Pump, pressure tank or switch question

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by Merlon, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. Merlon

    Merlon New Member

    Jun 24, 2009
    We have a well that we use just for watering the garden, washing cars, etc. Last year, everything worked great. This spring when I used it, the pump would start when the pressure dropped to the 30lb mark and cut off at 50lb, just like it is supposed to, one time. However, after that, the pressure would just drop right on past 30 on down to zero without the pump coming on until no water came out. Then, about a minute or so later, the pump would come back on until the 50lb mark, water would flow, but then, right back down to zero and quit again. On and off like that continually.

    Yesterday, I finally got around to changing the pressure switch, figuring it had to be that. I powered it back up, pump came on at 30lb perfectly. I figured I was a hero. Then, right back down to zero like before. A minute or so later, pump fires up again. On and off like before.

    Any thoughts???
  2. Merlon

    Merlon New Member

    Jun 24, 2009
    Don't have a lot of details, as we bought the house a couple years ago and the well was already there. Its a submersible pump, don't know the depth or anything about the intake.

    I can tell you that back in the winter we had a cold snap and I forgot to have the spigot run a little and the PVC pipes in the little well-house froze and split. The pump must have run a good bit, I'm sure, over night as the water was just flowing everywhere when I found it the next morning.

    could that have effected the pump?
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  4. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Mar 15, 2006
    Pump Controls Technician
    Lubbock, Texas
    Starting and stopping is NOT what a pump is "suppose to do". Starting and stopping is most likely what caused the destruction of your motor. Pumps are made to run continuously. Cycling on and off is the biggest killer of pumps. If your line was frozen this winter, and the pump ran against a frozen pipe, that will also fry a motor. However, if the line broke before the pump came on, and the pump was running 24/7 for the leak, that should not have hurt the pump.

    The overload in the motor is tripping on startup, and they have to cool down for a couple of minutes before it resets and tries again. If you have a control box, you may be lucky enough that the problem is only the starting capacitor. If it is a two wire motor without a control box, or if the control box is fine, then you are going to need a new motor.

    When you get it fixed, make sure to always run enough water to keep the pump running continuously, or use a Cycle Stop Valve so you can use water anyway you want without the pump cycling itself to death.
  5. Merlon

    Merlon New Member

    Jun 24, 2009

    No control box, two-wire motor.

    When you say I need a new motor, do you mean a new pump?
  6. Merlon

    Merlon New Member

    Jun 24, 2009
    Not wet around the wellhead or trickling sound.

    Where are you talking about for the loose wiring? I just put in a new pressure switch yesterday, so I know that part is not loose.
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Aug 31, 2004
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    A pump is made up of a motor and wet end. You can replace either or the whole pump. Motors are rated in HP and wet ends in GPM.

    It seems you have a motor problem but, with a multi-meter and amp meter I'd check the power cable and motor windings for conductivity, ohms, amps if possible and for any shorts.

    Here is a good place to start, you can find electrical info on another page in the same manual.
  8. Geewhillikrs

    Geewhillikrs New Member

    Jul 4, 2009
    NE Ohio
    How much water does it take?

    Hi, Terry...
    Thank you, first of all, for your very informative site. I have lived in this old house all my life, but my father was the one who always worked on the pump. My son, who does not know much about pumps, etc., has been working on our water system all day. Our old pump was 9 yrs old, and got so that it ran and ran, pulling up water, but would not shut off. We had another pump, a new one, that we were not using, and he installed it today. My own suspicion was that it was not the pump, or else it would not have been drawing water. However, now, he is priming the new pump, yet it is not bringing up any water. What gives?
    How much water does it usually take to prime the average shallow-well pump?

    Thanx again,

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