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  1. #1
    Platinum Member
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    Oct 2000
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    619
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    Tully, NY (Syracuse)
    Tractor
    Kubota L3010HST

    Default Well Pump Diagnosis

    I'm having trouble with my well pump building pressure. The pump is around 70 feet down and I am having trouble with the pump building over 40psi. I've installed a new pressure gauge so I'm sure the pressure is accurate.

    I believe I have a Gould pump that is about 13 years old. Is it possible for the pump to wear so that the flow seems OK but is unable to build pressure?

    Any other suggetions before I actually pull the pump out of the well?

    Thanks,
    Kevin

  2. #2
    Elite Member RonMar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    2,763
    Location
    Port Angeles WA
    Tractor
    Jinma 284 delivered 06/28/05

    Default Re: Well Pump Diagnosis

    If you run the pump up to it's highest pressure and shut it off, does the system hold that pressure? Where is the check valve located in your system? If you had a leak before the checkvalve, you could be leaking water as fast as the pump is pumping it and it can only make 40PSI at the gauge. You might be able to hear a leak if you remove the cap on the well casing and listen while it pumps. Have you noticed any air in the system? Is the pump suction point below the water level? It could be that the pump is pressurizing OK, but the level in the well is dropping enough when running that it is starting to draw air/cavitate. Hows the electric getting to the pump? it takes a lot of current to pump water up to pressure. If the pump is not getting good electrical, this could limit it's output pressure. A good check for this is to measure the voltage at the last electrical connection closest to the pump(usually at the top of the well casing) with the pump running. 13 years is pretty old, it could just be it's time for a new pump, but I would check all the fittings between pump and check valve and all the electric between controller and pump.

    Good luck
    Ron

  3. #3
    Elite Member SPIKER's Avatar
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    Jun 2002
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    4,431
    Location
    Ohio, Jeromesville, Ashland County
    Tractor
    Jinma 284

    Default Re: Well Pump Diagnosis

    did you adjust the well pump switch? they are adjustable for on/off pressure settings

    also is the well pump running all the time and only getting to 40 psi?

    there neds a bit more info.

    markm
    I may remember why I went to the other end of the shop, I'm just afraid once I get there I'll forget how to get back!

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
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    619
    Location
    Tully, NY (Syracuse)
    Tractor
    Kubota L3010HST

    Default Re: Well Pump Diagnosis

    I think the check valve is either in the pump or right above the pump. When the pump is turned off the pressure is maintained so I don't think I have a leak between the check valve and the tank. I listened for leaks in the well casing and I can't hear anything there.

    The pressure switch is set to 40/60psi but I can't get more than about 42psi with the pump running continuously.

    I don't think there is a problem with the water level in the well versus the pump level. We measured levels for weekly for three years a while back and it didn't vary more than about 5 feet all year long. I've also been able to run the well non-stop for several weeks to water the lawn during severe drought conditions without a problem. I'm lucky, I sit right on top of an aquafier.

    Thanks,
    Kevin

  5. #5
    Veteran Member gordon21's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    1,005
    Location
    Lake Lure NC
    Tractor
    JD 790

    Default Re: Well Pump Diagnosis

    The switch will have two adjustment screw posts. Mine came from the factory with the sticker sayng 40/60 on it. The ACTUAL settings were more like 38/45 from the factory. I had to adjust both settings to get it set up right. Look in the inside of the cover to determine which post does the high or low. It sure sounds like a pressure switch setting problem if you maintain the pressure you do build up.

    Do not assume the switch is set up right. Someone at the factory could have spun the adjusting nuts on only far enough so they don't fall off in transit.
    Lewis Gordon

    JD 790, 300 FEL, 5' KK rotary mower, 5' boxscraper, Huskee 3PT logsplitter, JD#39N sickle mower and a Jinma 6" chipper in JD colors.

    My XUV gas Gator wants a brother !!!!!!!! (the diesel kind)

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    1,332
    Location
    Tombstone Az
    Tractor
    KIOTI LK30

    Default Re: Well Pump Diagnosis

    believe I have a Gould pump that is about 13 years old. Is it possible for the pump to wear so that the flow seems OK but is unable to build pressure?


    Yes But also if the thing has been in the ground 13 years it is quite possible that the down pipe has rust holes in it thus preventing it from building pressure. It is also possible that after that long in the water the wire has taken in some water and is shorting part of the current preventing the pump from running at full speed. You might find this good reading http://www.goulds.com/pdf/GSSINGLE.pdf

  7. #7
    Super Member _RaT_'s Avatar
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    Apr 2000
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    5,814
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    Northern CA.
    Tractor
    Push mower, Snapper 21" 6 shovels, 2 rakes, a pick, 2 pinch bars, a post hole digger (two handle type) and 2 wheel barrows that handle like a Porsche.

    Default Re: Well Pump Diagnosis

    Quote Originally Posted by kevincook
    I'm having trouble with my well pump building pressure. The pump is around 70 feet down and I am having trouble with the pump building over 40psi. I've installed a new pressure gauge so I'm sure the pressure is accurate.

    I believe I have a Gould pump that is about 13 years old. Is it possible for the pump to wear so that the flow seems OK but is unable to build pressure?

    Any other suggetions before I actually pull the pump out of the well?

    Thanks,
    Kevin
    Kevin, sounds like you know what yor doing. You know that the pump running continuosly won't develop more then about 40lbs. You know that your holding pressure so leaks are out. My first thoughts then are to check the current draw with an amp probe. A pump that has broken or worn out impellors should not draw as much current. The problem your going to have though is to get an understanding of what the pump normally draws. If you know what size the pump is, you might get a ball park idea of what kind of current you should be drawing. .


  8. #8
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
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    619
    Location
    Tully, NY (Syracuse)
    Tractor
    Kubota L3010HST

    Default Re: Well Pump Diagnosis

    Jim,

    Thanks for that Link. I'm sure it will help tomorrow when I get into this thing.

    Rat,

    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll do some testing tomorrow.

    I checked the water level this evening and it is 48' down which is right in line with what I have always had so there is no shortage of water down there.

    Thanks,
    Kevin

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    Nov 2005
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    647
    Location
    TX
    Tractor
    NH TC 40 A, AC 5020

    Default Re: Well Pump Diagnosis

    At about 10 years my galvanized pipe formed holes in it from electrelosis. As time went on pressure kept dropping from more holes. The pump was running but the water just recirced through the holes. I replaced it with sch80 pvc about 10 years ago. OK so far.

    I've built a lot of stuff with that rusty pipe.
    Where Bob Wills is still the king.
    102 acres, and nothing but work! Wouldn't change it for anything.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Steve_Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    1,249
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Tractor
    2006 Kioti CK30HST

    Default Re: Well Pump Diagnosis

    Quote Originally Posted by kevincook
    I'm having trouble with my well pump building pressure. The pump is around 70 feet down and I am having trouble with the pump building over 40psi. I've installed a new pressure gauge so I'm sure the pressure is accurate.

    I believe I have a Gould pump that is about 13 years old. Is it possible for the pump to wear so that the flow seems OK but is unable to build pressure?

    Any other suggetions before I actually pull the pump out of the well?

    Thanks,
    Kevin
    To further on Rat's input, which were all the things I was going to suggest, has this problem (pressure dropping) been getting worse by day or has it just happened all of a sudden? If it's been all of a sudden then there could be a hole just before the check valve (as someone mentioned already) as this would cause the pump to be able to produce some pressure (depending on the size of the hole) and not lose any pressure when the pump shuts off as the hole is before the check. If there is any sediment in the well, this could cause premature wear of the impeller and pump housing. My two cents.

    Steve

    Steve

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