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Thread: Pump is dying

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member tvl's Avatar
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    Default Pump is dying

    OK ............. I have a question or two, but I do not want to make this a long thread. So, just in case anyone wants to see more information from the past, click on the following link; otherwise skip on down to my new comments:


    http://www.terrylove.com/forums/show...ure&highlight=

    In an effort to make this as brief as possible, I will only make brief statements:

    1- For the past couple of years I have suspected something was "brewing". I did learn that our well's water table has dropped somewhat and I have been monitoring the level closely with the aid of a high resolution pressure gauge and 1/4" tubing run down into the well.
    2- Last year, being the worst and dryest, I found the water level was dropping to a level which only left the pump submerged about 18 inches. I do have dry well protection, but to the best of my knoweledge, it doesn't appear the pump ever ran dry.
    3- Last year I had complained that each sprinkler zone was running about 5 PSI lower than the previous year. So, I was wondering if our pump may be failing. Most agreed the drop in water level caused the lower pressure.
    4- This year it is not as dry and things are looking better. Our pump is consistently staying submerged under about 9 FOOT of water as opposed to last years 18 INCHES. I have been checking this daily!!! However, each sprinkler zone's pressure has dropped another 4 PSI this year. That's a total of a 9 PSI drop in two years!
    5- So, I was confused .............. water table has increased and staying steady, but yet another 4 PSI drop in pressure????
    6- About a week ago I put all new nozzles on one of the sprinkler zones. This did not help the pressure for that zone at all. So, that proved it wasn't worn nozzles!
    7- So, I kept wondering if this was a sign of a failing pump
    8- Today, I noticed the water would not cut on. The breaker was not tripped; the contacts at the pressure switch were closed; 240 VAC was at the control box.
    9- I removed the cover to the control box and ALL resistance values to the pump were within the specified value. I replaced the control box cover and the pump began running ............. however, I noticed the water volume was not normal and the pressure gauge was fluctuating somewhat. Shortly thereafter, the pump quit running.
    10- I removed the control box cover, did a few more checks and then replaced the cover. Once again, the pump did the same as before ..... but, I was able to get an amp draw reading this time. The amp draw began at about 10 amps; and just before the pump tripped itself out again, the amp draw increased to 19 amps. This particular pump generally ran at about 8.5 amps.
    11- So, I'm thinking the pump motor is OK. However, the pumping part is dead.

    * The entire pump needs to be replaced. It is 18 years old. Everyone agree?
    * Most importantly, I believe this dying pump has been the reason I have seen a decrease in pressure for the past two years. Replacing the pump will most likely return my sprinkler zone pressures to a normal state. Everyone agree?

    Thanks so much!
    Last edited by tvl; 06-04-2013 at 02:23 AM.

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member tvl's Avatar
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    OK, Well guys ......... I need your opinion:

    Based on the amount of water our well supplies AND the amount of water our sprinkler system zones were designed to output, I want to purchase a pump that is as near identical to the present one as possible.

    Current pump:
    Sears model # 390.284040
    1 HP 230 VAC
    1.5 inch discharge
    Stages: 10
    13.5 GPM at 100 feet AND 11.9 GPM at 150 feet - 40 PSI discharge pressure


    Proposed pump (if I am interpreting the booklet correctly):
    Flint & Walling model 4F10A10 (Cast Iron Castings) OR 4F10S10 (Stainless Steel Castings)
    1 HP 230 VAC
    1.5 inch discharge ??
    Stages: 15
    13.3 GPM at 100 feet AND 11.9 GPM at 160 feet - 40 PSI discharge pressure

    Questions:
    1- I will not use a Sears pump ... heard they are no longer as good as once before. What about the Flint & Walling?
    2- Is the extra price in a stainless steel casting justifiable?
    3- The F&W is a 15 stage versus my present 10 stage pump. Yet the GPM appear almost identical. What does the extra 5 stages provide?
    4- Does the F&W appear to be an almost identical replacement? I want our sprinkler system to continue getting the volume and pressure it was designed for AND I do NOT want to put any additional burden on the existing well.
    5- And last, is it BEST to go pick the pump up yourself OR is UPS shipped a safe alternative? The nearest well company that sells this particular pump is about 70 miles up the road. Shipping would be easier, but I wanted your opinion first!

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by tvl; 06-04-2013 at 05:04 AM.

  3. #3
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    The curve on those two pumps are very similar, even though the number of stages is different. F&W is a good pump, and SS is always better than CI. And yes a 1 HP pulling more than 9 amps means you have a problem.

    Oh yeah, and shipping a pump is OK as long as the freight carrier doesn't destroy it. It happens, so insure it.
    Last edited by valveman; 06-04-2013 at 05:31 AM.

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member tvl's Avatar
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    Thanks Valveman!

    Dadburnit .......... I'm having trouble locating a 3 wire F&W nearby OR the local folks will only sell to dealers/well drillers. I have one other lead that I hope will work out.

    I have located one dealer who carries a Shaefer pump and states it is a very good pump. Any comments on this brand?

    I will keep searching for ther F&W in the meantime!
    Last edited by tvl; 06-04-2013 at 06:08 AM.

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member tvl's Avatar
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    Finally, I got someone to sell me the F&W all stainless 1 HP submersible pump ............... and at a fairly decent price. I will have it in two days if UPS doesn't drop the ball

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member tvl's Avatar
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    Default I need advice on the following!

    Important Question

    I will be putting the new pump in on Thursday, June 6th. After I pulled my old pump today, I remembered I had put a 1.25" check valve just above the pump. So, I had been running with two check valves ........ one was a backup in case the other failed. There was probably no more than 6 inches between the two check valves

    I have read that double check valves were a no no (one above ground and the other down in the well). However, when mounted in this particular fashion, would this be an acceptable practice? I need to know BEFORE I put in the pump tomorrow. Thanks for your input!

    What's the reasoning, if this is not an acceptable practice???

    Thanks for your input!
    Last edited by tvl; 06-05-2013 at 04:37 PM.

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member craigpump's Avatar
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    The main reason a check valve at the tank is a bad idea is because if the check on the pump fails a vacuum will be created when the water equalizes between the drop pipe and well. That vacuum could in theory pull in bacteria laden surface water at the underground connections. That said, it is extremely rare to see a tank installation here in Ct that doesn't have a check valve on it.

    Two check valves within a few inches on top of your pump won't hurt anything.

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member tvl's Avatar
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    Dumb Question:

    What is the purpose of this hole on the bottom of the Franklin Electric pump motor? My old pump also had the same hole on the bottom of it. Thanks!

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  9. #9
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    Just inside the bottom cap of the motor, there is a diaphragm. That hole lets the diaphragm see down-hole pressure. This keeps the pressure inside the motor equal to the pressure outside the motor, so the seal around the shaft on the other end doesn’t have a differential pressure to overcome.

  10. #10
    DIY Senior Member tvl's Avatar
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    Thanks so much Valveman & Craigpump for your replies!

    Late yesterday, I took apart the old pump. The impelleres were severely ..... and I mean severely worn! I don't even see how the pump was pumping ANY water. I will try to post a couple of photos later and get everyone's opinion.

    The motor appears great; even looks practically new........ turns easily with absolutely no binding and the resistance values are well within the expected range. Could this be considered a spare OR at 18 years old it would be best to just trash it??

  11. #11
    DIY Senior Member tvl's Avatar
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    Photo #1 = 10 stage stack
    Photo #2 = Best impeller of the 10
    Photo #3 = One can clearly see the impeller covering is becoming very thin
    Photo #4 = Basically how 7 of the 10 impellers appear


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  12. #12
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    Better check the stick up height of the motor shaft. The thrust bearing in the motor is probably out, dropping the motor shaft a 1/4", letting the impellers drag on the bottom. Everything else in the motor can check fine, but if the stick up height is low, throw it away.

  13. #13
    DIY Senior Member craigpump's Avatar
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    You got your money's worth out of that one. As for the motor, stop and think how long it took to wear out the guts of the pump and the extra load that was put on the motor during that time. I think you would agree that throwing the motor away is a good idea.

  14. #14
    DIY Senior Member tvl's Avatar
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    Yes Valveman, there is a little up and down play on the motor shaft ................... a good 1/8 inch. I'm assuming there should be absolutely no up and down play in the motor shaft. Is this correct?

  15. #15
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    A little play up and down is OK. The important thing is the 1.5" stick up from the top of the motor. It can't be shorter than 1.498".

    Either way Craig is right, you got all your probably going to get from that motor.
    Last edited by valveman; 06-07-2013 at 12:55 PM.

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