Pressure Switch dilemma: 2wells 2 outputs

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Dpwells

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Ok, that's really good to know. When we moved in, my 200' well pump was clogged with iron oxide slime and the fissures appeared to have collapsed. The well drillers had said it was due to years of limited use.

As to the 600' well, I was concerned since it was drilled with no water yield and needed to be hydrofracked with 30k gallons of chlorinated water to get it to yield anything.

I have run it out a garden hose all day every day since its installation in June and will continue until the weather gets too cold. It did start to clear up at one point, but then turned dark again.

Thanks again for your insight.
 

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Turning the pump off for 30 minutes or an hour a few times a day can sometimes help. When the pump is off the water level rises and washes the upper part of the well. If turning it off for a while causes it to puke up extra stuff when you turn it back on, keep doing that.
 

Dpwells

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The new well runs all day through the hydrant without a problem.

On 2 or 3 occasions after shutting it down, the hydrant will not expel water when turned on again.

The pressure gauge will read 0 or 10. When I activate the pressure switch, it will not respond.

The white pump wire was not firmly in, but after tightening it and turning breaker on/off, no results.

After several additional attempts, it suddenly engages and the gauge will shoot up to 60.
Any insight?
 

LLigetfa

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The new well runs all day through the hydrant without a problem.

On 2 or 3 occasions after shutting it down, the hydrant will not expel water when turned on again.

The pressure gauge will read 0 or 10. When I activate the pressure switch, it will not respond.

The white pump wire was not firmly in, but after tightening it and turning breaker on/off, no results.

After several additional attempts, it suddenly engages and the gauge will shoot up to 60.
Any insight?
The loose connection may have caused the thermal overload to trip which later reset. Continue to monitor after fixing the loose connection.

What else besides the hydrant could be drawing water from that well? Does the pressure switch have a low pressure cutoff?
 

Dpwells

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The loose connection may have caused the thermal overload to trip which later reset. Continue to monitor after fixing the loose connection.

What else besides the hydrant could be drawing water from that well? Does the pressure switch have a low pressure cutoff?
It is hooked up to a 35 gallon tank but the valve to the house water is shut off until the water clears up. The pressure switch is set to 30/50.

Hopefully, it is the thermal overload which you pointed out. It did take several more tries after tightening the wire before the switch engaged.
 

Reach4

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The new well runs all day through the hydrant without a problem.

On 2 or 3 occasions after shutting it down, the hydrant will not expel water when turned on again.

The pressure gauge will read 0 or 10. When I activate the pressure switch, it will not respond.

The white pump wire was not firmly in, but after tightening it and turning breaker on/off, no results.

After several additional attempts, it suddenly engages and the gauge will shoot up to 60.
Any insight?
When in that circumstance, measure the voltage between pressure switch terminals 1 and 4, and terminals 2 and 3.

The nipple between the pressure gauge and pressure switch could be clogged. But I think this is a new system, so that would be unlikely.

After several additional attempts, it suddenly engages and the gauge will shoot up to 60.
Attempt is opening the yard hydrant, or something else?

The pressure gauge will read 0 or 10. When I activate the pressure switch, it will not respond.
Why does the pressure gauge not read zero under those circumstances? Think the gauge might stick some?
Also, what does it mean to "activate the pressure switch"? Do you mean you push on the armature, or that you operate a lever? If a lever, that will lead to some other discussion.
 

LLigetfa

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The new well runs all day through the hydrant without a problem.
Expand on how this can be since the well is a low producer? Surely if the hydrant was wide open all day long, it should pump the well dry. When developing a well, the draw should be unrestricted and rely on run-dry protection.

If the flow is slow enough, sediment could, in theory, build up in the pipe above the pump and in the top of the pump itself. Also, sediment can build up under the diaphragm of the pressure switch causing it to hold the contacts open when the pressure drops below the cut-in. I don't understand what you mean by activate the pressure switch. Unless it has a low cutoff lever, there is nothing that requires human "activation".
 

Dpwells

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When in that circumstance, measure the voltage between pressure switch terminals 1 and 4, and terminals 2 and 3.

The nipple between the pressure gauge and pressure switch could be clogged. But I think this is a new system, so that would be unlikely.

After several additional attempts, it suddenly engages and the gauge will shoot up to 60.
Attempt is opening the yard hydrant, or something else?

The pressure gauge will read 0 or 10. When I activate the pressure switch, it will not respond.
Why does the pressure gauge not read zero under those circumstances? Think the gauge might stick some?
Also, what does it mean to "activate the pressure switch"? Do you mean you push on the armature, or that you operate a lever? If a lever, that will lead to some other discussion.
I eill try the voltage meter, thanks. By attempts I meant when the pressure switch was at zero and no water was pumping at the hydrant, I tried moving the L shaped lever on the side of the pressure switch to get spark at the contacts. It took numerous tries at the lever before the switch made contact and the gauge finally moved up to 60. When I went outside, there was water available.
 

Dpwells

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Expand on how this can be since the well is a low producer? Surely if the hydrant was wide open all day long, it should pump the well dry. When developing a well, the draw should be unrestricted and rely on run-dry protection.

If the flow is slow enough, sediment could, in theory, build up in the pipe above the pump and in the top of the pump itself. Also, sediment can build up under the diaphragm of the pressure switch causing it to hold the contacts open when the pressure drops below the cut-in. I don't understand what you mean by activate the pressure switch. Unless it has a low cutoff lever, there is nothing that requires human "activation".
There sre two wells, this new one at 600' which produces water all day long, and the old 230' well which will dry pump after a few hours of steady use. Sediment could be s problem in the 600' well as there was a ton of shale in the dig, as well ss colloidal clay. By activate, i meant when there was no water first thing in the morning when the hydrant was opened, I saw the pressure meter was zero, and pulled the L shaped lever on the pressure switch to get the contacts to spark. When they finally did spark, there was water for the entire day.
 

Reach4

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The low-pressure cutoff pressure switch (with lever) you have is usually not the better idea. It might not shut the pump down when you are running out of water. It might. An electronic device to detect you are out of water, and shut the pump down for a while is better, but more expensive.

If your pressure switch sometimes locks you out, when it should not, then that would imply you should drop your air precharge a bit. However the fact that you held the lever, and the pump did not start is troubling.

Is this the new pump, or the old pump? If old, I would suspect the start capacitor in the control box was weak. But I think you are talking about the new pump with the new control box.
 

LLigetfa

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I saw the pressure meter was zero, and pulled the L shaped lever on the pressure switch to get the contacts to spark. When they finally did spark, there was water for the entire day.
"Sparking" the contacts is not a desired outcome. Closing the contacts without bouncing and sparking is. For that, the lever has to be held "just so". Try extending the lever with a nut driver that fits over it without a lot of play so that you have better control of the lever position. Bouncing and sparking the contacts is hard on the pump and could trip the thermal overload. It could however get a sand-locked rotor going.

I find that a low-cutoff switch causes more problems than it purports to solve. As reach4 said, it is a poor substitute for a better electronic run-dry protection.

This still leaves the question as to why the pressure drops below the cutoff. As reach4 mentioned, having too high a precharge could leave too little margin between when the pressure switch reaches the cut-in pressure and when it falls below the low cutoff value which is usually around 10 PSI apart.

When developing the well, the flow rate should be so high that the pressure never gets high enough for the pressure switch to turn off the pump.
 

Dpwells

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The low-pressure cutoff pressure switch (with lever) you have is usually not the better idea. It might not shut the pump down when you are running out of water. It might. An electronic device to detect you are out of water, and shut the pump down for a while is better, but more expensive.

If your pressure switch sometimes locks you out, when it should not, then that would imply you should drop your air precharge a bit. However the fact that you held the lever, and the pump did not start is troubling.

Is this the new pump, or the old pump? If old, I would suspect the start capacitor in the control box was weak. But I think you are talking about the new pump with the new control box.
This is the new pump and pressure switch, unfortunately. I am hoping that the slightly loose wire was the culprit.
 

Dpwells

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"Sparking" the contacts is not a desired outcome. Closing the contacts without bouncing and sparking is. For that, the lever has to be held "just so". Try extending the lever with a nut driver that fits over it without a lot of play so that you have better control of the lever position. Bouncing and sparking the contacts is hard on the pump and could trip the thermal overload. It could however get a sand-locked rotor going.

I find that a low-cutoff switch causes more problems than it purports to solve. As reach4 said, it is a poor substitute for a better electronic run-dry protection.

This still leaves the question as to why the pressure drops below the cutoff. As reach4 mentioned, having too high a precharge could leave too little margin between when the pressure switch reaches the cut-in pressure and when it falls below the low cutoff value which is usually around 10 PSI apart.

When developing the well, the flow rate should be so high that the pressure never gets high enough for the pressure switch to turn off the pump.
What is strange is that I had shut off the water early evening. Next morning, not a drop until the pressure switch contacts reluctantly engaged. Then instant pressure and instant water for all day. Thinking back, there were no sparks until I tried it again after the pressure resumed (my bad).
 

Dpwells

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The low-pressure cutoff pressure switch (with lever) you have is usually not the better idea. It might not shut the pump down when you are running out of water. It might. An electronic device to detect you are out of water, and shut the pump down for a while is better, but more expensive.

If your pressure switch sometimes locks you out, when it should not, then that would imply you should drop your air precharge a bit. However the fact that you held the lever, and the pump did not start is troubling.

Is this the new pump, or the old pump? If old, I would suspect the start capacitor in the control box was weak. But I think you are talking about the new pump with the new control box.
It appears the loose connection on the new well pressure switch was the root cause, as it has not happened since.

The old well piping has a return line with a shutoff valve (a hydrant pump line?)

Can I shut it off to avoid water from the new well traveling back to the old well and overloading it?

Is shutting off the return line valve problematic when the old well supplies water to the house?
 

Reach4

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Glad it is fixed. A lose connection can generate heat.

With a submersible pump, I don't know about a pipe that would commonly be called a return line. Another pipe passing thru the basement wall could be to a yard hydrant, or it could be to other irrigation.

If there was once a deep well jet pump long ago, maybe they left one of the pipes in place, but unused for now, in case there was a later failure. Are we talking steel pipes?

Maybe a photo of that area will give somebody an idea.
 

Dpwells

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Glad it is fixed. A lose connection can generate heat.

With a submersible pump, I don't know about a pipe that would commonly be called a return line. Another pipe passing thru the basement wall could be to a yard hydrant, or it could be to other irrigation.

If there was once a deep well jet pump long ago, maybe they left one of the pipes in place, but unused for now, in case there was a later failure. Are we talking steel pipes?

Maybe a photo of that area will give somebody an idea.
 

Dpwells

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IMG_1907.jpg

The PVC is incoming water from the old well. I was told the copper pipe going out the wall next to it is connected to the hydrant at the well. The shutoff valve for that pipe is below it just above the floor.
 

Dpwells

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I checked to see if hydrant would pump water once I shut off the valve, and it did not. When I reopened the valve, the hydrant pumped water out.
 
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