Well pump short cycling...pitless adapter leaking externally

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by chris1044, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. chris1044

    chris1044 New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    MI
    I'm located in MI, bought this house a year ago, and my well water level is roughly 80' deep (checked by removing cap on well with a weight/string). Neighbor says well was put in 20 years ago or so, doesn't know if the pump has ever been changed. I don't have a well log from the county...should go get one, but this just happened yesterday.

    Long story short, the pump started short cycling a week ago. I checked the pressure bladder, and it's water-logged...read this can cause short cycling, so I thought I had found the problem. I planned to change that this weekend (still will), and in the mean time I had been turning the breaker on/off when I needed water so I didn't burn up the well pump.

    Yesterday I left the breaker on for an hour or so during dinner where the water wasn't in use. Afterwords, I went outside and noticed the ground around the well head was totally saturated with water...so, the pipe between the house/well was obviously leaking - looks like I found the exact cause of the short cycling:(

    Today I dug down to where my pitless adapter is...it's got a straight threaded pipe connected directly to it, a 90* fitting, and another straight threaded fitting that the poly supply line is clamped to. The piece the poly line is clamped to has a pin hole rusted in it and needs to be changed. Simple enough, right?


    My question is this. Everything out there is galvanized steel - the threaded stuff into the pitless adapter, and the pitless adapter itself (I think...need to get a magnet and check). My pitless adapter is a clamp-on style. This stuff is at least 18 years old, and I'd like to do it right this time so I don't have to re-dig in a year when something fails.

    What do I need to do to change the pitless adapter?? Pull the well pump? Suggestions on what the professional would do?
  2. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,466
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    The pitless should be brass. But yes you would need to pull the pump to change the pitless. Probably just need to replace the insert adapter with a brass one. And stop the cycling!
  3. chris1044

    chris1044 New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    MI
    The pitless adapter is in fact galvanized steel...a magnet sticks right to it.

    It's bolted around my 4.5" steel well casing like a muffler clamp would. It doesn't look like there's a whole lot of places for it to corrode through at, but still. I could replace the straight/90*/straight barbed fitting coming out of it and be up-and-running with water by the morning (after bleaching the well), but I want to do this right. My luck, if I don't, I'll be digging the ground next Christmas with 12" of snow on the ground.

    Suggestions?
  4. chris1044

    chris1044 New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    MI
    This is my pitless adapter: http://www.baker-mfg.com/domestic_new/pitless_adapters/Snappy.html

    Why on earth would ANYONE choose to use this piece of shit? I see ZERO advantages, aside from possibly cost (not likely since I'm sure sales volumes are way low). Yes, lets put something that will corrode substantially faster than other options on something that's 7' under the ground with CLAY surrounding it. WTF??
  5. WellWaterProducts

    WellWaterProducts In the trades

    Messages:
    126
    Location:
    Northwood NH
    I've seen them used on 4" casings since they don't project into the well.
  6. chris1044

    chris1044 New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    MI
    My casing is a 5"....per my tape.


    As of right now, the entire thing's back together, and the house is pressurized. I ended up leaving the pitless adapter as it turns out the threads in it were brass. Long story, but from what I can see, the brass/galvanic sections are isolated by rubber.

    Put brass fittings into it, and ended up having to use a 3 piece union on it to get the poly tubing connected. As of right now, there's some very very minor wetness on that after 4 hours of pressure - not enough to drip, but enough to feel when you run your finger over it on the bottom.

    So, I think I'm going to leave it pressurized over night, check it in the morning, and if it's not dripping I'm filling the hole in. Suggestions?
  7. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,987
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Ja, don't put the clay back in the bottom of the hole. Put sand at the bottom and just a bit of the clay on top. That way it will be easier to dig up next time.
  8. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,246
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    The casing, as with all plumbing pipe, is measured from the inside diameter, not the outside diameter.

    When you are installing with poly, use long stainless or brass barb fittings. You should have to heat the pipe to be able to get it to slide over the barb fitting. Use hot water to heat the pipe and then jam it on and use 2 clamps in opposing positions to finish it.
    In my experience, if the pipe fits without heating it you have the wrong barb fittings or the pipe is not the right stuff.
  9. chris1044

    chris1044 New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    MI
    Casing was measured on I.D., and brass barb fitting was used on the poly. Hot water was used to heat the poly as well....did this because the f'er wouldn't fit by hand:D...had no idea it was standard practice.
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