well water pressure pump leak (seeking advice)

   / well water pressure pump leak (seeking advice) #1  

Hughman

Gold Member
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
387
Location
La Grange, CA
Tractor
NH TC33DA
New to living on well water. This is a weekend home for now but eventually will be full time. This past weekend my pressure pump was not turning off. When I went to investigate I found a leak where the pvc pipe screws into the output side of the pressure pump. It pumps up to the cut-out pressure (60psi) but never stops pumping unless I manually stop the pump. Then the pump stays off until it reaches the cut-in pressure (40psi).

chicken and egg question... did a failed pressure switch lead to a leak (over pressure and or heat), or is the leak causing the switch to fail to reach the cut-out pressure? Could it be a third cause of failure like a bad bladder in the pressure tank?

I need to re-plumb the pvc (this time with a union disconnect) between the pump and the pressure tank to fix the leak. I was thinking for $20 I should pick up another 40/60 pressure switch just for good measure.

Is there any value to adding a second pressure tank, and if so, should it be the same capacity (85gal/220gal equiv. Flotek) as the first?

The well feeds a underground storage tank out side the house followed by the pump & pressure tank that are in the basement.
 
   / well water pressure pump leak (seeking advice) #2  
There's a simple way to test the pressure tank, just do it. If its more than 10 years old, I'd replace it anyways, Get the biggest one you can afford. And replace the pressure switch.
 
   / well water pressure pump leak (seeking advice) #3  
If the tank is really old it needs to be manually refilled with air. You have to empty the tank and fill it with usually 29psi of air. The same holds true if you have a leak in your rubber bladder in newer pressure tanks. For the pvc line you should be able to just get barbed connector and add a peice. I use two hose clamps on each side.
 
   / well water pressure pump leak (seeking advice) #4  
Stay away from anything Lowe's or HD sells. Their stuff is guaranteed to fail within 2 years, just after the warranty expires.
 
   / well water pressure pump leak (seeking advice)
  • Thread Starter
#5  
I'll drain the system and check the pressure in the tank this weekend when I fix the leak. I'll order a new pressure switch just for good measure.

Thanks
 
   / well water pressure pump leak (seeking advice) #6  
If the tank is really old it needs to be manually refilled with air. You have to empty the tank and fill it with usually 29psi of air. The same holds true if you have a leak in your rubber bladder in newer pressure tanks. For the pvc line you should be able to just get barbed connector and add a peice. I use two hose clamps on each side.

Interesting quote on the psi value for the bladder tank... I've always been told that you should set your "empty" pressure to be 10psi lower than what your cut-in switch is set for. For a 40-60 switch, then that value would be about right... If you are running higher, or lower, then you should adjust the empty pressure accordingly.
 
   / well water pressure pump leak (seeking advice) #7  
New to living on well water. This is a weekend home for now but eventually will be full time. This past weekend my pressure pump was not turning off. When I went to investigate I found a leak where the pvc pipe screws into the output side of the pressure pump. It pumps up to the cut-out pressure (60psi) but never stops pumping unless I manually stop the pump. Then the pump stays off until it reaches the cut-in pressure (40psi).

chicken and egg question... did a failed pressure switch lead to a leak (over pressure and or heat), or is the leak causing the switch to fail to reach the cut-out pressure? Could it be a third cause of failure like a bad bladder in the pressure tank?

I need to re-plumb the pvc (this time with a union disconnect) between the pump and the pressure tank to fix the leak. I was thinking for $20 I should pick up another 40/60 pressure switch just for good measure.

Is there any value to adding a second pressure tank, and if so, should it be the same capacity (85gal/220gal equiv. Flotek) as the first?

The well feeds a underground storage tank out side the house followed by the pump & pressure tank that are in the basement.

Could be a bad pressure switch that's not causing the switch to cut off, but the leak could be causing the system to not reach the cut off pressure, therefore the pump runs constantly... I don't know about chicken/egg, but once the leak is fixed that will let you know if the switch is bad or not. If it starts cutting off now that the leak is fixed, you know it wasn't the switch. But a $20 switch laying around on the workbench is never bad insurance. I've got one just for that purpose...

I've never seen a two-tank setup, so can't say... In theory, if they were the same size, you could drain 2x the water you normally would before the pump kicks in. An easy test to see if your tank is working is while you've got your PVC line disconnected pump air into the tank via the fill valve. If you hear/feel air rushing out of the disconnected line then the bladder has gone bad and it's time for a new tank. The purpose of the tank is to keep pressure on the pump so it doesn't "water soak". Pumps don't like that! :)

Well pumps don't mind running, but you want to avoid soaking them and you also want to avoid short cycle times. That's harder on them than running full out. So, if you have to replace the tank, go for the biggest one you can fit into the area. I didn't when I had to replace mine and now I'm kinda regretting that! :eek: Means I'll have to replace the pump sooner and I'm not looking forward to pulling the pump and associated plumbing out of a 150' hole!
 
   / well water pressure pump leak (seeking advice) #8  
Stay away from anything Lowe's or HD sells. Their stuff is guaranteed to fail within 2 years, just after the warranty expires.

Aw come on Goose I got a nice Square D 40/60 low pressure cutout switch at Home Depot!

I have had good luck with Square D but would stay away from other brands personally.

For the original poster, 60PSI may be at the upper limit of the pumps capability and the water depth etc.. You might consider a 30/50 or 35/55 setting (turn the bigger stem CCW) and see if it shuts off.

Last, the charge pressure empty in a precharged tank is set at 2-3 PSI BELOW the cut in pressure so you get maximum water capacity from the tank.
 
   / well water pressure pump leak (seeking advice) #9  
To correct some misinformation on the 'pre-charge'. There are two recommendations:

1. 2 psi below the cut-in.
2. _Some_ pump/tank manuals will specity _at the cut-in_

I, and every plumber/pump/well person I have ever seen goes with the 2psi below.

The pre-charge is checked and adjusted with the tank empty

Tanks do not fail after only 10 years and there is no need to replace teh pressure switch until you know it is bad. Keeping an extra on the shelf is a good practice - they are not an expensive item.

Harry K
 
   / well water pressure pump leak (seeking advice) #10  
For the original poster, 60PSI may be at the upper limit of the pumps capability and the water depth etc.. You might consider a 30/50 or 35/55 setting (turn the bigger stem CCW) and see if it shuts off.

+1
 
 
Top