Well pump on last legs?

Users who are viewing this thread

428dragpak

New Member
Messages
15
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
NJ
Hello,

Long first post...

This week I had my water conditioner/acid neutralizer serviced. The tech said the pressure tank was cycling incorrectly and re-calibrated it (which I assume was just letting some air out or adjusting the pressure switch). He said to keep an eye on it but he thought the tank could be going out. The water pressure is also lower than it has been and he said it could also be the well pump going out.

He does not replace these items so wasn't trying to sell me anything. Plus I have used him for the last 6yrs, he is quite knowledgeable and has always been happy explaining everything in detail.

The house has always had low water pressure but has been getting worse over time. So much so that if you are having a shower and a faucet is run the water flow is cut drastically.

I would usually just call the well service guys to come and check it out and get a recommendation, but in the last few months I've had to replace the microwave, cooktop and double oven plus some major service work to our 2 vehicles and have not worked since January, so can't afford the call out fee.

So this is where you come in ;)

Well was installed in 98
4" PVC well with a pitless adapter 80' deep
1/2 hp 230V Sta-Rite submersible pump model# 10SP4C02J-02
Well xtroll WX203 Tank

Pipe coming from well to pressure tank is 1 1/4"dia measured with a vernier. The pressure tank T fittings/valve/gauge etc all look pretty crusty.

It was tested in 08 not long after the house was purchased. Stated the system produced 13GPM@32psi

At the time of the test we asked about getting more pressure and flow. They stated if we went to a 1hp 20-22GPM pump the well could pump more sand, with a 10-20% chance of it.

Where do I go from here? What tests can I perform to isolate/work out the problem? I have a standard multi-meter, not one of the clamp on styles but if I need one of them I will purchase it.

I'm pretty handy and have done a lot of home construction projects and restore muscle cars for fun.

We really want better flow and pressure. There are only 2 baths and it's a rancher. We have never been able to have 2 showers at once or say have the washing machine running and take a shower and are tired of these restrictions.

From what I have read the pump has had a pretty long life. With the above problems I want to be pro active and get this sorted before it gives up the ghost and I am forced to pay what ever quote the well guys give me.

Thanks in advance for any advice and if there is any information I have left out please ask.
 

428dragpak

New Member
Messages
15
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
NJ
In notes taken in 08 we are on the Cohansey Aquifer and it's 8ft deep. I am guessing that the top of the water is 8ft down?
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
35,530
Reaction score
3,675
Points
113
Location
IL
Look at the pressure gauge that is at the pressure tank. With two showers going (or other problem load), what does the pressure gauge say?

Does the gauge read a steady pressure, such as 22 psi, or is it cycling between 30-50 or 40/60 psi or some such?

If you don't want to stand and watch, you could take a movie of the gauge with your phone. Then scroll thru the video at whatever rate you want.
 

428dragpak

New Member
Messages
15
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
NJ
Look at the pressure gauge that is at the pressure tank. With two showers going (or other problem load), what does the pressure gauge say?

Does the gauge read a steady pressure, such as 22 psi, or is it cycling between 30-50 or 40/60 psi or some such?

If you don't want to stand and watch, you could take a movie of the gauge with your phone. Then scroll thru the video at whatever rate you want.
Thanks for the quick response. I will check this out and report back.
 

428dragpak

New Member
Messages
15
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
NJ
Look at the pressure gauge that is at the pressure tank. With two showers going (or other problem load), what does the pressure gauge say?

Does the gauge read a steady pressure, such as 22 psi, or is it cycling between 30-50 or 40/60 psi or some such?

If you don't want to stand and watch, you could take a movie of the gauge with your phone. Then scroll thru the video at whatever rate you want.
Before turning anything on my pressure gauge read 47psi.
It slowly went down in a uniform manner until minute 2:34 and the pump kicked on.
It went up in a uniform manner until it reached 60psi at minute 3:17. So 43 secs.
Then it drew down again in a uniform manner to 40psi until minute 8:06. So 4min 49secs

I had a shower and the kitchen faucet running.
 

Valveman

Cary Austin
Staff member
Messages
13,361
Reaction score
957
Points
113
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Website
cyclestopvalves.com
When it gets up to 60 you should feel good pressure. When it's draining the tank down to 40 the pressure should feel much lower. If you can't tell the difference you might have a filter that needs cleaning or a blockage in the line. If you can tell the difference as the pressure goes up and down from 40 to 60, you just need to make it stop doing that. Lol!

Instead of the pressure going up and down as the pump cycles on and off, which also isn't good, use a Cycle Stop Valve to stop the cycling and hold a strong constant 55 PSI while you are using water.

Your pump is working fine, but the pump will last longer and you will like the strong constant pressure after installing a CSV.
 

428dragpak

New Member
Messages
15
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
NJ
When it gets up to 60 you should feel good pressure. When it's draining the tank down to 40 the pressure should feel much lower. If you can't tell the difference you might have a filter that needs cleaning or a blockage in the line. If you can tell the difference as the pressure goes up and down from 40 to 60, you just need to make it stop doing that. Lol!

Instead of the pressure going up and down as the pump cycles on and off, which also isn't good, use a Cycle Stop Valve to stop the cycling and hold a strong constant 55 PSI while you are using water.

Your pump is working fine, but the pump will last longer and you will like the strong constant pressure after installing a CSV.
Hi and thanks for the input. I have read quite a few post' about the CSV.

Yes the 40 feels worse than the 60 but the 60 is poor, as stated. There isn't a filter.

So there is a hose bib just after the pressure switch on my Tank T. With my equipment listed how do I measure I am getting the right pressure and volume and what should that be?

If I used the CSV with the size tank I have the pressure will drop down until the tank draw drops, right?
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
35,530
Reaction score
3,675
Points
113
Location
IL
You say there is no cartridge filter. Pressure drop could come from a softener or backwashing filter.

The next thing would be to get a garden hose thread pressure gauge, and put it on a laundry tap or the drain for the WH. Repeat the 2-shower observation. Or if you can see both from about the same location, observe the pressure difference. Those gauges are under $20. https://www.acehardware.com/departments/plumbing/pumps-and-pump-parts/pressure-gauges/4509477 costs more than many, but it is 0-100psi like the gauge on your pressure switch, rather than the common 0-200psi.
 
Last edited:

428dragpak

New Member
Messages
15
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
NJ
You say there is no cartridge filter. Pressure drop could come from a softener or backwashing filter.

The next thing would be to get a garden hose thread pressure gauge, and put it on a laundry tap or the drain for the WH. Repeat the 2-shower observation. Or if you can see both from about the same location, observe the pressure difference. Those gauges are under $20. https://www.acehardware.com/departments/plumbing/pumps-and-pump-parts/pressure-gauges/4509477 costs more than many, but it is 0-100psi like the gauge on your pressure switch, rather than the common 0-200psi.
Hi Reach4,

There is no cartridge filter on the main supply. I did forget to mention we have a drinking filter on the kitchen cold faucet, which does reduce the pressure there. But we have a lack of pressure/flow when any 2 "outlets" are open in the house.

My laundry tap is not the same dimensions as a garden hose bib. I'm assuming you mean "Hot water heater by WH"? That does look the same size. I would prefer to attach a gauge to a cold water tap if possible?

In case I wasn't clear before, our lack of pressure/flow is with either hot or cold water. When the well company was here they stated it's because of the 1/2hp pump output that our water pressure/flow is what it is. And even with only 1 faucet open the flow is nothing to write home about.

How do I measure the flow at the pressure tank bib so that I can work out it's either downstream or just what the pump is giving me?
 

428dragpak

New Member
Messages
15
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
NJ
You say there is no cartridge filter. Pressure drop could come from a softener or backwashing filter.

The next thing would be to get a garden hose thread pressure gauge, and put it on a laundry tap or the drain for the WH. Repeat the 2-shower observation. Or if you can see both from about the same location, observe the pressure difference. Those gauges are under $20. https://www.acehardware.com/departments/plumbing/pumps-and-pump-parts/pressure-gauges/4509477 costs more than many, but it is 0-100psi like the gauge on your pressure switch, rather than the common 0-200psi.
And our acid neutralizer was just re-bedded 2 days ago, so no restrictions through the media.And the water tech did not mention the head could be causing a loss of flow, which I imagine he would seeing we were talking about it and it would be an opportunity to perhaps sell me something.
 

428dragpak

New Member
Messages
15
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
NJ
You say there is no cartridge filter. Pressure drop could come from a softener or backwashing filter.

The next thing would be to get a garden hose thread pressure gauge, and put it on a laundry tap or the drain for the WH. Repeat the 2-shower observation. Or if you can see both from about the same location, observe the pressure difference. Those gauges are under $20. https://www.acehardware.com/departments/plumbing/pumps-and-pump-parts/pressure-gauges/4509477 costs more than many, but it is 0-100psi like the gauge on your pressure switch, rather than the common 0-200psi.
I do have an outside hose bib that is after the neutralizer and T's off the main supply line, right above all my equipment. Would it be suitable to attach the pressure gauge there?
 

Valveman

Cary Austin
Staff member
Messages
13,361
Reaction score
957
Points
113
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Website
cyclestopvalves.com
If the pump is cycling on at 40 and off at 60 while you are using water, the pump is producing more than you are using. 60 PSI should be lots of pressure, but 40 not so much. Does the gauge go to zero when the pump is off and the tank is drained? Or, check the air in the tank while using water and the gauge should be the same as the one on the tank. But if the gauge is correct and you have 60 PSI you have a restriction(s) or house pipes are too small.

A CSV can hold it at 60 PSI constant the entire time you are using water, after the tank has drained. Because yes, you still have to use all the water from the tank before the pump comes on and the CSV goes to work.
 

428dragpak

New Member
Messages
15
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
NJ
If the pump is cycling on at 40 and off at 60 while you are using water, the pump is producing more than you are using. 60 PSI should be lots of pressure, but 40 not so much. Does the gauge go to zero when the pump is off and the tank is drained? Or, check the air in the tank while using water and the gauge should be the same as the one on the tank. But if the gauge is correct and you have 60 PSI you have a restriction(s) or house pipes are too small.

A CSV can hold it at 60 PSI constant the entire time you are using water, after the tank has drained. Because yes, you still have to use all the water from the tank before the pump comes on and the CSV goes to work.
I will turn off the pump etc tomorrow and also your other suggestions.

Ok so that is why a small tank is suggested for the CSV. That makes sense. Well makes sense now after I have learnt so much, lol.
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
35,530
Reaction score
3,675
Points
113
Location
IL
I do have an outside hose bib that is after the neutralizer and T's off the main supply line, right above all my equipment. Would it be suitable to attach the pressure gauge there?
You can put the gauge there, but that would bypass more stuff than the drain on the WH would . You would not leave the gauge there for a long time, so hot should not hurt anything.

Most laundry connections are garden hose thread, so you might take another look.
 

428dragpak

New Member
Messages
15
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
NJ
You can put the gauge there, but that would bypass more stuff than the drain on the WH would . You would not leave the gauge there for a long time, so hot should not hurt anything.

Most laundry connections are garden hose thread, so you might take another look.
Thanks for the clarification. I was looking at the end of the faucet and not the wall connection! My washing machine actually tee's off the side of that and that also looks like a hose bib size. I will go and get one of those gauges and report back with my findings.

Thanks again for your help.
 

428dragpak

New Member
Messages
15
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
NJ
If the pump is cycling on at 40 and off at 60 while you are using water, the pump is producing more than you are using. 60 PSI should be lots of pressure, but 40 not so much. Does the gauge go to zero when the pump is off and the tank is drained? Or, check the air in the tank while using water and the gauge should be the same as the one on the tank. But if the gauge is correct and you have 60 PSI you have a restriction(s) or house pipes are too small.

A CSV can hold it at 60 PSI constant the entire time you are using water, after the tank has drained. Because yes, you still have to use all the water from the tank before the pump comes on and the CSV goes to work.
Hi Cary,

The gauge does go to zero once the tank is drained. Once drained the tank at Schrader valve was 32psi.

I checked the tank pressure as water was running and the tank draining down. The pressure at the valve was reading the same as the gauge on the bottom of the tank.
 

428dragpak

New Member
Messages
15
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
NJ
I installed a pressure gauge in the basement laundry. It reads around 5psi lower than the tank gauge. Once I turn on the shower and kitchen faucet the pressure gauge drops to zero. The shower is directly above the laundry and they are on the same single feed, which branches off.

The tank gauge did not drop to zero, it slowly started moving down.
 

428dragpak

New Member
Messages
15
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
NJ
I just spoke to my water conditioner tech. He stated when he puts the unit in back flush mode the pump struggles to keep up with the water demand.
 

Valveman

Cary Austin
Staff member
Messages
13,361
Reaction score
957
Points
113
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Website
cyclestopvalves.com
I just spoke to my water conditioner tech. He stated when he puts the unit in back flush mode the pump struggles to keep up with the water demand.
I don't think so. If the gauge at the tank is only dropping slightly and the one on that line goes to zero, something between the two gauges is restricting the flow. Put the conditioner in bypass and see if the gauge on that line doesn't go to zero.
 

428dragpak

New Member
Messages
15
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
NJ
I don't think so. If the gauge at the tank is only dropping slightly and the one on that line goes to zero, something between the two gauges is restricting the flow. Put the conditioner in bypass and see if the gauge on that line doesn't go to zero.
Hi Cary,

That's what I thought also. So figured I would open up the 1 filter I have on my main line, and low and behold there is a junked up filter in their lmao...egg on face...

Yesterday my only memory of that filter cartridge was from removing it when I first moved into the house in 08, just due to the low pressure in the house. Once I opened it up and saw that a new old memory flashed up. From when my now wife first moved in and complained of the water taste. I wish I could blame her but in this instance it's on me :)

So now the test pressure gauge stays constant at 5psi lower than the tank, with 2 outlets running. The water tech stated I would drop around 3psi through the neutralizer.

Hopefully I can squeeze a couple of more years out of my system, though the tank T setup looks beyond it's useful life and the shutoff valve on the T does not move.

Which of your systems would pair well with what I have and would the 1 1/4" black pipe from the pump, plus pipe down to pump etc be ok with the back pressure? And the CSV system will keep my water flow and volume basically what it is now when my gauge is reading 55psi?

Are most houses this pressure? How do you increase the volume so you would get 55psi at 2 outlets running at the same time?

I want to again thank both you and Reach4 for taking the time to help me trouble shoot this.
 
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