Pump is running at 15psi and not building pressure.

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by trizoyd, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. trizoyd

    trizoyd New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    In the last two years I've replaced the pipe line from the well to my house twice, replaced the foot valve about 3 times, 3 water pumps and one pressure tank.
    Last year I placed a brand new pipe line from the well to the house, new foot valve and new water pump. The pump would run fine for a day or two, and then when we use the water the pump would run at 15psi and it wouldn't build it's pressure. I've noticed during this time that there is an air bubble in the pipe that goes from my pump to the pressure tank. To fix this issue I'd shut the pump off and start it back again, and then air bubble would pass.
    I also have a check valve, so I'd never lose my prime. This problem occurs mostly in the morning when we run the washer, flush the toilet and use the shower. Two days ago my water pump finally burnt out (I think it was running all night and I didn't here it.). So yesterday I purchased a new water pump and pressure tank (Goulds), and it seemed to work just fine. This morning as we are doing our normal morning activities, I noticed no water pressure and could here the pump running. Once again the air bubble is there and the pump is not gaining it's pressure, so I have to shut it off and on and then it works fine.
    It appears that perhaps the foot valve is not holding water in the pipe. So overnight when the water is not being used, the water seeps out causing an air pocket in the line, and when the pump starts up in the morning it's taking the air in, causing it to lose pressure.
    I'm running out of ideas, and before I dig the trench for a 3rd time in two years any suggestion would be great!
    Thanks
    Troy
  2. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    1 - How deep is the well and how far down is your drop pipe
    1-1/2 - How far from the well to the house.
    2 - What size and type pipe do you have going down the well and to the pump
    3 - What model Goulds Pump
    4 - Do you know the recovery rate for the well
    5 - Are you 110% positive that you do not have a suction leak. ( Bet you do )
    6 - What is the pressure switch cut in and cut out pressures
    7 - What is the pressure on the bladder tank with the system off and pressure drained.
  3. trizoyd

    trizoyd New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    1. My well is about 22 feet deep. The drop pipe is about 12. (these are obvisously estimates). The foot valve is about 4 feet from the bottom of the well.
    1 1/2.The well is no more then 30 feet from the house.
    2.The size of the pipe is 1 inch. It's the heavy duty blue pipe (installed brand new last year).
    3. Model for the pump is JRS5.
    4. Well is always full of water....can't keep it dry.
    5. Not 110% sure that I have any leaks. If there is any it's probably from the check valve to the pipe. But I'm not seeing any leaks, or can't hear any air being sucked in.
    6. Not sure. Factory settings.
    7. Not sure. Factory settings.

    Hope this helps. Thanks
    I've also talked to a local plumber and he believes that I may have a small leak suction leak located between my pump and the pipe. I also have a straight pipe going into my well...no elbow.
  4. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    OK, I'll bet on a suction leak. Very hard to find. You won't hear it and you won't see it either. Gotta go fitting by fitting and tighten and re-check. Then do it again.

    Pressure tank should run 2lbs less than cut in pressure on pressure switch ( system off and water pressure drained off)
  5. trizoyd

    trizoyd New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    Thanks. I'll be giving this a try in the morning. Hopefully it does the trick. I'll let you know how it goes.
  6. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    You might be pumping the well dry momentarily and sucking air.

    If you had a low pressure cut out switch for 29 bucks, you would still have a few new pumps.

    Blue pipe? poly pipe with barb fittings? Good for suction leaks. Believe it or not, rubber cement brushed around the fittings might seal any air inlets as a quick test

    Reverse the water flow and pressurize your suction line to say 80 psi. Lock it down for a few hours and watch the gauge and see if any leaks.

    TEST, don't DIG or pull.
  7. trizoyd

    trizoyd New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    Well it appears that I'm still drawing in some air somewheres. I redid all the fittings, and when I hooked everything up it worked all day with no problems. This morning as I'm running the washer, the pump was turning on and off very fast and then it would kick in and run properly, but I'm noticing that air is passing through. I also noticed this morning before I turned any water on, the pump would turn on and off in less then a second. I double checked the well and it's full of water. Actually the water is about 1 foot lower then the horizontal pipe entering the well.
    I just don't get it! I've taken the time with all the fittings, the pipe is brand new, and so is the foot valve.
    Also, as I mentioned before I get this problem mostly in the mornings.
    I'll try to reverse the water flow and pressurize my suction pipe and see what happens.
    I think though it's time to call a plumber, cause it doesn't matter how much I try, I still get the same problem.
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    A plumber isn't going to do any better than you.

    Get rid of the check valve and use only a good foot valve in the well. The check valve is hiding any water leak between it and the foot valve.

    After removing it, shut off the water to the house and watch the pressure gauge for an hour, if it falls, you have a leak between the tank and the foot valve and the pump will come on to repressurize the tank.

    PE pipe is no more likely to allow air suction than other types of pipe unless you aren't installing the insert/barbed fittings or hose clamps right. Tell us how you do that.

    How do you see the air bubble? If it is on the house side of the pump it is not a problem although you shouldn't have air in the line anywhere unless the pump is cavitating.
  9. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    If you value your well and wallet, call a pump and well guy, not a plumber. Sorry to you plumbers out there.
  10. trizoyd

    trizoyd New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    The suction pipe has no barbs in it. I don't know the actual type of pipe it is. All that I know it's blue, 1 inche thick and very durable. You usually have to heat it a bit to slide the nipple into it.
    I got rid of the check valve as well.
    The air bubble that I see, is in the hose that comes out of the pump going into the T that conects to my pressure tank.
    Anyhow, my neighbor is a plumber and he came over to take a look at it. Come to find out the air pressure in the tank was way too high and the pump wasn't set to 30-50 (cut in - cut out). He made a few adjustments, and this morning all seems to perfect.
    Thanks for the all the info. Hopefully this fix will last for years to come. Otherwise I'm gonna blow up my house. LOL.
    Thanks again.
    Troy
  11. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Glad to hear you found something wrong.

    Blue PE pipe is EndoPure and it is a very good choice.

    All PE pipe has to have barbed/insert fittings and you use hose clamps on them. If you have straight sided fittings, that is a real problem and could cause you to lose the pump down the well. That will also allow air suction leaks.
  12. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    Looks like #7 on my list ;) Glad you got it sorted out.
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