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Thread: 1 minute + delay in getting water after pump kicks in

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member smokingtundra's Avatar
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    Default 1 minute + delay in getting water after pump kicks in

    Hi All....

    I have a 600 foot deep well, 2hp Goulds pump hung at 560ft. It was installed in 1990. (Around here, well would be price prohibitive these days, but it came with the house). A few weeks ago we started losing all our water pressure when letting the water run for a long time, but it would kick back on in a minute or so. I cleaned the stem and replaced the pressure switch (30/50) and checked the tank..28psi. When the pressure reaches 30psi, you can hear the switch kick in and the control box makes a click, but it takes about a minute for water to actually start flowing. Any other thoughts on something to check before calling the well drillers? I got a quote to replace the pump and pipe, ect....$8500. Ouch.

    Thanks in advance for any help! I really enjoy this forum.

  2. #2
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have a hole in the drop pipe down in the well. You should be getting a lot of air out the faucets as well? I see that pump on the Internet for about $1,000. I know pipe and wire is expensive, but I would get another quote.

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    DIY Senior Member craigpump's Avatar
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    If your system comes up to 50psi and shuts off, I would say the check valve at the pump is bad.

    Has your electric bill been higher than usual? If so, then you may have a split in a coupling or cracked pipe.

    Are you sure he said $8500.00?

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member smokingtundra's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses!

    Not sure about the electric bill, but I'll look into it.
    Definitely considered holes in the drop pipe or bad pump check valve, but strange then that I'm not hearing much if any air in the system when the water does start flowing (although I noticed there IS a check valve just before the pressure tank). I hate to have them pull the pump if it's something more simple. Could it be the control box? I appreciate any help in troubleshooting this.

    Here's the quote I got (The high price could just be Fairbanks Alaska, I don't know...we get used to that up here)

    Estimate for pump replacement
    7GS20 7GS20 Goulds Pump-$1,663.00

    Control Box ... 2HP Control Box-$208.00

    Bushing Pump Bushing-$18.00

    Splice Kit Splice Kit-$10.00

    #8 #8 Pump Wire 560 @ $5.00/ft- $2,800.00

    Drop Pipe 1" Galvanized Drop Pipe 560ft @ $4.00/ft-$2,240.00

    Hours 12 x $200.00/hr - $2,400.00

  5. #5
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    You need to put a clip around amp meter on one of the incoming hot wires. If after the control box “clicks” you are pulling 12 amps or so, the pump is moving a lot of water. If it takes a minute of this to reach the top, the line down the well must not be full of water. With a check valve up top you could have an Air Volume Control and a regular hydro tank. Then you would not see the air in the house as the AVC would expel the excess air.

    At that price for labor I would replace the pump because of its age. But I would swap the bottom few pipes for some good stuff from above that wasn’t in the water, reuse the wire and control box, as long as they are still in good shape. May not be as bad as you think.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member smokingtundra's Avatar
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    Thanks Valveman, I'll have to borrow a clip around amp meter, but it'll be worth my time to troubleshoot.

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member smokingtundra's Avatar
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    OK, I've gotten several quotes around town. I've got one driller who says he can do it for around $4-5K, and he's planning on being at my place on Monday morning. Will buy a amp meter on my way home to check the control box.

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member smokingtundra's Avatar
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    OK, I placed the amp meter on the incoming hot wire, started the pump and got 14 to 15 amps right off the bat as the control box 'clicked'. So by valveman's previous post, that would mean the pump is pumping a lot of water from the get go. Maybe no holes in the pipe?

    Opening the control box, I did notice it has instructions for testing the capacitors with a multimeter, so that may be my next step.

    Has anybody heard of the capacitors going bad, and could that possibly cause the delay in water we are experiencing?

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    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokingtundra View Post
    So by valveman's previous post, that would mean the pump is pumping a lot of water from the get go.
    So that means it is pumping full volume from “the get go”. Why does it take a minute to see the water flow? Because it takes a minute for the water to get to the top of the 560’ of pipe. Which means you still have a hole in the pipe.

    Actually the 14 amps instead of 12 means it is pumping more than it should, because the pipe is not full, and there is not enough head on the pump. Another sign of a hole in the pipe. Control box is either working or not, and won’t cause a delay.

    I have been wrong before, but I still think it is a hole in the pipe, right where the pipe screws onto the pumps check valve.

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member smokingtundra's Avatar
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    Valveman, I'm a believer. I actually purchased a new control box before the driller shows up tomorrow, just to be sure. Sure enough, same problem. Also checked motor winding resistances, which were all within norm. Hole in the drop pipe must be what it is. There is a check valve in the line before the tank, which keeps it from draining. The only thing that made me doubt it was the fact that I don't hear tons of air in the tank before the water starts to flow (usually just sort of a 'glug' or 2).

    Since I'm spending the $$ to pull the pump, I guess I might as well shell out the dough to replace it as it is 22 years old. Seems a shame to discard a fully functioning and expensive pump just because of some holes in the pipe, though.

    The driller that is coming out said it should be around $4000-$5000, based on previous wells he's serviced that are this deep. He'll only replace the pipe that needs it, and does not seem interested in replacing the wire (some of the other drillers wanted to put in a brand new everything). I'm hoping he won't mind if we use the new control box I purchased.

    If anybody has any ideas of things to look out for or suggestions on dealing with the driller, please fire away!

    Thanks again for the help everybody,
    ST.

  11. #11
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    Just make sure whomever screws the drop pipe onto the pump and check valve, that they wrap this connection with electric tape. You are going to find the hole in the pipe threads right where it screws onto the pump and check. If this had been wrapped with electric tape the first time, you would not be having this problem.

  12. #12
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    I've been following this thread and wonder about a few technical points. Some unknowns are the size of pipe, the depth of the water table, and the distance from wellhead to tank. The hole in the pipe would cause the water to drop back only about 25 feet above the water table. As for air in the line, one would have to have two leaks otherwise the pipe will hold a vacuum.

    I calculated 1 gallon of water for every 20 feet of 1" pipe, so maybe as much as 28 gallons to fill the pipe. There was no mention of water hammer, but that column of water hitting the checkvalve at the tank should make quite a bang. Maybe there are some other checkvalves in the line?

  13. #13
    DIY Junior Member smokingtundra's Avatar
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    The rest of the story:

    I Should say too, that originally, the well was drilled in 1985 to 323', with the pump at 304' making 1/2 gpm. In 1990, the owner had the driller come back and go deeper to improve water quality/flow. (The first 194' is cased in 6", and 194-515' is cased in 5"-so the drill log says)

    -Well cased to 515' (Cased with 5" 194-515')
    -7ED 2hp Goulds Pump
    -Static Water Level to 250'
    -pump set at 567'
    -Well making 10GPM
    -1" drop tube.
    -Approx. 35ft. run from well to house. buried about 7' down, and will freeze if we don't plug the heat tape in. (hopefully we don't have a hole in that!)

  14. #14
    DIY Junior Member smokingtundra's Avatar
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    Well, OK then......drillers just left after 7 hours of pulling pipe and replacing the pump:

    Pump + motor = $1800
    278' galvanized ($3/ft) = $834
    Control Box = $240
    3 check valves = $126
    7 hrs labor = $1370
    Total: $4399

    Valveman was right....corroded pipe in threads, just above the pump. Not much of a hole, but enough, I guess.

    They did put 3 check valves in the line, and as the layman, I didn't want to get into a debate...."well, I heard on the internet.....". I was glad to see them tape that last joint above the pump with electrical tape.

    He said the pump was drawing close to 20 amps, and so put in a new control box, which fixed the issue. He wouldn't use the Pentek box I purchased (said it wasn't designed for the 2hp pump, but it is a 2hp box), and went with his own 'centripro' 2 hp box (looks almost identical inside) which was $60 more expensive of course.

    Now I'm flushing out quite a bit of red iron water. Runs for 10 mins or so before the pump runs out of water. He said I'm probably not getting the 10gpm that the original driller said the well was good for.

    All in all, I was expecting it to be more expensive and I'm happy it's done. Thanks to all for your help on the forum. Let's hope I won't have to do that in this house again!

  15. #15
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    Glad you got it working. Centripro and Pentek motors are made in the same factory, so the box would have worked fine.

    The extra check valves won’t hurt anything until they start to wear a bit. Then you will start hearing and feeling a pop or water hammer when the pump starts. But what can you do? All the books say to put a check valve every 200’. So only experience will tell you not to add the extra check valves, and apparently there are very few “professionals” with “experience” these days.

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