Well pump cycling - help me save my pump please.

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by Noharm, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. Noharm

    Noharm New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2018
    Location:
    NJ
    Hello,

    Basics first: small 2 bedroom 1 bath ranch house. Goulds J7 two pipe deepwell jet pump, 20 gal(?) x-trol storage tank, and about 90' well (currently about 75' to water).

    Been in the house a few years without issue, recently noticed pump cycling about every minute with no water being used. Assumed bad foot valve so I pulled the well pipes and replaced valve. While system was empty checked bladder pressure, raised it from 25 to 38 ( to run at 40/60). Had a difficult time re- establishing prime, but eventually got it.

    Runs quietly ( no sound of air in system) but cycles, now 20-30 seconds. That's pump on for about 20 seconds, reaches set point, butPressure falls and pump kicks on in 20 seconds.

    No leaks in house thus I assume pressure is lost in the well. Looking down the well with the cap off, no leaks at the pitless and no sound of leaks deeper. Perhaps leak below water level? However before I pull the pipes again, it bothers me that if there is a leak sufficient to drop my pressure this fast; how can the pump recover, working against the supposed leak in such a short time? I never timed it previously, but believe under normal circumstances it took the pump more than 20 seconds to rebuild pressure.

    If I shut off power to allow pressure to fall below set point it continues falling. At 20 psi., I turn power back on so as not to lose prime. At this low pressure there is noise ( cavitation?) until about 30 psi.

    Any ideas what else could explain the pressure loss, before I pull the pipes? (I also attached a temporary gauge to the faucet on the slop sink about 20' from the pump. This gauge showed the same pressure swings, as the pump mounted gauge.
     
  2. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Filling up quickly maybe caused by a bad pressure tank. I am afraid the leak down hole will be the leathers or a hole in the casing. Put in new leathers and move it up a foot or so.
     
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  4. Noharm

    Noharm New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2018
    Location:
    NJ
    Thanks for the quick reply valveman. I'm not sure I'm following "leathers". In the well, I only have the two pipe jet assembly and the footvalve. The foot valve is new; are there replaceable seals in the jet assembly?
    Thanks for your time.
     
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    There should be a valve between the pressure tank and the house plumbing. Close that valve and see how that affects the cycling.

    You have a problem with your pressure tank, and you have another problem too.

    Your pitless has two pipes connected inside. So you don't have leathers.

    How big is your casing? If you could switch to a submersible pump, it would simplify some things.
     
  6. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Yeah sorry reading too fast and thought it had a packer with leathers. Like Reach says, make sure the leak isn't towards the house. If not then it must be a bad check valve.
     
  7. Noharm

    Noharm New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2018
    Location:
    NJ
    Thanks all,
    I pulled the pipes again; also wishing I was 25 again. Where the 1 1/4 suction line connects to the jet assembly the plastic thread to barbed fitting had split clear across leaving the threaded section in the assembly. Years of corrosion, I’m not sure I can get it out to replace the fitting likely going to replace the assembly.

    Reach, I’d like to switch to a sub’ but funds are limited and not sure how much longer I’ll be in this house.

    Thanks again for your inputs. Hopefully this gets me back online and maybe need to replace my tank.

    I adjusted the air side of my tank but never saw water from the air valve, could it still be shot?
     
  8. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I am glad your troubleshooting and repair of the leak down the hole were productive.
    With a proper tank, expect the pump to run a minute or more to fill the tank.
    It could be since the air valve is up high. So even if there is some air, there could still be considerable water on the wrong side of the diaphragm.

    It could also be that the tank is still working, but it was undersized from the beginning. If the precharge still reads 38 psi in a month, then the tank is probably good.

    For a jet pump, and yours is a jet pump with the jet down the hole, you usually want to set the air precharge to 4 or 5 psi below the cut-on pressure. That is to supply water until the pump can start delivering the water. If you don't get a stutter in pressure when the pump kicks on, then you can leave the 38. But if you do get a stutter each time the pump turns on, then you want to drop the air pressure.
     
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