need help with well & pump problems

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  • This topic has 1 reply, 2 voices, and was last updated 22 years ago by Avatar photodaveroconn.
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    • #274681
      Avatar photoMasterPlumbers


        We have an 80ft well with a submersable pump. For the past 3 years we have had a continuing problem with the pressure switch and pump controls burning out. We have replaced the pump contoller about 8 months ago, but we are again having problems.

        We have checked the pressure in the pressure tank, it seems to be ok. The pressure gage sometimes sticks and we have replaced that several times as well.

        This morning after my husband took his shower, he went to turn on the water to shave, NO WATER. He went out and found the pump controller had popped its little onboard circuit breaker. He reset it and the pump restarted. About 5 hours later, the same thing happened to me.

        I went out and reset, pump came on, ran for a while and stopped .
        Looked at the pressure gage and the it read 52psi, it dropped slowly, (no water was running) and at about 48psi it came back on, it came back up to about 52psi and turned off again. This can’t be right!

        We desparetly need help! Could someone please give us a primer on well pumps and how they work. Maybe some pointers on what to look for.

        [email protected]

      • #290174
        Avatar photodaveroconn

          Did you check the pressure in your tank with it full of water? You can only check that pressure with the tank empty.

          The only way an expansion tank can drain is for air behind the bladder to push it out. If your tank does not drain completely than it does not have enough air in it to displace the water inside. This would cause the symptoms you described your tank sounds as thought it has a very short drawdown that is the water available to your house before your pump kicks on. If tank hasn’t sufficient pressure to displace all of the water inside then it is waterlogged. You should be able to easily move the tank empty.

          To drain an expansion tank

          First you need to drain the tank as far as it can go by itself. Next using a bicycle tire pump fill up the tank only until the water begins to flow out. Do not over pump the tank or you may ruin the bladder. Keep doing this until you are sure all of the water is out of the tank. Now to obtain the proper air pressure this can only be checked with the tank empty. Fill the tank up with 2 psi below the start of your pressure switch. (Example 30 psi on means 28 psi in the tank.) If the tank will not hold this pressure then the bladder has failed.

          Now it would be a good time to disinfect the tank with some bleach. Use an empty filter sump housing to introduce about a 1/4 cup of bleach into the tank you will need some valves to do this. Now rinse the tank by filling it and draining it several times.

          Have an electrician check the voltages on your pump wires with the pump running you should get a good idea of weather the motor drawing too many amps. If so your motor is on it’s way out. Check your expansion tank first this is most likley the culprit.

          Respectfully David F. Walling

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