Well problem. Need advice/knowledge

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Blue Fin, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. Blue Fin

    Blue Fin New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    East Hampton , NY
    Greetings everyone from Eastern Long Island, NY.

    Last night I noticed my well pump cycling (1 HP Sta-Rite Signature 2000 Series submersible pump,4" well appox. 40 feet total depth).

    I shut off the valve on the house side of the pressure tank and the pump kept cycling.

    Pressure tank was recently replaced, btw.

    I shut the main breaker off and went to bed.

    This morning I back pressured the line to the well with about 5 Psi of compressed air.

    Took the cap off the well head and saw bubbles in the water in the well casing.

    Is this a sign of a bad check valve or a pump problem ? I did not notice a check valve below the pitless adaptor and ground water level.

    There is about 6 feet to ground water.

    After bleeding the line of the air the pump is pumping but cycling again as it did last night.

    Any thoughts or insight on what my problem may be ?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,316
    Location:
    Maine
    Check the inlet to the pressure switch for blockage
  3. Blue Fin

    Blue Fin New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    East Hampton , NY
    Thanks for the prompt reply Tom.

    What's happening is that when I shut the house side valve off then shut the breaker to the well pump the water drains back down into the well. Not so sure it has anything to do with the pressure switch.

    Reading the owner's manual for the pump, troubleshooting section, one possibility is that there is a break in a section of the down pipe. Sound plausible ?
  4. craigpump

    craigpump Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,093
    Location:
    ct
    Sounds to me like a split pipe in the well or bad check valve on the pump
  5. Boycedrilling

    Boycedrilling In the Trades

    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    Royal City, WA
    It's what craigpump said. The problem is in the well, either a leaking check valve or a hole or split in the drop pipe. Pull the pump.
  6. Blue Fin

    Blue Fin New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    East Hampton , NY
    Appreciate the replies gentlemen. I have a call in to the well company.

    One other thing I noticed is that I have a weird white material getting caught up in the sediment filters and in the irrigation strainer. Is this some sort of algae? Last summer it was clogging the irrigation strainer (60 micron) and when I cleaned it off it had a consistency of what is best described as fiberglass insulation.

    I just swapped out my sediment filters. First one is 10 micron and second is a 5 micron. Both filters showed traces of this material.

    Any ideas what it may be?

    TIA
  7. craigpump

    craigpump Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,093
    Location:
    ct
    Without seeing it, it sounds like calcium which could be what is hanging the check valve open
  8. Blue Fin

    Blue Fin New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    East Hampton , NY
    Guess it could be calcium. The well was installed in 2005 and up until last summer had no problems. Then in July had almost no pressure in my irrigation system. As I said it turned out the 60 mic strainer was covered with the stuff. its kind of stringy. Right now the bucket that my old sediment filters are sitting in has some water in it and the stuff is floating on the surface. I'll show it to the well technician when he shows up and let you know what he says.

    Thanks again for your help.
  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,844
    Location:
    IL
    I would try soaking some of the white material in something that dissolves calcium, such as CLR or vinegar. Alternatively, try burning a sample in a scrap teaspoon; calcium salts will not burn, tho they may make the flame slightly pink if it is pure. If those deposits are white plastic, your course of action would probably differ.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013
  10. Boycedrilling

    Boycedrilling In the Trades

    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    Royal City, WA
    Calcium is usually a hard mineral deposit that has no visible crystalline structure and I've never seen it as filaments. If it's plastic material, the impellers and or diffusers in the pump are self destructing. Is it an organic material? I've seen stuff that looks like hair growing in wells before.
  11. wondering

    wondering Member

    Messages:
    106
    Years ago I had a similar problem. If you ran water in a bucket looked like pieces of Kleenex floating around. Started clogging screens,etc. It was an impeller wearing down and causing the trouble. Mine was a 1hp Jet Pump. Pump guy fixed it. I now have a submersible as you said you do, so I am not sure they would have impeller wear in the same way as the jet pumps?? I do know it was a headache because you couldn't use the shower,washer or anything cause it would clog the screen quick and mine started this all at once.
  12. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,588
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Yeah sounds like pieces of the impellers to me as well.
  13. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,196
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Too lazy to look up the pump curve but 1HP for a 40 foot deep well and a 6 foot static level sounds like it could be way off the curve and shaving the impellers from upthrust.
  14. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,588
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    I would say that is a pretty good guess. Either way you need to figure out what caused it so it doesn't happen again.
  15. craigpump

    craigpump Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,093
    Location:
    ct
    I missed the fiberglass similarity....

    I agree it is probably the impellers
  16. Blue Fin

    Blue Fin New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    East Hampton , NY
    Is it possible the impellers suffered damage due to excessive running when my previous charged air tank was bad ? In retrospect thats when I started to notice the particles in the irrigation screen.

    i'm sort of lost with the comment about the pump curve and 40' depth 6' static level. Not sure if this helps but I live near the water (ocean) and there is a salt lens which I am (hopefully) below. Or at least I was when the well was put in back in '05.

    Additionally, the well is also approx 200 feet from my house and runs through 1" copper.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013
  17. greenmonster304

    greenmonster304 New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Hampton Bays, NY
    Who did you call? Gregor or Casola
  18. Blue Fin

    Blue Fin New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    East Hampton , NY
    Casola installed the well in 2005. I left a voicemail yesterday (Sunday). Hopefully I'll get a callback first thing this morning.
  19. greenmonster304

    greenmonster304 New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Hampton Bays, NY
  20. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,588
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Well I guess the pump damage could have been from rapid cycling from a waterlogged tank, but I doubt it. Damage from rapid cycling usually causes a locked rotor in the motor, broken shaft or stripped coupling, and is usually preceded by a couple of burned pressure switches or starting capacitors.

    That kind of impeller damage is more likely caused by upthrust like LL said. A 1HP, 10 GPM pump needs a minimum of 170’ or 74 PSI against it to prevent upthrust. With only 6’ static level and starting the pump at 40 PSI means you only have 100’ of head against the pump on start up, which makes me think upthrust is taking your impellers apart.
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