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Thread: Is my submersible pump nearly finished?

  1. #16
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    I would say the average is closer to 15 years with many, including my own, having been down the hole for over 25 years...
    Tom,
    What brand pump and motor? I wonder how much more life I should expect from my 12 year old Goulds/Franklin 10GS05.

    Cary,
    would a Grundfos draw less current than a Goulds of eqaul size when paired with a CSV?

  2. #17
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    We install Goulds for the most part and some Lancaster also but just about every pump manufacturer is using Franklin motors.

  3. #18
    In the Trades Texas Wellman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    I have heard this 7 year average several times in several other places but I don't believe it. I've been servicing and installing submersible pumps for over 30 years now and we keep pretty good records. I would say the average is closer to 15 years with many, including my own, having been down the hole for over 25 years. I'd like to hear from other pump tech's here and see what they think average life is.
    +1. I see very little that lasted just 7 years in normal operation. Most are at least 10 and nearing 12-15 years and I have seen some go 30. But I have seen a few go out here and there before their time also. Probably averages out with the ones that lasted 30. I think the 7 years deal relates to the low quality big box submersible pumps, and even then I doubt they could go more than 5.

    My bet is that there is a wire with a bad spot in it, of course hung on black poly pipe!!

  4. #19
    DIY Junior Member danielrhall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valveman View Post
    This tells me that you are use to the pump cycling on and off when you use water. And like most people you thought this was the way a pump should normally be working. Some people even tell me they thought the pump needed to rest part of the time.
    I didn't mean to imply that the pump cycles constantly with our normal interior use. With our two adult household, I don't think the pump cycles excessively. But when watering the way I have been, it definitely does.

    I've learned a lot in the last day, but I did already know this: something was wrong when the pump stopped before reaching the cut-off pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by valveman View Post
    Since your pump was prematurely destroyed by cycling, a CSV would be a no-brainer.
    If seven years is the current expected life of a submersible pump, my existing pump is a couple of months shy of that, so it's right on schedule. ;-)

    The pump that came out of the well in 2004 had a manufacturing date of 1977. That's when the house was built too. I bought the house in 2001. When the well guys pulled the pump and saw that 1977 date, they told me I got a lot of life out of the pump. I told them somebody did, but it wasn't me.

    The use of a CSV sounds wise and is something I'll be adding to the system.

  5. #20
    DIY Junior Member danielrhall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Wellman View Post
    My bet is that there is a wire with a bad spot in it, of course hung on black poly pipe!!
    You got the black poly pipe right!

    Help me understand how the bad spot in a wire is causing the pump to thermally overload. Do you mean a nick in the insulation causing a current leak to ground, or a high-resistance section in the wire? I'm measuring 3.8M Ohms from each wire to ground, where ground means the plumbing at the pressure tank in the basement. As high as that is, I'd actually expect something closer to infinite resistance. Both wires measure the same.

    I'd love to just have to replace 270 feet of wire rather than a pump. And I won't be paying $1.25 a foot this time.

  6. #21
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    You will know when you get it out of the hole. Inspect the wires very closely from the pump to about 20 feet or so up.

  7. #22
    Well Drilling/Service justwater's Avatar
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    +2 on the expected lifespan bs.

    seen many pumps last 15-25 years with "properly sized tanks". i'd say i've changed way more quality subs that were over 10yrs old rather than under, especially when sized with a descent tank. good pumps last longer than cheap pumps, and the fewer cycles you get out of either should extend the life... this is why i think csv is definitely a good gamechanging product for many applications, but i havent seen or used them long enough to tell anyone they are doing wrong by installing a 20gpm pump with a 20-30gal drawdown tank because i've seen those systems last a long time.

    btw, Goulds now uses Centripro motors (Pentek).
    Last edited by justwater; 04-03-2011 at 05:30 PM.

  8. #23
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danielrhall View Post
    You got the black poly pipe right!
    Around here poly proliferates. We use these cable guides to keep the wire from chafing.

  9. #24
    In the trades WellWaterProducts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    I have heard this 7 year average several times in several other places but I don't believe it. I've been servicing and installing submersible pumps for over 30 years now and we keep pretty good records. I would say the average is closer to 15 years with many, including my own, having been down the hole for over 25 years. I'd like to hear from other pump tech's here and see what they think average life is.
    As a rule, I'm surprised when we see a failed pump under 10 years old. Electrical fluctuations have some bearing on pump motor life too.
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  10. #25
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Under normal use conditions I can't see how a CSV would make any difference and not only that it may well cycle the pump more often. When someone flushes a toilet, draws a glass of water, takes a short shower etc, the pump will run with a CSV. With a large capacity storage tank the pump will not run until X number of gallons of water are drawn down. For long draws a CSV will keep the pump from cycling but...... with a tank and provided the pump is not greatly oversized, it will also run continulusly until the faucet is closed. I have not to date been able to find any definitive comparisons of residential systems and graphed run times.

  11. #26
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    I'm not sold on the CSV and small tank idea for the same reasons Tom stated. I do think a CSV added to a standard size tank is a good idea, particularly since a CSV is cheap compared to the cost of a pump.

  12. #27
    Well Drilling/Service justwater's Avatar
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    this has always been my stance, where have you guys been?? i'm always the lone wolf in the csv/4.4 gal system *debates*. i've never been a fan of it for home use, because of the very small drawdown.

    what i really like is to use a 20-26 gal tank, then a 60psi csv.. and have the switch set at 45-65 (or valve at 50psi and switch 35-55). this way you get the 5-6gals of drawdown, pump still runs continuous when water is in demand, and when water stops it doesnt take forever to reach shut off. still not sure if this is a better setup than a pump with say a 25-30 gal drawdown tank.. but its a heck of alot better than a 1gal drawdown and the big tanks are a tough sell around here.

    only thing the 4.4 gal tank can do is truly give that steady "city water pressure" feeling.. other than that, i dont think its good for home use as far as cycling goes. ..irrigation is another story.
    Last edited by justwater; 04-03-2011 at 09:55 PM.

  13. #28
    In the trades WellWaterProducts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danielrhall View Post
    You got the black poly pipe right!

    Help me understand how the bad spot in a wire is causing the pump to thermally overload. Do you mean a nick in the insulation causing a current leak to ground, or a high-resistance section in the wire? I'm measuring 3.8M Ohms from each wire to ground, where ground means the plumbing at the pressure tank in the basement. As high as that is, I'd actually expect something closer to infinite resistance. Both wires measure the same.

    I'd love to just have to replace 270 feet of wire rather than a pump. And I won't be paying $1.25 a foot this time.
    The wire will seldom give you this symptom.
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    h2oguy.com




  14. #29
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    Around here poly proliferates. We use these cable guides to keep the wire from chafing.
    I'll second that vote. Poly is the best when done correctly.

    Prior to a pull checking the amp draw on each wire would be very telling.

    Should be around 6 if its 240V
    Last edited by ballvalve; 04-04-2011 at 09:14 AM.

  15. #30
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    The seven year average came from Franklin back in the 80’s and early 90’s when they still offered useful information. I can also confirm the seven year average from my personal experience. In the 80’s and 90’s I sold about 2,000 pumps per year. My people installed about half of those, and the rest went to other pump installers and DIYers. Most of the pumps we installed lasted much longer than 7 years. However, there was a certain percentage who wouldn’t listen, and didn’t run enough sprinklers to keep the pump from cycling itself to death. So about 2%, or 20 pumps per year we had to warranty because they didn’t last very long. This percentage was much higher for the DIYers and less experienced installers. So for every pump that lasted 20 years, there was another that didn’t make it 6 months. For every pump that lasted ten years, there was another that only lasted 5. Every winter we would scrap out the mountain of old pumps and motors. Checking the date codes, the average life was almost exactly 7 years, you could set your watch by it.

    Franklin now uses plastic end bells on the motors they sell through the big box stores, and there are dozens of new brand names on the market. This along with the fact that many people are doing it themselves these days, I would bet the average life in now more like 5 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by danielrhall View Post
    I didn't mean to imply that the pump cycles constantly with our normal interior use. With our two adult household, I don't think the pump cycles excessively. But when watering the way I have been, it definitely does.
    Most pumps only cycle “excessively” when water is used for long periods of time, as for watering the yard or garden. For just the house, the pump is still going to cycle a few times per day for showers, toilets, etc. With a CSV, no matter the size of the tank, the pump will only cycle once per shower. With a small tank, even if the pump cycles every time you flush, which it doesn’t, how many times a day will the toilets be flushed? I would guess 10 times per day per person would be a lot. So the 20 or 30 cycles per day caused by flushing, are more than made up for by not cycling 3 or 4 times during each shower. This is not even considering the possible hundreds of cycles per day saved by the CSV when watering the yard or garden.

    I have done the test to know that a pump for just a house with a CSV and a 4.4 gallon tank, will cycle almost exactly the same number of times as a system without a CSV, which has a “properly sized tank”. Of course the CSV with a little larger tank gives you the best of both worlds. It will cycle considerably less than a CSV with a small tank, or a system without a CSV and a “properly sized tank” for just house use. But for irrigation, the CSV keeps the pump running anyway, regardless of the size of tank. For house use only, the few cycles per day saved by using a little larger tank with the CSV are not worth the tradeoffs. The tradeoffs being the little larger tank cost more, takes up more room, and makes you wait longer to see the constant pressure from the CSV.

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