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Thread: Have you seen this before?

  1. #1

    Default Have you seen this before?

    Hello All. I am new to the forum and seek your input on problem I am having. Always lived in the rural area so I have a working knowledge of water well systems.

    First off, I will summarize what type of system I have. 200+ FT deep well with submersible pump, Flow control butterfly valve set to 30degrees. SquareD 90135FSG Pumptrol pressure switch. 30 Gallon Pressure Tank. Water conditioner system afterwards.

    Long story short, we have a high level of TDS in the water hence the water conditioner. The low pressure shutoff tripped a few times on us so I figured the nipple may have become clogged in the switch and rather than clean it I decided to swap out for a new one @$25 since there is a bit of a hassle re-wiring, reconnecting etc and did not want to do it more than once.

    Here is what I have done:
    - Shut off power to pump
    - Drained system completely
    - Replaced with new pressure switch and left to default 30/50
    - Checked pressure tank for correct pressure 28psi and not water mist from tank so tank isn not water logged.
    - Closed all faucets and fired the pump back on.

    Here is the behaviour I am experiencing:

    The pump will build the pressure up and then cut off around 40 psi. Takes about 30sec to build from 30-40 psi with one faucet open. When it hits 40 psi the pump cuts off. Wait for 60 sec and then the pump runs for 10 sec then shuts off. Wait for 60 sec then pump runs again for 10 sec until cut off pressure of 50psi is reached.

    This consistent interval or increments of pause & pump run time is suggesting to me that this is a function of the switch or pump and not any pressure related issues?

    Now this behaviour works just fine until you decide to put a load on the system. Last night it was the dishwasher running and flushing a toliet. The pump run time was not long enough and the pressure dropped to the 20psi safegaurd and switch tripped off.

    Since I have not seen this before, I decided to put it to the forum and seek your input/advice.

    Thanks in advance for your attention.

    Jeff W.

  2. #2
    Rancher
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    Quote Originally Posted by wainjef
    Flow control butterfly valve set to 30degrees.
    Flow control valve, so you must have a low producing well? perhaps is the pump running out of water and the thermal overload is tripping?

    Rancher

  3. #3

    Default

    I thought it might be a low water condition too but this behaviour is happening even if you let the system sit idle all day. The well at time of installation showed a pumping rate of 13.65 L/min or 3.61 gal/min so it is not great but have never had any issues for the last 10 years.

    The kicker for me is the consistent pause/wait & run times that are occuring. Surely you would get some variance there if it was an overheating / low water condition.

    I don't have any information on the pump itself so I am at a loss there.

    I also forgot to mention that opening the flow control valve wide open does not make any difference either.

    I am Puzzled?

  4. #4
    Rancher
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    Quote Originally Posted by wainjef
    I also forgot to mention that opening the flow control valve wide open does not make any difference either.
    How about closing down the flow control a little more, can you hear the pump run, i.e. if you are the well head when the pump is running you should be able to hear it suck air if that is what it's doing.

    Rancher

  5. #5
    DIY Member mariner's Avatar
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    Default Have you seen this before?

    Hi Jeff,

    This is just a shot in the dark, but you say you have a water softener right. All of your appliances run off of it on softened water. Could it be that the flow through the softener has reduced due to dirty resin or a filter plugging up> Might be worth checking it out.

    mariner

  6. #6

    Default

    I tried some tests adjusting the flow control valve and still the same result. It is definitely the pump that is shutting down and nothing to do with the switch so now I am seeing dollar signs. Still freezing cold here in Ontario, Canada so I will have to wait and see what happens come spring. Maybe the thaw will help and increase the flow.

    B.T.W. It is a drilled well and passes through 2-3 layers of limestone. There is a technique called fracturing? not sure of exact term but I have heard that this can resolve some problems when experiencing low flow rates in wells of this type.

    For now, it is just a matter of timing the dishwasher, ,laundry, showers, water softener so that they don't run in conjunction.

    Thanks for all your input.

  7. #7
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    You say the pump is shutting down. Does this mean it quits running or quits pumping, or both. If it quits running then it's an electrical issue. If it quits pumping while still running, it's a well problem. I am leaning toward the well problem. It could be that letting it sit for a while and getting the same results, your water level is very close to your pump setting.

    bob...

  8. #8
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wainjef
    .... Long story short, we have a high level of TDS in the water hence the water conditioner.
    If you mean a softener, they don't reduce the TDS, and depending on your hardness, iron etc., it can increase the TDS slightly. To reduce TDS you need a RO or nanofiltration; there is nothing you can put in a softener to effect TDS.

    The pump will build the pressure up and then cut off around 40 psi. Takes about 30sec to build from 30-40 psi with one faucet open. When it hits 40 psi the pump cuts off. Wait for 60 sec and then the pump runs for 10 sec then shuts off. Wait for 60 sec then pump runs again for 10 sec until cut off pressure of 50psi is reached.

    This consistent interval or increments of pause & pump run time is suggesting to me that this is a function of the switch or pump and not any pressure related issues?
    It can't be the switch as long as the points are closed.

    Now this behaviour works just fine until you decide to put a load on the system. Last night it was the dishwasher running and flushing a toliet. The pump run time was not long enough and the pressure dropped to the 20psi safegaurd and switch tripped off.

    Jeff W.
    So you have a low pressure safety switch. I say the pump is overheating and the thermal overload is shutting it off, then it cools and comes on to overheat again and repeat the process. If I'm right the pump will not last much longer before burning up.

    Or... the cable is getting hot say at the splice or a worn spot and you are losing power to the pump; which is a stretch and not likely. You could have the inlet screen on the pump clogged and that is preventing free flow water into the pump overheating it. I suggest not waiting until spring or you may have no water at all fairly soon.

    Your PRV may be bust and you think you are adjusting it but only the bolt/screw is moving, or due to the high TDS, it's partially blocked.

    Is it before or after the pressure switch?
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  9. #9

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    Re: Softener
    Correct there is an Iron master before the softener but even with that the treated result is still high in TDS.

    Re: Switch
    Yes, had a closer look and the points stay shut until cutoff is reached.

    Re: Water Flow / PRV
    It is before the switch and pressure tank. Is plastic & ABS and does seem to be working because there is a change in sound when I adjust it when pump is running.

    Re: Pump
    When water stops flowing, pump stops.

    I did quite a bit of watering this past summer for new sod that was put in. Perhaps that was very hard on the pump and it is on its last legs now. Don't really want to have to do this in freezing temperatures but what you are saying is what I feared it might be when we first lost water.

    Thanks very much for you feedback. I have my fingers crossed that it last a little while longer....

  10. #10
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Filters and softeners don't reduce TDS, RO, distillation or nanofiltration are the only means to reduce or remove TDS.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  11. #11

    Default Pump was culprit

    Decided to haul up the pump when the weather got warmer and changed it for a new one. All wiring on old pump looked okay so must have been the motor that was letting go. Also noticed it was a 1/2 HP down at 190ft. Opted to replace with a 3/4 HP in hopes of prolonging the life of the pump. Relatively easy operation if you have all the right tools & supplies. Extra sets of hands helps too for hauling the sucker up!

    All is well (mind the punn) again.

    Thanks for all the help!

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