pump Installed 1995

    Pumping from Water Well
    Depth of well 456ft
    Depth to water 100ft
    Pump Setting 320ft
    Pipe Size unknown
    Drop Pipe Material
    PVC unknown
    Steel unknown
    Poly unknown

    Well Recovery Rate 1.6 ? gpm
    Well Casing Diameter 6”
    Rock Well__________ Sand Well__________ Other______________
    Date Well Drilled 03/23/1995

    Well Casing Material
    Steel


    Pressure Tank?
    Bladder _
    Size or model of tank champion 920242 size unknown
    Air charge in top of tank, with pump off and water drained 27 PSI

    Pressure Switch Setting?
    On 29, off 50

    Pump Control Method?
    Cycle Stop Valve model #_________
    Variable speed control #__________
    Pump Start Relay (sprinkler timer, no tank)__________
    Manually turned on and off____________

    Pump Protection
    Cycle Sensor_________
    Pumptec_____________
    Low pressure cutoff switch (lever on side)__________
    Other_______________

    Filters or Softeners yes novaclean automatic water filter, then BioLite advanced Germicidal UV System
    Before or after pressure tank after
    Type of filter iron removal
    Bypass available yes

    Water Used For?
    House Use Number of baths 5.5 Number of People 3
    High Flow Showers_______gpm?
    Plus/Or
    Irrigation with timers________
    Irrigation with hoses________
    Heat Pump______gpm?


    Problems Experienced
    No Water
    Water only part time________
    Water at all times but weak
    Air in water_______________
    Pressure surging___________
    Water Hammer (noise)______
    Too Much pressure_________
    Other____________________


    Pump makes clicking or buzzing sounds________
    No Sounds______________
    Pressure gauge reading________psi
    Other____________________________________

    Do you have, and know how to use
    an Ampmeter and Voltmeter Yes

    Describe Problem__________________________.....
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  2. SimonT

    SimonT New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Midwest
    So any way here is what I have any help in identification of any parts to help fill in the above form would be of help, As this morning water was just dribbling out.

    This is where cover to my well notice the last person to look at this snapped off the front bolt, I was hoping to be able to take the lid off and maybe find a drillers name or some thing to help me find out how deep the well was.

    [​IMG]

    As it comes in the house there is a bass device is it a flow control to stop the water running back to the pump ?

    [​IMG]

    Next we hit a faulty pressure gauge it always seem to be stuck on 20 PSI, This gauge is near impossible to read as it is behind the tank facing the tank and only easy way to read it seams to reach down with a camera.

    [​IMG]

    Next we hit the pressure switch any way way to work out what switch is set to ?

    [​IMG]
  3. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,003
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    #1
    I think the snapped bolt is just a setscrew to hold the conduit in place and does not hold the cap on. I see two other bolts on either side that probably fix the cap in place. Perhaps there may be a third on the backside.

    #2
    Looks to me that it is either a venturi to suck in air or a checkvalve/snifter valve. Take it off and inspect the innards.

    #3
    Replace it with one that works and it will tell you what the pressure switch settings are provided you can cycle through the range of settings.

    #4
    Where is the picture or definition of the tank?
  4. SimonT

    SimonT New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Midwest
    Power for the pump/pressure switch might give a hint to the well pump ? shows 1HP

    [​IMG]

    Here is the pressure tank
    [​IMG]

    Another hint maybe for the pressure switch is that it references 28PSI but I feel this unit is very small for the size house we have. It a champion 920242 pressure tank by amtrol ?
    [​IMG]

    After the pressure thank there is a BioLite advanced Germicidal UV System (from what i can tell)


    [​IMG]

    After that I think the unit in the back is a novaclean automatic water filter , from what I have read is it is used remove the iron in the water ? but speaking with a rep as the unit stood idle for so many years the media in it might not be doing its job.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2012
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,003
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    The bladder tank looks to be much more recent than all the other stuff. The 28 PSI on the label is just the factory precharge and it could have been changed. That default precharge suggests the pressure switch turn-on setting would be 30 PSI and with the standard 20 PSI spread, the turn-off presumably would be 50 PSI. Turn off the pump and drain off all the water pressure. Then measure the PSI of air pressure on the bladder.

    As for the iron filter, they often use a special precipitation tank instead of a bladder tank. If the venturi is working, the precipitated iron may clog up the everything past it, including the guage, switch, piping, tank, etc. over time.
  6. SimonT

    SimonT New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Midwest
    With a bit of elbow grease and some leverage I was able to pop the cap on the well and then remove the broken bolt on the well head.

    But I think I have made a major screw up. I looked down the well and could tell it was deep. I had been told to be able to get a rough idea on how deep the well was I could drop a small weight down on a fishing line...........

    Well the small weight went down for a long time and then at last must have hit the bottom, I marked the line and then reeled it in, At some stage the line must have caught on some thing and it did not pull back I put the cap back on and was coming here for guidance but it must have cut the line.

    So I now have a long bit of fishing line in my well and a small lead weight......
  7. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,003
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    My guess from the pic is that you have about a 6 inch well casing. The weight probably slipped past the pump and is now sitting on the bottom. It's anybody's guess how deep the pump was set in relation to the depth of the well. My guess is a 1 HP pump with that plumbing could mean a well between 80 and several hundred feet. If you are getting poor pressure (not to be confused with volume) then there is likely a hole in the downpipe and you will be needing to pull the pipe.
  8. SimonT

    SimonT New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Midwest
    LLigetfa, just wanted to say thanks for your help so far.

    Yes your right it is a 6" well casing that was one thing I did measure when I opened it up

    [​IMG]


    I did a rather non scientific method of testing where the water level was by dropping a tiny stone it did not go splash for 15 seconds.

    Water pressure is back to normal it still is weak but not sure if that's just down to the size of the house. Do you still think it could be a hole on the downpipe ?

    Task for tomorrow keep looking for a well record and then maybe drain down the system and get a PSI reading off the pressure tank when the system is empty ? should I also try and measure how much water i drain out of the lines to get a reading of how much pipe work I have ?
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,003
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    You need to determine whether you have a pressure problem or a flow problem. If the pump cannot build pressure when no water is used, it is a pressure problem likely caused by a hole in the downpipe. If the pump cannot deliver enough water, it is a flow problem but it manifests itself as poor pressure under heavy use. How much use it takes for the pressure drop depends on where and how much of a flow constriction there is.

    That brass venturi is a major flow constrictor in and of itself. It's purpose is to aerate the water to oxidize the iron. It does that by forcing a stream through a very narrow cone-shaped passage which creates a vacuum to suck in air. The iron oxide then precipitates and builds up on everything between the venturi and the iron filter. If the system is not maintained, it can create a very significant flow restriction. If you don't have enough flow, the iron filter would not be able to backwash properly and the media would clog up.

    You need to run some drawdown tests right at the bladder tank Tee. Measure how many gallons you need to drain from the tank from the turn-off pressure to the turn on pressure. Then time how long the pump takes to run from turn-on to turn-off. That will give you the average GPM over the cycle.

    Once you have a working pressure gauge, you can run some additional tests to see how many GPM the pump produces at various pressures.
  10. SimonT

    SimonT New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Midwest
    LLigetfa its as if you where here as your last post was pretty much spot on.

    Look at the image of the T and then look at it with a light behind it see the red iron oxide in the pipe

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The pipe bends up as it go's up to the iron oxide filter but near the T it has collected pretty bady a few inches away it is nice and clear still

    [​IMG]


    I don't have any test spots on this line I think I can bypass the iron filter but not the UV filter would that test help or does it have to be done as close as possible to the T ?
  11. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,003
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    The drawdown test can be done from anywhere. Some of the additional tests with a working gauge though should be close to the tank. If you don't have a draincock near the tank, you should cut one in.
  12. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,003
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    So, did you do the math yet? Let's see... 32 feet for the first second, add 64 feet for the second, add 96 feet for the third, add 128 feet for the fourth... at some point it could reach terminal velocity... it adds up pretty fast. 15 seconds is a very long time. Are you sure about that?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:DownTheWell.ogg
  13. SimonT

    SimonT New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Midwest
    That recording was listed as a 500 foot well yet took only about 10 seconds to hit water. Might try a recording my self of the well and use a stop watch. Will do a draw down test tomorrow and make some calls to see if i can get some records. Thanks for your help so far.
  14. SimonT

    SimonT New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Midwest
    I was able to find the well logs attached is a copy of them View attachment Well Sumary public copy.zip

    Data reads as follows

    Static water level is 100ft
    Pump set depth is 320ft
    Well yield is 15.0GPM
    Pump rate is 10.0GPM
    Total depth 456ft
  15. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,003
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    The $64 question now is what is the current static water level? Pump output runs on a curve so as the level drops, so too does the GPM. Your pump is already at a disadvantage with the venturi you have probably cutting your GPM in half.
  16. SimonT

    SimonT New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Midwest
    About to do the cycle time and and draw down test and will then try and do the static water level test but a bit worries after loosing the last bit of fishing line and weight down the well. Will switch to string as I read that might be a little stronger and if it comes back up I might be able to tell how wet it got.

    Any other tips on getting static water level with out getting the line stuck ?
  17. SimonT

    SimonT New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Midwest
    ok results are in for pumping rate, I used a shower but removed the shower head it was the closest zone to the pump

    I was able to fill 3.25 Gal in 1 minute before the pump kicked in

    The pump then ran for 118 seconds before it turned off

    I did this test twice to confirm the results


    Drawn down = 3.25 Gallons
    Cycle time = 118 seconds

    3.25GAL divided 118 seconds = 0.0275 x 60 = 1.65gpm
  18. SimonT

    SimonT New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Midwest
    I wanted to also see what it would take to replace the pressure gauge while I was doing the above. I turned off the pump and drained down the water and and had a play with the gauge but looks like I will need take off the pressure switch to be able to fully unscrew the pressure gauge. (What a pain in the *****)

    With the pump off and water drained down I took a pressure reading with a tire gauge at the pressure tank and it only read 13 That seems very low ?

    I looked at the pressure switch and its a square D with a 20/40

    With out the pressure gauge its hard to tell what my cut in point should be set at but I am sure it should be higher than 13 ?
  19. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,003
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    An average GPM of 1.65 probably is not adequate to backwash the iron filter. Since it is an average, you need to run continuous draw tests at various pressures to get a better picture.

    http://www.purewaterproducts.com/articles/backwash-chart

    Assuming the 20/40 switch has not been adjusted, the precharge on the bladder should be around 16 - 18 PSI. That should give you a little more drawdown.
  20. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    950
    Location:
    ct
    Do NOT throw stones in your well! Use ice cubes instead. Here in Ct there are a lot of wells lined with 4" pvc, when stones are used to determine the water level, they can lock the pump (which is 3 7/8 in diameter) into the liner and create an expensive problem for the homeowner.
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