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Spent a week on my well/tank/pump system - at a complete loss!

871 Views 4 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Phases
Hey all. Was going to post on Plumbing Zone but looks likes that is limited to professsionals, and it had a link to here to which I already had an account so, here I am. Hope someone can answer a question for me.

Long story short - we bought a house 1.5 years ago with a shallow well (spring fed), pump and tank system that pushes water to 3 water spigots around our yard. I understood it all to be real old maybe original (15 years) equipment but unsure. The pump finally died a couple weeks ago.

I replaced it with the exact same (but much newer, dimensions were a hair off but I survived) make and model pump. Wayne 1/2 HP SWS50.

My system is a little different than you see in diagrams. Usually, it is well -> pump -> tank -> supply lines to everthing. Mine is well -> pump -> supply lines to everything -> tank.

Still, it seems to work fine. The tank runs the water from 50 down to 30psi then the pump turns on and takes over and refills the tank then hands it back over to the tank when 50 is hit again. You feel a slight twitch in water as your using it when it does this and can hear the pump cycle on then off (it's only 34 gallon tank and it is used for gardens etc)

Here's my problem. I have spent the past several days trying to narrow down what I thought was a leak, and this morning I was thrown for a real loop. Basically, the first day after I got it all working again, I came out and turned on water and the pump kicked on, indicating the pressure had been lost and my hopes and dreams of an easy project being crushed. So I then charged it, saw the pressure at 50psi on the line, and waited. 12 hours later I checked it, it was down to 20. (if I remember correctly, but why wouldn't the pump kick on when down to thirty and re pressurize? btw)

So, I charged the line and did it again. Same thing. So, this time I charged the line and cut off 1/2 the system with ball valve that disconnects one side of the property, to try to narrow down. Waited 12 hours. This time no pressure loss at all. I thought I had it figured out. The problem is in that side, obviously, right? The good side that doesn't go under any concrete. I don't mind digging, that's cheap!

But, before I started I wanted to verify. So I opened that side back up, charged the lines back to 50psi, and went to bed. I expected to see loss back down to 20 this am. Then I was going to cut the one side off again, go to work come home tonight and see that none was lost.

Except this morning I get up, and it is still at 50. WTF! No pressure loss this time with both sections turned on.

So my question, because I'm reaching for ANYTHING that even makes sense at this point.. is it possible maybe the tank was over pressurized (3 different pressure guages gave vastly different results when I charged it..) or maybe there were pockets of air in the line or something, and the system needed a few days of use to work out these kinks? Could that explain it? Also, Sunday I took the intake tube completely off to check it and the new footer for leaks which, it had none, and put it back on with better teflon tape. Maybe it had a leak on the one side I can't see that I inadvertently fixed?

I don't have an answer. I could go on for days but if this gets much longer no one will read it. Yesterday my plan was to check the tank with soap for air leak but, had got home to no pressure loss (after having cut off the one side) so I thought it was something on that side but now I'm questioning those findings.

Any ideas? Help!
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Here is my pump:

Here is my tank (pt-60v):

Attached is a drawing of the setup.

Attached are several pictures of various stages of this project. Note:

- Old pump, vs new pump. Not completely set up in this picture but my point is to show how close it is to the supply lines. This is why I didn't put in a check valve during my repair. It would have to go between the pump and all that pvc since those are the supply lines the tank has to be able to push back to. The footer counts, I read, and that I shouldn't need a second anyway. But nonetheless, unless I want to rework the hole through the concrete to the well, or redo the weather-housing the pump is in which is not easy to work with, I just can't easily do it.

- Tank is prior to me putting in shutoff valve on the vertical piping going down to it (so I can shut the tank completely out of picture but leave the line running to one of the spigots, if needed).

- Honeywell you see is just above the tank on the horizontal line. This powers the pump and tells when to cycle on off at 30/50 - the switch built onto the pump itself is bypassed.

Tank under house. Pump in yard on top of well.


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Another full day passed with no pressure loss so I have decided either:

a) There was a steady but small leak I inadvertently fixed that was on the side of the intake pvc that I couldn't see when took the pump out couple days ago to try to fix the other leak, and took off the intake pvc and put it back on (with heavier duty teflon tape).

b) My neighbors were using my water which believe it or not I wouldn't put it past them heh (but now the head of the hose with the nozzle is locked in the fenced garden part.

or c) My original question on this thread is true, and there was air in the lines that had to work its way out and that somehow has an affect on pressure. (I did get a pocket pop out while using the hose yesterday, too).

I don't know but, bottom line it's been at least 48 hours of no pressure loss that I can tell, and I've used it to water the garden every day still, just re pressurized and marked the gauge when done each time.

So I guess mystery over, if not solved. :)
Perhaps you had some derbies in the foot valve.
Aside from that dern union busting and flooding my yard, everything's been working great. I don't have an explanation, it must be a b or c mentioned above.

Course, the busted union, everything is so tight in there I really can't reply it or any of the plumbing without redoing ALL of it. In that 1.5ft by 1.5ft square fibreglass box that I just spent 2 weeks getting everything fixed and finalized. I couldn't quite get the two union sides to be perfectly flush, I assume that's why it busted.

If I can just get my hands on a new spinny-part of it I'd be set. However it would appear that manufactures all thread different. I've tried 3 different unions none match up.

I ordered one from amazon, it'll take two weeks to get here. And may not work, but at least it's the same brand.

In the meantime, I PVC Glued (the blue medium) and clamped the old one and it seems to be holding. I'm adding gorilla epoxy as well. Not easy to keep from touching clamps hehe.

Hilarity, the madess you say? Cats and dogs living together! I agree. But it's holding, and I need the water.

Meanwhile, I kill power to the pump when I'm not actually using it so, if it does burst again it'll just be the water tank that empties inside that box rather than the pump blowing water all over itself all day long again.

For amusement. Here is the old pump and housing. Then the new. Then the busted union and my "temp" (or is it .. lol) fix.


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