proper well pump plumbing

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Missouribound, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. Missouribound

    Missouribound New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Hello, I'm new here so forgive the question if I overlooked it on the forum. Is there a diagram somewhere as to the proper plumbing of a well tank with pressure switch and outlet valves? I am currently trying to troubleshoot a leaking pump (underground leak) and seem to think the pressure valve is not connected in the proper way. It appears to be isolated from the pump by a valve to one of the supplys to a watering trough. Shouldn't the pressure switch always be on an pipe leading from the well to the tank without any shut off valves.

    Thanks for any help!
  2. Waterwelldude

    Waterwelldude Well driller,pump repair. and septic installer

    Messages:
    303
    Location:
    Texas
    Coming from the well to the tank, there should not be any "valves".
    At least not one that can be turned off.

    There should be a check valve by the tank,(to prevent back flow from the tank to the well) and that is where the pressure switch should be.


    Travis
  3. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    With a check valve at the tank, it will hide a leak between it and the check valve in/on a submersible pump or a jet pump's foot valve. Not a good thing.
  4. Waterwelldude

    Waterwelldude Well driller,pump repair. and septic installer

    Messages:
    303
    Location:
    Texas


    What do you mean? Or am I just missing something.
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    If there is a leak between the check valve at the tank and the one in the well, you will not be able to see any evidence of the leak. Like the pump running when no water is being used or the pressure bleeding off the gauge.
  6. Waterwelldude

    Waterwelldude Well driller,pump repair. and septic installer

    Messages:
    303
    Location:
    Texas
    Yea thats true. thanks Gary





    Missouribound:

    Do you have a bladder tank, or a plain pressure tank(no bladder)?
    Are there any shut off valves after the tank, and before the house?
  7. sammyhydro11

    sammyhydro11 Previous member

    Messages:
    709
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    You would notice signs of a leak. Unless you have an air release tank, you would have a lot of air coming through the faucets.

    sammy

    www.tylerwellandpump.com
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I've not found that to be true. I found many leaks below the water level in a well and there was no way to get air into the line.
  9. sammyhydro11

    sammyhydro11 Previous member

    Messages:
    709
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    You would get air no matter where that leak was. If you have a leak below the water level in the well it will still create a void in that pipe up top. When the pump turns on it pushes the air pocket into the home.The home owner notices it especially first thing in the morning after the pipe has been leaking all night.

    sammy

    www.tylerwellandpump.com
  10. Waterwelldude

    Waterwelldude Well driller,pump repair. and septic installer

    Messages:
    303
    Location:
    Texas
    That would only be the case IF there was a sniffer or schrader valve in the pump line.

    In a case with a bladder tank, there would be no air. There is no place for the air to inter the line. When the pressure dropped below the cut in of the switch, the pump would come on, and put the water back into the tank.
    It would be just moving water back and forth in and out of the tank, but no air.

    Unless there was also an air leak above the water line. Unlikely, but possible.


    Travis
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2009
  11. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Sammy... that's true ONLY IF you have a check valve at the tank AND air can get into the line; which usually it can not. OR... there is a leak in the line ABOVE the water line.

    What Travis said too.
  12. sammyhydro11

    sammyhydro11 Previous member

    Messages:
    709
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Exactly my point but you initially said that with a check valve at the tank there would be no indication of a leak in the line and there would be.

    sammy

    www.tylerwellandpump.com
  13. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Originally Posted by sammyhydro11 View Post
    You would get air no matter where that leak was.

    Not true Sammy. And he has a check valve at the tank and that will hide all leaks.
  14. sammyhydro11

    sammyhydro11 Previous member

    Messages:
    709
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Gary, when the pump shuts off and the check valve closes, you have water in that line. If there is a leak in that line, the water will slowly come out and create a void (air). So what on earth do you think is going to happen when that pump turns on? It's going to push that air into the system and out of peoples faucets. I have come across this problem many of times and the issue is usually at the pitless adapter.

    sammy

    www.tylerwellandpump.com
  15. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    It would make sense in that case as a leaking pitless could allow air back into the line.

    Think of sucking water up a straw and then holding your finger at the top. Your finger is the check valve. If the leak is below the static water level around the straw, where would the air come from?

    Other reasoning commonly offered is that if there was a leak between the pitless and the check valve, the leak would not be obvious, and contaminants could enter via the leak. With a leak and no check valve at the tank, water pumped into the pressure tank would be pushed back out when the pump stops. This would make the fact that there is a problem more obvious.
  16. sammyhydro11

    sammyhydro11 Previous member

    Messages:
    709
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Unless there is a source of water constantly coming into that line, a void (air) would be created in the line from the loss of water. Because of a check valve at the tank, no water is coming back into the line from the tank, so an air pocket can be created. The water column will drop from the top down. So it really doesn't matter if the leak is underwater or not. I can see this not happening when the column of water in the well is equal or greater than the pressure of the water in the line. In that case water would not leave the line.

    What i am trying to explain is that you can in fact have an indication that there is a leak in the line when a check valve is at the tank. It can be more obvious to a home owner. Most home owners don't understand how a well system works and don't sit in their basements trying to determine if the gauge is dropping because of a leak in the line. The leak can be so small that you would have to sit there for a good period of time to even see that gauge drop. They are more aware of a problem when first thing in the morning air is shooting out of the shower nozzle.With a check valve at the tank, it doesn't take much water loss to create an air pocket in a standard 1" waterline for a homeowner to notice a problem. Without a check valve, it would take a lot of water loss for a homeowner to notice a system cycling on its own,especially when most homeowners don't hang out in their basements.

    I could care less where someone installs a check valve but it needs to be noted that you can have an indication of a leak with or without a check valve at your tank and one can be more obvious to the other.

    sammy

    www.tylerwellandpump.com
  17. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Not true UNLESS air can be sucked into the line. And if that happens, there is a water leak in most cases and with the check valve at the tank, you can't tell there is a leak EXCEPT if there is air in the lines.

    An air pocket can not be created UNLESS there is an air leak AND that air leak HAS TO BE ABOVE WATER or water would be sucked into the line instead of AIR.

    With a check valve in/on the pump, or a foot valve, and a check valve on the tank tee, the pressure in the line is HIGHER than the water in the well.

    So pressure has to leaked off to 0 AND THEN there has to be a water leak BELOW that leak, before any air can be sucked into the line AND the leak has to be above water or water is sucked into the line instead of air. That's TWO LEAKS that will not be seen with a check valve on the tank tee.

    Not if the leak that allows air to be sucked into the line IS BELOW THE WATER LEVEL IN THE WELL! And a second leak below that one.

    It sounds to me like you like selling your customers extra check valves. As to the rest, SEE ABOVE, including the posts by other people here telling you the same thing.
  18. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Only if the hole is out of the water AND there is a second leak below the hole. If the hole is the only leak and the line is vertical, no air, the same if the hole is the only leak and it is under water, no air.
  19. sammyhydro11

    sammyhydro11 Previous member

    Messages:
    709
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    If the pressures in a well system are understood there is no confusion. I have so many times had to replace the O Ring in pitless adapters because it was pinched allowing a tad bit of water to slowly seep out. I have also had to do the same with nylon male adapters that were either cracked or loosely clamped. The same issue occurs when the neck of plastic submersible pumps have cracked.I guess i will have to go into further detail if no one here has experience dealing with something like this. The initial loss of water happens at a quick burst because for a couple of seconds that line pressure is under the same cut off pressure of the pump. After the initial loss in the line from the released pressure, the water will continue to seep out very slowly. That is all it takes to get that air gap and it does happen. These are all on systems with a check valve both at the tank and the submersible pump. As i stated before it is less likely to happen if the leak is under water because of the difference in pressure between the water in the well and the water in the pipe but the leak has to be pretty deep in the well for it not to happen. All the symptoms of this problem happening is the homeowner gets blast of air when they open a faucet.


    sammy

    www.tylerwellandpump.com
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2009
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