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Old 12-05-2008, 12:31 AM
 
1 posts, read 7,419 times
Reputation: 11
Default Well Pump Pressure Question

I have a 50 year old wellç I donit even know where it is. The deep well pump is in the garage. There is plenty of water.

It is set to 30-50 shut on-shut off. Pressure in the bladder tank is 28. It Shuts on at about 29 and shuts off at about 51. However, immediately after it cuts off, the pressure gauge needle vibrates a bit and settles at about 35 36.

Then, it appears to lose pressure very slowly. Cutting on eventually for about 30 seconds once every few hours.

There are no leaks in the house.

I just replaced the pressure gague. The new one and the oıld one do the same thing.

Any idea what is happening to the pressure?
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Old 12-05-2008, 02:56 AM
 
Location: Eastern Kentucky
1,238 posts, read 1,628,125 times
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Could be the foot valve in the well leaking off, or a leak in the pipe somewhere.
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Old 12-05-2008, 03:54 AM
 
Location: Ohio
2,173 posts, read 4,814,854 times
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It has been years since I had a well and a pump.
You have a situation where the system might be "water logged".
Mine had a little one way check valve that let atmospheric air pressure in as the water level dropped. Air has to be allowed in the tank to replace the vacuum created by the drop of water volume.
I had pretty much the same problem a few times and had to replace that little air check valve.
It was a little brass valve type thing mounted on the top of the tank.
The tank has to have a certain volume of air for the water to push against to maintain pressure.
Water alone wont maintain pressure unless it is pushing against all the space in the tank. As soon as you turn on a faucet the water is no longer pushing against all sides of the tank. You need air to take up that space to have tank pressure.
The pump never completely fills the tank. It only fills it to the point of pressure. The tank needs the air to maintain that cushion of pressure.
Like the above poster noted, it could be a foot valve leaking or a leak in the pipe system somewhere.
But your description sounds like it could also be that little air inlet check valve.
Years ago some tanks had a shrader valve (like a tire valve on a car) to pump air into the tank.
The little air check valve replaced those.
If that is what it is, it is a cheap fix.
The holding tank has a certain amount of cubic space. When the water level drops something has to replace that space or there can't be enough pressure. Your pump may be running too often to fill that void.
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Old 12-05-2008, 06:12 AM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 8,411,740 times
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My plumber says there's a lot of those pressure valves that are defective. Other things besides those mentioned include the well pump itself could be defective. Your pump is in the garage and not in the well?
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Old 12-05-2008, 07:40 AM
 
20,306 posts, read 15,763,923 times
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Your well is 50 years old. You need a new well. Don't put a lot of money down a bad hole. The next thing will be a hole in the casing. In fact keep check for water around the well head now and dirty water in the house. If it is just a check value, you might make it to spring. Most drillers charge more to drill in the winter. I do not drill in the winter at all. If you pump keeps running, unplug it when you are not using water. As time goes on it will lose the prime but, priming it is less costly than a high light bill. Call your local heath department for a list of drillers, then ask to look in their files.
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Wherever I park the motorhome
286 posts, read 879,489 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prk2104 View Post
I have a 50 year old wellç I donit even know where it is. The deep well pump is in the garage. There is plenty of water.

It is set to 30-50 shut on-shut off. Pressure in the bladder tank is 28. It Shuts on at about 29 and shuts off at about 51. However, immediately after it cuts off, the pressure gauge needle vibrates a bit and settles at about 35 36.

Then, it appears to lose pressure very slowly. Cutting on eventually for about 30 seconds once every few hours.

There are no leaks in the house.

Any idea what is happening to the pressure?
Then you have a leak from the pump back and down the well to the foot valve in the well.

You need to find the well and fix the leak before you end up with no water because of a loss of prime and then you won't be able to prime the pump. And since the pump only runs for 30 seconds to build pressure up to 50, it is short cycling and that will kill the pump. You need to check and adjust the air pressure in the tank to 29-28 psi with no water in the tank. When you drain the tank, you may not be able to reprime the pump, so fix this water leak first.

This has nothing to do with the pressure switch.
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:58 AM
 
20,306 posts, read 15,763,923 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
Then you have a leak from the pump back and down the well to the foot valve in the well.

You need to find the well and fix the leak before you end up with no water because of a loss of prime and then you won't be able to prime the pump. And since the pump only runs for 30 seconds to build pressure up to 50, it is short cycling and that will kill the pump. You need to check and adjust the air pressure in the tank to 29-28 psi with no water in the tank. When you drain the tank, you may not be able to reprime the pump, so fix this water leak first.

This has nothing to do with the pressure switch.
Why fix a 50 year old well?? I tell people no all the time. Some fix it anyway. They call me in a few years for a new well. The are VERY upset at "that guy" who took their money. Many times I can get their home owner's insurance to pay for the new well.
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Wherever I park the motorhome
286 posts, read 879,489 times
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Why! Because there is a leak and the most probable cause is a leak in one of the two deep well jet pump's pipes going down the well....

Trust me, most people want to repair a leak for maybe $200-400 instead of paying thousands for a new well.
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:15 PM
 
20,306 posts, read 15,763,923 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
Why! Because there is a leak and the most probable cause is a leak in one of the two deep well jet pump's pipes going down the well....

Trust me, most people want to repair a leak for maybe $200-400 instead of paying thousands for a new well.
In my area it is $1000/$1500. The well is 50 years old. They are on borrowed time now. 9 times out of 10 my customers pay nothing out of pocket. Again there are things we do not know. Depth, does it have screen??
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Old 12-05-2008, 02:56 PM
 
20,306 posts, read 15,763,923 times
Reputation: 8123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
Why! Because there is a leak and the most probable cause is a leak in one of the two deep well jet pump's pipes going down the well....

Trust me, most people want to repair a leak for maybe $200-400 instead of paying thousands for a new well.
How can you give a price with out knowing how much drop pipe is in the well??? Many times in these old wells the drop has to be hammered out with a repair rig. You know for sure the jet will come off?? Why half do the job??? That is why Michigan will not let handy men work on pumps and wells. It takes a licensed driller with the right tools.
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