Pulling a submersible pump-Bad news!!!

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by abikerboy, May 18, 2006.

  1. abikerboy

    abikerboy DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    202
    Location:
    VA
    Hi;
    Several weeks ago, I had a post about pulling a submersible pump. We completed the job, and all seemed fine. We installed a Goulds GS series 1 HP 2 wire pump, flushed the well by running the pump with the discharge open, replaced the bladder tank, and connected everything. Pressure was good, and water flow seemed good. Anyway, my buddy just called me to drag my tired tail out of bed. Says yesterday his water went out. Since he now knows how to pull a pump, and we installed black flex pipe to make it easier, he pulled the pump, and returned to the dealer with it. The dealer unbolted the motor from the pump head and found the splined shaft of the motor rounded off, and the coupling on the pump shaft split open in three places. To make a long story short, warranty was denied, and excuse used for denying warranty was abuse. My questions are how in the h*ll do you abuse a pump? Even if used heavily or abusively, I cant imagine that kind of damage in this short of time! There has never been a sign of sand, silt or trash in the well, and he says the pump screen (installed extra wrap around screening as an added accessory) was perfectly clean! My suggestion was to let me pick up the pump and have my well guy take a look. Anyone have any ideas? Hope you can help. I've preached "Goulds" to him relentlessly, and now I feel guilty as sin!
    Thanks you guys so much
    Rob
  2. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    I haven't sold Goulds for years, but they are a good pump last time I knew. I don't know about wrapping extra screen around the factory one. That may not have been a good idea.

    Pump companies have over the years tried to get a little edge on their competitors by cheapening something on the pump/motor to save a penny or two. (You know bean counters). This happened to Red Jacket a few years back. They had all kinds of shaft problems.

    If the pump is within the years warranty, I would call Goulds directly. They don't like bad publicity and will probably see to it he gets a new unit no matter what went wrong or why.

    You should probably know Goulds, Red Jacket and a host of other pump companies are owned by ITT corp and they are Hugh. But the bad publicity thing is not something they want to deal with.

    You should check his tank. Water logging is a good reason for a shaft to get stressed out from all the starts and stops.

    bob...
  3. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Valveman

    abikerboy
    Bob is given you some good advice on getting the pump warrantied. The company is probably right about the abuse though. Cycling on and off is usually what causes splines on the shaft to strip off. This cycling could be caused by a water logged tank, incorrect pressure switch setting, wrong air precharge in the tank, or simply from everyday use. Even if the pump is only cycling about every 10 minutes, there are 1440 minutes in a day and that is 140 cycles per day, 980 cycles per week, or 50,960 cycles per year. The only way to stop the cycling is to always use as much water as the pump produces. If it is a 20 GPM pump, you should always use ten 2 GPM sprinklers, or five 4 GPM sprinklers. Never use nine or less 2 GPM sprinklers or less than 20 GPM when possible. Pumps do not usually cycle much for household use, just when you run sprinklers, heat pumps, or things that run for hours at a time. Trying not to advertise here but, the best way to stop cycling is with a Cycle Stop Valve. This will increase the life of your pump and you can run sprinklers anyway you want without cycling.
    Cary
  4. abikerboy

    abikerboy DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    202
    Location:
    VA
    Hi guys
    Thanks for the advice. This pump supplies water to his home. We replaced the pressure tank and set the precharge however my fear is a leak in the piping between the well and tank. The dealer told him this morning that they would exchange the pump after all. I think they were irked because we were installing the pump instead of them. I will mention not using the extra screen on the pump, however the screen was listed in the Goulds accesory catalog. The constant pressure system...Ive read some posts here on this before. Can someone please explain to me what this is?
    Rob
  5. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Valveman

    Constant pressure valve turns your 20 GPM pump into a variable flow pump that will match anything you have running between 1 GPM and 20 GPM. Varying the flow from your pump means there is no extra water being produced to fill the pressure tank, which is what shuts off the pump and causes cycling. If you are using 8 GPM, the constant pressure valve makes the 20 GPM pump produce only 8 GPM and there is no extra water to cause the cycling on and off. If your pressure switch turns the pump on at 40 PSI and off at 60 PSI, the constant pressure valve will hold 50 PSI as long as you are using more than 1 GPM. The constant pressure valve holds the system at 50 PSI and does not let the tank fill to 60 PSI until you have turned off all water faucets. Couple of good videos could explain better on www.cyclestopvalves.com under videos/ Homeowner Commercial or PBS Review. Eliminates probably 90% of cycling, increases pump life, delivers steady 50 PSI to the house instead of the pressure constantly going up and down between 40 and 60 PSI. Shower pressure is better, washing machine fills faster, pump last longer, etc..
  6. abikerboy

    abikerboy DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    202
    Location:
    VA
    Will discuss the constant pressure valve with my friend. Was also wondering if this type of system might be a good idea with my own well. The well is shared with two other houses besides mine. Most of the time, no problems, and even when a change is noticed it is not major. I usually notice it the most on the weekends when both of the other houses have children present. It seems like it takes forever for something as simple as a toilet refill. Would a constant pressure system help this? Would it work with my 13 year old Goulds pump? I want mechanical, or valve controlled, as I have had my fill with electronics on my new high effeciency furnace! I cannot deal with water going off all of the time, like my heat did last winter! Ive got portable heaters to keep warm, but no portable well handy! Lol! Anyway, just curious for opinions.
    Rob
    Last edited: May 18, 2006
  7. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Valveman

    A constant pressure valve would most certainly help you. Especially since you have multiple houses on the same well. It will not however help with low water pressure when the children are home and using more water than you pump will produce. It would allow you to install a larger pump that would help when more water is needed. A constant pressure valve will let you install as large a pump as you would ever need, and still make this large pump work like a small pump when it is needed. 13 year old pump is probably on its last leg, as the average life of a submersible is about 7 years. If the thrust bearing in your pump is already weakened, the constant pressure valve will test that and may cause you to half to replace the pump. I would wait untill the old pump fails, and then add a constant pressure valve when you install a new pump. Installed with a new pump the CPV will help protect the pump and the thrust bearing. Installed with the old pump the CPV will put back pressure on the pump that it may not tolerate if the thrust bearing is already weakened.
  8. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    "I want mechanical, or valve controlled, as I have had my fill with electronics on my new high effeciency furnace! I cannot deal with water going off all of the time, like my heat did last winter! Ive got portable heaters to keep warm, but no portable well handy!"

    This quote should be added to the Sorka2 thread.

    bob...
  9. abikerboy

    abikerboy DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    202
    Location:
    VA
    Just spoke with my buddy about the constant pressure valve, and he is going to go with it. Does this valve install at the tank, or at the top of the drop pipe? Also, news on the pump that failed after only a couple of weeks use. The shop contacted him (to apologize even!) and said that after investigating the defective pump, the failure was found to be from a bad check valve which caused rapid cycling leading to the shaft and motor damage. The guy told him that the older Goulds pumps used a spring loaded check valve screwed into the discharge head, but the new pumps use a rubber poppet that is built into the discharge head. The technician did say that this failure was a first for him, and that the new Goulds pumps seem to be just as reliable as the old ones. Now we know to watch the pressure guage for a few days after putting in the new pump!
    Rob
  10. abikerboy

    abikerboy DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    202
    Location:
    VA
    He'll figure it out soon enough, just as I did! Sometimes advanced is not better. One of the things that I have discovered with electronic controls and logic circuits on diesel engines...many of the major manufacturers are acually reducing the functions of the control modules because they're having too many problems. One rep from Caterpillar says that even though most of the controls have proven themselves in service, the real issue is with downtime and parts availability. I went through this with my furnace over a variable speed blower control. The repair is simple. The contractor replaced a simple looking circuit board...at least 6 times!!! Bad thing was, even with overnight shipping on the circuit board, it took 3 days each time to get the part! None of the shops stock the board because according to the manufacturer, this part is the least likely component to fail! I cant wait to see what the most likely failure is!
    Rob
  11. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Problems like these only happen after you have stopped watching the gauge.

    bob...
  12. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Valveman

    The best place to install the CPV is in the well at the top of the drop pipe. It can also be installed outside the well before the pressure tank. Depends on the valve you choose. I would recommend a CSV1 and a CSC coupling for in the well or a CSV1Z outside the well. See installation instructions for CSV1 and CSV1Z at www.cyclestopvalves.com under products. Pictures at bottom of instruction page. Or call the company, they will be glad to help you.
  13. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Will these things work with a non-submersible (I think it's a jet) pump?
  14. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Valveman

    Constant pressure valves will work fine with jet pump. May have to move the control tube for the pressure switch from the pump case to the tee on the pressure tank. Also a jet pump picture on the bottom of the instruction page for CSV1.
  15. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Thanks; I'll check out the CSV1 in detail. The pressure switch that controls the pump is about 10' (as the water flows) downstream from the pump/wellhead now. The existing pump is a Sta-Rite, 1HP I think. Starting to sound like it's full of gravel when it runs.

    I read the general info on the CSV Web site, and must confess I still don't really grok the magic, but I can sorta-kinda understand it from a definition-of-work standpoint - the less water you're moving, the less work you're doing, the less energy you need, etc. Maybe I'm all wet. Hope these things are cheap.
  16. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Valveman

    Gravel sounding noise is usually from cavitation. Your suction line may be partially pluged, or the water level is deeper than a jet pump can suck. Prices for CSV on web page under products. The one you need is $90.00.
  17. vaplumber

    vaplumber Guest

    I am not above advances in our products however keep one thing in mind. You live in an area where lighning is no problem and decide to install a variable speed pump. It so happens that the transformer that supplies your home with electric supplies 3 other homes as well. One of your neighbors either does some electrical modifications that he knows nothing about, or suppose he plugs in a defective appliance. The surge from your neighbor has passed through this transformer tap, and has created a surge in YOUR supply line. The electronics to your well, and abikerboy, your furnace fan control are now trash. No problem. Your new pump or furnace is under warranty so it wont cost you a dime! Problem is the manufacturer wants to see the old part before they ship out the replacement! Now you are without water (or heat, Rob. Remember, I advise against your furnace) for 3 days! Sorka does not need to curse us old timers because we know what we are doing. If he ever has a heart attack, would he want an old timer who has done hundreds of successful surgeries, or would he want someone who just graduated medical school with straight A's, and wants to install a new device inside of him that has only been in use for the last 5 years?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2006
  18. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,892
    Location:
    New England
    With the cost of electronics these days, installation of a surge suppression system at your power panel can save you far more than the initial costs. This is in addtion to those you may have on the very sensitive and expensive things like computers, big-screen tvs, etc. Nothing will absorb a direct lightning strike successfully, but the better ones will do it for near strikes. Note that repeated small strikes break down electronics as well as a single large one...a surge suppression system helps.

    Another useful item for things like variable speed fans and control circuits in high efficiency furnaces is a device that monitors the power for high and low (brown-out condition) and prevents the system from turning on.
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