Well Issue - Distortion of Pipe at Pump Discharge and "Mechanical Plug"

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Amos Moses

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I noticed a while back I was getting a bit of air discharge from my well at times and it was gradually worsening, but no real problem, and I sort of assumed it was that snifter valve, which I changed....and got no change in the issue. A few days ago I'm hit with no water. I had 220V to the points as well as down the hole. I thought I could 'hear' a slight vibration, but it was minimal or imagined for all I know. So, I pulled the pump. Its about 80 to 90 feet down, strung with 1" Schedule 40 PVC from tank down, but there was a single 20' stick of very thin walled and slightly darker pipe at the very bottom of the run. It fits fine joint to joint with SCH 40 PVC - you could alternate SCH 40 and this back to back, no problem. But its extremely thin.

As it was coming up the casing, I could see that the pipe was distorted where it was inserted into the 1-1/4" pump discharge BEFORE it left the casing while I was pulling up. I couldn't tell how much, but I could tell it was definitely distorted. Well, that's a fight, and with pipe in the air and a real desire to finish, you pull and lean, and as soon as that pump top hit air above the casing, that thin walled pipe ninetied over incredibly fast, but didn't break. It was like black roll poly pipe, which may well be better, as we snapped that PVC at one joint, but we were ready for that and had someone holding the wire with no slack to jerk and instructions to hold but let it 'brake' a bit, and we stopped it in less than four feet and it was no issue. It'll have a line going back in the hole. I sort of assumed that the soft, thin walled pipe was some sort of jackleg attempt at torque arresting, or maybe its an accepted form of it. I'm no well man.

So we get the pump out of the hole and the pipe is useless for determination of how bad the distortion at the discharge was before we bent hell out of it. I put 220V to the pump for a few seconds....the motor kicked on, no excessive vibration or noise and no significant noise or noticeable pump vibration that I could tell. So, I took it across the street to my father's place to drop it in a drum and check it out. I assumed that it was distorted enough to deadhead the pump and that may have been my issue or that the pump was bad. I figured one of the two.

Since my father wasn't home I came back to my place and went to cut that piece of thin walled pipe off ... and as soon as I did, I saw an obstruction jammed into the pipe, and when I say jammed, I mean JAMMED. Now this is at the end 20' from the pump discharge. It was unremovable by needle nose pliers or vice grips even only recessed an inch into the bore from where I cut - an easy grab. It jammed there since it was impossible for it to access the SCH 40 bore. I cut the pipe longways and removed it, and it looked like something that you would use to plug a lavatory drain with, just more utilitarian. About 2-1/2" or so, white poly, roughly an inch around (obviously). It's got a black neoprene-like O-ring of about 1/8" width stock girdling the "plug", and it, again obviously, is roughly 1" in diameter. There are four poly "legs" (pointing pumpward...it's "bottom"). At least two of them have small "feet", and damage prevents my ability to tell if the feet are possibly quadrilateral. There is some significant damage to them all from my pulling, so that's about all I can give you there. It's "top" reveals functionality. Embossed around the top of this "plug" is "TO REMOVE" - "PULL UP". There is a vertical poly shaft (approx 1/4" in diameter and about 1-3/4" long) that extends through the round "plug" that is topped in the form of a horizontally bi grooved and flattened "twist knob" that evidently works in cam like function with the feet of those legs extending below the plug body.

Now, this thing is literally 20' past discharge, and it HAD TO come from below...pumpward. Schedule 40 PVC couldn't accommodate it, as if something could get down a 10 year plus old pump pipe anyway from a system never opened. If its something that's required for pump function, how would it jam so high and hard? If it's something for pump well being, long life, efficiency, protection, but not truly function, now, I could see that.

I called the pump installers, and they couldn't ID the part or tell me why there would be that single stick of thin walled at the terminal end of the pipe string. Now, granted, this was the person who answered the phone, but she's been there a number of years and has answered many a question. They are the only game in town and have done a ton of work here in the past at least 40 years that I can attest to. That said, I'm still not confidant enough with her answer...and this is no he/she thing. Give me a she who bores, cases, pipes, and sets wells and I'll take her over any male who doesn't.

So, I tried to access an exploded diagram online, and failed to find one. That could be me of course, but that's another issue to address elsewhere, I guess. Any help that anyone could offer to this backwoods mechanically challenged goofball would be appreciated more than you can imagine. I live in a parish - county to most of y'all - that quite literally doesn't have one single full red-green-yellow traffic light, and the sooner I know if I need a new pump/motor system or whatever, the better...there's no Home Depot around the corner, that's for sure.

The Pump is a RED JACKET WATER PRODUCTS Grizzly 50F21112G8, with a Franklin Electric Motor Model: 2445059004, and I can furnish any other info you may need. Just let me know.

Also, I have some rolls of seven strand snare wire, 1/8" and 3/16", but it's all just galvanized. No stainless at this point...or not near enough to go from ground to groundwater here. I also have some 1/8" or more poly cordage that I use for alligators - I've caught many, many huge alligators and have yet to pop a line, and I will use the line for ten years or more but intermittently, just rolled in a ball around the hook and tossed in a 5 gallon bucket for storage between uses, and it never stays soaking wet for too long. Will that cordage work. I think I can answer for ground to water, but at the ground-water interface and underwater, I'm not so sure. Any ideas on that, anyone? I'm planning to use two, one per tie off hole. I know it beats nothing, but if this is a protracted event requiring waiting for pump or parts, if anyone can advise better, I'll do all I can to get it in time.

Thanksso very much for your consideration if you've read this far even if you can't help me, and I mean that more sincerely than I'd expect you imagine. I truly do.
 
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LLigetfa

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I sort of assumed that the soft, thin walled pipe was some sort of jackleg attempt at torque arresting, or maybe its an accepted form of it. I'm no well man.
I doubt it. Most likely it was not intentional or they ran short on heavy-wall pipe. BTW, the OD on the pipe stays the same, it is the ID that changes.
 

LLigetfa

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I cut the pipe longways and removed it, and it looked like something that you would use to plug a lavatory drain with, just more utilitarian. About 2-1/2" or so, white poly, roughly an inch around (obviously). It's got a black neoprene-like O-ring of about 1/8" width stock girdling the "plug", and it, again obviously, is roughly 1" in diameter. There are four poly "legs" (pointing pumpward...it's "bottom"). At least two of them have small "feet", and damage prevents my ability to tell if the feet are possibly quadrilateral. There is some significant damage to them all from my pulling, so that's about all I can give you there. It's "top" reveals functionality. Embossed around the top of this "plug" is "TO REMOVE" - "PULL UP". There is a vertical poly shaft (approx 1/4" in diameter and about 1-3/4" long) that extends through the round "plug" that is topped in the form of a horizontally bi grooved and flattened "twist knob" that evidently works in cam like function with the feet of those legs extending below the plug body.
My guess it that is (or was) a check valve.
 

Reach4

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So, I pulled the pump. Its about 80 to 90 feet down, strung with 1" Schedule 40 PVC from tank down, but there was a single 20' stick of very thin walled and slightly darker pipe at the very bottom of the run. It fits fine joint to joint with SCH 40 PVC - you could alternate SCH 40 and this back to back, no problem. But its extremely thin.
If you will pull and drop the pipe by hand, SIDR polyethylene would be better.

I am clueless as to what that unusual thing, that you describe, in the section above the pump is.

The Pump is a RED JACKET WATER PRODUCTS Grizzly 50F21112G8, with a Franklin Electric Motor Model: 2445059004, and I can furnish any other info you may need. Just let me know.

You have an 8 stage pump and a I think you would be looking for a common 1/2 hp 2-wire 10 gpm pump if you have a pvc casing, and something slimmer if you have a steel casing.

You could test the motor briefly in a garbage can lined with a plastic bag full of water.
 

LLigetfa

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I noticed a while back I was getting a bit of air discharge from my well at times and it was gradually worsening, but no real problem, and I sort of assumed it was that snifter valve, which I changed....and got no change in the issue.
A snifter would (should) only exist with a hydro-pneumatic tank, and it is the AVC that is responsible for removing excess air. That said, an AVC can only remove so much air even when it works and often stops working.

A leak in the down pipe (or failed check valve) can produce too much air for the AVC to remove. I suspect that you may have had a leak that prevented the pump from shutting off. That recirculates the water and heats it up. The hot water and then melt the PVC drop pipe and in cases where the casing is PVC, can also melt the casing and trap the pump.
 

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Yeah like LL says, that is the poppet out of the check valve. Check valve fails open for a while and you get air in the lines. Then check valve shoots up the pipe, you get no water and the pump gets hot. Bad check valve is just one of many bad things caused by the pump cycling on and off too much.
 

LLigetfa

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Check valve fails open for a while and you get air in the lines. Then check valve shoots up the pipe, you get no water and the pump gets hot.
The more air in the line, the larger the volume of water that moves on pump start. This huge in-rush of water can cause up-thrust and probably contributed to pushing the poppet up out of place. It can also cause water hammer that can damage the pipe and topside check valve.

The check valve in many pumps work best when there is pressure holding it closed but that is not possible with an airmaker system for a HP tank. Some installers will remove the check valve inside the pump and install a higher quality check valve on the pump outlet.
 

Amos Moses

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I doubt it. Most likely it was not intentional or they ran short on heavy-wall pipe. BTW, the OD on the pipe stays the same, it is the ID that changes.

Thanks much. They shoved that one down the hole first. I know why now.

I cant explain things well...sorry. That's what I meant when I said you could string SCH 40 and that thin wall back to back....same OD. And that the plug could only navigate the thin wall and not SCH 40....variant in ID. Again, sorry. And above all, thanks. No idea what that plug was I guess. Well, maybe your lack of an answer to that WAS an answer!

Again, thanks so much!!
 

Amos Moses

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The more air in the line, the larger the volume of water that moves on pump start. This huge in-rush of water can cause up-thrust and probably contributed to pushing the poppet up out of place. It can also cause water hammer that can damage the pipe and topside check valve.

The check valve in many pumps work best when there is pressure holding it closed but that is not possible with an airmaker system for a HP tank. Some installers will remove the check valve inside the pump and install a higher quality check valve on the pump outlet.

Man, yall have no idea how much I appreciate this. Should I just buy a new system and drop it in the hole?
 

Amos Moses

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Yeah like LL says, that is the poppet out of the check valve. Check valve fails open for a while and you get air in the lines. Then check valve shoots up the pipe, you get no water and the pump gets hot. Bad check valve is just one of many bad things caused by the pump cycling on and off too much.

Thanks much. I know nothing about these things. Thankfully, the 'Net even creeps over into my yard. Rural doesnt quite explain it. I appreciate your help.
 

Valveman

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That was a 7 GPM, 1/2 HP pump. That would be a good fit or you could use a 10 GPM, 3/4HP if you wanted. Use just one good metal, spring loaded, poppet style check valve on the pump, and no other check valves in the system. Then control it with a PK1A kit because your tank is probably bad as well.

 

Reach4

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The main problem with schedule 40 pipe is that it must be glued. You would have to allow an extended time for the glue to be strong enough to put the weight on the couplings.

I think 1/2 HP 7 gpm or 10 gpm would be sufficient. 160 psi SIDR pipe with brass or stainless barbs would be good. As short as this is, standard length barbs vs the longer versions would be sufficient. No safety line.

How big is the casing, and what material? If 4 inch steel, I would consider the Grundfos 10SQ05-160 pump to clear imperfections that can develop on steel. Not so cheap. If using a 4 inch pump with 4 inch steel, I would use a trimline/slimline pump which is slightly smaller diameter. Franklin 7JR05P4-2W230 is plastic, and 7JR05S4-2W230 is in steel.


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