Well dry ?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by fbrooke, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. fbrooke

    fbrooke New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I'd appreciate some help diagnosing our water problem. About three days ago my wife drained and tried to refill the hot tub. The hose started to spurt air mixed with the intermittent water. I shut off the presure pump at the square gray control box as it was running continuously and waited a few hours. I then opened the hot and cold water facets thoughout the house and turned the pump back on before closing the faucets in an effort to purge the air from the pipes so that the pressure switch would get above 40 psi and stay on. Meanwhile I looked at the guage at the bottom of the bladder (well-xtol) tank which stays at just under 40PSI and seems to have the submersible pump shutting on and off ok.

    Today, (two days later than the hot tub episode), I can get the pump in the basement to stay on with the pressure hovering around 45-50 psi but the water facets continue to spurt air without actually purging (even after several minutes) and when all faucets are closed the air continues to keep the pressure around 45-50 psi. Finally, the water shows sign of sediment and a light brownish color.

    I can't tell much from opening the well. It is a cement frame about four foot square and when I remove the metal cover it just shows a pit about three feet deep with a single pipe coming from the house and headed vertically underground.

    Do you think it is a well running dry issue or the early signs of a submersible pump going bad ? We haven't had an unusually dry summer, in fact we had two or three days of steady rain less than a week ago. Furthermore, this is the first time in the seven years we've lived in the house that we've had any of these symptomsIncluding filling the hot tub numerous times)

    Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,838
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    It would be good to know more about the well. Do you not have a written record of it? Do you know how deep the sell is, what depth the pump was set, and what the static level was at one time?

    A pump going bad does not manufacture air. One way a pump can introduce air into the system is if it pumps a little faster than the well can recover. The water level gets low enough that it forms a vortex like the swirl you see in a draining bathtub.

    My guess is that the water level is low and the recovery not fast enough. Can you push a small poly pipe down the well to a depth where you can no longer blow air through it like a straw? Since water pressure is .43 PSI per foot and you most likely cannot blow more than a couple PSI, you can get a rough estimate of the depth. Do it first when the well had time to recover and then do it agoin when you suspect the level has fallen. Compare the difference.
  3. masterpumpman

    masterpumpman New Member

    Messages:
    729
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    It sounds like the well is running low on water or the pump may need to be lowered in the well, depending on the well depth vs the pump setting. LLigetfa made a good suggestion on how to check the static water level and the pumping level.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 9, 2011

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