replaced pressure switch twice, pressure in tank GOES up and water goes?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by scott young, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. scott young

    scott young New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Harpers Ferry, VA
    Hey pros, etc.
    My water pressure went to zero the other day, and I found that the control box was old, very rusty and funky as was the pressure switch. Replaced both, and had water for a week.......last night after the water softener was worked on we woke up to no water. So after the obligatory angry call to the softener guy I went to the Depot and bought another switch, installed it, and the water came on, filled to 40psi,didn't want to go up any more. Then I, on the advice of Rick (softener guy) turned the well breaker off, to give the well a chance to fill up (it's a 450 foot well). in 4 hours there was no water AGAIN but now almost 50psi in the tank. It is a big tank, 63 gallons (at least--we're the second owners) so I went to the forum and read that when water goes down, and pressure tank psi goes UP, that means the bladder is bad. I turned the breaker back on, lowered the tank back to 38, and the tank is filling up, but seems to stop at 42 or so on the pressure switch gauge.
    What do you guys think?
    Scott
  2. VAWellDriller

    VAWellDriller Member

    Messages:
    170
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Make absolute sure your gauge is good, and also check to make sure the 1/4" nipple between the pressure switch and the tank is not blocked. You should also drain tank and check the tank precharge.
  3. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,919
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    If the well continues to make water but the pump cannot reach the shutoff, then you probably have a hole in the pipe. Is there a topside checkvalve or more checkvalves in the line? If there is only the checkvalve in the pump, the water would run back out the hole when the pump is turned off but multiple checkvalves will mask it.
  4. scott young

    scott young New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Harpers Ferry, VA
    nippple blocked?

    When I replaced the switch, I didnt notice a nipple----I screwed the switch right on to the pipe------there was an extra piece ( a little brass fitting with a tiny tube) inthe box--that what you mean?
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,919
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    The pipe you screwed it onto is called a nipple. Given their size, they can easily clog.
  6. scott young

    scott young New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Harpers Ferry, VA
    hole in pipe

    sounds feasible, but how in the heck do I find a hole if the pipe is buried--if it is PVC--is that even possible?
  7. scott young

    scott young New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Harpers Ferry, VA
    thanks--I cleaned it thoroughly with a tiny toothbrush before replacing the switch.
  8. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,919
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    A toothbrush cannot clean the inside of the nipple. For that you need to use something like a drillbit.
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,919
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    More often than not, a hole will develop in the downpipe inside the well casing, often from abrasion caused by movement from torque.
  10. scott young

    scott young New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Harpers Ferry, VA
    the original builder said he put in washers around the downpipe to protect it.....its possible, it was his house---he made them from pvc.
  11. scott young

    scott young New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Harpers Ferry, VA
    still dont know what you're talking about.The pressure switch screws on to a pipe(1/2"?) and it is just a pipe. I cleaned it out.
  12. DonL

    DonL Out of the Trades

    Messages:
    3,944
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    That is the Nipple. No Titty.

    You most likely have a electrical problem. Low voltage maybe. Bad Motor Cap.

    Maybe in the breaker box. Loose connection somewhere.

    The pump could be shutting off on its internal overload.

    Or your well is out of water.

    You can use a amp probe for testing. Without one you would just be guessing.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2013
  13. scott young

    scott young New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Harpers Ferry, VA
    getting 220--it is the first thing I did. Breaker fine, replaced it anywayalso replaced control box. Bad Bladder is 2 plumbers opinion.
  14. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,919
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Perhaps you gave the two plumbers better information to make a prognosis from.

    If the bladder tank is completely waterlogged, provided there is adequate water and everything else is as it should be, the pump will reach the 60 PSI cutoff but in the absence of air in the tank, it will quickly drop the pressure. It is the air in the bladder that provides the pressure and drawdown capacity.

    Without adequate drawdown, the pump will short cycle and eventually self-destruct.
  15. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    891
    Location:
    ct
    Yeah, you have 220 volts, but how many amps is the pump pulling when it starts and runs???

    Washers around the pipe made from PVC? I bet he meant rubber discs, wait till you pull that by hand and they act like plungers.....
  16. DonL

    DonL Out of the Trades

    Messages:
    3,944
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    If it really is 220 Volts that seems low to me. It would be even lower down in the well.

    Most places in the US are 240v now a days.

    A amp probe will tell a lot.
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