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Thread: loss of water pressure

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Newburg's Avatar
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    Default loss of water pressure

    We have sand point well with a Craftsman Shallow Well Jet Pump 1/2 HP, 40/60 Pressure. We bought the house almost 30 years ago and have replaced the pump and the tank sometime in the past but it has been at least 10 years. We have recently experienced a dramatic loss in water pressure. For example when the toilet is flushed we have no or very little water running from a faucet for a period of time. I watched the pressure gauge and it was at 36 psi for 4 minutes before increasing above 40 psi, then less than 1 minute for it to move from 40 to 70 PSI before the pump shuts off.

    The pump kicks on every time we use any water. It seems as if the water flow is greatly reduced. It can take 20 minutes to fill the tub for our clothes washer and the shower will have a decent flow for about a minute then there is only a very weak flow from the showerhead.

    Any suggestions? What other inforamation would be helpful? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Porky Cutter,MGWC Porky's Avatar
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    For what ever the reason it appears that your pump isn't supplying enough water. It could be a high lift problem. It also sounds as though your tank may be nearly water logged. I'd check the air in the tank. If you do have to replace the pump I'd consider installing a 1/2 hp submersible pump. If you have to replace the tank consider installing a Pside-Kick which includes a small tank which is all thats required with the Pside-Kick and it's included Cycle Stop Valve. This will also give you constant pressure, like city water pressure!

    I doubt that the problem is the screens are plugged in the faucets and shower heads because you say that it also takes a long time to fill the toilet.
    Porky Cutter, MGWC
    (Master Ground Water Consultant)

  3. #3
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    The bladder in the tank is probably busted. You need to run a few tests to assess the equipment. A drawdown test will tell you how the bladder tank is performing. Right after the pump shuts off, measure how many gallons you can draw before the pump starts up again. Compare the result to the rated drawdown for your size of tank and pressure setting.

    A jet pump needs pressure to make pressure, which partially explains why it take 4 minutes to go from 36 to 40 and 1 minute to go to 70. For the well/pump GPM tests, draw water while the pump runs, regulating the flow so that the pressure neither raises nor falls, and measure the GPM. Doing it repeatedly at 40, 50, and 60 PSI, you can plot the GPM curve of the pump. That speaks volumes.

    There is a possibility that the sand point may be getting clogged and may need to be backwashed. The loss of flow and pressure could also mean a clogged ejector on the pump.

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member Newburg's Avatar
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    We had no pressure in the tank, was able to add about 38 lbs and we had water again - for a while. Still had the problem of the pump running an extremely long time before shutting off. The tank lost pressure again.

    Pretty sure we needed to replace the tank -- so we replaced the tank (Flotec Pre-Charged Pressure Tank with 40 PSI) and installed the new pump we already had.

    we filled the pipe from the well to the tank and we filled the tank with water. We can get the tank primed, will have pressurized water shooting out the plug/guage when loosened.

    Can't get any pressure to register on the gauge on the new pump (Craftsman Shallow Well Jet Pump 1/2 HP, 40/60 Pressure). When the pump is running I can feel a flow of air coming out of the water faucet and occasional water shooting out. Letting the pump run for 10 to 15 minutes (maybe) we never got anymore than a little intermittant water from the faucet. When the pump was running my son disconnected the hose running from the pump to the tank so see what kind of water flow there was, it was a very weak flow.

    WHAT ARE WE MISSING??

    You had mentioned the possibility "that the sand point may be getting clogged and may need to be backwashed" Can you give me any details on that as well? Our pipe goes through the cement floor of the basement and we are wondering if we are going to have to replace that pipe and sand point "end" Before we attempt that I want to make sure we just haven't missed something else that will get the water flowing again!

    Sorry not having any luck uploading pictures. Thanks for your help!

  5. #5
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newburg View Post
    ...we filled the tank with water.
    It should not be possible to fill the tank with water since it should be filled with 37 PSI of air.

    If you get air instead of water, you almost certainly have a suction side leak. A clogged sandpoint would not exhibit the symptoms you now describe.

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    DIY Junior Member Newburg's Avatar
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    It was a pretty simple replacement job by my son with plumber/pipefitter union experience but we can start over with new replacement pipes and fillings

    Because our sandpoint pipe is over 30 years old....is there something as "backflushing" and is there more of a chance of damage compared to possible benefits??

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    DIY Junior Member Newburg's Avatar
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    I mean "pipes and fittings"

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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newburg View Post
    Because our sandpoint pipe is over 30 years old....is there something as "backflushing" and is there more of a chance of damage compared to possible benefits??
    Sandpoints were often "rodded" by plunging a rod up and down like a piston. I don't advise it, but I've heard of someone firing a shotgun down the well.

    Most sandpoint installations did not have a footvalve and relied only on a topside checkvalve which made it challenging to prime. If you pour water down the well and it takes it fast, it should be able to also make it just as fast.

    A 30 year old pipe could very well be rusted through and be the source of the suction side leak letting air in. A sandpoint with no checkvalve can't easily be tested for leaks but if the pump is making air and you don't have any topside leaks, about the only other place the air could be getting into the system is underground.

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