Well or Pump issue?

Users who are viewing this thread

RockfordPI

New Member
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Central Alabama
Trying to ascertain if I have a well issue, a pump issue, or BOTH.

200' well, drilled 2 years ago. Was getting around 7 GPM when driller left. Well was not used for 6 months after drill.

I have 1 HP three phase pump with an Adjustable Speed Drive running the pump. Pumping into a non-pressurized 3000 gal tank. I am at the far right hand side of the pump curve for the motor and pump. Motor is really too big, but still barely on the curve, and I can control that by adjusting the speed.
Pump end is Franklin 10FV1S4-2w230.

Currently I am getting about 1-2 GPM (if that) from the system.

The behavior is like well is going dry. Have a good stream, it pumps down to a trickle, stops, comes back to a trickle, then back to full stream. I can run it until it stops, turn it off for a while, then turn back on to full stream. All the signs of low water in well.

However, when I started the well back after the 6 month delay (same pump, motor, drive, etc) I noticed the ASD indicating pump was pulling 5.2 amps when rated for 4.0 amps. I adjusted the speed down to 42 HZ and amps fell back to around 3.5 and 42 HZ produces plenty of water when it is pumping.

So I have two things going on, low water production AND high amps on motor.

Is it possible that the pump itself is failing and the well is not running dry, the water level is just dropping below the ability of the damaged pump to move the water up the pipe? Can one or more stages in the pump fail without the entire pump failing?

I could be well running dry AND a motor issue I guess, but most of the time two problems together are not a coincidence.

If I were sure it was a low water issue, I would just call a driller and try to get on his schedule.

Short of pulling the pump, any good way to test whether this is pump, well, or both?
 

WorthFlorida

The wife is still training me.
Messages
4,640
Reaction score
699
Points
113
Location
Orlando, Florida
Trying to ascertain if I have a well issue, a pump issue, or BOTH.

200' well, drilled 2 years ago. Was getting around 7 GPM when driller left. Well was not used for 6 months after drill.

I have 1 HP three phase pump with an Adjustable Speed Drive running the pump. Pumping into a non-pressurized 3000 gal tank. I am at the far right hand side of the pump curve for the motor and pump. Motor is really too big, but still barely on the curve, and I can control that by adjusting the speed.
Pump end is Franklin 10FV1S4-2w230.

Currently I am getting about 1-2 GPM (if that) from the system.

The behavior is like well is going dry. Have a good stream, it pumps down to a trickle, stops, comes back to a trickle, then back to full stream. I can run it until it stops, turn it off for a while, then turn back on to full stream. All the signs of low water in well.

However, when I started the well back after the 6 month delay (same pump, motor, drive, etc) I noticed the ASD indicating pump was pulling 5.2 amps when rated for 4.0 amps. I adjusted the speed down to 42 HZ and amps fell back to around 3.5 and 42 HZ produces plenty of water when it is pumping.......................
I'm by no means knowledgeable in this area but just to clarify; Is this statement the current condition? Reducing the speed, the pump & well seems to work without issues?
 

RockfordPI

New Member
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Central Alabama
Yes, pump drops to about 3.5 AMPS when I reduce speed and has good water flow until it doesn't LOL. It behaves just like the well is running dry. Normally I would assume that the well was pumping dry, but that does not explain the high amps.
 

Valveman

Cary Austin
Staff member
Messages
13,095
Reaction score
888
Points
113
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Website
cyclestopvalves.com
It does sound more like you are pumping the well dry than something wrong with the pump. Letting is sit for a while and then being able to pump a full pipe for a short time is a clue. When doing this and leaving the Hz set at say 50, you should see high amps until the well is dry, then amps will drop to about half. If they do this without changing the speed of the pump it is another clue you are pumping the well dry. But only 6 months old you should have some warranty on the pump and/or the well? Call the driller back. Make him earn his keep and figure it out. But keep an eye on everything he does as he has already sold you an expensive variable speed pump and drilled you a low yield well???
 

RockfordPI

New Member
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Central Alabama
It does sound more like you are pumping the well dry than something wrong with the pump. Letting is sit for a while and then being able to pump a full pipe for a short time is a clue. When doing this and leaving the Hz set at say 50, you should see high amps until the well is dry, then amps will drop to about half. If they do this without changing the speed of the pump it is another clue you are pumping the well dry. But only 6 months old you should have some warranty on the pump and/or the well? Call the driller back. Make him earn his keep and figure it out. But keep an eye on everything he does as he has already sold you an expensive variable speed pump and drilled you a low yield well???
It was 18 months ago when well was drilled and it was producing at the very least 7 GPM at that time with current equipment. However, it was 6 months after we finished and I before I started using the well.

Also, driller did not sell me the variable speed system, it was "overstock" I kept from my late father's business. So, the warranty on this one is on me, LOL.

Anyway, here is another piece of the puzzle. Running the pump at 42 HZ (about 2/3 speed) water eventually stops like well is dry as I indicated above. THEN, I immediately turn the speed up to 55 or 60HZ and I get a full water flow but it only for a short time and my amps jump up around 5.5.

It is almost like the pump is undersized.

Would it be beneficial to measure my deadhead pressure at 42 and 60 HZ?
 

Valveman

Cary Austin
Staff member
Messages
13,095
Reaction score
888
Points
113
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Website
cyclestopvalves.com
I looked up the pump curve and did the math with the Affinity law. At 42Hz that pump can only build 220' of head. Your well is 200' deep, so any added friction loses can make 42Hz incapable of lifting water from 200'. That is the only reason I can think of that would allow you to turn up the Hz and water would flow again. Book shows a 1HP 230V3Phase motor draws 4.8 amps. With the loses from the VFD 5.4 doesn't sound very high to me. Lock the thing in at 60Hz and use a ball valve to adjust the flow rate. In this way the amps should be indicative of the actual flow rate.
 

RockfordPI

New Member
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Central Alabama
I looked up the pump curve and did the math with the Affinity law. At 42Hz that pump can only build 220' of head. Your well is 200' deep, so any added friction loses can make 42Hz incapable of lifting water from 200'. That is the only reason I can think of that would allow you to turn up the Hz and water would flow again. Book shows a 1HP 230V3Phase motor draws 4.8 amps. With the loses from the VFD 5.4 doesn't sound very high to me. Lock the thing in at 60Hz and use a ball valve to adjust the flow rate. In this way the amps should be indicative of the actual flow rate.
THANKS MAN! This is the kind of data I need.

I follow your first point because 42 HZ when I cover the outlet with my thumb it does not feel like it is building a lot of pressure.

Couple of points/questions:

I have attached pics of motor nameplate, it shows motor rated for 4 amps cont. (SF max amps at 4.7). Should I be worried about running it constant above 4 amps? Seems like I am needing to over-amp the motor to get the pump to do what it is supposed to do?

Not sure what you mean by loses from VFD? The amps given are on the output (3 phase) side of the drive.

Will it cause cavitation/pump damage if I restrict the flow with a ball valve?

I have a 2 GPM and 4 GPM inline dole regulator I debated putting on the output side. With my 3000 gallon tank, I could get by with 4 GPM, probably 2 GPM if I had to, but the latter becomes a problem if I have to run sprinkler to water grass.

If I have pump problem, I need to nurse this thing along until I can replace the pump. If I have a well problem, I need to go ahead and get on the driller's schedule and try to nurse it longer.







. 20200826_092523.jpg20200826_092429.jpg
 

Valveman

Cary Austin
Staff member
Messages
13,095
Reaction score
888
Points
113
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Website
cyclestopvalves.com
Restricting the flow with a ball valve down to 2 GPM is no different than using a 2 GPM dole valve. Restricting the pump will not cause cavitation or harm the pump/motor. Restricting should make the amps decrease and the motor run cooler, the same as when using a Cycle Stop Valve.

Anything higher than 4.7 amps will get the motor hot and shorten its life. But the VFD itself uses considerable energy, and that could be showing on the display as well. I would use a regular amp meter or and RF one if needed to see how many amps the pump is drawing. I don't trust those displays.

You need to check the water level in the well while pumping water. If you can lock the drive into full speed and 60Hz, use a ball valve to check the dead head pressure. The curve shows that pump can do 450' of head max, which is the same as 195 PSI. So, if the water level is at surface that pump will dead head at 195 PSI. Then for every 2.31 feet down to the water level you will lose 1 PSI. This means if the well is dry and the water level is at 200', the dead head pressure will be 108 PSI. If after pumping the well down and checking dead head pressure the pump cannot build more than 108 PSI, the well is being pumped dry.
 

LLigetfa

DIYer, not in the trades
Messages
6,959
Reaction score
427
Points
83
Location
NW Ontario, Canada
Will it cause cavitation/pump damage if I restrict the flow with a ball valve?
Cavitation happens on a suction pump when the negative pressure (suction) is too high or it sucks in air. Your pump is not a suction pump per se as it should never produce negative pressure on its volutes if the output flow is restricted. If air gets in the intake however, that is another matter but restricting output flow would not be the cause of that.
 

RockfordPI

New Member
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Central Alabama
THANK YOU! Exactly the process I needed to know.

I will verify actual amps. The ASD is a pretty good 3hp Toshiba Industrial Drive, but I will check it just to be sure.

Also, tried to leave a tip in your tip jar, but link is not working.
 

Valveman

Cary Austin
Staff member
Messages
13,095
Reaction score
888
Points
113
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Website
cyclestopvalves.com
THANK YOU! Exactly the process I needed to know.

I will verify actual amps. The ASD is a pretty good 3hp Toshiba Industrial Drive, but I will check it just to be sure.

Also, tried to leave a tip in your tip jar, but link is not working.
Let us know. Thanks but no tip needed. I am not singing for my supper. Lol!
 

2stupid2fixit

Member
Messages
87
Reaction score
26
Points
18
Location
Penn Forest Township, Pennsylvania
Could the drilled well at its depth be suffering from varying recovery rates? I dont remember reading anywhere in the original posters question that it sent bursts of air up the line, but I have read stories of wells in different areas yielding feast of famine. I even know of stories where 50 years plus experienced drillers dropped a hole that was not worth the dirt they removed from it.
 

RockfordPI

New Member
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Central Alabama
Could the drilled well at its depth be suffering from varying recovery rates? I dont remember reading anywhere in the original posters question that it sent bursts of air up the line, but I have read stories of wells in different areas yielding feast of famine. I even know of stories where 50 years plus experienced drillers dropped a hole that was not worth the dirt they removed from it.
That is possible, but I don't think so. I had good water when the driller left, but did not use for 6 months or so and then became the problem.

Still experimenting, I hope to have a solution or more data to post soon. I greatly appreciate the feedback I have gotten from everyone.
 

RockfordPI

New Member
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Central Alabama
Let us know. Thanks but no tip needed. I am not singing for my supper. Lol!
I have done some preliminary testing, but want to get my 3000 gallon tank full before I do more pressure testing just in case my drop pipe happens to burst under the higher pressure or I need to pull the pump.

Here is what I have done/found so far:

At 60 HZ, my 200 psi pressure gauge pegs for a split second and falls back to zero (it has a 2nd needle for max pressure).

Verified AMP meter on drive is accurate, matches clamp on amp meter readings.

When flow nearly stops at 42 HZ, I increase to 60 HZ and flow goes up greatly but motor still over amps (5.7 amps). However, very quickly the water stops flow and amps fall back to 3.2 or so. This seems to indicate well is pumping dry, but does not explain the high amps.

I have an inline electronic flow meter, I am going to see if I can figure a way to use that to glean more info as I am waiting for the tank to fill.
I have a 'Y' type water hose splitter SKU2591381-500x500.jpegon my test device, one side has the pressure gauge, the other side has the flow meter.
 

Valveman

Cary Austin
Staff member
Messages
13,095
Reaction score
888
Points
113
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Website
cyclestopvalves.com
The curve shows that pump should only build 195 PSI even if the water level is 1' from the surface. With a 200' deep well that is pumping off it should only build half that much pressure. That, along with the high amp reading makes me think the pump is not the model you think it is? Hard for me to figure out what is happening when the numbers don't add up.
 

RockfordPI

New Member
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Central Alabama
The curve shows that pump should only build 195 PSI even if the water level is 1' from the surface. With a 200' deep well that is pumping off it should only build half that much pressure. That, along with the high amp reading makes me think the pump is not the model you think it is? Hard for me to figure out what is happening when the numbers don't add up.
I totally agree on the numbers, it is driving me crazy. However, I have a pic of the pump and motor nameplate (attached) I took just before I put into the well.

It may be in my pressure tester (pic attached. I wonder if is possible when it spiked the momentum of the pressure knocked the red (max pressure) needle all the way over? It spiked and went to zero so fast I could not read the black (actual pressure) needle.

I really hate to go to the trouble to pull the pump if it is a well issue, I would like to just wait until I can get the driller out here instead of putting a new pump in a dry well. However, it I knew it was the pump, I would go ahead and replace now.

My 3000 gallon tank is about 2/3 full now. Once full I will run some more pressure tests.

pressure tester.jpeg20200826_092406.jpg
 
Top
Hey, wait a minute.

This is awkward, but...

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. We get it, but (1) terrylove.com can't live without ads, and (2) ad blockers can cause issues with videos and comments. If you'd like to support the site, please allow ads.

If any particular ad is your REASON for blocking ads, please let us know. We might be able to do something about it. Thanks.
I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks