well system loosing pressure

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by aneighbor, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. aneighbor

    aneighbor New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    southern ohio
    Hello: I have a simple well system and on new years day I noticed my pump was not shutting off. The set points are 40/60 and the system does not want to reach the cut off pressure point of 60 psi.My pressure tank reading is set and was holding at 38psi. It is a 50 foot deep submersible pump in a steel casing with a single check valve threaded right onto the top of the pump.My first course of action was to close the main house shut off valve located directly after the pressure tank, this changed nothing (the pump kept trying to increase pressure but it could not achieve 60psi). I then turned off the well pump 220v wall switch. When I turned off the switch the pressure began to fall pretty rapidly. Maybe 45 seconds and the system pressure was zero and I heard water release back into the incoming well line through my foundation wall. I turned the well pump back on and she jumped immediately up to 40 plus and climbed to about 50 psi but no higher for several minutes, (this was w/ the house valve still closed). I turned the pump back off and again a repeat of watching the system pressure drop to zero within 45 seconds or so.

    I went outside and checked the well casing as the system tried to fill again and checked for a pit-less adapter leak,(there was not a leak). I then pulled my pump and line out of the ground. I removed the 1-1/4 check valve and bench tested it 5-6 times by pouring water into it, (it held each time), I then went ahead and re-installed the check valve and replaced the 50 feet of 1 inch poly line.I Put her back in the ground and turned the system on again, I got the same results. I then lowered my tank air pressure to 28 psi and reset the pressure switch to 30/50 and retried the fill process, again and repeatedly the system could not achieve 50 psi to shut off the pump after several minutes. I then lowered the tank pressure to 22 psi and reset the pressure switch to cut out at 24/44. The system now will operate correctly (reaches new lower set point and kicks on and off accordingly) and does not leak down on the pressure gauge.

    My question: The system leaked pressure rapidly before and after I serviced the check valve and replaced the incoming supply line from the pump to the pit-less connector. The only time it stopped leaking down is when I accommodated the pumps inability to reach the 60psi set point by reducing the pressure tank psi and by resetting the pressure switch settings down to 24/44. My thoughts are that the check is in fact defective when it is trying to hold system pressure at the higher 60psi setting? This doesn't make sense to me why the check would prohibit the system from reaching 60 psi during the fill cycle. I could understand that the check valve if defective may not hold pressure once the system is shut off (reached 60psi set point) but I don't understand why it would then appear to hold at 44psi? Oh and we have plenty of water and have used water as normal since I have lowered the pressure settings and pressure tank as required.We just have lower line pressure of course since I took the cutoff from 60 to 44psi.Your expertise is most appreciated.
  2. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,311
    Location:
    Maine
    It's not the check valve. Sounds like you have a leak between then pitiless and the house.
  3. aneighbor

    aneighbor New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    southern ohio
    If there were a leak anywhere at all in the supply line then why is the system holding pressure to 44 psi but yet it would not hold at 60psi? A leaks a leak right!
  4. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,510
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    Most check valves close tighter with higher pressure. Unless they have trash in them.

    But a Line leak may only show when the pressure gets higher.


    You would think Water must be going somewhere.



    Good Luck.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
  5. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,311
    Location:
    Maine
    You said it drops rapidly when the pump is off. Big leak. Pump can only get 44lbs to the tank. Does the pump shut off or run continuously.
  6. craigpump

    craigpump Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,081
    Location:
    ct
    This is pretty easy to diagnose.

    Pull the drop pipe up to the top of the well and put a gauge on the drop pipe. Have someone turn on the power for a few seconds and see what kind of pressure the pump builds. When they shut the power off, what does the gauge do? If it holds 70 psi or more you know the problem isn't in the well.
  7. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,510
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    You make it sound easy.

    Just one reason to call a Pro.


    Keep up the good work.
  8. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,185
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    You are either giving conflicting info or you are chasing multiple issues. Either way, if the pressure drops, you have a leak. Use air pressure to test. On a system without air, even the smallest of leaks will drop the pressure. Even expansion/contraction will affect test results.
  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,796
    Location:
    IL
    Most leaks leak leak more, and pumps pump less, when the pressure is higher. When the pressure was under 44, the pump could pump faster than the leak. The pressure hit 44, the pump could only pump enough to keep up with the leak.
  10. aneighbor

    aneighbor New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    southern ohio
    My thinking as well but where the heck is the water going?
  11. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,796
    Location:
    IL
    I expect it is going down the well bore.
  12. craigpump

    craigpump Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,081
    Location:
    ct
    Process of elimination.

    If the water isn't running in the house, the problem is in the well or between the well and house. Pulling the drop pipe up and pressure testing the down hole equipment is the first step.
  13. aneighbor

    aneighbor New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    southern ohio
    Thanks to all that offered some advice. When the weather warms above single digits I'll try an air test on the system.
  14. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,510
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    Is your pressure switch freezing ?
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