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  #1  
Old 06-30-2010, 08:35 AM
ChuckD ChuckD is offline
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Default Home well pump - pressure leak issues

I noticed that my home well pump kicks on about every 5 minutes when there's no faucets turned on. I shut down the main valve to the house, and I watch the pressure gauge slowly fall until the pump turns on again. There's no obvious leaks inside the house (since I shut the main valve down), so it must be underground?

I do have a red, outdoor water faucet in the yard near the well pump. It's not on, no obvious leaks, etc..

It seems like a semi-slow leak. Hoping it's not a busted underground well line...

Has anyone seen this before? Just curious as I don't want to get a backhoe involved to dig this up.

I plan to contact the well company, but thought I'd ask here first.
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  #2  
Old 06-30-2010, 08:48 AM
gonfishn95 gonfishn95 is offline
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Default Check

Not sure on your system, so here is what it sounds like, if you have a check valve that is by tank or pump I would first check it. It is designed to hold pressure in system when pump not running, sounds like leaking back into well.

A foot valve is the other check in a system only problem with that it is down on the end of well if you have a casing.

Then the worst case you already know.
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  #3  
Old 06-30-2010, 09:02 AM
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Hot Runr Guy Hot Runr Guy is online now
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If you have a deep well (submersible) pump, go see if the area around the pump head is wet. A few years ago, I had the plastic pipe fail at the connection to the pitless adaptor, which is where the piping makes the 90 degree turn to head toward the house. The good news is, the pump did not need to be pulled, the bad news is I had to dig a big enough hole to reach it for the repair.
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:04 AM
jrems jrems is offline
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I would not necessarily trust the shut off valve, as they can erode and allow a small amount of water through. You could check at closest valve. If the tank is in the house, that could also be the issue. There should be an air valve. Check it to see that there is no water coming out when Schrader valve is depressed. If you have water the tank is shot (diaphram has ripped making a waterlogged tank) the air pressure in the tank at the Scrader valve should be 2# less than the cut in of the pressure switch. As you let air out to check for water, you would have to pump back upThis will cause cycling as well. You could have had an air leak, little gremlins listening to the cool hiss, or a bad air valve> I guess I should have started with if its a diaphram type tank which the greatest bulk have been for the last 20 years.
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:32 AM
MK lowly guest
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About 10 years ago (my house and well was 30 yr. old at the time) I had a similar problem.

When I opened the top of the well head I could see a small stream of water leaking from one of the galvanized fittings connecting the plastic pipe to the pitless adapter. It was spraying water against the inside of the well pipe. Pump would cycle about every 5 minutes.

Well repair man had to pull the well and pipe up a few feet to replace some rusted fittings which took care of the problem. Cost about $150 if I remember correctly.
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Old 06-30-2010, 11:12 AM
wallymn99 wallymn99 is offline
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could be your pressrue tank too i would think. Those bladders don't last that long. I would check that first as its an easy cheap fix. Take a tire gauge and see what its pressure is and if it falls.
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  #7  
Old 06-30-2010, 11:26 AM
REW REW is offline
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As you run from your pump back to your well - there will be a check valve somewhere in the line.
It may be at the bottom of the well, the top or somewhere in the middle.

You may also have a leak in the piping between the pump and the well and thus the check valve.

The check valve maintains the pressure between the pump and the check valve. If the check valve leaks, or if there is a leak in the piping between the pump and the check valve you will have your problem.

Check all of the visible piping for any signs of leaks and then you need to check your check valve.

You might replace your on and off valve between your pump and the well to be sure that the water is completly shut off. Also, you may need to replace the on and off valve between the house and the pump.

Now, with the in valve turned off after the pump has pumped up and with the out valve turned off with the pump pumped up, does the pump still lose pressure ? If so, the problem is in the pump and pressure tank itself.

However, if you turn on the out valve, and then have a pressure leak, you have a leaky facuet, or plumbing in the well and house distribution system.

If you turn off the out valve and turn on the in valve and then have leak down problems you have a problem on the well side of the pump, piping, check valve or other.

Good luck
REW
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Old 06-30-2010, 11:44 AM
ChuckD ChuckD is offline
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Thanks for the comments.

After further inspection, I did notice a hissing sound from the main shut off valve. It's shot and needs replacing (everything needs updating actually). However, no obvious water leaks. I'm not a plumbing expert by any means, but if there's an air leak from a shut off valve without water spitting out, is it sucking air in? water flowing opposite to lose pressure? I adjusted valve around and the leak seemed to go away when I would open/close the main valve.

I have other shut off valves down the water line from the pump that are closed, so the area of water in the pipes is only like 20'. No leaks.

The basement is unfinished and I can inspect all the pipes coming through the foundation, to the pump and beyond.

I'll check the pressure tank air pressure and that Schrader valve. I should have thought of that...

Where is the check valve usually located?

This is a relatively newer deep well, pump, etc.

Thanks for all your help thus far! I'll inspect it closer.

BTW, I should have mentioned I bought this house after someone moved out, a plumber drained/winterized all the lines in the house and it sat all winter. I turned on the water this spring after purchase and found this issue, but now I shut the pump off when I'm not home.

Is there some (drain) valve that may be adjustable when they drained the system?
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  #9  
Old 06-30-2010, 01:25 PM
MK lowly guest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckD View Post
Thanks for the comments.



BTW, I should have mentioned I bought this house after someone moved out, a plumber drained/winterized all the lines in the house and it sat all winter. I turned on the water this spring after purchase and found this issue, but now I shut the pump off when I'm not home.
Was this house a repo?

My question is that how long after someone moved out did the plumber winterize the house? How long did it sit during the winter before the plumber got to it? Sometimes these houses (repo's) sit for several months before the lender gets possession and gets a plumber inside.

Also, is it possible to adequately drain the pipes from the well to the house? I'm not aware of any method to drain these pipes, short of pulling the pump. Could they have frozen? They are supposed to be below frost line but who knows.

Lots of questions that I think will take a pro to figure out.
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  #10  
Old 06-30-2010, 01:49 PM
REW REW is offline
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p.s.
If you add or replace the input and output valves on each side of the pump - use stainless steel ball valves.
These valves are very long lasting, use a simple 1/4 turn for full on or off, and when open allow full pipe inner diameter water flow.

Good luck
REW
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