water pressure issue

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by ohioguy, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. ohioguy

    ohioguy New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Ohio
    I’m a city boy living with no city water and little knowledge on wells. The home (built in 1969) where I live has a well with a submersible pump. This past week my son was running water in the house and the pressure went down and I then had little water coming out of the faucet. I went down to check the gauge on the pressure tank and it showed I still had 40 pounds. This eventually ran to 30 and then kicked back to around 48 pounds, but had the same issue. I called a local well driller/well repair that came highly recommended by trusted friends.

    He came out and checked the pressure tank and the pressure switch (not necessarily in this order) and said that they were working, as they should. He checked the well pump and said that it appears that the pump may need to be replaced and it was (keep in mind I purchased this home around 5 yrs ago and the pump was replaced then as it was a repo that sat for some time). Once the pump was replaced I continued to have the same problems. Water and pressure at first and it slowly goes to next to no pressure with little water. I also discovered that if I run several faucets/tub at the same time the pressure tank would drop to 0. The tank cycles a couple of times and once it starts to fill back at 30 pounds it will start back up and then drop to 0 with no water in the house. When this happens I checked the pump and it does not appear to be running, but I kill the breaker anyway. I turn the breaker on in a short time and the tanks fill right back up to around 48 pounds. When the tank fills back up I do not hear any sputter or anything in the lines indicating that pump may be sucking any air.

    He then began to look at whether or not it was a well issue (lack of water). He measured my well at 53’ to the bottom. The water level was at 35’ and the bottom of the pump it at 48’. He again measured this after I ran several faucets/bathtub in the house to check on the recovery. The water measured at 41’ after the pump kicked on a couple times, but I was still having the same water pressure issues inside. He told me that the well is slow recovery, but he said that my issue was not lack of water from the well.

    He told me that he is now leaning towards blockage in the pipes. He told me that I need to shock the well and see if this may break loose anything in the pipes. This sound’s like this could be the problem, but I’m not sure. I have confidence in the company that is working on this, but it does not hurt to reach out for other knowledge in this area. I have read a lot on wells in the last week and everything I have read I cannot figure this problem out.

    I don’t know of means anything, but I don’t think I pull a lot of water from this well. It is just me and my 6 yr old who live here and he is not school 5 days a week and I work full time. I am open for any suggestions.

    Thanks
    Central Ohio guy
  2. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Shocking won't do anything for your plumbing except for the air that may get in the lines. Air can shake things up and knock loose a lot of minerals that have built up over the years. The problem with that is that your plumbing gets smaller as it heads toward your faucets. This can cause a total blockage sometimes that can be very difficult to break loose.

    You could replumb the house, or maybe just the main lines that are easier to get at. Especially any old galvanized pipes. They plug the fastest.

    If you could run air backwards from the faucets to an open pipe near the tank, that would clean the pipes some and hopefully not plug anything up.

    bob...
  3. ohioguy

    ohioguy New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Ohio
    bob,

    Thanks for the input. My house is an L shape house with water lines that go both directions and the tank is about in the center of the "elbow", which makes me believe if it is blockage that it is a main feed somewhere as the entire house has poor pressure. I have ran water from the valve at the pressure tank and I wish I had half the pressure that is there. Would a blockage have anything to do with the pressure tank kicking off after cycling a few times?

  4. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    You may have the answer with the blockage being near the tank.

    I don't know what you mean by the tank kicking off. You must mean the pump. If the pump is kicking out, that's not good.

    Question, do you have any filtratation? Water softener, iron filter, "whole house filter (oxy moron)"

    bob...
  5. ohioguy

    ohioguy New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Ohio
    bob,

    I have a Kinetico water softner and it does have a filter. I have changed the filter within the last couple weeks. When I say that the pressure tank kicks off, I will try to explain: the pressue gauge will go from 30pounds to about 48punds. I ran water from the spigot at the pressure tank (using a hose and running into the sump) to check the pressue there. I had exellent pressure, but the gauge would get to 30pounds and then back to about 48 a few times. Then the gauge would get to 30 and act as if it was going to go back up and then it would just "kick off" dropping the gauge to 0. I checked the well pump and it does not appear to be running when this is at 0. I hope I explained this good enough.

    I am exploring an issue that I know little about, besides what I have read and what the guy that has been looking into the problem has told me. He seems to know what he is doing, but seems to be at a loss on this. He assures me that we will figure this out. I like do as much homework on issue's that I know little about so here I am. I have checked out several other site's and I like this one. I have looked through several of the other posts on here to see if anyone has had a similar problem before I posted. Thanks for your time and your quick replys.....
  6. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Most if not all Kinetico softeners come with a pre filter. Pre filters aren't required on any other softener I'm aware of. I would be highly suspect of that filter or the Kinetico itself.

    If you want to do a test yourself, remove the cartridge filter completely leaving just an empty housing. Then bypass the softener. Now try your water pressure in the fixtures you were having trouble with and see if the pressure improved. If so, your cartridge filter or the softener is the problem.

    As for the pump kicking out when it should be running. It could be just something in the pressure switch points keeping them from turning on the pump. Or it could be the pump itself.

    This guy that is checking out your system should have checked these things already. It's really not that hard to figure out for someone that does it all the time.

    bob...
  7. ohioguy

    ohioguy New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Ohio
    bob,

    I did by pass the softner and I have the same pressure issue. I should probably just leave this to the pro's, but it's hard just to sit back. I want to say thanks for your input and I was really impressed with your reply time. If you would think of anything else it could be please let me know. Take care....
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Did you remove the filter cartridges? If not do so and see what happens.

    You have 13' of water above the bottom of the pump and that falls to 5' after water use when he 'tested' the depth. What is the diameter of the well casing?

    I think the pump is overheating and the thermal overload is opening and shutting off the pump and the gauge shows 0 psi. When this happens check the switch contact points are still closed, remove the switch cover and look. Careful there's 240 vac in there so don't touch anything. If they are closed, I'm probably right. If they are open, I'm out of ideas.
  9. WV Hillbilly

    WV Hillbilly New Member

    Messages:
    178
    Location:
    WV
    This is kind of weird because from what you have described you have 2 seperate problems that both started at the same time . I assume everything was fine untill your son was running water & lost pressure . Sounds like you have a 30/50 pressure switch since the pump kicks on at 30 & off at 48 . 1st , you should have about the same pressure in the house as you have at the drain on the pressure tank . 2nd , the pump should be running when the pressure gauge drops from 30 - 0 . With an electrical meter it would be simple to check if you have proper voltage to & from the pressure switch when the pressure drops to 0 . Is the person who is working on this aware that the pressure sometimes drops from 30 - 0 ? Do you have any shutoff valves , check valves , ect. between the pressure tank & the house pipes ?
    I also considered the thermal overload tripping in the pump motor but since your pump man seemed to think you had plenty of water in the well I didn't mention it . Could very well be the problem though that's causing the pressure to drop from 30 - 0 & the pump not running at that time .
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2008
  10. ohioguy

    ohioguy New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Ohio
    Gary,

    When you say to remove the filter cartridge are you referring to the filter on the softner? If I bypass the softner the bypass would not send the water through the filter as the shut off to the water softner is before the filter if I understand this correctly.

    The well casing is 6". I will check the switch contacts later tonight and let you know cause i'm at a loss. You said that if they are closed that you are right. Does this mean that the switch may be bad or the pump is not getting water? I watched how he measured the water depth and the well pump depth and I cannot understand that the pump is not getting water as I figure that there should have been at least 7' water above the mup. Thanks for the advice on this.....

  11. ohioguy

    ohioguy New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Ohio
    Hillbilly,

    I feel that everything was fine until just recently. I have never had great pressure, but nothing like what it is now and never has the water just barly flowed out. I was told that the pressure switch is 30/50. You said that I should have the same pressure in the house as what I had from the hose comming from the valve at the tank. No where even close. If I had that much pressure comming from my faucets I would probably trying to figure out how to back it down. You said that the pump should be running when the pressure tank drops to 0. I don't believe that it is. I can normally feel the line comming to the pressure tank from the well and can feel when the pump is on, but I will go outside and listen in the well to see if I am correct. I will check the voltage on the switch when the pressure tanks drops. This did happen when the guy here and he then began to check the water level, which was alright.

    There is a shut off valve that goes from the pressure tank to the house before and at the softner. I checked these and they are both open.

    Can you explain the overload trip in the pump? What it does and how this be the problem? Remember I am learning and I don't know anything about the overload trip on the pump and this is the first I have heard of this. Thanks for the advise and I am impressed with all of the reply's.

  12. WV Hillbilly

    WV Hillbilly New Member

    Messages:
    178
    Location:
    WV
    Most modern electric motors have a thermal overload switch built into the motor wiring . Thermal basically means heat . If your pump runs out of water & runs dry the motor will get hot & trip this switch . The switch is there to prevent the motor from burning out . After the motor cools down the switch will reset itself allowing the motor to run again . This could explain why after you turn off the breaker for a while then turn it back on you have water again .
  13. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    It doesn't matter where the filter is, the water still has to pass through that cartridge. If you remove it with the softener bypassed, you have tested the softener and that filter to see if they are the hold up in pressure.

    bob...
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