No water after power failure

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Momma, Apr 5, 2010.

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  1. Momma

    Momma New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    I've just had a six hour power failure. Everything's now working again except the water. I checked and the water pressure meter reads 15 - it's usually around 50. However, it doesn't seem to be increasing. Any suggestions as to how I can get water again

    I should add that I don't know a thing about plumbing so please answer in simple terms.

    Thanks
  2. thassler

    thassler New Member

    Messages:
    106
    Location:
    Tennessee
    You may have what is called a 'low pressure cut-off switch'. If so there is a little lever on the side of it. Pull up on that lever to the 'start' position and see if the pressure starts to go up. Once the pressure starts to go up to around 30 you can release the lever back to the 'Auto' position.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2010
  3. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Probably should put this in a sticky, such a common problem.
  4. newbie33

    newbie33 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    mass
    I had something similar happen to me a couple of weeks ago. However, I don't have a 'low pressure cut-off switch'. There was a lot of dirty/rusty water after the power came back on and the psi was 20. I ran the faucets for like 20 minutes until the water ran clear. I have noticed an increase in electricity after the outtage. I did use an air pump to try to inflate the bladder to 50 psi. The water pressure did get better but eventually the pressure went back down to 20 psi and the water pressure out of the faucet was low. Do you think I should replace the tank? That maybe it was coincidence that this happened during the power failure or maybe it caused the final death nail. I'm curious why I'm still getting 20 psi instead of 0. I'm guessing the tank is as old as my house, 20 years old. I'd appreciate any advice.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2010
  5. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,495
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    A bad tank doesn't cause low pressure. It only causes the pump to cycle on and off rapidly. You have to check the air in the tank when the pump is off and all water is drained out of the tank. The pressure gauge on the water line must read 0 when you check air in the tank with a car tire gauge. Then 50 PSI is too much air for a 40/60 pressure switch. You only need 35 to 38 PSI air with a 40/60 switch.

    An increase in electric use means your pump is running more than it should. The tube to the pressure switch can be clogged and the pump won't come on or off at the pressure needed. Dirty water and high electric can also be from a hole in the drop pipe in the well. Rapid cycling will also cause high electric use but that should be obvious to see.

    I would put on a new pressure gauge, get the correct air pressure in the tank, and clean out the tube to the pressure switch. Water surrounds the bag in some pressure tanks and the air can't get out because the water is higher pressure and trying to get in the bag. So you lose the air when the power goes off after the tank is empty of water. This is the only way a power outage could affect the air in the tank.

    You could still be having power problems as well. If your pump is only getting 115 volts instead of 230, it will give low pressure, run alot and use more electricity. So also check the voltage.
  6. newbie33

    newbie33 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    mass
    Thanks for the quick response and deteailed explanations Valveman. I did skip draining the water out. I was trying to cheat by skipping a step which is my fault. I have some free time this weekend and I'll follow your instructions. I like doing plumbing and would like to learn more complicated jobs like wells and pumps. This is my first learning experience so hopefully it will work on my second attempt. I really like the information on this site. Thanks for the guidence. I'll let you know if it works or not. Thanks again.
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