Air affecting shallow well jet pump psi guage

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Akrobinson18

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Hello! I had some help in the comments of a separate thread, but I want to expand here in case I'm missing something.

We have a shallow well, very full abundant water table. The jet pump that the house came with died a few days ago (a grinding sound happened at the end of its cycle. I didn't realize the motor died until water wasn't working a couple hours later). The old one was as follows:
Goulds
Model C48AA33A06 SER 23518CH
HP 3/4 VOLTS 115/230 (we run at 113V)
We had no water or pump issues with this one until it died. I thought it cycled pretty often, but it was 15+ (maybe more) years old, and I think our tank is only 36 gal. We have a farm so we use water for animals and ourselves (lots of hose use).

On a captive air tank (Sears model 390.291501). The new pump is a Red Lion Shallow Well jet pump of the same specs. Installation wasn't tricky; we have our pressure switch at 20/40. To get it to reach 40psi, we have to hold the air bleeder button on the filter assembly (which occasionally has air bubbles moving through it). There absolutely is air in the water. We get get to 40 psi while holding the bleeder button (a lot air sputters out). Once it cuts to 20, there's no getting it back to 40 without doing it manually. If we aren't bleeding it, the guage just jumps around between 20 and 25.

From what I've gathered, we have a suction pipe leak. What are steps I can take to find and repair without having to dig? Getting 12"+ snow today and the ground is frozen. Seeing as we didn't have air in our water before, is it plausible the seal on the pipe to the pump is just not great? We can occasionally hear hissing from it, but not 24/7. Our faucets don't sputter 24/7 either.

Are there any indications of a problem with the tank in this scenario?
 

Reach4

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Slather the joints you can access with shaving foam, and see if any sucks in. Don't forget the connection right at the pump.

If it sucks in, take a photo, and share.

But with the freezing, what keeps the pipe from the well from freezing?
 

Akrobinson18

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Slather the joints you can access with shaving foam, and see if any sucks in. Don't forget the connection right at the pump.

If it sucks in, take a photo, and share.

But with the freezing, what keeps the pipe from the well from freezing?
I did try that in one section last night with no results. I'll continue today.

The pipe comes out from the ground in our crawlspace and is wrapped in foam; being blocked from the wind and below the warm house. That's the only reason I can think of. That and the rest is buried below the frost line (I'm assuming)
 

Reach4

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Ah, the snow may be related to the well if the access to the crawl space is outdoors.

Do you have 1 inch pvc pipe going into a 2-inch well casing, or what?

If you cannot find a leak above ground, I would consider SIDR polyethylene pipe down the well with the foot valve on the bottom of the pipe. That would not have hidden joints.

It also seems possible that the well level has dropped. If I had a shallow well, I would consider putting in a combination vacuum and pressure gauge on the intake line. As the water level dropped during pumping, I would expect the vacuum to increase until the water fell to the level of the foot valve. Of course adding a gauge also adds some potential places for a vacuum leak.
 
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Akrobinson18

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Ah, the snow may be related to the well if the access to the crawl space is outdoors.

Do you have 1 inch pvc pipe going into a 2-inch well casing, or what?

If you cannot find a leak above ground, I would consider SIDR polyethylene pipe down the well with the foot valve on the bottom of the pipe. That would not have hidden joints.

It also seems possible that the well level has dropped. If I had a shallow well, I would consider putting in a combination vacuum and pressure gauge on the intake line. As the water level dropped during pumping, I would expect the vacuum to increase until the water fell to the level of the foot valve. Of course adding a gauge also adds some potential places for a vacuum leak.
I believe so, regarding 1" into 2" casing, yes. We heard some noise that sounded like it could be coming from the casing area early on, but I haven't heard it in at least 24 hours. Access to the crawl space is outdoors. The well is situated in a mountain spring that's gushing water, so water table definitely isn't the issue. We also have an immense amount of water coming from the mountain behind our house.

Camera down would definitely be more feasible; I'll be going into the crawlspace again in a few to search for any answers there. Will check around the guage too and get back with answers, hopefully!
 

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Reach4

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I see you have a hose feeding into a check valve. Are there joints in the hosing, or does that hose bend and wend its way down the casing? I would slather the five joints between the red pump and black hose before going into the crawl space.
 

Akrobinson18

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I see you have a hose feeding into a check valve. Are there joints in the hosing, or does that hose bend and wend its way down the casing? I would slather the five joints between the red pump and black hose before going into the crawl space.
It just bends down and connects beneath the tank. I actually haven't checked that spot yet because I've been so focused on the other one. I'm thinking it must be one of these joints. It has to be; we didn't have a leak before replacing the pump. This only happened after everything was opened up. Going into the crawl space was a waste of time and gave me no leads lol.
 

Akrobinson18

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Update. No leaks found in all of the pump apparati. We checked our filter and made sure the O ring seal was tight, and managed to tighten it more. It will reach cut off now, just slowly. I feel like it shouldn't have such a hard time, but that's a problem for another day!
 
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