Water in well, pump working, can't build up pressure, but doesn't lose pressure????

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by bgnotaplumber, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. bgnotaplumber

    bgnotaplumber New Member

    Messages:
    5
    We live up on a mountain - not to far up…but definitely mountainous. We've been living at our house for 3-1/2 years without any water problems. About a month ago we started loosing water/ water pressure.
    Coincidentally, about the same time we started experiencing problems we had a really, really, really bad electrical storm.
    When we take a shower…especially after flushing the toilet the water dribbles out to nothing. Sometimes air spurts out.
    We had a plumber come and check the situation, he found the following information, which we have also double checked:

    Water is in the Well - 75' deep well w/ approx. 40' of water
    New Sta-Rite Well Pump
    Sta-Rite Water Pressure Tank - 220E - no longer produced…but appears to be working. - 40 psi cut-in/ 60 psi cut-out
    Distance from well to house is about 200' with an elevation change of about 100'.
    The water line comes into our crawlspace along the bottom of the floor joists and then turns down about 2' where a galvanized "T" allows chemical (Chem-Tech Pulsafeeder) to treat the water. Then it goes down and elbows towards the water pressure gauge / switch before which the 1" black plastic water line transfers to a brass pipe using a PVC fitting, from there a Brass "T" comes off to the "Sta-Rite" water pressure tank. Coming out of the "T" a copper pipe carries the water past a shut-off valve and then to a "WellMate" treatment tank, just before this tank an outdoor hose bibb is connected. From the "WellMate" the copper lines passes through a water filter canister to supply the house.

    We tested the amperage when the well is running from the outlet supplying service to the well pump - it tests 7.38 amps. The well pumps suggest 7.9 amps. Not a whole lot of difference to me. But the pump is definitely pull/ pushing something from those numbers. The water pressure gauge used to at first cut in and take about 10 minutes to recover, but now it doesn't hardly move off of the cut-in pressure, but I don't think there is a leak because we have shut the well off and the pressure holds.

    The one thing we have not done is pulled the piping loose to see if there is a clog due to sediment.

    Any suggestions? We are planning on having a Labor Day party….but this is making it really hard to plan for?

    Help?
  2. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    First of all, I would think your feed pump is in the wrong place. It should be after a bladder tank and before a galvanized or other pneumatic type tank that can allow the chlorine to mix for a while before entering the home.

    You didn't mention a check valve in your plumbing scheme, but I believe you have one, since this sounds like a big leak down the well which a check valve would mask by holding whatever pressure the pump is allowed to produce. Since the amperage is very close to (I think max amps) the proper amps, I have to assume the pump is working. Meaning it's pumping water, just not into the house.

    bob...
  3. bgnotaplumber

    bgnotaplumber New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Check valve????

    Okay...if the leak were occurring and the check valve is masking it.....would the leak occur in the part of the line in the well....or somewhere in the ground? If it is in the ground what would be the best way to find it? The well driller had to cut a road in to get to the well which about 200 feet away from the house....maybe longer? The road had to zig-zag to go down the mountain.....so would it be logical for the well line to be in the road or would they have cut a straight path? I know finding the well line is a sidebar issue...but we may have to dig it up in order to find a leak.

    Have you heard of lightning busting a whole in a well line before? That storm we had struck our neighbors tree which is about 40 feet away where the well line would run through. I guess it would be pretty easy to see if the leak were occurring in the well. Pull the cover and pull the line out of the well, right? I guess we could pressurize the line and see what comes out?
  4. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Yes I have seen Lightning break underground pipes. Actually it destroyed some of them.

    The leak can be anywhere between the inside check valve and the valve at the pump motor. So this means you do have an inside check valve. Right? If so, I would remove it as soon as possible.

    Finding a leak underground is difficult if the ground is capable of soaking up the water faster than the leak itself. You can probably listen down the well after removing the check valve. Run the pump, then shut it off and listen very quickly after shutting the motor off and see what you hear.

    bob...
  5. bgnotaplumber

    bgnotaplumber New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Inside check valve?

    Where would the inside check valve be located? I don't know if we have one of those....I saw a diagram and it showed the check valve at the top of the well pump. It sounds like the valve you're talking about is different from the valve at the pump?
  6. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    It could be anywhere inside the house where the tank is generally.

    bob...
  7. bgnotaplumber

    bgnotaplumber New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Check valve???

    I just talked to the plumber who is helping on this and he said we don't have a check valve in the house. He did replace the one at the well pump, though.

    Thanks,

    bg
  8. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    If you only have one check valve and it's the one at the pump, and the system holds pressure, there are no leaks.

    I just reread your original post. Look for max amps on the pump label or SF amps. That is the target amperage we are looking for. If the pump motor pulls 1 amp less or more than that SF amp number it is not working hard, which means it sees no water or an impeller or two have nuked or plugged somehow.

    bob...
  9. bgnotaplumber

    bgnotaplumber New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Retested Amps on Well Pump...seems fine.

    I tested the well pump again and it's showing 7.68-7.70 amps. Again the well pump characteristics show 7.9 amps. So it seems like it's working okay. We drained the water today...filled up bathtub and misc. jugs for general use and tried to pull the well line loose from the pressure tank to see how the water was coming in at the house. It seems to just barely be coming in - checked this by removing the boiler plug at the 'T' going into the pressure tank. With all the water drained we also checked the water pressure tank and it read 20 psi...which should have been 38 psi? So we filled that back up. We hear some hissing in the water pressure tank...not sure what that is? So with that info we hooked everything back up and now we get nothing? No air or water?
  10. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    It might be time to call the Well Man.

    bob...
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