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Thread: Water on and off, never consistent. Where to look?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Water on and off, never consistent. Where to look?

    Hi there, i read as much as i could find but nothing the really gave me an idea of were to start.

    Here is the issue: Our water goes on and off randomly. We have always had the problem that if we run our sprinkler for more then 20 minutes, or wash too many loads of laundry in a day, the water shuts off. Now as i understand it, the well just needs to fill up. I always thought that there should be more water stored then that but its something we learned to live with. ie, spacing out showers, dishes, laundry.

    Sometimes we dont have any problems for weeks at a time, some days it's is bad for days at a time. Recently, for 3 days now, the water has been off for five minutes, then off for about 3 hours, then on for about 15, then off again for 2 hours. sometimes we can take a shower, but its most of the time we get pumping just enough to flush a toilet then off again for hours.

    Standing out at the pump, you can hear it click on and of sometimes. There is a on and off switch, that when you turn off, and turn back on again it run for about 10 seconds and then off again.

    So far, the water had turned on and off about 4 times while writing this post. ( i can hear the back of toilet fill and the water heater.

    We do get a little bit of dirt in(oddly) just one of the two toilets. We had a broken pipe in the yard that had water seeping out of the ground, which we fixed, and the amount of dirt in that toilet went down about 95%. But have not been able to find any other seepage.

    All the other properties, my neighbors, in the area run their sprinklers enough to keep the acres of land green. Im assuming that we share the same underground water, (maybe we are not drilled as deep?)

    The problem is we rent this house. I know what you are all thinking, but really, trying to deal with the owners is a problem. They are old and while the property management folks are great, they are not great about making major repairs happen. (our propane tanks broke and we couldn't get them replaced for 2 months. hello BBQ and camping stove!)

    So we cant really get any infor on the well/pump form them because they dont have it and while the water is still technically working, its not a issue to the owners.

    So, what might be the problem(s)? What should we look for ect

    I have a better chance of getting repairs done if i can figure out what needs to be done first. Obviously i can call someone out for an inspection, but getting the cost of that covered by the owners and getting reimbursed will never happen, so im trying to avoid that.

    i have attached some pictures of what we got, so maybe someone here will know what im working with.

    Sorry for the long post, trying to give as much info as possible.

  2. #2
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Land of Cheese


    To go further there will need to be a pressure gauge installed in the line to the tank. The pump motor is switched on and off based on pressure.

    You could have one of several problems but this would be a good place to start.

  3. #3
    Porky Cutter,MGWC Porky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Virginia Beach, VA


    PumpTec's are for wells with limited water. They are designed to preventing the pump from running dry. It looks like you have a 6" well meaning there is a conderable amount of stored water in the well when not being used. There are two possibilities. . . either there is a leak in the system somewhere or a commode is sticking. Either way I suspect the situation will solve it's self soon. The Pumptec will fail or the pump will burn out due to lack of water. Then the property manager and the owner will have to spend many dollars to replace parts or a well that could have been eliminated with a little preventative maintenance. Unfortunately you are the looser in the meantime.
    Many property managers cost the owners thousands of dollars because they don't properly manage!
    Porky Cutter, MGWC
    (Master Ground Water Consultant)

  4. #4
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    northfork, california


    You can start by changing the setting in the pumptek to a longer time delay between starts.... Or it may not be working correctly. A longer delay should give your pump enough water to actually fill the pressure tank. Try turning the delay dial to 20 or 30 minutes as a minimum.

    At that point, shut off EVERYTHING and see if water is still moving out of the tank. If yes, you have a leak. No leak, you have a very bad well.

    Stop [hold back] paying the rent for a month to inspire the owner to do the service call. He wont be able to rent it to anyone else without water.

    Notify the owner in writing of your reason, and not the management co.


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