Leaky Pitless adapter

Users who are viewing this thread

2stupid2fixit

Active Member
Messages
131
Reaction score
38
Points
28
Location
Penn Forest Township, Pennsylvania
This is a very long rant. Skip to the photo if you want to tell me what pitless adapter I have and what o-ring or gasket it needs.

Before I post the rest of this let me say the following: I KNOW that I should have a well service company or at least a plumber that works on wells fixing mine. I would do just that except that my wife left me and I just don't have the money so I have to do it myself. I talked to lots of well guys and watched a lot of YouTube videos. Not an expert at all. Learning as I make costly mistakes. Ok on to the fun. I have a 2 bedroom house. One kitchen sink. One bathroom sink. One toilet. One bathtub with a shower. That's it.

The deep well pump was installed in the well when the house was built in 1973. It was a 1/2 horse goulds with a franklin electric motor. The well is 250 feet deep. Found this out by dropping a piece of brass tied to a fishing pole. When it stopped falling I took up the slack and measured the distance of how much line dropped. The pump was hung on 1 inch poly pipe 200 feet down. I know all this because the pump seized and when I yanked up by hand it was at the end of 200 feet of poly tubing and wire. The pump drew a ton of amps. I made a pitless puller and yanked 200 feet of poly and the pump out by myself. Don't do this without help. I did it because I did not know the pump was 200 feet down. I must have been out of my mind or drunk when I hatched the idea to attempt this. Anyhow. I bought a new 3/4 horse pump since a 1/2 hp goulds pump from 1970 something was probably made better than the best 1 hp pump money can buy nowadays. Anyhow, I dropped my new pump in. New submersible wire. New check valve on wet end outlet of pump. New safety rope. New pressure tank. New switch. New tank tee. New check valve in the house where poly meets tank tee. All is installed. Here is what happens: The pump runs for a little longer than a minute. I get a whole lot of minutes of water at decent pressure at any sink or the tub before pump cuts on. I'm happy with that. Let about 20 mins go by. Use sink or tub. Switch cuts on pump at correct cut on pressure. THEN: LOTS of AIR. I can hear it. So then I have to burp the system from a faucet. I suspect that since the pitless adapter was mated to the other half for like 40 years that the gasket is shot. It looked dryrotten on the face but I shoved the pitless back onto its mate anyway. When the pump runs I can see a little water leaking from the pitless in the well case. I am thinking when the pump is off, and the system is idle, the water sitting in the line between the house and the pitless drips down into the well. When the pump starts again it pushes all that air infront of the water into the house. The poly pipe going to the well casing holds pressure and vacuum, it held lots of inches of mercury for a while so I know there are no underground air leaks. Here's the real problem: I can't figure out what pitless adapter I have to get a new gasket for it. There are no markings on the pump side of the adapter. Can anyone tell me what adapter it is so I know which gasket or O-ring to get for it? Look at my photo. The water opening on the adapter looks to be 1 inch. Please help me ID this Pitless and get the correct gasket/o-ring, it is driving me nuts.
 

Attachments

  • 20201130_172658.jpg
    20201130_172658.jpg
    77.4 KB · Views: 508

Valveman

Cary Austin
Staff member
Messages
14,333
Reaction score
1,232
Points
113
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Website
cyclestopvalves.com
You do not need the check valve at the tank. That is letting the air in at the pitless. And yes the pitless is leaking. Remove the check at the tank. Then just get an o-ring kit and figure out which one you need to fit the pitless. You want an o-ring that you have to stretch just a bit to fit over the hub. Then you have done so well in figuring out all this and getting it installed that you should also figure out how to get better pressure and not have the pump lock up again. Cycling on and off is what causes most pump/motor failures. It is not necessarily a good thing that you can use a few fixtures before the pump comes on. What is important is that the pump stays on and does not cycle WHILE you are using water.

 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
38,361
Reaction score
4,294
Points
113
Location
IL
I was shocked when I saw your photo, because I thought there was no o-ring there. I now realize there is one, but it is so smashed.

You might check in advance if you have a big hardware store nearby with a big stock of o-rings. It would sure be nice to drive over there and get a suitable o-ring. Also study how to get the o-ring you want quickly.

You need a digital caliper. You will pull the pitless, and measure diameters. Then get o-ring or rings. Having more than one makes sense, if you are undecided which size to buy. The thickness will be a factor in selection, in addition to diameter.

To pull the old o-ring, I would be thinking a strong dental pick, like a dental hygienist uses. Those are often available used after having served in the dental industry, and got replaced.

You will want to lube up that new O-ring with NSF 61 approved silicone grease. I suggest Dow Corning 111 (AKA Molykote 111) , but Danco 88693 https://www.danco.com/product/0-5-oz-silicone-faucet-grease/ may be enough. If you plan to use the same grease for softener piston also, you could choose the lower viscosity Dow #7 release compound. I would prefer the thicker Molykote 111 for a pitless o-ring.

I don't know how the viscosity of the Danco compares.

You called the pump 1/2 HP and 3/4 HP pumps. Your 1/2 HP was probably a 7 gpm pump, and your 3/4 HP pump is probably the cheaper 10 gpm pump. So those might have similar lift power.

If you cannot get your pitless fixed, you can replace it. That would take considerable digging. You would not want to do that in frozen ground or freezing weather. In the mean time, you could build a workaround assembly to trap and release the air.

Remove air from pipes https://terrylove.com/forums/index....system-after-air-injection-iron-filter.74384/ #11 and #18. I think yours would be taller, because you would probably have more air to capture and release.
 
Last edited:

2stupid2fixit

Active Member
Messages
131
Reaction score
38
Points
28
Location
Penn Forest Township, Pennsylvania
CYCLE STOP VALVE! I had no idea this had been invented! I must get one! Thank you so much for showing this to me!

You do not need the check valve at the tank. That is letting the air in at the pitless. And yes the pitless is leaking. Remove the check at the tank. Then just get an o-ring kit and figure out which one you need to fit the pitless. You want an o-ring that you have to stretch just a bit to fit over the hub. Then you have done so well in figuring out all this and getting it installed that you should also figure out how to get better pressure and not have the pump lock up again. Cycling on and off is what causes most pump/motor failures. It is not necessarily a good thing that you can use a few fixtures before the pump comes on. What is important is that the pump stays on and does not cycle WHILE you are using water.

 

2stupid2fixit

Active Member
Messages
131
Reaction score
38
Points
28
Location
Penn Forest Township, Pennsylvania
O-ring_4000-PNG.png
95067_1_600x600.jpg
Not before you get the pitless fixed.
Well, yes, clearly I will get the pitless correct before I go further with add ons. I wish I had known about the cycle stop before I purchased as large of a pressure tank as I did. I was under the impression that the larger the tank, the fewer pump cycles and the more consistent output I would have. From what I can tell, a cycle stop needs a tank not much larger than a large bottle of Tide detergent. I would have saved about 200 bucks. Oh well (pun intended). Anyhow, my lack of expertise has me stumped on the right type of O-ring for the pitless seal. I am an engineer, but only an amateur plumber by necessity. SO, my engineering brain tells me the pitless was forged to accommodate a specific SHAPE o-ring, not just size. So, looking at my photo, would you think I need a flat cut o-ring or a round o-ring? The pump side of the adapter has a flat cut recess for the o-ring which makes me think thats what should go in there. Does it matter? If I am not explaining the o ring types correctly I included photos of the different o-rings I am talking about. My guess is that the pitless wants a flat o ring and not a rounded one because if it was designed for a rounded o-ring, it would have been machined that way.
 

Valveman

Cary Austin
Staff member
Messages
14,333
Reaction score
1,232
Points
113
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Website
cyclestopvalves.com
It is very common to put a round o-ring in a flat machined area. Just need a little interference. Enough to make the o-ring fit snuggly, but not enough to cut a part of the o-ring off when sliding it into the stationary pitless half. And yes the 0-ring goes on the pump side of the pitless. O-rings basically push into the crack between to mating surfaces, they don't have to fill all the flat surfaces in the relief.
 

2stupid2fixit

Active Member
Messages
131
Reaction score
38
Points
28
Location
Penn Forest Township, Pennsylvania
It is very common to put a round o-ring in a flat machined area. Just need a little interference. Enough to make the o-ring fit snuggly, but not enough to cut a part of the o-ring off when sliding it into the stationary pitless half. And yes the 0-ring goes on the pump side of the pitless. O-rings basically push into the crack between to mating surfaces, they don't have to fill all the flat surfaces in the relief.
I have seen "o ring kit" mentioned a few times instead of just buying some random o rings. What is the o ring kit you speak of and how may I obtain one?

BY THE WAY... valveman... I have read lots of your posts in these forums on lots of topics and I can say that with me not knowing clearly enough of anything on wells before I started this repair project, I really really wish I had found this forum sooner. I got all my schooling on well stuff from you tube. I know that's dumb because anyone with a phone can post how-to videos. In my field (think high voltage) these how to videos uploaded by so called experts could get witless homeowners killed. Some videos try to explain Do it yourself 3 phase 480 volt/1200 amp stuff. Just dumb. Anyhow if I found this sooner I would have so much less aggravation and not wasted money on check valves I did not need unless I wanted problems they caused and I would have not bought a bladder tank the size of Delaware when another option was better. In other words, thanks.
 
Last edited:

Wisciherb

New Member
Messages
4
Reaction score
2
Points
3
Location
Wisconsin Dells, WI
I have seen "o ring kit" mentioned a few times instead of just buying some random o rings. What is the o ring kit you speak of and how may I obtain one?

BY THE WAY... valveman... I have read lots of your posts in these forums on lots of topics and I can say that with me not knowing clearly enough of anything on wells before I started this repair project, I really really wish I had found this forum sooner. I got all my schooling on well stuff from you tube. I know that's dumb because anyone with a phone can post how-to videos. In my field (think high voltage) these how to videos uploaded by so called experts could get witless homeowners killed. Some videos try to explain Do it yourself 3 phase 480 volt/1200 amp stuff. Just dumb. Anyhow if I found this sooner I would have so much less aggravation and not wasted money on check valves I did not need unless I wanted problems they caused and I would have not bought a bladder tank the size of Delaware when another option was better. In other words, thanks.
Ok when I run into a old pitless that parts are are not identifable or available I will just take the brass insert (your picture) and run to my local hardware or farm eQuipment store and they almost always have the correct size o ring to replace what I have. And like was said in an earlier comment, remove the check valve from the pressure tank, in my area that's a well code violation. Good luck.
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
38,361
Reaction score
4,294
Points
113
Location
IL
Yep. That kit has them up to 2 1/4".
Cool. That should be nice for the trapezoidal pitless.

I doubt that the kit would have one to fit my Merrill SMKS410, but maybe. My O-ring is Merrill part MCKOR. I don't plan on getting in there myself, however.
 

2stupid2fixit

Active Member
Messages
131
Reaction score
38
Points
28
Location
Penn Forest Township, Pennsylvania
You do not need the check valve at the tank. That is letting the air in at the pitless.

Valveman: You were so correct. Taking off the check valve at the tank made a world of difference. At this point, the very tiny drip I can see every 30 seconds or so from the pitless doesnt seem like a big enough issue to yank it up and fix it, at least not until the o ring kit I ordered gets delivered. It appears The back wards flow is dripping from the pitless at such a minuscule rate. BUT, there is no longer an air gap caused by an unnecessary check valve at the tank. Apparently tank water under pressure now keeps the line charged with an occasional drip at the pitless, and no big bursts of air and water hammer when the pump starts. Thanks! The ONLY reason I put a new check valve at the end of poly pipe to the tank was because there was one in that place on the old system. But I don't live in CT so bye bye to it.
 

Valveman

Cary Austin
Staff member
Messages
14,333
Reaction score
1,232
Points
113
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Website
cyclestopvalves.com
Thanks! I don't understand why people in the pump business cannot figure this out. Most likely the o-ring leak was actually caused by the pressure spike from the water hammer that was happening between those two check valves. There is tremendous pressure between those two checks on pump start.

There are other states that require a check valve above ground. Texas for instance requires a check valve before the tank, but does not allow anything in the line that can cause a negative pressure in the underground line. LOL! You can't have it both ways. Either you use a check valve at the tank and have water hammer and negative pressure on the underground line, or you don't install any check valves above the one on the pump.

The State of Texas or TCEQ still requires a water tower for municipal water systems even though they were made obsolete 30 years ago. If you see any water towers in your town or city, you know your government officials don't have a clue about what they are doing.
 

2stupid2fixit

Active Member
Messages
131
Reaction score
38
Points
28
Location
Penn Forest Township, Pennsylvania
There are other states that require a check valve above ground. Texas for instance requires a check valve before the tank, but does not allow anything in the line that can cause a negative pressure in the underground line. LOL! You can't have it both ways. Either you use a check valve at the tank and have water hammer and negative pressure on the underground line, or you don't install any check valves above the one on the pump.

The State of Texas or TCEQ still requires a water tower for municipal water systems even though they were made obsolete 30 years ago. If you see any water towers in your town or city, you know your government officials don't have a clue about what they are doing.

The water towers around here are now dry but prime space for communications repeaters, cell (CDMA/GSM) antennas, teenagers drinking beer, and graffiti.

Anyhow, now the only check valve I have on the whole setup is on the output port of the submersible pump in at least 190 feet of water. The pump (Hallmark) paperwork said it has an internal check valve but there was a sticker on the wet end that said "must use external check valve on pump even if pump has internal check valve". I didn't argue, I thought the pump maker knew something I didn't. Turns out I did know something I didn't but it wasn't that.
 
Last edited:

Valveman

Cary Austin
Staff member
Messages
14,333
Reaction score
1,232
Points
113
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Website
cyclestopvalves.com
The water towers around here are now dry but prime space for communications repeaters, cell (CDMA/GSM) antennas, teenagers drinking beer, and graffiti.

Thanks for that, it is very interesting. I have always said the only good use for a water tower is to add graffiti, defending someone's sister's honor. Lol! They are standing there empty because it cost so much just to tear then down. Kicking the can down the road as someone, someday will have to decommission and tear down those towers before they fall down. There is one at the old abandoned Reese AFB close to my shop. I can't remember how many millions they got quoted to take it down, mostly because it is still covered in leaded paint. :confused:

I called Hallmark. They even said their built in check valves suck and suggested adding another to the discharge of the pump.
 

2stupid2fixit

Active Member
Messages
131
Reaction score
38
Points
28
Location
Penn Forest Township, Pennsylvania
Thanks for that, it is very interesting. I have always said the only good use for a water tower is to add graffiti, defending someone's sister's honor. Lol! They are standing there empty because it cost so much just to tear then down. Kicking the can down the road as someone, someday will have to decommission and tear down those towers before they fall down. There is one at the old abandoned Reese AFB close to my shop. I can't remember how many millions they got quoted to take it down, mostly because it is still covered in leaded paint. :confused:

I called Hallmark. They even said their built in check valves suck and suggested adding another to the discharge of the pump.

The Hallmark tech people were pretty adamant about putting a check on the pump output when I talked to them, they said the same thing, almost like the pump's built in check was for display purposes only. The built in one is not complicated but I can see how in time it could very easily fail and at best cause a flow restriction or, at worse, completely block the output port. There is no center spike to keep that from happening.
 
Top
Hey, wait a minute.

This is awkward, but...

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. We get it, but (1) terrylove.com can't live without ads, and (2) ad blockers can cause issues with videos and comments. If you'd like to support the site, please allow ads.

If any particular ad is your REASON for blocking ads, please let us know. We might be able to do something about it. Thanks.
I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks