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Thread: Overdrawing a shallow well?

  1. #31
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JVance View Post
    I agree, and that's why I met with him this afternoon.

    All he did was drill the well and do the original hook-ups with the contractor-provided pump and tank. The house sat vacant for 3 years since it was finished and the original pump was stolen. I installed the new pump and replumbed the pump and tank thinking I researched enough about what to do, but I clearly didn't; nor did I know what to expect (well, not this...) since I've only recently discovered this particular well's rated yield.
    I understand, The house is new to You.

    How much does he want to Fix it ?
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  2. #32
    Homeowner JVance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    That is the quintessential definition of pump cavitation but I've never heard of it displacing a quart of water in a filter the way you described it.
    That's why I'm not entirely sure if its collection in the filters skewed my estimation of how much air was moving through...possibly the air was moving back and forth between the filters and the pump (as the pump drew water in from the well)? The wellman certainly believes the filters were contributing to the overheating: the air trapped in the filters prevented backflow of water from the tank, leaving the impeller uncovered. That *sounds* reasonable to me...of course, that doesn't make it true.

    All this air that is going through the system has to go somewhere. Does it spit out of the faucets or does it reamalgamate into the water?
    I'm assuming it would collect in the tank...

    As for what it takes for a pump to lose its prime, that varies. Given the description of the drop pipe, the air that was in it at various times of the well's existance had to be removed by the pump without the pump losing its prime using perhaps as little as a gallon of water to start. Perhaps the pump being the high point means the water prime falls away by gravity.
    I don't know...what I do know is that when I replumbed the pump, the water level in the stub was at the level of the concrete in the garage, maybe 18" above the top of the well. The check-valve at the well-head managed to hold that for ~3 years of zero activity. After priming the pump for the first time, it drew water without too much excitement.

    Did the wellman pull the drop pipe to confirm the depth or are you relying on his recollection?
    Nope, he was relying on his recollection and data they had for this well...so, maybe that's as good as nothing at all.

  3. #33
    Homeowner JVance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    I understand, The house is new to You.
    It's new in that I am the first owner of the house, the first user of the well.

    How much does he want to Fix it ?
    He doesn't believe the well is broken. He does believe it is a low-producing well (5 gpm was its original rating in 2008), and he believes its producing even less under our drought conditions. We've discussed options if we cannot manage living with its current output, but aside from confirming what Texas Wellman already said about plumbing the filters between the pump and tank (which I have fixed), he confirmed the system has been returned to the way it was set-up when they finished the job 3 years ago.
    Last edited by JVance; 12-15-2011 at 01:52 PM.

  4. #34
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    What You need is a ShotGun and An Alarm system.

    If People go around steeling pumps in Your Neighborhood.

    Them kind of people last about 1 Minute around here.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  5. #35
    Homeowner JVance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    If People go around steeling pumps in Your Neighborhood.
    It was the typical meth-fueled scavenging that occurred following the housing crash. Houston and every other city in America had their share of it.

    Since removing the filters between the pump and the tank, the pump has not run hot. You can still hear water ebb and surge through the pump, but it has shown no problem hitting 50 psi. So, I'm eating crow from my second post...the location of the filters was a problem and, at the very least, was contributing to my pump overheating, cavitating, and building up steam which lead to PVC failures. I don't know if I'm still pumping up an appreciable volume of air, or if the level of the water table is near the limit to draw the water...the pump is handling it (for now) and not showing signs that its going to melt down (for now).

  6. #36
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JVance View Post
    I don't know if I'm still pumping up an appreciable volume of air, or if the level of the water table is near the limit to draw the water...
    Partially close the ballvalve between the pump and the tank to throttle the pump. If there is air in the stream, you will feel and hear it going through the constriction.

    Unless you have a hydropnuematic tank with AVC, all the air that enters the tank must at some point leave the tank and present as spitting and surging at the point of use.

  7. #37
    Homeowner JVance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    Partially close the ballvalve between the pump and the tank to throttle the pump. If there is air in the stream, you will feel and hear it going through the constriction.
    Will do.

    Unless you have a hydropnuematic tank with AVC, all the air that enters the tank must at some point leave the tank and present as spitting and surging at the point of use.
    My 120 gallon tank is bladderless with an air control valve.

  8. #38
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Such a large storage tank is seen as large draw on a marginally producing well. Some theorize that more storage is better, but it turns into a case of feast and famine. The huge load on the well to refill the tank lowers the water level in and around the well.

    You might want to try raising both the kick-in and kick-out pressure settings on the pump to reduce the amount you draw in one cycle. A Cycle Stop Valve could also act to throttle the draw to match consumption and limit some of the refill rate on that big tank, reducing the number of cycles at the same time.

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