Leaky Well, What could it be and how bad is that?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by john3b3, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. john3b3

    john3b3 New Member

    Apr 11, 2009
    About 4 months ago I had a new constant pressure pump put in. I have been watching it and finally have figured out I have a small leak somewhere on the well side of the system. Meaning, I have no leaks in the house and I have also checked the pressure in my water tank and it is still at 42 lbs, the same pressure set when pump installed 4 months ago (so assuming not leaking). I am pretty sure it is a leak down the well.

    The well is on 20 foot sections on PVC, so I assume any one of those connections could be where the leak is. I have a few check values so thinking they all can't be bad. What are the most common places the leak could be? And how awful / costly are they to address? I want to understand my options before I call the folks back who installed the last pump.

    Most importantly is it common for wells NOT to be basically air tight and have small leaks?
  2. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Mar 15, 2006
    Pump Controls Technician
    Lubbock, Texas
    It is almost impossible to keep a pump system completely drip tight. Those constant pressure pumps do not have any pressure differential between on and off. This means the water in a pressure tank is not doing any good. When the system is always at 50 PSI, you never put any water in a pressure tank, and never get any out. A leak of only a few thimbles of water will make the pump come right back on.

    A system with a 40/60 pressure switch is able to use all the water from a pressure tank, as the pressure drops from 60 to 40, before the pump starts. This way even with a little tank that only holds one gallon of water, you get to use the whole gallon before the pump starts.

    The leak could be at any connection but, I’ll bet it is the check valves. Even though you have multiple check valves, they will leak back. Sometimes multiple check valves leak back worse than a single check valve. A single check has the entire pressure keeping it closed. Multiple checks split the pressure up where each check only holds a part of the pressure, and doesn’t stay closed as well.

    If this is a Franklin Sub Drive or Mono Drive, the problem is most likely the check valves. This is because the Franklin units use a pressure switch with only 1 PSI between on and off. That means the switch can open and close up to 2 million times per month. That also means your check valves are opening and closing 2 million times per month. The switch and the check valves don’t last very long that way.

    If it is a Grundfos or Goulds they use a transducer instead of a switch and is not quite as bad on the check valves. If you have a leaky toilet or dripping faucet, they can also start cycling millions of times, and then the check valves go bad as well.

    These are just a few reasons why a Cycle Stop Valve (CSV) makes a much better constant pressure system than any of the variable speed type. You can even use a CSV with the variable speed systems, to take the cycling out of the switches and check valves.
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