Losing Pressure need help

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by Leed1315, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. Leed1315

    Leed1315 New Member

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    Aug 6, 2018
    Location:
    Decatur, AL
    I have had trouble with a high water bill for the last 9 months that I can't hardly figure out. The house we have has a well and i decided I would go ahead and hook it back up and do away with the city water. After pulling the old piping out and measuring everything I decided to go with a 1/2 HP RED Lion submersible pump. The old piping was right at 100'. I went back with the same amount in 1 1/4". I used one check valve at roughly 30" from the top of the well. I used a new 20gal tank and 3/4 PEX pipe from the 1 1/4. Here is whats happening. When you turn the power on the pump comes on and build up pressure fine. At 60psi the pump cuts off. Right now we have a cut off on the pex to turn the water off and on. I had planned on running for a while before hooking into the house to get it cleaned out. If you just turn the water on and let it run for a minute then turn it off the pressure will go down below 40psi which cuts the pump back on and it will again build back up if you cut the water off and everything works fine. If you leave the water on the pump never catches up, Usually it will slowly go to about 25-30psi, then kind of make a jump down to 20 or less and just fall completely out. We'v tested the tank and everything we know to check. There doesn't seem to be a leak because we let it build up to the 60psi turned it off and 2 days later its still holding at 60. I don't think its a water issue because we hit water at around 28' and the pump is at 100. I'm really kind of out of ideas at this point so could use any help.
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    IL
    1-1/4 poly to the tank and pressure switch and pressure gauge. Do you have a tank tee?

    Then the valve is on the pex after the tank and pressure switch and pressure gauge. Maybe show use a photo of the pressure switch, input to the pressure tank, and the start of the pex before the valve.

    Sounds like your check valves are bad. If you pull the pump gain, you will probably be better off to not have a check valve except at the pump.

    Did you set the air precharge with no water pressure, as you should? 38 psi for a 40 psi cut-in.
     
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  4. Leed1315

    Leed1315 New Member

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    Aug 6, 2018
    Location:
    Decatur, AL
    Yes we double checked the tank pressure the last time we checked it. I've got to work tomorrow but will get a pic of the setup for you. The pump says it has a built in check valve. Are you saying thats the only one we need or we need to put one at the pump? Several of the online images showed a check valve being in the 3/4 pex before the tank and pressure switch, is that necessary?
     
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    The one in the pump is all you need, but a second right above the pump may be worthwhile.
     
  6. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    How much water are you leaving on? This would be normal if you are using 10 GPM or so.
     
  7. Leed1315

    Leed1315 New Member

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    5 minutes or less probably. Before we had a cut off on the 3/4 pex I was using the faucet that comes out by the T at the tank. Just had a water hose hooked up to it. If this pump can't run a water hose for more than 5 minutes it would be fairly useless.
     
  8. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    That depends on how deep it is to water and how much water your hose lets out. If the hose is letting out 10 GPM it is all the pump can do. Also if the water level in the well is close to 100', a 1/2HP, 10 GPM pump will never reach 60 PSI for shut off.
     
  9. Leed1315

    Leed1315 New Member

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    Location:
    Decatur, AL
    It was roughly 25-30' until you hit water. The pump sits at 100'. when I first turn the pump on it has no problem reaching 60psi to shut off. If I only run for a minute or two it will go below 40 psi and kick back on. It can't keep up even with a water hose going. These pumps had great reviews I couldn't imagine it getting a good review if a water hose for 5 minutes is too much for it. If we don't have sometjing set up right then that's understandable.
     
  10. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Pumps don't just slow down like that. The water level is getting deeper or something. The water level may start out at 25-30', but if it pulls down to 90', that pump can only build like 40 PSI.
     
  11. Leed1315

    Leed1315 New Member

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    So you're saying my water level could be falling roughly 60' and that would cause my issue? That seems like a big fall in such short time. Is there a desired depth as far as how far thepump is actually under water within the well?
     
  12. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Pump Controls Technician
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    Lubbock, Texas
    A regular 10 GPM, 1/2HP pump can only make 91 PSI. The higher the pump has to lift from the well, the less pressure it can produce. Lifting from 90' is the same as 40 PSI, which means the pump could only get the pressure up to 51 PSI, not 60. If the water level was at 68', that pump could barely get the pressure up to 60. The water level would need to be higher than 68' for that pump to easily reach 60 PSI as it should.
     
  13. Leed1315

    Leed1315 New Member

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    Location:
    Decatur, AL

    I see what you're saying. I figured there was some science behind it but with know experience didn't know exactly how it would work. I'm guessing the water in the well helps to provide the pressure for the pump to push the water up. The lower the water table the less pressure and thus the pump has to do more of the work? I went outside and took some pics and a video of what its doing. Right now i can;t get the video to upload so i will post pics of my setup and give the details
     
  14. Leed1315

    Leed1315 New Member

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    Aug 6, 2018
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  15. Leed1315

    Leed1315 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2018
    Location:
    Decatur, AL
    The pics above are the setup I have. Today I went outside and turned the pump on and let it build to 60 psi as you can see in the pic. Once the pressure was built I then opened the valve thats connected to the water hose that you can see in the pic. Once the water pressure dropped to around 40psi the pump kicked on and started back building pressure. The pressure continued to climb until about 50-52psi while the hose was on full speed. It stayed at this for roughly 6 minutes. Around the 6 minute mark the pressure started to slowly drop. It continued to do so until it reached the 38-40psi and then dropped to nothing. This happened about the 11 or 12 min mark. I assume it dropping out like that is normal and is caused by the tank pressure?

    I have a couple questions
    1. Once the pressure drops out how long should it be before the pump builds pressure again? I'm sure this is somewhat dependent upon my problem but if I turn the water off shouldn't the pressure begin to build back up? Normally it won't right away even though I can still hear the pump on.
    2. When using the valve in the pic there is a hissing spitting noise. Is this normal when using that valve it doesn't do it if I open the valve that I have on down the line in the 3/4 PEX?
    3. I understand that if I'm using more than 10gpm then my pump can't keep up. But shouldn't that be a constant? What I mean is that if my pump starts out with the pressure building with the water flow full speed shouldn't it be able to continue to build or atleast hold steady unless there is a bad drop in my water level?
    4. If I am just using more than the 10gpm that my pump can put out what kind of gains or changes can i expect to see when i adapt it down to the 1/2 thats in my house.?


    If needed I will do a test where I drop something into the well to see the water depth and measure it as I pump the water. I really don't think its dropping that much but I'm new to this so really can;t say for sure and I don't know how long ago this well was dug.. Maybe having the water wide open at the source is actually my problem and I'm just opening up more water than it can keep up with.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  16. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
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    More likely more than the well can keep up with it would seem. Some wells don't keep up because the aquifer falls. That might be more common out west. Some have the screen clog and limit the water making it in. Search for NuWell for one product that can help the clogged screen thing. Also, try searching for "well rejuvenation". I am not a pro.

    Also, protect your plastic pipe from long term sun.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  17. Leed1315

    Leed1315 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2018
    Location:
    Decatur, AL

    I just put everything in last week. I'll bury the pipe soon and put some wort of well house if I can figure it out. I just can't make myself believe right now that its the well. I assume y'all think the well is pumping dry or close to it anyways? I'm from Alabama and where I live isn't really a dry place the water level is fairly high. I went back out there to try the hose on half or less and it ran maybe 20-40 minutes before doing the same thing. It did build up pressure and cycle of and off multiple times but as I got the water up to close to half on the water hose it did eventually cut off. At this point I'm very frustrated I've spent about a $1000 and can't pump enough water to fill up a bath tub :)
     
  18. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    IL
    So is the water level in the well dropping, or is the pump getting tired or what? Easy test: instead of putting the water on the ground, put it back into the well. The pump will be working as hard as ever, but you will not run short of water in the well.
     
  19. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    No need to dump water back down the well. You need to figure out how much the well will produce. Without any pressure that pump can put out 15 GPM from 90' of lift. Just run the faucet wide open for twenty minutes, them measure in a bucket how many gallons per minute it is still pumping. Note the pressure on the gauge while you are doing this. If you can tell me the pump is producing 10 GPM at 40 PSI, I could tell you the water level is at 41'. That pump will not be able to build to 60 and shut off it the water level is any deeper than 71'. A pump will still work as long as there is 5' of water above it, so it is not a dry well as long as the water level is 95' or higher. However, if the water level is deeper than 60' or so, you would need a 3/4HP instead of a 1/2HP to get the pump to build 60 PSI ans shut off.
     
  20. Leed1315

    Leed1315 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2018
    Location:
    Decatur, AL
    My pump on initial start up has no problem hitting 60 psi. when we measured before we put the pump in we were hitting water some where between 20-30'. I thought it was around 26'. The pump is at 100 so when we put the pump in there would have been roughly 65-80' of pipe that was under water to the pump. I don't know what that equals # wise but I know it reaches 60psi fairly easily when I first turn it on. You can look at my pic and the pressure is holding at 60psi. It will also build back up to 60psi if I only run it for a minute or two and cut the water off to let the pressure build back up.

    I can't do your test. If you read my post after my post with the pics my pump won't run with the faucet wide open for 20 minutes. At 11 minutes of wide open the pump had dropped below 40psi and fell sharply to 0psi. It does this every time.
     
  21. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    IL
    Pressure dropping slowly I could see with the pump not having enough lifting power. If it was the pump pumping from too deep, I would think the pressure would drop smoothly as the water level dropped, and I am reading this as the pressure dropping suddenly. I am also presuming Leed1315 is saying that the flow dropped suddenly in addition to the gauge indication dropping.
     
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