Is my pump dead?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by JoshRountree, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. JoshRountree

    JoshRountree Member

    Nov 3, 2009
    Fleetwood, NC
    Hi everyone, I recently bought my first house back in May of this year. Ever since I moved in you could feel the pump kicking on/off when the pressure tank would get to its cut-in (30psi), water pressure has always been lack luster unless the pump was going or the pressure tank got to 50psi, any other time the water pressure was not that great, and sometimes it would be better than other times.

    This morning I was taking a shower and the water pressure started to drop, and drop, and drop. I though it might be the pressure switch, so I got one when I got off work this evening. I went to replace the pressure switch but decided to see if the wire going to the pump was hot (indicating that the current pressure switch was working), well it was. That got me to thinking that the pressure switch might not be bad after all.

    And now some stuff that I can't explain. I flipped the breaker to the pump off, and opened up a couple of faucets. The pressure gauge never drops, it stays around 27 psi? Is this because of the pre-charge? I don't think so, but it's got me confused.

    Looks like I'm going to call a local plumbing company to come out tomorrow, they have a "Goulds" sign outside their shop, are their pumps any good?
  2. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Mar 15, 2006
    Pump Controls Technician
    Lubbock, Texas
    Your gauge is probably just stuck at 27 PSI. The cycling on and off has probably busted the bladder in the pressure tank, which makes the cycling on and off worse. Then the cycling on and off is probably causing your overload in the motor to trip, which will reset itself after a minute or two.

    I am guessing gauge is broken, bladder tank is busted, and pump is on it's last leg, all because of cycling.

    If I am right, sorry! But I have seen it too many times.
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  4. JoshRountree

    JoshRountree Member

    Nov 3, 2009
    Fleetwood, NC

    I got a plumbing company to come out yesterday and they fixed it.


    The wire to the pump needed replacing, the plumber said it was "ohming out". I'm assuming there was a break in the wire somewhere, it had several places where the insulation was rubbed through. He also tested the pump, and said it "ohmed out", but that indicated it was good. I think I understand when he said the wire "ohmed out", i.e. too much resistance, no electrical path. But, I don't understand how that means the pump was still good.

    In the course of things, we also determined that the pressure gauge was bad, and the pressure tank had NO pre-charge at all. I'm going to monitor it for a few days and see what kind of pressure it holds. He felt that that the pressure tank had a burst bladder.

    When I first looked into buying this house the realtor said that the well was 175ft deep, but the plumber charged me for 110' of well wire. He also said that it was a 1/2 HP pump with a franklin motor? I'm not sure, I should have written down the model numbers when they had it pulled.

    Anyways here is my plan of attack:

    -new pressure tank (what size should I go for, he reccommended what he called was a 50 gal equivalent, i think, is the wellsaver brand from Lowes any good? I like buying stuff from there since it's local and I can take stuff back if it doesn't work)
    -cycle stop valve, again what size, I asked the plumber about this and he had never heard of it, he also said he usually puts in 2 check valves for new installs
    -new cutoffs, I want to redo how the connection is made
    -eventually replace the galvanized pipe at the well head

    What kind of connections is used to connect the pump to the wire, special wire nuts or heat shrink tubing?

    Last edited: Nov 21, 2009
  5. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Jul 30, 2008
    Tech. Instructor
    S. Maine
    If you go with a CSV you don't need a big tank. The set up pictured in Valvman's avatar is all you need.
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