Water well pump Stops Flowing

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Reg1987, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. Reg1987

    Reg1987 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    Our water well flow test, directly out of the well head and not connected to the pressure tank, was 3 gal per minute. Also, the water completly stopped flowing after a couple of minutes. The well guy said the pump was still running, just not bring up water.

    We lowered the pump 17 feet which was just off the well bottom. Again, the pump stopped flowing after a couple of minutes.

    Why would the pump stop flowing at both levels; 17 feet lower and the original 17 feet higher?
  2. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,435
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Welcome to Terry's Forums Reg1987,


    What is the model of your pump ?

    Are you running it on 120 or 240 ?

    You can use an amp probe to tell if the motor is really running.
    It may be shutting down on its internal Cut Off. Or you may be out of water.


    Have a good day.


    DonL
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011
  3. Reg1987

    Reg1987 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    The control Box in the garage says that it is a Franklin Electric 3/4 HP 230v Model 2801074915.

    Does this motor have a internal shutoff?

    The well guy that run the water volume test before we lowered the pump said that the pump was still running when it quick flowing. I'm assuming he could feel it vibrating?

    However, after we lowered it 17 feet it also shut off. Then a different guy didn't really say if the pump was still running or not. So, I really do not know.

    But...How can it be getting water at 17 feet higher (but shutting off after a couple of minutes), and then not getting enough at 17 feet lower (and again shutting off after a couple of minutes)????

    Is this a shutoff control problem or actually a low water problem??
  4. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,435
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    You would think that it be running longer now, If it was a low water issue.

    If it is overheating it will trip its internal breaker, then reset after it cools.
    Could also be a problem in the control box.

    3 gal per min, seems low, like maybe it is wired for 230, but is getting a lower voltage.
    That would make for low flow and overheating as well.

    What do you do, to get another couple of minutes of water to flow ?

    Is the pump motor model 2145079004 ?

    The number you listed is the control box, I do believe.


    DonL
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,133
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Put an ammeter on the leads. If the thermal switch is tripping, there will be no current.

    You don't give any details about the well. What size casing? What depth is the well? What depth is the static water table? Does the water level drop when the pump shuts off?
  6. Reg1987

    Reg1987 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    4 in casing
    180 ft deep
    I don't know the static water table depth?
    Don't know if the well water drops when pump shuts off? Just know that we lowered the pump 17 feet and the pump only runs for about two minutes before it quits flowing water.
  7. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,133
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Is this a rock well? Where is the water entering? If the pump is placed below the entry point, there may not be enough cooling flow past the motor.
  8. Reg1987

    Reg1987 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    I don't have any number except what is on the control box.

    Ya, it sure seems like it should be running longer with a 17 foot drop in the pump level. And it appeared that the motor ran approximately the same time before shutting off at both pump levels. Thus, that would imply a pump motor problem. What trips the motor? Overheating?
  9. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,435
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    That pump should be capable of about 12 GPM.

    Maybe you are just over pumping the well.

    An amp probe will tell you.

    Or you could add water to the well and test the pump that way.
    If the pump is good and the well is being over pumped, It will Overheat and shut off.


    DonL
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011
  10. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Restrict the outflow until you discover the amount the well will flow. Start at @ 2GPM
  11. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,435
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Excellent Idea. That would be a Good Test, Use a Ball Valve to limit the flow.


    It has been so dry this year here in Texas, You may just be out of water.

    They have watering bans here. Luckily It is raining here today.


    DonL
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011
  12. Reg1987

    Reg1987 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    Need new well, probably

    After lowering my well pump 17 feet (just off the bottom), the well guy tested it and it ran for about 3 minutes then quit flowing water. However, the pump was still running, confirmed by an ampmeter. Prior to flow stopping, it pumped 17 gal/min.

    Probably do not have enough water availability for a water storage tank. Will need to go to a new well.They suggest a new well be drilled with a larger 10 inch casing and probably 200-220 feet.

    However, before we commit to a new well, he is going to try a sand pump in the old well. Apparently this thumps the bottom of the hold and dredges up the bottom sand to provide more water clearance? A small expense that might work before committing to a new well hole.


    Comments?
  13. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,435
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Reduce the flow, so that the well does not get over pumped.

    Sounds like you are pumping to much water too fast.

    Slow the rate down, then re-test it.
  14. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,549
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Or just wait 30 minutes and do the test again. If it pumps 17 GPM for 3 minutes every 30 minutes, the well is making 1.5 GPM which is 2,160 gallons per day.
  15. Texas Wellman

    Texas Wellman In the Trades

    Messages:
    550
    Location:
    SE Texas-Coastal
    If it were me I would pull the pump and everything out and then blow the well with air. That will tell you the exact GPM the well is making. I don't know what you're trying to do as far as household, irrigation, etc, but 10" well is a pretty big well round these parts. Also the condition of the original well plays into it. If the original well is steel casing it will eventually get a hole in the casing, if not already, and you will have to drill a new well regardless. Sometimes you can acidize the screen, if it has one, to increase production. This is not done much anymore on steel wells due to most of them already having a hole in the casing or the fact that the well is nearing the end of it's lifetime.

    If the well only makes 2-3 GPM it will be a chore trying to keep the pump from running dry. You will have to install something like a pumptec etc. to shut the pump off. Also I would go down to a 1/2 HP pump. Remember too that when you're pumping open ended you're pumping much more water than the pump can do at 50 psi.

    There is approx. .6 gallons of water per foot of 4" casing, so you should have several tens of gallons of storage in the well. I didn't see what your static level was but I have a well that is a low producer but the water level is about 20' with a total depth of about 220, giving me about 120 gallons in storage + the recovery rate of about 5-6 gpm.

    That extra 17 ft gave you about 10 gallons more of storage, so your extra minute sounds about right.

    Good luck to you and let us know how it turns out.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
  16. Reg1987

    Reg1987 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    An update on my well situation.....

    The well guys came back yesterday and pulled out my pump and used a sand pump. They had previously lowered the pump 17 feet, but that did not seem to help much.

    They hoped the sand pump would be able to unplug the bore hole and possibly go down farther, but there did not seem to be much sand at the bottom. Just some blue colored rock.

    I did find out that my well is 160 feet with the pump at 157 feet.

    Now, the water flowed at 16.5 gal per minute with no back pressure and flowed for about 5 minutes without stopping. At 60 psi pressure it flowed at 9 gal/min and didn't stop for the 10 minutes that we left it run.

    So, the well is much improved. Nowhere near what it was at last year, but better than a few weeks ago.

    They surmised that the improvement might have come from the sand pump thumping the bottom and loosening the sand that may have collected in the vertical slits in the last 20 feet of perforated casing. Don't really know, but it seemed better.
  17. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,133
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    5 or 10 minutes is not a long time to let it run to get any meaningful data. Depending on casing size and static water level, the 82.5 gallons you pumped could have all come from the casing. 100 feet of 6 inch casing can hold 150 gallons of water.

    Anyway, I hope that did in fact make a difference.
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