Various well problems

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by jabez, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. jabez

    jabez New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Deep well, 1/2 HP 2 pipe jet, Wayne brand with terrible instructions, think it is referred to as a convertible. I replaced pump, foot valve, all pipes going down into the well. Well is 60 ft, water is 50ft and foot valve is at 55ft. Been without water several days, original problem was motor turned on/worked but not building pressure/delivering water. Started out as flucuating pressure according to wife, I never noticed, then no water at all about a week later.

    Pump had prime, but bad pressure gauge, tried priming, etc, etc, no good. Started trying to pull 2 lines and foot valve but could not by myself. Took 3 guys to try to pull out the 2 lines and foot valve, lines broke and fell back into well, was very very heavy. Well walls are concrete, about 2 foot across so had no choice but leave what broke in the well.

    After I replaced everything BUT the tank, pump would prime and delivered water/ operated normally yesterday. Last night ran 3-4 loads laundry, 2 showers, flushed toilets many times, no problem. Until this morning, no water in house but plenty in well, pump had lost its prime I think. Pump was running when I went to check it. When I removed the prime plug, could hear water gurgle and several seconds later water started coming out prime hole before I ever started pouring water in. Put plug back in and had water for maybe 20 minutes. Did same thing again and now have water, it has been several hours and still OK.

    What is going on? The 3 people that pulled the pipes and foot valve out and broke it were "professionals" so felt I was better off not paying them $900 when I could buy the parts and do it myself for under $300.

    If I lose prime again, is it the tank leaking? Please don't tell me it is brand new but bad foot valve, no help to get this one out & cannot afford to pay Mo, Larry and Curley to break something else.

    Just bought this place and it had no well cover, the metal/rubber split thing on top of opening for the well/where the pipes go down into the well. Store did not have any, trying to find one for 2 line pump. Will this cover help to support the pipes, how does it go in/secure everything?

    Also, first time running pump could feel the ground vibrate where the lines are run to the house. Is this a problem or sign of the cause of my problems?
  2. masterpumpman

    masterpumpman New Member

    Messages:
    729
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Sucking air somewhere?

    If there is plenty of water in the well it sounds like the jet and foot valve isn't set below the water enough or the well doesn't recover fast enough to keep water above the suction.

    You may be using an excessive amount of water due to leaking faucets or stuck or leaking commode.

    A flucuating pressure indicates to me that the foot valve was sucking air meaning not enough water or not set deep enough.

    The seal at the top of the well is only a sanitary seal and has nothing to do with the pumping system except maybe holding the drop pipe suspended in the well.

    Be advised that not all plumbers are professional pump installers! If a professional (certified) pump installer (or installers) dropped the pipe, jet and foot valve in the well it was their responsibility to recover it. An experienced pump installer would have had no problem recovering the drop pipe from a 2 foot diameter concrete cased well.

    $900.00 sounds like a lot for just labor, the drop pipe, jet and foot valve. If it included a new quality made pump, that's not too bad.
  3. jabez

    jabez New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Thank you for the very speedy reply. The $900 included a pump but after the appearance and performance of the 3, I decided to go it on my own. Money is tight with me as with everyone these days.

    The various instructions that came with the pump and jet said to not put it within 5 foot of bottom, will a bigger tank help?
  4. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    You are only 5 foot in the water. It wouldn't be hard for me to see how you could over pump a dug well and get a shot of air to make the pump lose it's prime which is probably what happened to the old pump which would probably have worked as well or better than your new Wayne.

    You said you have the footvalve at 55 feet. You do have a two pipe jet above it .... right?

    I am having trouble understanding how two pipes with a 4" jet on the end at 55' could be that heavy and why it broke off in the first place. There shouldn't be anything in a two foot hole to keep it from coming right up. Unless the well is physically smaller down near the bottom.

    bob...
  5. jabez

    jabez New Member

    Messages:
    4
    I agree we are exceeding the recovery rate of the well. So the only 2 options I can think of are:

    1-Bigger reserve tank-well should replenish fast because we are close to flowing water, but no guarantees :( and bigger reserve might handle our demands. We are in a 4 year drought in my area.


    2-lower foot valve about 2.5 feet, but then run the risk of pulling stuff off the bottom of the well. :(

    What do you think?

    As far as the old stuff falling in the well, I had no choice to leave it. If, heaven forbid, the day comes that I must pull the jet/foot valve again-how heavy will it be? I am concerned about the same thing happening to the new stuff and causing same problems again. The property was a foreclosure so there is no way to know anything about previous history of the well. The 3 guys that broke the pipe were putting a bend in it as they pulled it up, instead of pulling it straight up, but I assumed they knew what they were doing because they were from the company that installed the well originally according to the tag on the well.

    As of this morning the prime was still there and we had water but I do not have a warm fuzzy regarding when/if problems will re-occur so I am leaning towards putting a bigger reserve/pressure tank depending on your responses.

    Again, I really appreciate the speedy replies and thank you very much. I have soo much not going right in my life right now like father in hospital, lack of money, marriage problems, etc etc that it really does mean alot of positive kharma headed your way! :)
  6. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Rather than spend money on a larger tank which will only give you maybe 10 gallons more water, just get used to using less water. Use it so the well has time to recover a little before using it again. When the draught is over, you may be back to normal again.

    Putting the jet 2.5 or 4' lower wouldn't be a problem in my opinion. It would certainly help. If you do get something off the bottom, it will be temporary anyway, so I wouldn't worry about it.

    bob...
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    There are other choices, as Bob says water conservation and spreading uses out over time are two very good ones.

    Question... If you have more demand than water in the well, how are you going to get more water out of the well to store in a larger pressure tank and not have the pump suck air to refill it? If you store more water in a larger tank, when the tank empties, aren't you going to have to take more water out of the well all at once to refill it?

    And how is a larger or another pressure tank going to make the well recover faster than it does now?

    The well has to produce a gallon for each gallon you use, your problem is not enough water in the well when you want to use all the water you want for as quick and as long as you want.

    Pumping into a cistern on a timed basis so as to not pull the water level down enough to allow air suction is about the only choice other than conservation and spreading usages out over more time so the well can recover, no? Or drill a new well. That's the choices as I see them and dropping the drop pipe deeper in the well might help some but IMO won't solve the problem.
  8. jabez

    jabez New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Thanks to everyone for their input BUT I am screwed. Got home last night to no water again. Heard the pump running, went in house, no one using water. Wife decided to use dishwasher yesterday afternoon, ran well dry I thought. Looked down in well, water level way below what it has ever been, could see not just the pipes that the 3 well guys broke and dropped in well, which were under the water before but another set that had been broken and left in well also.

    Appears the well has caved in, can see very very little water and what appears to be roots growing thru the side of well. The roots are below where the water level was in the past. Below that is the 2 broken sets of pipes/jets and looks to be rocks/dirt at the bottom. Not even going to try doing anything else. Wife still asleep but do not know what we will do. Do not get paid for 2 weeks and then it would be just as cheap to hook to public water versus driling new well/repairing this one. The tag on well gives date of 1990, so do not see repairing being an option. But I know just a tap will be close to $1000, then have to run the line to the house about 200 feet.

    So we are screwed. :( Unless you guys advise otherwise hooking to public water.
  9. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,426
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    I would advise you to spend the money on the well and not the county hook up. A properly installed well and pump system will give years of trouble free service. Well water is usually better than city water, and even bad well water can be cleaned the same way the city or county does, even on a small scale. Your own well is a great asset, city water is just another monthly bill.
  10. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    I agree with Valveman, stick with the new well. If you can afford it, you will pay a lot less in the long run as oppossed to paying every month for city water and having even less quality than your will would give.

    From what you described with the 2' well, roots and caving in, I wouldn't classify that as a real well anyway.

    bob...
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