Pump Problems

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by holiday, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. holiday

    holiday New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Florida
    Hi, I had a 1.5hp Starite pump and I replaced it with a Simer 1.5hp pump. After a couple of days the discharge pipe come completely off from the threading to the pump. The pump or the pipes have no cracks. The threaded part is "out of shape" so to speak like if it was heated. I replaced it and again the sprinklers work fine for a few days and then the same thing. It primes and shuts of initially. I have a pressure tank attached which was there before, so everything is the same except the pump???????:confused:
    Any help greatly appreciated.
  2. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Surface or submersible pump?
  3. holiday

    holiday New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Florida
    hi, it is surface.
  4. justwater

    justwater Well Drilling/Service

    Messages:
    327
    Location:
    FL/GA
    is this a simer with plastic head?.. try using a steel fitting into the plastic pump, then pvc to the steel. the steel male threads will make for a better connection into the fatigued female plastic threads.

    i'd rebuild that sta-rite before i went with another big box pump.
  5. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    To heat the pump its running with water not moving out of the pump or running for hours without any, or just a bit of water in it.

    Better get a good book and watch the pump for awhile.
  6. holiday

    holiday New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Florida
    The pump is not running dry. Just confused as to why this would happen? The old pump was cast iron and this is thermoplastic and the instructions say to use plastic fittings.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 5, 2010
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Your deformed fitting says it got hot enough to deform; that is pretty hot.

    So your problem is why is the pump getting hot and Ballvalve gave you the usual normal causes.

    It doesn't matter what type fittings are used.
  8. holiday

    holiday New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Florida
    Thanks all for your help so far. If a valve is defective and does not open during a cycle, would not the pressure switch turn the motor off since there no flow out from the motor??
  9. justwater

    justwater Well Drilling/Service

    Messages:
    327
    Location:
    FL/GA
    Spoken from a person who must not be familiar with plastic pumps. Take the plastic submersibles for example. I've seen a few of them loosen and spit out PVC threads on a drop pipe. U can pull them up, fix it, and it will do it again within a couple days. However, if u install a steel fitting into the plastic pump, then PVC to that, it never happens again. The type of fitting does matter in that scenario, I dont see what's so different about this, other than the pump is easier to access.

    Bottom line, it's a cheap pump, u might have to improvise on it some. If nothing else, when shopping for a exposed well pump, at least get a cast head. Problems like this won't happen.

    You are correct, being as how u have a switch and tank, (so long as all is working correctly), the pump should build up and shut off before any heat damage can be done.

    Maybe your cutoff pressure is set too high, and the pump is working overtime to reach it??
  10. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    And maybe you need a low pressure cut out pressure switch too.

    Or to NOT fix the problem and shut off the hot pump, add a heat switch taped to the pump head.
  11. holiday

    holiday New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Florida
    The pump shuts off after priming, the problem occurs somewhere after zone 3 because I kept checking the pump on and off during zone 1,2 and 3. Everything looked good so I did not check 4,5and 6.
  12. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
  13. justwater

    justwater Well Drilling/Service

    Messages:
    327
    Location:
    FL/GA
    i'd be curious to know what psi the pump cuts on and off at.

    if tank pressure and switch is set correctly, is there really any other reason this would continually happen other than plastic head of pump is inadequate? starite didnt have this problem (although apparently it had some kinda problem because it was replaced).

    isnt the pump new? maybe you could take it back before the female threads on the discharge become unusable from blowing out the fitting multiple times.

    ..or just fix it again (according to instructions) with pvc... just be sure to put a ratchet strap around the pump head and pvc fitting, then tighten it down to the pump. lol.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010
  14. holiday

    holiday New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Florida
    Hi, thanks, yes it is less than a month old and I am thinking of taking it back and getting a cast iron one. The sta-rite one did do the same thing a month ago however the threads on the pump were worn and the fitting would not go in properly and so I replaced it. I have not had problems with the valves I was just looking for possibilities.
    The zones run in order and I did tighten it down all the way.
  15. justwater

    justwater Well Drilling/Service

    Messages:
    327
    Location:
    FL/GA
    Exactly what type of fitting are you screwing into the pumps discharge? are u using the same fitting over and over or are u replacing it each time with another. If it did this before with the cast pump as well... maybe the main problem is the fitting used.?? Just throwing out possibilities.
  16. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    My guess is a male ("the screwing into" was enough of a hint) and it must be PVC to be able to be deformed enough to be blown out so my guess is a PVC MPT.

    I think a deformed fitting can only be used once, am I right?

    How about this possibility, the fitting has nothing to do with it and you (and the OP) need to find the cause of both pumps getting hot enough to deform PVC male fittings.
  17. justwater

    justwater Well Drilling/Service

    Messages:
    327
    Location:
    FL/GA
    i'm sure you are well aware of the multiple types of plastic and pvc fittings that have male threads. why assume? not that it makes alot of difference, i was jw. maybe its not a male adapter with a lip, maybe its a sch. 80 nipple and someone overtightened it into the pump? .. just asking questions, cool ur jets.

    "The threaded part is "out of shape" so to speak like if it was heated".. i dont know whether op means the fitting, or the pump's discharge threads, or both.. so how could you?

    there is that possibility.. i previously asked what the cutin/cutout pressure was. op said pump was shutting off. could be set to high? power problem? could be something else. what is your professional opinion with the information provided so far?

    BTW.. i dont NEED to do anything. my water system works excellent. i'm just trying to help out someone whose having a pump problem by asking questions in hopes to get closer to a solution, as its a topic i'm somewhat familiar with. what are you doing?
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010
  18. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    "Screwing into" says male threads. It doesn't matter if it is a nipple or male fitting, it is overheated and blowing out of two different pumps; one is cast iron. Replacing a PVC fitting with a metal one as you suggested or went along with doesn't cure the problem, it treats the symptom.

    The PVC fitting is the logical choice AND he says he replaced the fitting and it deformed and blew out again; on both pumps.

    The keyword is deformed. The plastic used for the pump body can withstand higher temps than PVC can. They are two very different types of plastic.

    Until the cause of the pumps overheating is found and fixed, there is no sense in looking at the possibility of other causes of his deformed fittings problem.

    To help out someone you need to be a better troubleshooter or your wasting his time and yours.

    If he doesn't find and fix the cause of the pumps overheating, I'm sure he will have a pump problem soon, and still have the cause of the overheating a new a pump.

    I suspect he is pumping the well down too far by the time he has watered 4-5 zones and/or the cycling the pumps on/off or no water is overheating the water and that then overheats and deforms the PVC fitting until it blows out of the pumps.

    Or he could pull the water level in the well down to a point where he has a suction leak allowing air to cause a loss of prime. Or he has a leaking foot valve or not as much water in the well as he used to have.
  19. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,227
    Location:
    Maine
    If it's a shallow well jet pump the most common cause of overheating is due to loss of prime for whatever reason. Could very well be that he's pulling the well down past the pumps ability to "suck up" so to speak, in which case the impeller will continue to spin without moving water which in turn creates heat which will eventually soften any plastic fittings on or near the pump. One strange thing though is that the OP says the pump shuts off. My best guess is that the pump is pulling down and overheating, until the well recovers and then it shuts off. If it were mine ( or a customers ) I would start by changing out the effected fittings ( and going with brass or stainless off the pump is a pretty good idea because they tend to not loosen as much from vibration ) and then replace the pressure switch with one that has a low pressure cut off. That solves a couple issues in that if it goes off on low pressure he can be pretty sure he's pulling the well too low.

    Gbyall
  20. justwater

    justwater Well Drilling/Service

    Messages:
    327
    Location:
    FL/GA
    no reason to leave this post if the other was deleted anyway.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
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