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Thread: Sumersable Pump Replaced but same reults as old pump.

  1. #1

    Default Submersible Pump Replaced but same reults as old pump.

    I have been having issues at a my home with well pressure on the second floor reducing to about a dribble when someone on the first floor flushes a toilet. I tried several things including raising the pressure, letting all the air out of the pressure tank and refilling to "kick on" pressure so kick on and tank pressure are the same. I've replaced main valves because I though maybe they were old and clogged.

    Long story short, despite all of the changes and trouble shooting I performed, I reluctantly called the nearest well guy for a professional opinion. I told him what the problem was and sure enough, he looked at my system for about 2 minutes I heard the dreaded words I have been trying to avoid " yup, it's your submersible pump". With that, I told the guy to go ahead and change the pump out.

    My problem is this. I clearly stated to the guy why I called him. "We were losing pressure on the second floor". He said the pump was the problem. He replaced the pump and I still have the same issue. I'm not satisfied based on the end results of the "new pump" that the pump is the problem.

    He did come back after the first phone call I made "literally minutes after he left the first time" and had me flush my system with bleach by dumping a gallon down the well and running a garden hose from my main inside the house back to the well which I ran for 2 hours to no avail. Same problems.

    He also cranked my pressure up to 70psi which seems unusual because I have always heard 40/60 is the max on a well system.

    I feel like the guy's only objective was to sell me the pump. After the installation, he didn't even check my pressure, he loaded up his truck and down the road he went. Would it be un-ethical to cancel his check until the problem is resolved? I didn't call him to replace my pump, I called because I needed a solution to my problem and it wasn't met.

    Suggestions?
    Last edited by Mobster; 10-07-2009 at 06:00 PM.

  2. #2
    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    Did the problem just start or has it always been there ?

    It may very well be a problem with the piping in the house and have nothing at all to do with the pump.

    Quick, unofficial test. There should be a drain valve on the well pressure tank, near the bottom. Put a garden hose on it and turn it on full bore. See what the pressure and flow look like there. If it's good then you have something else going on down the line so to speak. Sorry you got talked into a pump that you didn't need, maybe you can get the well guy to take it back or rebate you some money.

  3. #3
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    This is a prime example of someone that can't troubleshoot and simply comes up with an idea of replacing something that isn't the cause of the problem.

    Depending on the age and condition of the old pump, you might chalk this up as tuition in the school of hard knocks and move on. Or, cancel the check and make him put your old pump back in and take the new one home with him. In small claims court he has no chance of winning and he could lose the new pump after giving you a full refund.
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  4. #4

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    I'm not sure how long the condition has been there as we just purchased the house and moved in 2 weeks ago.

    Like I said, I have trying to troubleshoot the issue one step at a time with replacing the pump as a last resort in mind. I'm still not entirely sure it's not something to do with the size of my pressure tank or the condition of it. There in lies the problem I have with the repair technician. I didn't call him to "replace my pump", I called him with an issue I was having with my water system and told him about all of the things I had tried in effort to resolve the issue.

    Even if the pump was the first place to start, would you put in a 1/2 horse pump as a replacement in a home were the consumer is complaining of pressure issues on the second floor? If it were me, not that I claim to be an expert, I think I would have bumped it up 1/4 of a horse as a safety precaution? Not to mention there are so many other reasons why this may happen to a water system, he just seemed rather rushed in his decision to go straight for replacing the pump without running a single other test. Am I crazy here?

    I just plain don't have the time to dance around the issue with (lets try this or that) AFTER the fact. That's why I called the guy in the first place to get a "professional" opinion. This is why I am asking if canceling the check would be an un-ethical thing to do.

    In the world I live in, I don't get paid until the job is complete.
    Last edited by Mobster; 10-06-2009 at 10:31 PM.

  5. #5
    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    I had a feeling you had not lived there long. Chances are real good that the problem is undersized piping in the house.

  6. #6
    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    How old is the house? What type of water lines do you have? I'm thinking you may have some galvanized line that are plugged. If not that there could be just a galvanized nipple tied into a copper or brass fitting. I would call a good plumber to find your problem, then go back to the pump guy.

    John

  7. #7

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    The house was built in 1983. The plumbing looks like 1' copper and on the main floor with what appears to be 3/4' going to the 2nd floor.

    I still say replacing the pump would have been the very last thing I would have done and I'm not a professional. Check canceled!

  8. #8
    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobster View Post
    The house was built in 1983. The plumbing looks like 1' copper and on the main floor with what appears to be 3/4' going to the 2nd floor.

    I still say replacing the pump would have been the very last thing I would have done and I'm not a professional. Check canceled!
    Canceling the check will definitely get his attention. But you still need a plumber to solve your problem. Finding the cause will help your case in small claims, because that's were this is heading. You are 100% right in felling all he wanted to do is sell you a pump. I hope it all works out four you.

    John

  9. #9
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Presonaly I am leaning towards a bad pressure switch and or a bad tank...you might also want to check the 1/4" tube going to the switch...it may be clogged...

    If replacement of the pump changed nothing...

    I would call the company back and tell them to put the old pump back and give you your $$$ back...it is obvious he had no idea as to what the problem was....

  10. #10
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    Has anybody thought to look at the pressure gauge while all this is happening? If the pressure is still good at the tank while the pressure is low on the second floor, then there is a restriction in the plumbing. If the pressure at the tank is low, then there is/was a pump problem. If the pump guy didnít look at the pressure before and after replacing the pump, he deserves to have the check canceled.

  11. #11
    Porky Cutter,MGWC Porky's Avatar
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    Default I'm irked as well!

    Being a well and pump contractor I am always irked when a customer gives me a check and then puts a stop payment on it. A check should be like cash!

    However in your case, I'm with you 100%. Stopping payment on an unqualified service person would be my first priority. Then I would advise the pump installer of my intentions. You are right if you contacted the person to consult and resolve your problem, that's what he/she should have done. It's obvious to me that this person was not a qualified ground water system expert. The person was only an unqualified pump installer. Almost anyone with basic pump knowledge and the proper equipment can replace a pump.

    Most states require a well driller and pump installer to be licensed and certified installer in that state to service a pump. Many states also require that a plumber be a licensed pump installer to tamper with the pump system.

    That being said, you have many options open to you legally. Small Claims Court and File a complaint with the state board for contractors in that state.
    Unfortunately none of the above will rectify your immediate water pressure problem.

    My recommendation is to contract a state licensed pump installer and preferably a "National Ground Water Association" www.ngwa.org certified well driller/pump installer with the designation CWD/PI. This will assure you that you have a qualified contractor. In your situation I don't usually recommend contracting a plumber unless that person is a licensed and NGWA certified pump installer.

    You may also choose to contact a Master Ground Water Certified Contractor http://www.ngwa.org/cert/contractor/mgwclst.aspx in your state or near you and ask them questions related to your problem by telephone. When contacting any of them tell them Porky referred them. They will probably be able to diagnose your problem over the telephone. . . at no cost to you.

    Porky, MGWC
    NGWA_ Master Ground Water Certified

  12. #12
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    If you want to keep the new pump, you owe the man for it. If you want the old pump back, canceling the check is the best way to make that happen. People who have been paid in full donít usually have much motivation to undo the work and return the money. If the law gets involved, I would still rather be the one with the money, than the one who is owed money.

  13. #13

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    The check was written for a "service". The service I hired him for was not complete. So payment isn't due. I'm not looking for free anything, I just believe he should have run a few tests before assuming the problem was the pump immediately.

    With two faucets running in the basement, even the new pump still doesn't keep up, the gauge indicates pressure loss. As it stands, it puts about about 2 gal a minute at the source. If this is acceptable, then we need to rethink what the problem is which again, is why I called this guy in the first place.

    I am also a business man and I don't get, or take a red cent unless my customer is satisfied. (PERIOD)

  14. #14
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobster View Post

    Like I said, I have trying to troubleshoot the issue one step at a time with replacing the pump as a last resort in mind. I'm still not entirely sure it's not something to do with the size of my pressure tank or the condition of it.

    Even if the pump was the first place to start, would you put in a 1/2 horse pump as a replacement in a home were the consumer is complaining of pressure issues on the second floor? If it were me, not that I claim to be an expert, I think I would have bumped it up 1/4 of a horse as a safety precaution?
    Trying to troubleshoot the system, means you have to know how it works to start with. Leaving all the air out of the pressure tank, or thinking the pressure tank size has anything to do with is incorrect. Thinking it wasn't the pump may be incorrect. Thinking of going to a larger HP pump is incorrect.

    The air pressure in the pressure tank with no water in the tank has to be 1-2 psi less than the turn the pump on switch setting. I.E. 30/50 gets 29-28 psi.

    The hp power of a pump is on part of the two parts of sizing a pump, the other is the gpm it can deliver. You select the gpm required at the pressure you need and then the horse to get the job done.

    So this: "I reluctantly called the nearest well guy for a professional opinion." Probably says he is a driller rather than a pump guy.

    There are electrical tests that are easy to do to troubleshoot a pump and the power cable, If he did none, before replacing the pump, IMO he's a crook.

    You need to run water, ascertain when the pump comes on, shut off the water and watch the pressure gauge and not the pressure it comes on at and goes off at. If the gauge is not working, replace it.

    Then run water downstairs and watch the gauge, then upstairs and watch teh gauge. The gauge should fall faster with downstairs water use and slower with upstairs use.

    What are the on off pressures?

    And really, you have a low flow (gpm) problem upstairs, not a pressure problem. Clean the screens in all the sink faucet tip aerators and shower heads. Many time low flow is due to them being blocked with hardness scale and 'sediment'.

    Do you have any type of filters? If so, remove the cartridges and see what happens. Any gate valves are suspects.
    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.

  15. #15

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    I have removed the main filter, I have removed all filters in my sinks and replaced them. By the way my well is 160' deep.

    The kick on kick off setting were originally set at 15 on and 40 off when we moved in. It was terrible, I bumped it up to 40/60 and my pressure got a tiny bit better upstairs however the problem of "losing pressure when someone flushes a toilet downstairs" still existed. I also set the pressure in the tank as you mentioned, to 2 lbs less than the kick on setting to 38psi. Still had the problem. This is why I called the well guy. At that point I thought there may have been either a switch/electrical issue or worse case scenario, clogged pipes and/or bad pump. Before I replaced the pump I wanted a "professional" opinion. Was it the pump, the tank, clogged pipes, poor plumbing... ect. So I understand there are tests that should have or could have been performed to diagnose the problem and NONE were done.

    This guy dropped the new pump in and didn't even afford me the courtesy of walking in the house to turn the pump on and check to see if the issue had been resolved. He took my check and left within minutes. Crappy business in my opinion.

    After his re-visit from my immediate phone call, he had me running bleach, flushing my well, cleaning and/or replacing screens, drilling out water savers ect. He bumped my pressure shut off to 73psi and never adjusted the pressure tank to the new cut in setting. I thought that was hard on a well system to go that high in the first place? No?

    He said the pump was 12 gpm. then why am I only receiving 2 gpm at the closest line out?

    Thanks for all the input!
    Last edited by Mobster; 10-07-2009 at 12:12 PM. Reason: verbage

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