mystery leak in house plumbing causing pump to cycle

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by ronbchamp, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. ronbchamp

    ronbchamp New Member

    Feb 12, 2012
    ontario, canada
    I have a mystery leak somewhere.

    So here is my info. I only included what I know.

    1.Jet Pump (above ground)_________yes
    One or two pipes down the well____1 new 1" poly with new foot valve.

    2.Size of Pump?
    Motor Horsepower?__________1/2HP / 3/4HP
    Pump Model #______________convertible jet pump by Burcam
    Date Pump Installed__________New pump Feb 12 /12

    3.Pumping from?
    Water Well____________yes
    Depth of well__________24'
    Depth to water_________16'
    Pump Setting__________shallow well application
    Pipe Size_________1"
    Rock Well_________limestone

    4.Pressure Tank?
    Bladder or diaphragm tank (one pipe to tank)_____yes
    Size or model of tank_____9 gal.
    Air charge in top of tank, with pump off and water drained_________18___PSI
    (check with car tire gauge)

    5.Pressure Switch Setting?
    On 20, off 40 factory setting
    Filters or Softeners_____no

    6.Water Used For?
    House Use_kitchen, bathroom vanity, tub (no shower) toilet.
    Number of People___1

    Problems Experienced:

    I installed a shut off valve after the pump and tank. When I shut off the valve, the pump holds pressure and never cycles. Once I turn the valve on the pressure gradually drops to 20psi and comes on without anybody using any water. This takes about 10 or 15 minutes.

    This is a really old house so 95 % of the pipes are visible and nothing seems to be leaking. All the cold water pipes are new and the toilet is shut off. The faucets do not drip and there's no visible leak at the hot water tank (electric) or anywhere else.

    I was wondering if there is something wrong with the hot water tank causing some kind of pressure drop.

    Any thoughts?
  2. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Jan 6, 2010
    Sounds like you have a leak you need to find. How much pipe do you have underground? House on a slab? Turn the water off to the water heater and eliminate any possibility of a hot water leak. If you have a valve outside the house before the main water line comes into the house you could turn that valve off and see if you still lose pressure. If you still lose pressure and the valve is workign you know the leak is between the valve and the pump.
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  4. ronbchamp

    ronbchamp New Member

    Feb 12, 2012
    ontario, canada
    The pipe from the pump to the bottom of the well is straight down from the pump. The well is in the house. There is no valve outside the house. The pump works like it should with no leaks at all. When I open the valve between the pump/tank and the house plumbing is when I have a problem so it definetly has nothing to do with the pump itself. I can't check the hot water tank now but it will check it out as soon as I can. thanks for the reply
  5. drick

    drick In the Trades

    May 16, 2008
    Hmm, you have a leak somewhere. If you had a leak that big in the water heater you would have water on the floor. You still need to rule out the toilets. Don't trust that the shutoffs work. Flush the toilet too so that there is no water in the toilet tank. Check and make sure it does not fill back up with the shutoffs closed.

    Do you have a humidifier on the furnace? Do any pipes go outside to a faucet or irrigation system? DO any of the water pipes run under the basement floor or slab? How about floor drains in the basements? Some floor drains have a water connection to keep the trap from drying out.

  6. ronbchamp

    ronbchamp New Member

    Feb 12, 2012
    ontario, canada
    I guess the toilet shut off is the only possible problem but I will still check the HW tank just to be sure.

    There is no furnace in this house just a wood stove.

    The plumbing in the house comes from the pump under the kitchen cabinet, goes to the HW tank then to the kitchen sink and then hot and cold the the bathroom that's it. Nothing going outside or under the house. All the pipes are visible except for one spot that goes through a floor but there's no leaks there.

    Thanks for the reply, I will check out the toilet shut off.
  7. masterpumpman

    masterpumpman New Member

    Mar 26, 2007
    Consult and Teach Well Drilling Internationally
    Virginia Beach, VA
    The problem is that there is a leak on the house side of the cut-off valve. If you don't see a leak somewhere, then I suspect that there's a leaking toilet. Anywhere else should be visible.
  8. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Dec 28, 2009
    "retired" and still building and troubleshooting
    northfork, california
    Start turning off all the fixtures, then if you still have a leak, someone ran a mystery pipe outside somewhere.

    Another possibility is the shut off valve does NOT shut off fully and the water is going back down the well if it has a bad footvalve.
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