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  1. #1
    Veteran Member jayste's Avatar
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    "Ranchin'" on a 1/4 of a 1/4 in Seminole County, Oklahoma!
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    Default Well, Well, Well! There's air in my water....

    Late Saturday's water supply seemed a little "airish". Not having worked on any water line to introduce air into my water system, I got a little concerned. The air was in both the hot and cold side and at all faucets and toilets so I knew it was in the whole water line. After studying on it a while I decided to take a look out side. We're on a water well system and has been pretty flawless other than the usual "seasonal" problems. The well was originally drilled and pump installed 14 yrs. ago. I've had small issues such as pressure switch failure/clogged 1/4" nipples and such but good service for the most part. This situation was different than most due to the air in the line similar to cutting into or "opening" the line to work on it. I first walked the area in the yard between the well house and the house to look for wet spots in our very dry ground. Even though this would probably just create a reduced pressure situation in the line I wanted to start out basic and work up from there. No wet spots so I went to the well house to check things out. All things seemed in order there except for the very obvious cycling of the pump. Noticeable only by the "humming" of the pump (it's submeresable), the pressure switch kicking on and off and the pressure gage going up and down. All of this with an average of about 10 seconds of pump on in a 50 seconds off time cycle....not good. Now, I'm thinking the system in not holding pressure. Just for giggles I check my pressure tank for air pressure and check for water in the tank. All seemed good there with no water coming out with the air. Now my thoughts are on the pump, check valve and stand pipe. I couldn't remember how deep this well is. (we have two well: one for us and one for the farm house). Let's face it, I'm getting older and it's been 14 yrs since we installed it! Anyway, I decide to concort with a fellow who I consort with on these kind of matters and after chewing on the same cud and getting the same juices we narrow it down to a split in the the stand pipe or a bad check valve. Something is allowing it to draw air. At this time things started come back to me like:
    1) we used 20' joints of sch 40 PVC pipe not sch 80
    2) we used sch 80 PVC fittings
    3) pump was bought new and was 14 yrs old
    4) A fellow I used to work with and I installed the pump and all workings to finish it out.
    Now it's Monday morning and I've called in to my job to take a day of "vacation"! Thankfully, I didn't enclose the well head too much. When I built the well house (8'x12' storage/well house) I put it just in front of the well head and built a small enclosure to attach separately behind the well house and over the well head. Since that time I've added a lean-to on the back of the well house so I've got that to deal with. First things first so I had to remove one sheet of corrugated iron off of the roof of the lean-to to allow the 20' sections of pipe to protrude into the air as I pull and install the pipe. Next was to open up and remove the enclosure around the well head. After exposing the well head came time to disconnect the wires (after shutting off the breaker and insuring the power is off). Mine is the style where you have a well seal that installs in the casing at the top and the PVC pipe runs through the middle of it into the casing and the wires and well rope on each side of that. Not having a union I had to cut the pipe at the top in order to start pulling the pipe. Before I started pulling the pipe I knew I would need a "pipe block" for the fittings to rest on while I disconnected each 20' section as they are threaded together. As I'm pulling I'm having to cut loose each piece of tape where we taped the wires and the rope to the pipe with electricians tape. Thankfully the stand wasn't too heavy due to it only being 100 ft deep and void of water in the pipe! Which, by the way, told me, as I was pulling the pipe out, that the problem was down low being that each section of pipe wasn't full of water. Finally, as I reached the last section of pipe that has the pump attached I could hear water draining from somewhere which told me again it was in that particular section of pipe. Upon removing the pump from the well and observing it I noticed what appeared to be some pitting in the brass check valve that is inserted in the top of the pump between the pump and the stand pipe. For those who might not know the check valve is a "one-way" valve that allows the water to flow up, in this case, but not down. It allows pressure to remain in the stand pipe and water system. After removing the check valve from the pump and stand pipe I found the culprit. The brass valve had actually "washed out" and created a hole leading from the inside about the last threads (deepest) to the outside of of the valve allowing water to drain back down once the pump would shut off.
    Wow! I just realized how long this post is! Anyway, sorry for not having any pics of the job (maybe I can add some later of a few things) and maybe this can help someone who might have this type of problem in the future.
    Last edited by jayste; 04-19-2011 at 11:18 AM.
    Jay

    "The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so" Ronald Reagan

    But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 NIV

  2. #2
    Epic Contributor
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    jinman's Avatar
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    Texas - Wise County - Sunset
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    NHTC45D, NH LB75B, Ford Jubilee

    Default Re: Well, Well, Well! There's air in my water....

    Jay, do you have a bladder tank or a galvanized tank? The reason I ask is that I have a galvanized tank. On the pump side of my check valve at the inlet and about 20' down the pipe, there is a hole that the well driller drilled into the PVC pipe. At the top of the inlet pipe before the check valve, there is a shrader valve. When the pump shuts off, water is allowed to drain out of the first 20' of pipe and the shrader valve lets air in so that when the pump starts, there is no head pressure in the line.

    Now, the slug of air in the first 20' of pipe is pushed into the tank each time the pump starts. There is a float valve on the side of the tank which has the sole function of bleeding off the accumulated air inside the tank. As the water level drops in the tank, the float on the valve drops and opens the top of the tank so air is allowed to escape. When the pump starts to fill the tank, the float valve closes and the subsequent air pocket is maintained so that the pump builds up pressure and compresses the same sized pocket of air with each cycle. If the bleed valve on the tank stops up, then the tank fills with air and it starts causing water hammers in your pipes and spewing out with the water. When you first described your problem, that's what I immediately thought of.

    I'm not exactly sure how a bladder tank works, but the also have some way of relieving trapped air. If the bladder fails, what happens is your pump comes on immediately as soon as you open a spigot because there is no air around the bladder to compress and maintain head pressure inside the tank.
    Jim


  3. #3
    Veteran Member jayste's Avatar
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    "Ranchin'" on a 1/4 of a 1/4 in Seminole County, Oklahoma!
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    Default Re: Well, Well, Well! There's air in my water....

    Hello Jim. Yes, I have a bladder tank. You mentioning your set up is the first I've heard of this type of system. Of course, I only know the ones that I've worked on and that ain't much!
    Jay

    "The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so" Ronald Reagan

    But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 NIV

  4. #4
    Bronze Member markrahn's Avatar
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    Wilson county Texas
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    Kubota L3400

    Default Re: Well, Well, Well! There's air in my water....

    Jinman,
    that is the same system I have. That is what I was thinking too.

    Jayste,
    Can you post a picture of the bad valve?
    2010 Kubota L3400 with FEL 5' shredder 60" tiller 6' swivel blade cary all 2share middle buster

  5. #5
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Well, Well, Well! There's air in my water....

    The brass valve had actually "washed out" and created a hole leading from the inside about the last threads (deepest) to the outside of of the valve allowing water to drain back down once the pump would shut off.
    Would that be what is called a two way check valve?
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  6. #6
    Super Star Member J_J's Avatar
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    Power-Trac 1445, KUBOTA B-9200HST

    Default Re: Well, Well, Well! There's air in my water....

    That is also called a foot valve, and is a one way check. The column of water keeps the check closed until the pressure is relieved by the pump sucking water up through the pipe.
    J.J.

    When I works, I works hard. When I sits and thinks, I goes to sleep.

    Git er done.

  7. #7
    Elite Member
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    Trivoli, IL
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    SSTT (Sideways Snake Tain Tractor) and STB (sideways train box) tractor, dirt harvester

    Default Re: Well, Well, Well! There's air in my water....

    at least you had threaded 20 foot sections. you could take apart. and not having to cut each one and put in new fittings for all the sections.

    at least it was at very bottom were valve was and leaking. trying to pull up pipe full of water is no fun at all!

    in a way i would be thanking my lucky stars. you got away with an easy fix!

    pain yes. but it could have be a lot worse!
    Ryan

  8. #8
    Veteran Member jayste's Avatar
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    "Ranchin'" on a 1/4 of a 1/4 in Seminole County, Oklahoma!
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    Default Re: Well, Well, Well! There's air in my water....

    Quote Originally Posted by markrahn View Post
    Jinman,
    that is the same system I have. That is what I was thinking too.

    Jayste,
    Can you post a picture of the bad valve?
    Yes, I'll get one this evening.

    Quote Originally Posted by Egon View Post
    Would that be what is called a two way check valve?


    Quote Originally Posted by J_J View Post
    That is also called a foot valve, and is a one way check. The column of water keeps the check closed until the pressure is relieved by the pump sucking water up through the pipe.
    JJ, my pump is in the hole and pushing up.

    Quote Originally Posted by boggen View Post
    at least you had threaded 20 foot sections. you could take apart. and not having to cut each one and put in new fittings for all the sections.

    at least it was at very bottom were valve was and leaking. trying to pull up pipe full of water is no fun at all!

    in a way i would be thanking my lucky stars. you got away with an easy fix!

    pain yes. but it could have be a lot worse!
    Yes, you are correct. My son and I pulled one about 5 yrs ago at the farm house due to a bad pump. All sections were full of water....not fun even for the young!


    Now a question for the number junkies.....I've got 1" ID pipe, it's 98' long, how much volume? Then convert to gallons X 8lbs/gal for water and tell me how much more fun I missed out on!
    Last edited by jayste; 04-19-2011 at 04:57 PM.
    Jay

    "The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so" Ronald Reagan

    But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 NIV

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    NHtd75

    Default Re: Well, Well, Well! There's air in my water....

    Quote: Now a question for the number junkies.....I've got 1" ID pipe, it's 98' long, how much volume? Then convert to gallons X 8lbs/gal for water and tell me how much more fun I missed out on!
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    According to my math you missed out on 31.9872 pounds of fun.
    Last edited by SandburRanch; 04-19-2011 at 07:17 PM.

  10. #10
    Elite Member
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    limerick pa lycoming county pa
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    kubota bx23

    Default Re: Well, Well, Well! There's air in my water....

    Quote Originally Posted by jayste View Post
    First things first so I had to remove one sheet of corrugated iron off of the roof of the lean-to to allow the 20' sections of pipe to protrude into the air as I pull and install the pipe.
    No way!!!!!
    Pull it up short of the roof cut it off repeat as needed to get all the pipe out .

    reinstall it with polyethylene pipe on a roll.

    My well is 450 ft deep with sch 120 pipe for the first 210 ft poly the rest.
    The 120 is because well only has about 40 ft of water in it at the bottom . and pressure is higher than poly would handle down there.

    tom
    If it ain't broke we will help you brake it
    If it is broke we will help you get it fixed!


    https://www.facebook.com/joseph.t.mussington

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