Overwhelmed by my ignorance

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by faith, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. faith

    faith New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2018
    Location:
    Alabama
    Our well system has a number of recurring problems and I'm trying to figure out whether they're related and how to solve them. I don't know anything about wells, and am having trouble following most of the threads because of the technical language used. The man who drilled our well is no longer living; we don't have a good, reliable well-professional to call. If anyone could point me towards some basic, relevant information, or tell me where/how to start looking for a solution, I would be so grateful.

    Background: Well was drilled in 2003. They hit a stream at 280', then drilled 30' more for a total depth of 310'. They put in 58' of casing. The water came up to 80' from ground level for a total of 230' of water in the well. It was great; the water was clean with excellent taste. Only a little sediment, mostly slate, which was easily removed with a small filter in the wellhouse. I lived alone and had no problems with the well until...

    November 2011: (I had recently married, so now we were using 2x the water.) The electric line to the pump broke inside the well; the pump was pulled and the line repaired. The pump was dropped back to about 180' deep, where it hit some kind of blockage & they couldn't get it to go any deeper. Estimated water level at this time was about 50' from ground surface. The water was not quite as clear at this depth, and the water filters needed changing more often.

    January 2012 (two months later): Well bladder broken and well tank replaced. They said there was "a lot of sediment in it."

    March 2017: Well pump electric line broke again; pump pulled and line repaired again. I expressed concern that this was the second time; they assured me that they were repairing it in a much more thorough manner than previously. Afterwards, the water had significantly more sediment in it. Even with the filter in the wellhouse, slate sludge is still collecting in the toilet tank and we use brita pitchers to improve the taste for drinking. Unlike last time, the sediment didn't clear after a couple months.

    November 2018 (this week): Electric line broke again; pump pulled and repaired. Plumber told us the bladder was broken and we'd need another new tank.

    Are these problems related? Are they just regular, expected issues? (i.e. Should we just budget for a new well tank every 5-6 years?) What on earth is wrong with the electric line?

    Will it ever be possible to get the well pump back down deep where it used to be when the water was good?

    Obviously, if the sediment remains this bad, we need a better filtration system. What other things could use a reasonable upgrade? (I've heard of PVC pipe instead of the black flexible pipe in the well--how much & in what way would this help?)

    How does one go about finding a good well-man? What qualities/qualifications do we look for? What should we expect him to be able to do (and cost)?
     
  2. Boycedrilling

    Boycedrilling In the Trades

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    Location:
    Royal City, WA
    A copy of your well log would help. Also the horsepower of your pump would be helpful to know.

    However you have said your well has 58 ft of casing. It is open hole below that to a total depth of 310 ft. A ?? Hp sub Pump was installed on poly pipe to a depth of ??? This was in 2003.

    No problems for 8 years. Then the sub wire wore thru the insulation from movement allowed by the poly pipe. Pump was pulled. Wire spliced. Pump would not go past 180 ft due to blockage in the well. Now producing more sediment. Two months later pressure tank replaced due to broken bladder.

    No more problems for about 5 years. Broken wire again. Original pump and wire pulled. Now 13 years old. Wire spliced again. Reinstalled. Now Pumping even more sludge and crud.

    Now 1 1/2 years later. Broken wire again. Also bad pressure tank. Pump and wire and poly Pipe are now 15 years old. 2nd pressure tank bad just shy of 7 years.

    Was the precharge in the pressure tank ever checked before failure? Would you expect the tires on your car to maintain their pressure for 7 or more years with out being checked?

    My recommendation? Pull Pump. Clean out obstruction. Install NEW Pump, wire, and sch120 pvc drop pipe to original Pump level. If room allows install a shroud on Pump. Install New pressure tank. Install cycle sensor in pump control box to detect short cycling from pressure tank losing precharge. Check pressure tank precharge annually. A new Pump will have a 5 year warranty from a professional installer. Same with the pressure tank. Get quotes from at least two installers.
     
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  4. faith

    faith New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2018
    Location:
    Alabama
    Yes, I've wondered about the horsepower, myself. is there a way to find that apart from pulling the pump again? what is a well log?

    I'm thinking they had to cut out at least 20' of pipe when it wouldn't go down as far, but I'm not certain on that.

    I don't know what this means. I read these threads and it seems like there's a lot of stuff i'm supposed to know and be doing, but I've never heard of any of it before.

    Will this be as complicated as drilling a new well? Do I need a well-driller to do it, or just a plumber?

    Thank you--this gives me a place to start. I'll google pump shroud, cycle sensor, pump control box, short cycling, and pressure tank precharge to get an idea about things.
     
  5. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas

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