Problem with jet pump/ tank

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by jonjandran, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. jonjandran

    jonjandran New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Waverly Hall, GA
    I had a 36 gallon pressure tank and a Craftsman 1/2hp shallow well jet pump.

    The pump was 7 years old and the last few days started a high pitch squealing. So I went to Lowes and bought a 1hp Utilitech pump.

    Installation went fine. Adjusted it for around 34/50 on/off.
    Tanks has 32 psi

    Problem:
    When the pump cycles it fills the tank up just fine and shuts off at the right pressure. But immediately the pressure in the tank starts dropping. Within 10 seconds it is down to 32 and the pump starts and pumps it back up.

    It does this even with all the water in the house off. Nothing running. I even have a shut off valve between the tank/pump and the rest of the house and the drop in pressure happens with it shut off so no water can leave the tank and go into the house.

    The pressure drops to 32psi and then will stay there if I turn the pump off.

    It almost sounds as if the water is pushing back into the municipal water line.

    Can someone please help me out here.

    Is my tank bad. Is that maybe what caused the Craftsman pump to go bad?

    Thanks for the help.

    Jonathan
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2011
  2. jonjandran

    jonjandran New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Waverly Hall, GA
    Well looks like my old Craftsman must have had a check valve in it and my new pump doesn't .

    I'm guessing I need a check valve then ?
  3. masterpumpman

    masterpumpman New Member

    Messages:
    729
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Yep, Now put a check valve in the suction side of the pump line (the one going to the municipal water line. Be sure to install the valve with the arrow towards the pump. The squealing in the Sears pump was more than likely bad bearings in the motor. Don't through it away, you may need it sooner than you thing. A 1hp pump may be too much pump for your use? To prevent the new pump from cycling (shortning it's life) you may want to consider installing a Cycle Stop Valve between the pump and tank. It will give you constant pressure when taking a shower and extend the life of your pump. http://www.cyclestopvalves.com/index2.html
  4. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,176
    Location:
    Maine
    What municipal water supply? He probably has a shallow well with a foot valve on the drop pipe that is bad. He has a 32 gallon expansion tank why on earth would he want to spend all that extra money on a CSV? Seems like every thread here somebody tries to sell the OP a CSV. Though they have their uses in certain applications a CSV is by no means a necessary component in a well pump system.
  5. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,164
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    That Old Sears pump does not have a check valve built into it.

    Tom is correct.
  6. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,469
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    The OP said it "must be pushing back into the municipal water supply", which without a check valve it will do. Apparently the "minicipal supply" has 32 PSI, which is why it only drops to 32 instead of 0.

    A 32 gallon tank only holds about 8 gallons of water. That tank was not large enough to prevent excessive cycling even with the 1/2 HP pump. Why else would the pump have only lasted 7 years? Now that he has a pump twice as large, Porky was right to suggest a CSV to reduce the cycling.

    People who really know pumps understand that cycling causes most pump system problems. So suggesting a CSV on most threads IS the answer to the problem. The CSV is by no means a necessary component in a pump system, only for those who profit from short lived pumps and selling large tanks.
  7. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,991
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Just because the OP does not recognize a checkvalve is no reason to insult him/her. I'm pretty sure the monthly water bills would remove any doubt as to where the water is coming from.

    As for the old Sears pump not having a checkvalve in it, perhaps "in" was the wrong word to use and that it had one "on" it. This forum has a few regulars that like to nit pick and denegrate the OP over the choice of words. If unclear, politely ask for clarification rather than forge ahead with misinformation.
  8. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,991
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    The GPM rate of a jet pump is on a curve, depending on the net difference between input and output. As valveman stated, the 1/2 HP pump was probably cycling excessively and the 1 HP will cycle more often because of the faster GPM output.

    You can test the drawdown of the tank by measuring how much water you can draw from it before the pump turns back on. As valveman said, that size tank should give you around 8 gallons of drawdown.
  9. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,176
    Location:
    Maine
    Are you OK? I'm beginning to worry about you my friend. Where did I "insult" the OP? My reply was directed at Porky to start with but since we are going down the road so to speak, I guess it is pretty obvious to anyone that works in the field that the OP has a shallow well here unless he is using the pump as a booster which may very well be the case but....I think not. And please excuse me for knowing that the old Sears pump does not have a check valve on it or in it but a whole lot of folks around these parts buy them POS pumps and stuff them in their camps because they are cheap. The squealing sound was/is the bearings. Now have a cup of coffee and relax before you pop a vein.
  10. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,991
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Thanks for your concern about my well being. I am fine.

    The OP said he was on a municipal system. Whether or not you replied to th OP or Porky, you called the OP out as a liar or too dumb to know he has a well, both of which I personally would find insulting.

    Porky already commented on the POS pump, but I suppose a +1 doesn't hurt. A CSV would just make that POS pump last longer.

    I think I will have another cup of joe.
  11. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,164
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    How about some Java ?

    I think that the OP just made a honest mistake.

    I see no reason why a jet pump would be connected to a municipal water supply.

    But if there was a leak, with water going back down into the well because of a Foot valve or pipe leak, that may have been the reason for the original pump going bad. The ceramic seal could have been squealing, Or the motor bearings are bad, as Mentioned earlier.
  12. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,176
    Location:
    Maine
    Well occasionally you will see a jet pump used as a booster when the city pressure is crappy but that's not all that common a thing.
  13. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    The Sears jet pumps with a built in check valve are as common as paperback mark twain novels. And POS is not at all a correct denominator for that pump. Many last decades and more, when correctly installed with out short cycling.

    As for a squeal, a seal [which sears or sta-rite has not found a way to cheapen the quality of] is more likely. And very, very much so is the same seal as in in a Goulds pump.

    As to the 1/2 vs. a 1 hp pump, a valve on the outlet of the pump to reduce the flow and extend the run time would be a 5$ Solution to a 90$ csv. And no need for anyone to repeat the advantages of the csv again as to that small comment.

    I propose that the reason that people complain about the home depression wisconsin made jet pumps and the same sears pumps [unless they have moved to the chinese Ca-Ca] is that they are sold to homeowner joes that are clueless about the hook-up, the tank to put behind it and the manner of maintenance.

    If Lowe-balls sold Goulds pumps, they would fail just as often as the sears and Sta rite plastic versions because they were put into the hands of guys that never read "water pumps and systems for DUMMIES".
  14. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,176
    Location:
    Maine
    I'd like to agree with you but I have replaced more bed Sears (sta-rite) shallow well pumps than any other brand by probably a 5 to one margin. If they have improved them I have not yet seen the results.
  15. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,164
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I do believe that that Old Craftsman® pump was made by Flotec®. Made of Cast Iron.


    The Plastic Crap that they sell now is Junk, I do believe.
  16. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,176
    Location:
    Maine
    It be the black plastic with the steel ring that I refer to.
  17. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    The problems I find on cheap pumps installed by cheap homeowners is that they run dry, they freeze, and no- one ever changes the start capacitors, or oil and check the start switch. Or pressure tank.

    I have few booster pumps that regularly threw their mexican springs off the start switch, then shut down on overheat.

    But its only a short fix with better springs and little lube. I drilled 2" holes in some of the plastic motor caps in order to check and oil the switch.

    finally fried the motor on one. MFG wanted 600$ for the motor. good joke. To make sure they screwed you, also milled a special end on the shaft so no off the shelf $95 motor jet pump would work. Since rotors usually last forever, I bought the cheap motor and re-used the old rotor with the "screw you" shaft. Still working after 7 years.

    As to seals and bearings, I have a hot pump with a 2 speed jet pump type motor. Lots of run time. Got 18 years out of that cheap motor by changing the bearings and seals a few times, and would still be running if the case had not rusted away. But changing bearings and seals seems to have left the national phyche years ago.

    Better and more overheat cut outs would probably make a sears pump work forever, makes the guy figure out the issue.
  18. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,991
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Not pump related, but I recently pulled apart and lubricated the motor on my HRV which has been running continuously for 13 years. Cheapo motor was purported to have lifetime sealed bearings. PFFT! The "seals" deteriorated and the lifetime lube was a bit of oil in a felt wick while the bearing was nothing more than a bushing. Aparently I did good to get 13 years out of it.

    http://www.nlcpr.com/VenmarMotorReplacement.php
  19. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Thats a great motor at 13 years. Sintered bronze bushings with a wick [nice to refill it every 5 years] are bomb proof and likely better than the singapore BB.

    But I gotta guess that the other end had ball bearings or a thrust bearing, because no bronze bush motors run vertically for long. Unless its hoover dam or your car engine and the oil is pumped in under pressure - then they can go FOREVER.

    drilled a lot of holes into the bushing area of motors to get a drop of oil in.
  20. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,991
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    No, both ends had bushings. Layered plastic and felt washers for thrust on both ends.
    [​IMG]
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