Lost water pressure

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by wishon1, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. wishon1

    wishon1 New Member

    Feb 20, 2008
    I was running my water in the shower when I suddenly noticed a loss of water pressure, within minutes I lost pressure altogether. I have a well with a 30/50 square d pressure regulator. When I went to diagnose the problem I could hear the submersible well pump kick on for about 5 seconds then shut off, and kick back on and off again about every 30 seconds. My pressure on the gauge was at zero but rose to 15 psi until the pump kicked back off. It was constantly running on and off but never building more than 15 psi and than it would immediatly go back to zero pressure. I finally kicked off my breaker so I wouldn't burn the pump up. I also checked the tank pressure and it was at 45psi. Does anyone know what the problem could be? Bad Pressure switch I hope? Dry well I hope not? Bad well pump? Bad pressure tank. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Eric
  2. maintenanceguy

    maintenanceguy In the Trades

    Aug 18, 2008
    Check the pump controller to see if you have a 2 wire or 3 wire pump.

    Both types of pumps have a capacitor to energize a start winding in the pump's motor. A 2 wire pump has the capacitor down at the bottom of the well on the pump. A 3 wire pump has the capacitor in the controller hanging on the wall next to your pressure tank. The first thing I would do is test the capacitor. If the capacitor or it's relay is bad, the start winding won't get energized an the pump will hum for a few seconds and shut off over and over again.

    Possibility two: a bad wire between the controller and pump that's preventing either the start or run winding from getting electricity.

    Possibility three: stalled pump motor from bad bearings, sand, or something keeping the pump from turning.

    Someone with a volt/amp/ohm meter who knows what their doing can diagnose this pretty accurately before pulling the pump.
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  4. pudge565

    pudge565 New Member

    Dec 30, 2007
    Why is this in the electrical forum? This is a plumbing question.
  5. Mikebarone

    Mikebarone DIY Senior Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    The bladder tank should be at 28 PSI, (with no water pressure in the pipes).
  6. masterpumpman

    masterpumpman New Member

    Mar 26, 2007
    Consult and Teach Well Drilling Internationally
    Virginia Beach, VA
    It's an electrical problem!

    The problem is in the pump electrical system. Depending on whether it's a 2 or 3 wire pump. Meaning 2 or 3 wires going down the well. In newer installations it could be a 3 or 4 wire system. The green wire (if it has one) is a ground wire going to motor case. . . disreguard the green wire in tests.

    If it's a 2 wire you will probably have to replace the motor. If it's a 3 wire you may be able to replace the starting capacitor, relay or the complete control box.

    I recommend that you contact a qualified well driller or pump installer because this requires an amp meter, volt meter (amprobe) and ohm meter and some pump motor knowledge to properly diagnose the problem. Most plumbers and electricians know very little about submersible pumps.
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