Well pump runs, poly pipe holds pressure - no water delivered to tank (SOLVED)

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Chanle51

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Hi all,

I'm looking for some thoughts on our home well situation please. Apologies for the novel/detail

We have a 420 foot drilled well with the pump set at 400 feet. The pump is a Berkeley 7SP4E

Three days ago we ran out of household water. No sediment in the new filter - no smell, no discolored water - the pressure tank just went empty.

Doing the ice cube test (many, many drops) we've definitely recovered some water - three days ago it took 10 seconds for the cube to hit bottom and splash - today we're down to 7 seconds.

The pump kicks in when I manually trigger (and hold on) the low-flow pressure switch (you can hear it hum in the well and at the pressure switch it draws 10A.)

The offset and drop pipe were pressure tested and held 100 psi (so no leaks there) - everything is well below the frost line (northern New England.) Offset enters the house / pressure tank are both located in a warm basement.

Our well guys came out on day one and checked all of this out and said basically "you don't have any water in the well". Their write up estimated the water level was 400' at that point (when the ice cube drop took 10 seconds.) Given the recovery in water levels we've seen since then (and still no water being delivered to the pressure tank) - can you folks think of anything else that could possibly be coming into play here before we call them back to pull the pump?

Thanks very much in advance!
 
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Fitter30

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Couldn't find your pump model number for any info on it. Heres a contact number for your pump customer service +1-888-237-5353 running 10 amps could either be a dry well or pump not the motor is bad. With no debris in the filters thinking dry well.
 

Reach4

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Is that a 3/4 hp 2-wire 230 volt pump? No control box?

If so, check that you have about 230 vac across terminals 2 and 3 of the pressure switch. I suggest that because it is easy.

Confirm there is no above-ground check valve. That could hide a hole in your pipe under water.
 

Chanle51

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Couldn't find your pump model number for any info on it. Heres a contact number for your pump customer service +1-888-237-5353 running 10 amps could either be a dry well or pump not the motor is bad. With no debris in the filters thinking dry well.
Thank you Fitter for the information - Greatly appreciated!

Edit: Looking at the writeup the tech left, it looks like the model number they cited for the well pump is actually the model of the pressure tank. Thanks for chasing that down in spite of me providing bad info.
 
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Chanle51

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Is that a 3/4 hp 2-wire 230 volt pump? No control box?

If so, check that you have about 230 vac across terminals 2 and 3 of the pressure switch. I suggest that because it is easy.

Confirm there is no above-ground check valve. That could hide a hole in your pipe under water.
Thanks Reach4.

No check valve outside the well itself.

I had been reading the write-up the technicians left.

Taking a look at the pump label they left on the tank when it was installed in 2018 - it's 230v 1 phase , 1HP. Two wires and no control box. Looks like I'm getting 246v across the second and third terminals.

The pump label shows 7.9A with a max amp rating of 9.1A (which is lower than their reading of 10A.) I heard them mention it drawing 11A at one point when they were testing it out. Does that indicate any sort of unexpected load on the motor (if it's drawing that high?)

Thanks again for the response - I appreciate all the help!
 

Reach4

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The pump label shows 7.9A with a max amp rating of 9.1A (which is lower than their reading of 10A.) I heard them mention it drawing 11A at one point when they were testing it out. Does that indicate any sort of unexpected load on the motor (if it's drawing that high?)
It is too low for a locked up rotor. It is probably compatible with a big honking hole but then how did it pass your 100 psi test?

There are gadgets called well sounders that use sound, maybe ultrasonic, to measure how far down the water surface is. I think they can still work even tho there is a pitless in the way.

Anyway, I don't see a good alternative to them pulling the pump. Do look for a waterline on the pipe when they pull it.

If you can get a piece of tubing down to the area of the pump, traveling with the wires, you can measure how much water is above the end of the tubing by how much air pressure that tubing can hold. So if you can hold 4.3 psi of air, the water is 10 ft above the bottom of the tubing.
 

Chanle51

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It is too low for a locked up rotor. It is probably compatible with a big honking hole but then how did it pass your 100 psi test?

There are gadgets called well sounders that use sound, maybe ultrasonic, to measure how far down the water surface is. I think they can still work even tho there is a pitless in the way.

Anyway, I don't see a good alternative to them pulling the pump. Do look for a waterline on the pipe when they pull it.

If you can get a piece of tubing down to the area of the pump, traveling with the wires, you can measure how much water is above the end of the tubing by how much air pressure that tubing can hold. So if you can hold 4.3 psi of air, the water is 10 ft above the bottom of the tubing.
Thanks again for the feedback and ideas. I really appreciate it.

I think it'll be time for them to pull the pump and inspect - I'd not thought to check and see where the waterline on the poly is - great idea!
 

Fitter30

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Motor isn't pulling full load amps so it's probably turning. Think its coming out. And for what it costs just to pull the pump and check water levels new pump should be considered.
 

Chanle51

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Motor isn't pulling full load amps so it's probably turning. Think its coming out. And for what it costs just to pull the pump and check water levels new pump should be considered.
Totally agree. While it's pulled we'll throw a new pump on there.
 

Chanle51

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https://www.pentair.com/content/dam...ec-sheets/PENTEK_XE_MOTORS_SPECIFICATIONS.pdf page 5 of 8 shows amps expected amps.

How big is the casing inside? If the casing is 5 inch or bigger, a flow inducer sleeve can help cool the motor better.
Thank you - that's helpful info (based on your link, I'm not even close to the amperage you'd expect with a stuck rotor.)

The casing I.D. is 6 1/2". I'll mention a sleeve to the techs when they get here tomorrow AM.

Thanks again.
 

Chanle51

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Hi all,

Just circling back with an update. It turns out there was indeed a hole in the drop pipe, just above the pump. It apparently melted - the Square D low-flow pressure switch apparently didn't cut power (shame on me for cheaping out?)

New pump and a proper controller are being installed today. Hopefully my wife can figure out whatever manual comes with it because I doubt I'm up for the task when it comes time to reprogramming it.

Thanks all for the help on helping provide context and rule things in / out of the equation!
 

Reach4

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Sounds scary and expensive.

Did you get the above ground check valve removed?

Check back when you get your first out-of-warranty failure for suggestions.
 

Valveman

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Hi all,

Just circling back with an update. It turns out there was indeed a hole in the drop pipe, just above the pump. It apparently melted - the Square D low-flow pressure switch apparently didn't cut power (shame on me for cheaping out?)

New pump and a proper controller are being installed today. Hopefully my wife can figure out whatever manual comes with it because I doubt I'm up for the task when it comes time to reprogramming it.

Thanks all for the help on helping provide context and rule things in / out of the equation!
What are you calling "a proper controller" and why does it need programming?
 
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