Backflow to well or leak between pump and tank?

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LLigetfa

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I've noticed that my pump is running frequently when there is no obvious use of water. I have a camera on the pressure switch to record when the pump turns on and off. Here is the frequency over the last 24 hours.
31-18-49-28.png

Seeing that the time between cycles over the last few days varies considerably, my guess is that the loss of water is due to a failing check valve. I've seen as much as two hours pass between pump cycles and at other times just 20 minutes. I think a hole in a fitting or leaking O-ring on the pitless would leak at a consistent rate whereas the poppet in the check valve moves around and could seat better on one cycle than the other.

Of course Murphy's Law states that bad things happen at the worst time, and I have booked some vacation time and company is coming to visit. I am hoping not to ask my visitors to help me pull the pump to add a check valve on top of the pump and that I can get away with installing a check valve where the water line comes into the house for now. Of course Murphy could conspire against me and it is a leak between the well casing and the house and adding a check valve risks surface water getting into the supply and I make my guests sick with bad water.
 

LLigetfa

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Turns out it is neither, just a leaking garden hose left on for days on end. I've been mentioning to the wife for days of the frequent pump cycling so fully expected her to tell me if she has leaking garden hose.
 

LLigetfa

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Here is the pump log after I turned off her garden hose at the spigot. The only overnight water use was the iron filter backwashing at 2:00 AM.
01-07-48-15.png
 

Reach4

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Of course Murphy's Law states that bad things happen at the worst time, and I have booked some vacation time and company is coming to visit.

Had your septic pumped fairly recently? That is one where the increased users can stress the system.
 

LLigetfa

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Had your septic pumped fairly recently? That is one where the increased users can stress the system.
My septic tank and field are way oversized so not concerned. Neither my softener nor my iron filter backwash into the septic tank.
 

LLigetfa

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Here I go again jumping to the wrong conclusion... I came home to the sound of the iron filter backwashing, or so I thought. To my defense, the sound was definitely coming from the iron filter and it sounded just like it does when backwashing. The display panel did not show any progress however and when I put my hand on the drain line it was not cold to the touch. Putting it into bypass did not stop the flow. Still in denial, I stepped through the stages manually and they all did what they were supposed to but when put back into service, the noise persisted.

I finally accepted that it was not the iron filter but then the softener after it was not showing any flow through it. I finally had a lightbulb moment, remembering that I Tee off between the iron filter and the softener to feed several outside hose bibs. I asked the wife to go out and check them and she said she was sure they were all turned off (she didn't actually go check on them). Sure enough, when I put my hand on the ball valve that serves the garden spigot, it was cold and sweaty which when turned off put an end to the noise. We had gotten a sudden cold spell and I had not yet blown out the line to the garden so it froze and split before the spigot. In her defense she had turned off the spigot but the split was before the spigot.

It is supposed to warm up in the coming days and I have to drag my air compressor around and blow out any lines and hoses that are susceptible to frost damage. The problem is I have a very long honey-do list also waiting for the warm spell.
 

Valveman

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Sorry for your problem, but I have seen that many times. After spending a day replacing someone's pump that failed, and they don't know why, the new pump just keeps cycling on and off. Searching the yard I usually find a hose running in the weeds where the kids were playing or the wife was watering and forgot to turn it off.

Many people tell me they don't have a cycling problem because they don't have any irrigation and don't use much water in the house. But then something like this happens and they burn up a pump. Usually best to have a Cycle Stop Valve in case it is needed, even on systems where it would not normally be of much use. The CSV cannot do anything about the wife leaving the hose running, but at least the pump would be running continuously, which will never destroy a pump, instead of cycling itself to death before you know there is a problem.
 

LLigetfa

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at least the pump would be running continuously, which will never destroy a pump
The split pipe was drawing max GPM and the pump could not keep up to the leak so no cycling. That was why the iron filter was making the same noise as if it was backwashing which also draws max GPM.
 

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The split pipe was drawing max GPM and the pump could not keep up to the leak so no cycling. That was why the iron filter was making the same noise as if it was backwashing which also draws max GPM.

Wait a minute! This woke me up in the middle of the night. What about all the blue dots on the graph in post #1? Isn't that a lot of cycling on and off because the split "wasn't" large enough?
 

LLigetfa

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My bad! I derailed my own thread. The only commonality between the two problems was my misdiagnosis and jumping to the wrong conclusion and the wife's garden hose being complicit in all this.

The original problem that initiated this thread was cycling due to her garden hose having a slow leak. The latest problem that I posted about was about her garden hose spigot having a massive leak.
 

2stupid2fixit

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True to my name, I didnt see this in the thread, but have you eliminated the pitless adapter gasket as the culprit? A rotted $6 pitless gasket will wreak havoc on your whole system. A failed pitless connection will cause pumped water to go right back down the well, and it will cause water pumped into your house to go....well, right back down the well. Plus, a faulty pitless will introduce air into the system and air is the best villian to make any system make noise. Leaking pitless setups are a very simple problem that can cause so many down-the-line symptoms. When systems get more complex after the pump, the cause can be difficult to spot. **EDIT** I can tell you from experience that pitless o rings do not always leak at a constant rate. The minerals in the water do not pass through holes at the same size. Some water will go trough faster, some will go through an opening slower depending on how much mineral content is in a particular stretch of water. Well water is not homogonized.
 
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