4 kids need help troubleshooting well!

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by Stretchguy, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. Stretchguy

    Stretchguy New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2018
    Location:
    North Central Florida
    Goodmorning from Florida! My well pump went out 3 months ago, my brother in law and myself replaced it ourselves. We used poly pipe, a 1hp well pump, replaced the control box, and low pressure switch. We used the same wiring. The well is about 130ft deep, everything worked just fine! The low pressure switch was adjusted correctly it wasn't cycling and we have been doing good.

    Recently the water pressure dropped to nothing and the low pressure switch was engaged but nothing was happening. I heard humming from the control box, I cut the power and removed the control box and the start capacitor was a little hot, nothing that seemed out of the norm. After allowing it to cool off, everything worked fine but it clicked a few times when first plugged back in.

    I went ahead and replaced the entire control box and again it all worked great for about 12hours then the same thing happened with the new control box, clicking and no water. So I slapped the previous control box on everything works. Basically I am alternating control boxes every few hours, it's as if my start capacitors are getting overworked so I swap it and I'm good to go, when that one gets too hot I change it out (same control box models).

    Can anyone tell me what they think the problem is? What should be my next step? Thank you we have 4 kids and I have no money to pay a professional.
     
  2. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Pump Controls Technician
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    Lubbock, Texas
    Start capacitors are only used for starting. That clicking you are hearing could be a waterlogged tank, which will cause clicking until it trips an overload in the motor, then no water.
     
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  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    IL
    What is the pressure gauge doing? For example, when you swap boxes, what happens to the pressure gauge? The pressure rises for 42 seconds to 40 psi and the pump shuts off... or what?

    What pump and control box are you using (make and model)? What is the pressure tank?
     
  5. Stretchguy

    Stretchguy New Member

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    Location:
    North Central Florida
    Thank you both for replying I will get home and get the information you are asking for and report back!
     
  6. Stretchguy

    Stretchguy New Member

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    Jun 12, 2018
    Location:
    North Central Florida
    I have a PENTEK PENTAIR control box, i took a voltage reading with the box off and got the following: L1+red= 120 , L1+yellow=48 and L1+ Black=120.

    So what typically has been happening the last couple of days is this: The water doesn't come out of the faucet, when i go outside to investigate i find the pressure sitting at zero. The low pressure switch is engaged in the on position, i hear nothing its silent. I place my hand on the well pipe and feel nothing. I remove the control panel box lid and i check the power coming in and the only one out of norm is the yellow reading 48 volts. After messing with the low pressure switch a couple of times and swapping out the lid with a flint and walling lid (both lids fit the PENTAIR PENTEK) i can sometimes get success and the tank will fill, the pressure will go up to 58psi. When it did this last time, I pulled the lid off and checked the voltage and they all read correctly 120 volts including yellow. Within a few hours this process will repeat. Please check out the attached photos and youtube video. Thanks!

    One more note: occasionally the control box will be really noisy and only fill to 20 psi. I will repeat the steps above (messing with low pressure switch and swapping lids) and it will fill normally to 58psi.

    https://imgur.com/gallery/6WlbxEn

     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    IL
    Surprises to me -- because I had assumed wrongly:
    1. You are using a "conventional" (not precharged) tank.
    2. With that, you have a check valve with the pressure switch mounted to the upstream side of the check valve.
    3. Your pressure switch does not have a lever. I had incorrectly thought that your "low pressure switch" reference referred to a low pressure cutoff switch.
    Your symptoms do seem to be what Valveman suggested in #2 -- that your tank is waterlogged. When you use your type of tank, there needs to be a way to add air. This can be done with a drain valve in the well, so that a dose of air gets pushed ahead of the water when the pump turns on. For that to work, the tank needs an air volume control (AVC).

    For now, you need to get water out of the tank, and air into the tank. I am not sure what the best way is, but I would be thinking of opening a faucet, and using an air compressor. I have never actually seen a tank like yours, but others have experience.

    So where do you go from here? Does your tank have an air volume control? If not, maybe you want to convert to a precharged pressure tank.
     
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  8. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Pump Controls Technician
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    Lubbock, Texas
    Certainly a waterlogged tank. Turn power off to the pump. Open a faucet or three. Hook a compressor to that Schrader valve by the pressure switch and let it blow water out the faucets for an hour or so. When air starts coming out the faucets, unhook compressor, close faucets, and turn power back on to the pump.

    That clicking on/off has put a lot of wear on your pressure switch, control box, and the pump/motor. Be ready to replace any or all of these fairly soon. And if you do not have sulfur or iron in the water, go back with a diaphragm style tank like when used with a CSV.
     
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  9. Stretchguy

    Stretchguy New Member

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    I have no idea how to correct a water logged galvanized tank. I agree with you its super old, my wife just popped the cover off the control box and there is a burnt green wire now. I am assuming that the pressure was low, (probably at zero) so the low pressure switch was sending power to the control box and for whatever reason it overloaded? Any thoughts on this picture?

    https://imgur.com/iKR4EZL
     
  10. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Location:
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    Yeah the wire is not burned. That is the stuffing that came out of the starting capacitor. I would just get a new box, as you will need one to go with the new pressure switch and pump. :eek:
     
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  11. Stretchguy

    Stretchguy New Member

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    Okay im going to go buy a new tank from Lowe's, i found a 62 gallon tank like the one linked at the bottom, is this okay for a 1900sq ft house? I have 4 kids there will be alot of washing clothes, washing dishes, people taking showers etc would this be sufficient?

    You also recommend a new control box, and you are saying i will also need a new pressure switch?

    By the way thank you all for the help!!

    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Water-Worker-62-Gallon-Vertical-Pressure-Tank/4095303

    Edit: You said pump at the end of your post, did you mean that?
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  12. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    IL
    That 62 gallon tank will work nicely. You will want to remove the ball from that check valve or just remove the check valve. You could mount pressure switch and pressure gauge on that emptied check valve housing, or you could get a tank tee to hold those things.
     
  13. Stretchguy

    Stretchguy New Member

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    Okay no problem, just curious why should I remove that? Is it not recommended with those new style tanks?

    Again thank you all so much!
     
  14. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    While some have a different opinion, it is usually best for a submersible pump have a check valve built into the pump or one right above the pump. That way your pipe will stay pressurized and full of water all of the time.

    Do you and the neighbors get a sulfur smell or have the iron? If yes, hold off before acting. In that case, having a system that adds air to your galvanized tank may be better than the precharged tank. There are other ways to deal with sulfur (H2S) and iron, but they are not as cheap.
     
  15. Stretchguy

    Stretchguy New Member

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    No sulfur or iron problems at all in this area water is nice clean and clear.
     
  16. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    There should be an air maker bleeder orifice on a tee about 5 feet down the well. Removing the above ground check valve should keep pressure on the bleeder orifice and keep it closed so no air gets in. You do not want air getting into a diaphragm tank system, as it will just blow a glass out of your hand at the faucet. There is a chance that someone just drilled a hole in the pipe at 5 feet instead of using a bleeder as they should. If that is the case, removing the above ground check valve will cause water to leak (spray) out of this drilled hole all the time, so you pump will never stop cycling on and off. There is also a chance that even a regular bleeder will not stay closed when you remove the check valve, which would cause the same problem as a hole drilled in the pipe.

    I would say you have about a 60% chance of being able to switch to a diaphragm style tank without having to pull the pump up and remove the bleeder. I would probably just keep adding air to the old tank system as needed and wait for the pump to quit. You might get lucky and not have to fix anything for 10 year, but it could also be 10 days or hours after a pump has been on a waterlogged tank for a while. So no I wasn't joking, sorry.

    Just start saving up and researching it. Price a new pump, control box, and one of these, as they work better than a 62 gallon tank.
     
  17. Stretchguy

    Stretchguy New Member

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    Jun 12, 2018
    Location:
    North Central Florida
    Valve man: I put a new pump and poly pipe down that well 3 months ago, I never remember putting in an air maker bleeder oriface 5 feet down and I didn't drill a hole in the poly pipe.

    So what does that mean my pump has one built into it? Or I dont need to worry about it? Should I replace the tank or just blow it out with air? I'm sorry I'm just really confused now
     
  18. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    That explains why your tank is waterlogged. Without a bleeder you will have to just put air in it yourself. That is what I would do immediately. That will buy you some time to research your options of constant pressure with a CSV and small tank, or old style cycling on/off every 15 gallons, which is how much water a 62 gallon tank holds. Try this one.
     
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