Well pump decided to quit today

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by joseph skoler, Oct 10, 2021.

  1. joseph skoler

    joseph skoler Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2018
    Location:
    Sullivan County, NY
    Oh! That does make a big difference.

    The water depth now is 13' (we've had lots of rain for the past couple of months). That makes a TDH of 183' I wish I knew what the water level is during dry times, or when pumping 10gpm out of the well -- I think those pieces of info would be very useful.
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    IL
    It won't tell you know, but if you run a piece of open tubing, next to the wire, down to the pump, you can measure the current water depth above the top of the tube by how much air pressure you can get with a small air compressor pushing air.

    You could also consider a sounder. https://enoscientific.com/products/ Maybe share among your friends.
     
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  3. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Yes they would help. But you can make an educated guess. With 1.5 gallons stored in the well for every 1' of water in the well, it probably won't pull down more than about 100' max for house use I would say. Might get deeper if you ran sprinklers for hours or days at a time. But I think you would be safe figuring a water level of about 100' max.
     
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  4. joseph skoler

    joseph skoler Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2018
    Location:
    Sullivan County, NY
    1. I don't believe I have ever pumped the well dry.
    2. There are no above-ground check valves
    3. The only snifter is attached to the modern bladder pressure tank
    4. Will do.
    5. I will add a flow inducer (short piece of SDR35, notched and stainless hose clamped in place -- right?).

    The only perceptible indication of failure on the current pump is the smell of something burnt and the little rust-colored area under the black grill as seen in the attached photo.

    I am having the following delivered today and will install all:

    Franklin 93761015 3/4hp 10gpm 2 wire pump
    SDR35 pipe flow inducer
    1-1/4" poly
    Harvard LF5100 check valve
    Harvard TA48 torque arrester
    Cable guards
    BOS-6012 well seal
    Various brass fittings, tape, nipples


    burntpump.jpg
     
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Could you post a photo of the snifter area and the input to the pressure tank?
     
  6. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Take the pump and motor apart and measure the stick up height of the motor shaft.

    1" poly would be fine. Don't use torque arrestors or cable guards as they are just something extra that could cause your pump to get stuck in the well. You won't have enough torque to hurt anything, especially when using a CSV. Using double jacketed wire and a CSV to limit the cycling is all you need to protect the wire from chaffing.

    Here is how to make a flow inducer.
    shroud 3 pics sized.jpg
     
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Are you suggesting that he take the new pump apart? That sounds surprising.
     
  8. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    No. The old pump to do an autopsy and see why it failed.
     
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  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    How long would you make the tail (distance pipe extends below motor)? It looks like maybe 1.5 inches, give or take, in the photo.
     
  10. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    The end of the flow inducer is actually flush with the bottom of the motor. It doesn't hurt for the shroud to be longer, just not shorter than the motor. Making the flow inducer a couple feet longer than the motor it can actually work like a sand separator and not let sand get pumped to the surface.
     
  11. joseph skoler

    joseph skoler Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2018
    Location:
    Sullivan County, NY
    My plans changed and I can't get to the site until Monday.

    I have this pic. The snifter (if memory is correct) is on top of the tank.

    I already bought the 12/2 twisted wire.

    I can skip the plastic guards and torque arrestor if they really don't help protect.

    I'll try to get someone there to take the pump apart -- I'm super curious if we can figure out not only what failed but why by looking inside.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Schrader valve on top of tank is not a snifter.

    You should never have a valve that can be closed between the well and the pressure switch.

    You appear to have a check valve, ringed in yellow in the marked up photo. Either remove the poppet, or take this out of line.

    What is that filter pointed to by the red arrow? You don't want a filter that can clog between the well and the pressure switch.

    Consider adding a pressure relief valve to the port on the CSV that is opposite the first pressure gauge. That won't save you from that valve pointed to with the light green arrow being closed, but it will save you from the other potential blockages deadheading your pump.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    With plastic pipe it is hard to keep from chaffing single insulated twisted wire. If you get the torque arrestor tight enough it will help with that, but can get stiff and cause the pump to be stuck in the well next time you try to pull it. If you tape the wire to the pipe, the pipe chaffs it. If you use cable guards they give a place for the wire to chaff. I like double insulated or jacketed wire, taped to the pipe, with nothing else in the well to be another opportunity for a failure.
     
  14. joseph skoler

    joseph skoler Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2018
    Location:
    Sullivan County, NY
    Wow! That's a lot I have wrong.

    I will remove the valve where you wrote "remove handle," as I was going to pipe that in 1-1/4" NPT into the CSV anywa.

    The clear glass pointed to by "What is this" is a sediment filter.

    The blue arrow points to the bypass valve to be opened when I need to bypass the filters, which are indeed before the pressure switch.

    As for the check valve, I'd appreciate hearing why I should remove it. Everything I've read said it is important to have it to maintain pressure in the tank. I understand there is a check valve just above the pump, but why not have a second one just before the tank? I see that having one at the tank could mask a leak in the well pipe or a malfunctioning check valve at the pump. I will remove or gut it -- how easy it is to gut it?

    Thank you!
     
  15. joseph skoler

    joseph skoler Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2018
    Location:
    Sullivan County, NY
    Got it.

    So, given that I have the single insulated twisted wire already, am I better off taping to the pipe, not taping to the pipe, or using the cable guards? I could also put a few layers of tape around the wire before taping that to the pipe, but there'd still be long stretches of wire (between taping points) that could chaff.

    Thanks!
     
  16. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    IL
    The topside check valve was needed with the old galvanized pressure tank, because of the technique of adding air. With the precharged diaphragm pressure tank, that check valve become undesireable.

    Having only check valve(s) at the pump keeps the line pressurized, so no contamination can leak in. If there is a topside check valve, and there is a minute leak in the check valve at the pump, you can draw a vacuum in the drop line. Then when the pump turns on, you can get a water hammer as the water hits the topside check valve. On the other hand, if the only check valves are at the pump, the pressure helps seat the poppet better.

    There is not universal agreement that you should not have a topside check valve.

    A topside check valve will not always cause a problem, and will usually not cause a problem. But on balance, you are better without an above ground check valve. There is one state that requires the top side check valve, and people get along fine usually. Other states forbid the topside check valve. Most states permit either.

    I suggest you search for past posts in the well and pump forum. There have been a lot of past discussions on this. https://terrylove.com/forums/index.php?forums/pumps-and-tanks-well-forum-blog-water-is-life.4/
    Here are some:
    https://terrylove.com/forums/index.php?threads/new-old-house-pressure-tank.95738/#post-688396
    https://terrylove.com/forums/index....n-pump-and-torque-arrestor.81467/#post-588813
    but as you can see on #3 on that post, there are other thoughts.

    The check valve can be useful as a work around with a hole in the drop pipe or a failed check valve at the pump.

    Check valves can often be disassembled to remove the poppet, turning the housing into connector in the line.
     
  17. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    With that type wire I just don't know. Maybe tape over the part of the wire that goes through the cable guards for a double jacket. Then tape the wire to the cable guards and keep it tight so it can't whip the well casing or the drop pipe.

    Don't have this problem with double jacketed wire. Just tape it every 20' and keep it tight.
     
  18. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I would allow for the poly to relax a bit, so I would think not really tight. My comment is not based on experience.

    If the pipe has a set to it, I would consider routing the wire to the inside of the curves. But then that would be the part more likely to expand with time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2021 at 9:39 AM
  19. joseph skoler

    joseph skoler Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2018
    Location:
    Sullivan County, NY
    Here are some pictures of the disassembled failed pump. The motor definitely has a burnt smell.

    Any indications of why it failed?


    9f8cfc16-12a5-4288-8f8c-e99403e10339.jpg 74be876a-0554-4b0b-860a-854756f87e94.jpg 3174d64e-cd0b-4f7f-8582-987be9be83e2.jpg 7621f49d-2c87-49ec-a226-5aa3316a98e7.jpg bc20f9ec-e5fb-4c1c-9bba-8665ad6ba1a9.jpg
     
  20. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Did you measure the stick up height of the motor shaft before disassembling? Less than 1.5" would show the motor thrust bearing was down to to heat. Does the pump spin freely? Is the pump shaft coupling stripped out? Most likely the motor got hot from recirculating water from the hole in the pipe. However, about 7 years ago was when Goulds and Pentair were making those two wire motors with bad starting capacitors. The starting capacitors were not made for continuous use as they should have been, and didn't last very long. The hole in the pipe would have caused the water to get hot as well as the pump to run continuously. Getting hot would have destroyed the thrust bearing and dropped the motor shaft. Bad split phase capacitors would not have dropped the shaft, just locked the motor down and give off a burned smell.
     
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