Too Much Pressure?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Ken Carman, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. Ken Carman

    Ken Carman New Member

    Messages:
    2
    I am going to start this out by admitting I know very little when it comes to the technical side. So... be as patient as possible. We are on a well system. Submerged pump: Red Jacket I believe? 3 Wire? That's what I remember from the last time it was replaced about 10 years ago at least. High mineral content: so somewhat corrosive.

    Christmas afternoon I was cooking a suddenly we heard water gushing. Went back to the water heater. Pipe busted. Not cold enough for freezing to be the issue. Went to put heavy rubber boots on broken places (It broke more and more as this proceeded.) ...and every time we turned it on the pump pumped and pumped and pumped until it would bust a boot or blow out a pipe. The boots would bloat out like an orange or a grapefruit. My wife said we have more water pressure than we've ever had.

    I've located the water pressure tank, a gray box on top with wires leading out and of course water heater. In our Stooge minus one Stooge (Though we're seriously thinking of doing a casting call for a third Stooge:rolleyes:) routine my cousin and I THINK we have determined it's the pressure switch but we're not sure if that's it... or not. Or how to replace. Can't seem to find a control box of any kind... though my cousin says what I think is the pressure switch is the control box.... But then where is the...?

    Any suggestions other than attempting to drown ourselves in a tub with too much pressure?:eek:
  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    I am going to guess here but it sounds like your pressure switch is not shutting off.

    It may be a bad switch or the tube going to it that supplies the pressure that it reads / senses is clogged and the pressure is not reaching the switch...Unless you are handy call a well service guy or a plumber that works on wells and have him change out the switch and check the tube...
  3. Ken Carman

    Ken Carman New Member

    Messages:
    2
    I also mentioned that we used thick rubber boots with hose clamps on the plumbing. Will those work, or do we need to just plumb it out with PVC? They seem to work OK until the pressure gets too great. The thinner wall ones were problematic until we replaced the ones at the highest pressure regions with the thicker rubber boots. What do you think?:confused:
  4. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,244
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    No!

    The fernco style couplings you have used are not made for potable water nor is PVC pipe.

    If you don't kill yourself with the 220 volts at the pressure switch, you may still with non-compliant plumbing. Please consider a professional for the safety of you and your family.
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I on the other hand I say the box you have is the pressure switch about 3" x 5". If so you don't have a control box, especially if this box is on the water line on a 1/4" nipple with electric lines in and out of it. If it is the switch, shut off the power to the switch/pump. With a volt meter check for no voltage in the switch after removing the nut on the top of the cover and the (usually gray plastic) cover. Take a close up picture of the insides or do a drawing for future reference.

    Undo the wiring. Shut off the water to the house past the pressure tank. Drain the tank. Holding the 1/4" nipple and unscrew the switch from the nipple. Poke a screwdriver down the nipple to the bottom of the pipe the nipple is screwed into to clean all rust etc. out of it. Or buy a new one if that one is galvanized. Buy a new 30/50 switch like this one and tape the threads on the nipple and screw it into the pipe and the switch on the nipple holding the nipple so it can't turn as you tighten the switch.

    A new pressure gauge is a good idea too.

    Checking the air pressure in the pressure tank should be done too. There should be 29-28 psi of air pressure in the tank with no water in it. That's for a 30/50 switch.

    Rewire the switch as it was. Turn the power on to the pump and watch the gauge, the pump should shut off around 50 psi. Turn the water on to the house. Run water while someone watches the gauge and the pump should come on at about 30. The tall screw's nut in the switch raises/lowers both turn on and off settings, the short screw's nut controls the off only. Tightening raises, loosening lowers.

    Your plumbing must be very thin if it is copper or the pump couldn't produce enough pressure to blow copper open unless you have a like a 2 hp or larger 5 or 7 gpm pump. Acid water eats copper making it thin and causes pinhole leaks eventually. It also adds copper to the water and too much copper is a serious health concern. You should look into those things if you have copper. There are a number of other things that cause pinholes in copper tubing and you should be able to find them by doing a search here for pin holes or pinholes or acid water.

    Or call a pump guy or plumber that will swap out a switch and do the other things also.
  6. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    No pump should be able to blow plumbing lines. That would take in excess of 160 lbs or more and any properly sized pump will not do that.

    Now if you did the plumbing yourself in the spirit of rubber boots etc, I can believe the pipes blowing out.

    If you do have a three wire pump, there will be a control box. The switch like Gary said is usually 3" X 5", the control box will be at least twice as big. They will both have wires going in and out, possibly in conduit. The control box will have nothing to do with your high pressure, but the switch certainly could.

    I agree with everyone on the fact that you need a pro. You are messing with something that could hurt someone.

    bob...
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