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Thread: Well pump keeps running

  1. #1

    Default Well pump keeps running

    I am a newbie to this forum. It's great! I have read many of the threads and there are some really knowledgable people on this forum. I hope you can help me.

    Primary Problem: My well pump keeps running.

    I just installed a new Pumptrol 40-60 psi pump control switch. It has 5 year old AO Smith bladder pressure tank that sits on the floor and is chest high. The pressure on the Shrader valve is set to 38 psi.

    Here are well specifics of the well:

    I moved into the house in 1990.

    House built in 1979.

    Soil is very, very sandy

    Well depth is about 60 feet.

    Bladder pressure tank is in the basement.

    Water line is 40 feet from the house / basement to the well down pipe.

    I measured the gpm a couple of years ago by opening up a water spigot and it measured 4 gallons per minute.

    Downpipe is galvanized pipe

    Submersible pump -- replaced in 1995.

    2004-- installed a new Pumptrol pressure switch to increase pressure 10 psi. Original pressure switch was a 30-50. Upgraded to 40-60 and it made quite a difference in the house when showering and using the sinks, filling the washer, watering and the like. It wasn't spectacular, but it was servicable.

    TODAY / CURRENT SITUATION -- Pressure was staying at 40 psi even when I tried adjusting the pressure switch so I decided to replace the existing 40-60 switch with a brand 40-60 psi new one. I was thinking that maybe the pressure switch was plugged. I also installed it with a new 6" long 1/4" pipe. However, I did not fill the 6" pipe with water. I first installed the pipe (with teflon tape) on to the switch and installed it as an assembly. So, is it compressing the air in the up pipe / pressure switch and not signalling sufficient pressure to shut it off? If so, then I would think the pressure should be building beyond 40 psi. I also installed a new pressure gage next to pressure switch mounting location. Another pressure switch is threaed onto the water tank dump spigot. Both read 40 psi max. The pressure gage on the hot water tank also as tattle tale marker. The highest pressure recorded is 43 psi.

    The in-line water filter picks up a lot of sand and rust. I replace it every couple of weeks. I use a 20 micron sediment filter.

    Water softener is installed in the system.

    Questions:

    Why won't the pump shut off? I wired it the same. Trust me. I even took a digital picture of it before changing out the pressure switch. I have a water well service company coming out (they dig and repair wells). The tech thinks I have a leak in the pipe going down to the submersible well pump.

    Broader question is about the amount of sediment, rust and sand I get in the filter. In 1990 my home was rural residential. In the last 16 years subdivisions have moved in and over 250 nearby acres have been developed into 1/4 to 1/2 acre lots with homes. This has probably affected the water table. I know I have to drinking a lot of lawn fertilizer. Why do I have all the sediment? Is there a screen in the pump that's torn? If the answer is to dig another well, I do have the option of hooking up to city water line in front of my house. I could switch over to city water for about $2500 to trench and connect.

    What's the average life of a submersible well pump?

    What is reasonable price for a submersible well pump?
    Last edited by Prof; 01-15-2007 at 09:46 AM.

  2. #2
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    Your well guy is probably right.

    A new pump can be a lot of prices. If your going to install it, it's much lower than if a well company does it. For a 40' well a 1/2hp 10 gpm pump is all you need for your home and my price is $344.40 if you install it.

    The added homes in your area can't be effecting your water with a 40' well. If they did you would have no water.

    I would thing you have a hole in the droppipe, or in the pipe leading to the house, or the pumps impellers are worn out.


    bob...

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by speedbump
    Your well guy is probably right.

    A new pump can be a lot of prices. If your going to install it, it's much lower than if a well company does it. For a 40' well a 1/2hp 10 gpm pump is all you need for your home and my price is $344.40 if you install it.

    The added homes in your area can't be effecting your water with a 40' well. If they did you would have no water.

    I would thing you have a hole in the droppipe, or in the pipe leading to the house, or the pumps impellers are worn out.


    bob...
    Bob,

    Thanks for responding.

    It's probably the drop pipe which is 60 feet of galvanized steel and 28 years old. Back in 1995 when the service tech installed a new submersible pump I should have had him install a new stainless drop pipe.

    I wouldn't be surpised if the 12 year old pump is bad considering all the sediment it's been "eating." It can't be good for it. Or worse yet, it's both of them. I don't see any evidence of ground being waterlogged in the plastic tube that runs from the house to the well. The well company is supposed to be out some time today to check it out if the weather lightens up. It's been a night and a day of freezing rain.

    Question # 1 -- Is the labor typically equal to the cost of the pump or what?

    Question #2 -- What's the cost of a stainless drop pipe?
    Last edited by Prof; 01-15-2007 at 12:31 PM.

  4. #4
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    The age could certainly taken a toll on the pipe.

    It won't be stainless, it will be galvanized or maybe plastic. That's the choice for most guys these days.

    If you were to buy the pump from me, you would save a lot of money over what I would sell it to you for if I were installing it too. Same with any other pump guy. Some pump guys will allow you to buy the pump and they will install it for a set fee. Other's won't want anything to do with a deal like that, so you mignt want to ask first.

  5. #5
    Rancher
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prof
    What's the average life of a submersible well pump?
    Average life is 7 years, yes you might have a hole in your drop pipe, is there a check valve at the tank? If not when you turn off the power to the pump with no water on in the house does the pressure drop, if so you have a hole, if not you probably need a new pump. The sediment is probably an indication of a lowering water table. For a 40' well most guys will use polyethylene, which is what was probably used when the well was put in, so there probably is not a hole.

    Rancher
    Last edited by Rancher; 01-15-2007 at 02:28 PM.

  6. #6
    Previous member sammyhydro11's Avatar
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    I would suspect a broken fitting in the well or outside of the well in the waterline. Pump is displacing water some where before holding tank. A good quality submersible pump if installed properly will you give you 20 years or more of trouble free service.I have seen goulds pumps last 30 plus years. I would also set that pump on poly pipe.

    SAM

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by speedbump
    The age could certainly taken a toll on the pipe.

    It won't be stainless, it will be galvanized or maybe plastic. That's the choice for most guys these days.

    If you were to buy the pump from me, you would save a lot of money over what I would sell it to you for if I were installing it too. Same with any other pump guy. Some pump guys will allow you to buy the pump and they will install it for a set fee. Other's won't want anything to do with a deal like that, so you mignt want to ask first.
    The down pipe is probably original. I priced stainless and it's $10 a foot so 62 ft would be a bit much. Galvanized is $3/ft and PVC is $1/ft. PVC sounds like a good idea until it may need to be replaced. I am picturing it getting captured in the well in 5 to 10 years with crusty deposits and then breaking it into thousand parts trying to remove it. How do you remove broken PVC? I would opt for the galvanized.

    Regarding the well pump the well pump service company quoted $500. Opinioin regarding longevity it appears there is wide range of opinions.
    Last edited by Prof; 01-15-2007 at 06:39 PM.

  8. #8

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    You should not use any of the above except POLY pipe or PE pipe in 160psi. Its way under a buck a foot and will never crack and will outlast the fittings and your kids and maybe their kids too. You will not have any joints like the PVC.

    40 foot is a great well to learn on. you cant hurt much. PE will outlast most stainless steel which contrary to common beliefs is not forever and getting less than that since the chinese have flooded the market with fittings that are out of spec for thread pitch and diameter as well as highly suspect metallurgy. Looks like stainless, priced like stainless..... rusts like galvanized.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raucina
    You should not use any of the above except POLY pipe or PE pipe in 160psi. Its way under a buck a foot and will never crack and will outlast the fittings and your kids and maybe their kids too. You will not have any joints like the PVC.

    40 foot is a great well to learn on. you cant hurt much. PE will outlast most stainless steel which contrary to common beliefs is not forever and getting less than that since the chinese have flooded the market with fittings that are out of spec for thread pitch and diameter as well as highly suspect metallurgy. Looks like stainless, priced like stainless..... rusts like galvanized.
    What is PE? That was not an option named by my well service company.

    By the way, the down pipe is 60 feet and the well pump is connected on the end.

  10. #10
    Rancher
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prof
    What is PE? That was not an option named by my well service company.
    PE is Poly, which is Polyethylene, you've seen it, comes in black color, slick outside, fairly hard, but not as hard as PVC, which unless you use Schedule 80 you shouldn't use in a well. I know you've seen it as a low pressure version is used for drip systems, but you need the 160 or 200 psi version, it slips over a barbed connector and is held in place by stainless steel hose clamps.

    Rancher

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rancher
    PE is Poly, which is Polyethylene, you've seen it, comes in black color, slick outside, fairly hard, but not as hard as PVC, which unless you use Schedule 80 you shouldn't use in a well. I know you've seen it as a low pressure version is used for drip systems, but you need the 160 or 200 psi version, it slips over a barbed connector and is held in place by stainless steel hose clamps.

    Rancher
    I believe what you describe was used to run the water from the well pump to the house.

  12. #12
    Rancher
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    Have you looked for a check valve at the tank yet, or checked to see if the pressure drops with no pump running and no water on?

    Rancher

  13. #13
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    We need an answer to Ranchers last question.

    Keep in mind that with Poly which I think is the best in plastic pipe, unless you use brass or SS fittings, the threads in the galvanized Male Adaptor can still get holes in them form electrolysis or just plain old age.

    My wife always tells people that Stainless means just that. It stains less, but will still rust and can easily get pin holes. I see it all the time with Stainless Pool Filters. Little pin holes squirting chlroinated water all over things.

    bob...

  14. #14

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    No check valve on the tank. The tank is a 86 gallon bladder tank.

    GOOD NEWS -- Problem solved by replacing the down pipe. It had two holes in it. One was he size of pencil. My wallet is a bit lighter.

    Cost was $421 for the truck hoist, galvanized pipe ($3/ft/), a new check valve in the pump, service call, and labor. The new pipe set the well pump 11 feet higher at 47 feet. The water table is at about 16 feet.

    Water pressure now climbs to 60 psi.
    Last edited by Prof; 01-16-2007 at 07:09 PM.

  15. #15

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    You may have been getting the dirt from the leak in the pipe jetting a hole in the side of the well - might have a nice little cavern there now.

    When this galvanized pipe springs a few more leaks in a few more years [brand? manufacturer? country of origin? schedule?] Be sure to use the PE pipe, which has yet to develop mysteries of nefarious manufacturers.

    There is a lot of pipe from indonesia and china that will not last but a few years due to poor mfg. controls and corrosion at the threaded fittings.

    Seems that the well guys that use galvanized pipe at a 50 foot drop only do so to pay for their winches and preclude the homeowners from attempting a set.

    At least you have water, and maybe you got good pipe.

    I have a pile of Chinese short brass nipples that are so undersize for thread diameter that if you use them with copper flex water heater hook up tubes they reliably blow off from time to time and destroy your home. Cheers to global trade!

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