Diagnose well pipe leaks:
This article describes diagnosing and repairing leaks that can occur in building water piping between a private well and the building water equipment. We also discuss the diagnosis and repair of leaky water well casings themselves. Knowing just what kind of leak is occurring in a building helps pinpoint the problem and also helps specify the necessary plumbing repair.
The articles at this website will answer most questions about diagnosing and repairing pumps, wells, water supply systems, and building piping. Our page top photo shows water around a plastic water line that had a buried but leaky fitting. The repair was simple, but the excavation to find the leak was a bit more trouble.
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For well casing leaks
Water will leak out of a well pipe at a bad connection, perforation, or cracked pipe when the well pump is running, particularly if the water system uses a submersible pump that is located in the well itself.
If you have this problem you may find a wet spot in the ground near the well piping, provided that the pipe is close enough to the surface.
You will also notice that the well pump is running more often than normal, and that your "apparent" water usage may have increased. Some people even report finding a "water fountain" or geyser in the lawn at a burst water supply pipe from both private wells and from a municipal water main.
Air may leak into a well water pipe at a bad connection, perforation, or other damage when the well pump stops running, particularly if the leak problem is combined with a defective check valve or foot valve in the piping system.
The result may be air discharged from plumbing fixtures, improper air charge in the water pressure tank, or loss of pump prime. Short cycling of the water pump or loss of pump prime may result as well.
The corroded galvanized iron well pipe shown at above left is discussed in more detail
Photo by DJF & Rasmussen Well Drilling, Inc.
This water pressure diagnosis problem discussion below gives some added details, thanks to reader Dan Babb.
Question - Excessive Well Water Use:
My house was built in 1979, but the well was re drilled to 142 feet in 1986 by the previous owner. The copper pipes were replaced with pvc and a peroxide treatment system was installed due to the sulphur content. I purchased the property in 1997 and the last two years have been a journey.
I've replaced the well pump, pressure tank, pressure switch, chemical feeder pump, repacked the sand and charcoal filters. Currently, I'm using twice the amount of chemicals to treat the water then a year ago. If i'm using twice the amount of water that would be acceptable. I have now flow meter for proof, but that can't be.
Culligan has been out three times to confirm the feeder and filters are functioning correctly. I have not found any leaks, but have noticed an incredible increase of air within the system if it has been idle. There is no check valve on the system near the pressure tank. Would a failing check valve in the well cause this issue? Should I install a check valve prior to the pressure tank? If i installed a flow meter, where should it be located?
Answer: Quick Tips on Diagnosing High Water Use, Pump Short Cycling, Air in Water Lines
Air in the system could be a piping leak - including between the well and the building - or the well running dry. Or a bad foot valve if the pump is in the building not in the well and a foot valve is all you've got in the well. That'd also show up as lost prime.
If you see the water pressure dropping after the pump has shut off and if you are sure no water is running in the building, then there is either a leak in the well piping or a bad foot valve. If the pressure does not drop, a check valve won't fix anything.
If the pressure is dropping, try a check valve as you suggest - if nothing else, it'd be diagnostic.
Watch out: As the feedback discussion below exemplifies, the second you start touching old plumbing in a building you may find out that there are multiple problems. We call this the spaghetti problem: you can't pull just one strand of spaghetti out of the colander once it has all stuck together. That's characteristic of performing repair work on an older home.
Feedback on What Happened with Diagnosing a Well Problem: Multiple Water Supply Problems at One Shot
My system is now fixed. It was a combination of issues, but your diagnostics was correct. The air was a result of a leaking line at the well casing. After receiving your email, I looked over all the lines in the house.
No leaks could be found, but I could hear the well pump kicking on and off. I began to monitor the pressure gauge at the pressure tank. The well would pump up to 50 psi and shut-off, then the pressure would slowly drop. I could hear water moving in the lines, but no faucets were on. I shut the gate valve upstream from the pressure tank and pressure continued to drop. I noticed sweating on the pressure tank.
I turned off the pressure switch, closed a gate valve and opened the drain valve. The pressure tank drained very little water, but released the pressure. Seeing sweat half way up, I shook the tank and to confirm water was inside. The bladder had ruptured. I replaced the pressure tank, tee, and fittings and included a check valve downstream of the pressure tank.
I put the system back on-line. Air was still in the lines, so I decided to water the lawn , flowers and garden hoping to remove any trapped air from the system. It seemed to work.
Then I noticed the flowers around the well casing weren't suffering from the heat. Taking a closer look there were puddles. I began touching the ground and it was saturated. I called my well driller and he came out and confirmed the water was leaking outside the casing. He dug around the casing to reveal two pin holes in the 1" HDPE pipe. We spliced a two foot section and tested the system.
The well line is all fixed. I asked the plumber to look at my connections at the pressure tank. We added an air release valve and increased the pressure switch settings. I am very happy with the results.
My day wasn't over though. I noticed water on the garage floor by one of my two 82 gallon holding tanks. There was a rusty look to the water. I tilted the tank and sure enough there were three streams coming from the bottom of the tank. It may have been slightly leaking before, but the increased pressure possibly made it worse. I called Culligan and they no longer install galvanized steel tanks on sulphur systems.
Fiberglass tanks are now available for $460. I'm currently testing my system on one tank and shopping around for best prices on fiberglass tanks.
While the comments below describe the cause of a leak in plastic well piping, the same conditions can cause a leak in buried municipal water supply piping between the building and the street. As Carson Dunlop's Home Reference Book points out,
List of Causes of Damage, Leaks, or Crimps in Buried Plastic or Metal Well Water Piping
Inspect your connections carefully with the well piping under full pressure before burying the water piping.
Also see Water Supply/Drain Pipe Leak Typesand see Thawing Frozen Pipes which addresses how to find frozen and burst pipe leaks in buildings, and see Repairing Burst Leaky Pipes. If the water supply piping inside your building is also plastic, see PLASTIC PIPING ABS CPVC PB PEX PVC.
At WATER PRESSURE PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS TABLE we note that a possible explanation for loss of building water pressure, or loss of well pump prime can be air leaking into a well piping line, as well as water leaking out of the well pipe.
Continue reading at FOOT VALVES, WELL PIPING
Suggested citation for this web page
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: community well seems to cause running water noise just at our house
We have a community well that operates 40 homes. For some reason our house is the only house affected by this running waterr noise than a small click at the end. This continues back up every 45 seconds. This has happened 4 other times and everytime they fixed something at the well (example bursted pipes, made adjustments) the noise has gone away. It is happeneing again and they said nothing was wrong and a few days later some electrical thing got fried at the well and we had no water.
They made some quick fix im sure and we have water again but still have the sound in our house. Seems to me they did not actuallu fix the problem. Would you agree? We have also had a plumber out here twice and they can not find a single leak. PLEASE HELP! This noise is driving me crazy and Im almost positive it has to do with that love well! Why are we the only house that is always affected?? - Dawn 9/10/11
Dawn I'm a bit confused by your info but will still suggest:
Thanks for answering me back. I do not have access to the community well so I can not check that. Im almost 100% positive there is nothing wrong with our house because everytime the "water noise" starts in our house a week or two weeks later something goes wrong with the community well and once the problem is fixed at the well house the "water noise" goes away.
The only thing we can think of as to why we hear the noise and the other 39 people that get their water from the same well cant hear it is because our home is right next to the drainage easement??? We have had a plumber here twice and both times they can not find anything wrong leak wise.
He did say our water meter is going back and forth which is strange but its not consistent with having a leak anywhere. He recommended that a water meter with a backflow device would help to stop the water from cycling through the meter in the reverse direction. Were baffled as to why we can tell something is wrong with the well and no other home can. Does this make any more sense to you? I really dont know how else to explain it.
Question: I see water on the ground around our well casing and cap - is this a well casing leak?
Just this past week I noticed that the ground around my well casing and cap is saturated for the first time ever. Water is even puddling up around it. Is this a sign of a leak in the casing? - Tim B 10/9/11
Question: well pump takes a long time to reach shut-off pressure; pump won't prime
when my pressure switch calls for water it take a very long time to get back up to the shut of pressure. if you have a valve open the well pump does not seem to be able to keep up. is me pump bad? - Mike 4/17/12
Pump will not prime,casing and pump is full with water ,but won't build pressure - Frank 6/11/12
Mike, it could be a damaged pump impeller, bad motor, low voltage, a leak in the well piping, or a well with a poor recovery rate combined with an in-well tailpiece that limits the pump output so that it doesnt exceed the well inflow rate. Or something else I haven't thought of.
Question: copper well line split and kept leaking; Can I use black pipe from HomeDepot?
I have a two line jet pump and a 35 foot shallow well. I had a suspected bad check valve when attempting to fix that I found the copper lines to the venturi had split and was constantly leaking. I managed to fix that with black plastic pipe that came in 100 foot lengths. however the copper tubing that runs though the well casing to the pump in the basement is in need of replacement now as well
. I have dug up the lawn between the house and the well and want advise on the best pipe to use so I do not have to change again. My lines are at 56 inches below the ground so I hope it is under the frost line for CT.
Can I use some more of the same black pipe they sold me at the Home depot? Or please advise the best choice so I do not need to redo again in a short time - Jim 7/7/12
Jim why not black abs plastic well piping? It's quite durable and if properly mounted and secured against movement (and thus leaks from abrasion) is often good for decades.
I have 2 plastic lines coming from the basement floor/sidewall. One is the water feed and the other is a 2" black plastic pipe which contains the electrical lines. When the pump is turned on this pipe leaks continously. Is there a way to fix this and does it cause my water pressure to decrease?
I just had a problem of water pouring out the electrical conduit in the house. Had to leap over the water to shut off the breaker. I know the conduit and water line run inside a tube of piping and I thought maybe the water line somehow came off the fitting at the well casing. I dug down to the casing and found the line somehow came off and filled the tube and the conduit that ran with it was open in the tube so the water took the path of least resistance and went out the conduit because the holding tank wasn't letting any water in.
I slit the casing for the conduit so I could put a bucket under and collect water by turning the breaker on and off to get water for the toilet and dishes and washing up till I fixed the piping. The hole was about 4 ft x 4 ft x 4-1/2 ft deep.
(Sept 23, 2012) Brian M. said:
I just had a problem of water pouring out the electrical conduit in the house. Had to leap over the water to shut off the breaker. I know the conduit and water line run inside a tube of piping and I thought maybe the water line somehow came off the fitting at the well casing.
I dug down to the casing and found the line somehow came off and filled the tube and the conduit that ran with it was open in the tube so the water took the path of least resistance and went out the conduit because the holding tank wasn't letting any water in. I slit the casing for the conduit so I could put a bucket under and collect water by turning the breaker on and off to get water for the toilet and dishes and washing up till I fixed the piping. The hole was about 4 ft x 4 ft x 4-1/2 ft deep.
You were right to shut everything down immediately as there is a possible electric shock (electrocution) hazard.
We have had other reports of a similar problem - well water pressureizes the electrical conduit line between the well casing and the building - for example when a normally-pumped well temporarily acts like an artesian well because of abnormally high water tables during a storm or area flooding.
But your case is a bit different - if I understand accurately a broken pressurized water line at the well sent water into the conduit. Thank you for this field report as it may help others diagnose odd water leaks out of electrical conduit serving a submersible pump well system.
Question: how do I find where the well pipes are leaking
(Sept 24, 2012) Betty said:
For the last several weeks we have noticed there is a slow leak coming out top of the ground connection to our deep well out front. Could this be a result of all the rain we have been having thoughout the summer? We have been saturated with rain all summer.
(Oct 1, 2012) Patrick said:
I noticed this morning there was water entering from the casing that contains the electrical and well water supply line. The water is not coming from the water and electrical lines, but from the casing they are contained in. We have a submersable pump in a 80' well. What could this be. We had a very dry summer but a wet fall. hopefully just rain water
(Oct 3, 2012) Mike said:
I have researched your site and thanks for all the useful info.
However the problem still exists. The pump installer said that there must be a leak in the 40 foot plastic pipe between the house and well, but there are no obvious wet spots, and the sub soil is like concrete with poor drainage. (The pipe does go under a gazebo.) There are no signs of leaking water anywhere.
Water pressure holds at 22 lbs over night. There is no water running in the house and I have tried it with the shutoff to the house closed. Could it be a different problem? There have been no previous problems for 30 years.
Betty: water around the well casing is often from a well pipe leak or pitless adapter leak at the point of passage of the well piping out through the side of the well casing; typically we take off the well cap for a look and usually have to dig down to the pitless adapter to start inspecting to find the problem in the piping. Of course in a few cases there can be some other water source, but the discovery of water specifically and just around a well casing points usually points to a piping leak.
On occasion leaks into the well pump wiring conduit occur from abnormally high water inside a well casing; more often it's an underground water leak into the casing interior; One reader described an odd case of fans causing negative pressure indoors enough to "suck" water into the wiring conduit.
Please check out the article titled WATER PUMP WONT STOP RUNNING where we offer diagnostics for a well pump that won't stop running - there is our most complete list of things to check.
You've already tried some reasonable things;
But if the well recovery rate is very poor, or the well is going dry, then the pump may be running without obtaining enough water to reach cutoff pressure; this is particularly so if there is equipment such as a special tailpiece in the well that is designed to recycle water through the pump (to keep a submersible pump from burning up while running dry) when there is simply not enough water in the well.
Given that you are NOT seeing any pressure drop when the system is shut off, I don't suspect a bad foot valve nor a leak in the well piping, so I'd not start by digging up piping; rather I'd investigate the water level in the well.
(CHECK that pressure gauge to be sure it's giving a true reading; if the gauge sticks then it could falsely say that the pressure is not falling when in fact it is.)
(Oct 10, 2012) Mike said:
By digging, I found the small leak in the pipe from the house to the well, which caused the pump to continually run. Because the submersible pump was replaced as well as the house pipe, do I add bleach to the well? If so how much?-Mike
Mike, see WELL CHLORINATION SHOCKING PROCEDURE
Question: diagnosing well pipe or well casing leaks
(Oct 11, 2012) Jeff said:
We have a well. The submersible pump cycles often and when the pump is not running it sounds like water is still running through the pipe. Could it possibly be a check valve or should we be looking somewhere else. We have looked throughout the acreage for any possible water leaking and have not found anything.
(Nov 4, 2012) Debra said:
I pulled the lines up form our well and found a hole just above the foot valve and replaced that part,then I put everything back together ...went in the house to prime the pump but it wont fill up I keep pouring water down the hole but it just keep draining down..
(Nov 23, 2012) Tracy said:
I noticed whenever doing laundry or someone showering (water pressure inside is fine) however water is coming out of the well pipe at the same time as the inside water is running. The seal on the top is broken but I still want to know why the water is coming out the top? Not a lot of rain for past two weeks now.
(Jan 4, 2013) Jim said:
I have a vacation home that has a well. When we leave we shut the power off to the well. The past couple times we visited an area approx 5 feet away from the well head has the ground saturated in an area approx 20x20 leavingthe area a muddy mess.
There are no other signs of saturation in the area. We do have a drainage ditch to the east of the well for run off water from the mountains but that is dry. We last visited there the first weekend in Dec 2012 and there was a full month since our last visited and the well was shut off at the breaker box as we always do when we leave, the area was all frozen over leaving crunchy grass. Any ideas what this could be?
Could the well be leaking? The inlet into the house house is 40" below ground and while looking into the well head the water line is approx 36". Thanks for any help
(Feb 21, 2014) Deborah Rock said:
With in the past month we have noticed small partials in our water. As of yesterday we now have dark sand coming out of all our facets and toilets.I turned off the water softner and bypassed it. Our pressure was sluggish but now seems to be fine.I also ran the outside facets for 30 minutes hoping it would help to clear the line,it didnt wok :( I have spoke to a few well companies and each have given me different opinions. What do you suggest.
I doubt I can be as astute as on-the-scene folks, but a leak in the well casing or well piping is a possibility; similar problems can occur if the water level in the well has dropped, and I've also seen this problem result from nearby blasting that upset the aquifer. At my lab property in New York we had a shallow drilled well that performed beautifully for 50 years; then the town changed the path of a nearby road, a step that included days of blasting rock. The well continued to deliver water but the water quality was permanently changed to high-sediment. The solution was to install a high capacity particulate filter.
I think a good step would be to take a water sample from as close to the well source as you can (like at the pressure tank) and ask the lab to report on sediment or other contaminants.
Let's figure this out before doing something expensive that may not have been the best step.
Question: sound of air escaping from well
(Feb 21, 2014) Kathy said:
For the past week or two I am hearing what sounds like air escaping from my well in the back yard. I did notice the cover on the well is rusted. There is no change in my water pressure and the pressure gauge is fine. I'm wondering what is causing the sound and do I have a potential problem occurring?
(Mar 19, 2014) scottie said:
I just went outside and heard air escaping from my well head. The cap has cracked on the side and lost its seal. Should I be concerned or just replace the cap?? It still hisses when I shut off the pump.
Just a guess Kathy, but many drilled wells include a vent at the casing top to permit air to escape when water is rising in the well bore. Debris or insect crud in the vent can block it or partially block it - a possible noise source;
Another more hidden possibility is a well piping leak in or near the well - that might make noise when the pump is running but probably not otherwise.
You can use the CONTACT link at page bottom to send me some sharp photos that may allow further comment.
Question: hand pump for watering horses, water on the ground
(Feb 27, 2014) Seth said:
We have a hand pump in our barn for watering horses. There's been water in the area around the ground and the pump has been freezing lately. What it causing the water to fill the area around the pipe coming out of the ground? Do we have a leak underground?
Seth I'm stumped; a hand pumped well *might* in wet conditions become a temporary "artesian" well, sending its water to the surface, or frozen ground or piping might change how water runs underground and then surfaces. Hand pumped means no electricity means no electric pumps, right? So I'm doubtful that an underground leak in the well piping of such a system would alone force water to the surface.
Thanks for the prompt reply. The hand pump runs off a pipe from the main well and into the barn. We pull the handle up and water comes with no electric means. So maybe there's a leak in where the hand pump pipe meets the pipe from the well maybe?
Sorry I don't get it
does "The hand pump runs off a pipe from the main well and into the barn" really describe a hand pump that uses hand pumping mechanical action to draw water out of a horizontal well pipe?
If that pipe is under pressure I'd not think you needed a hand pump - more likely just a valve.
And yes a leak in the pipe would send water where you see it.
(Feb 27, 2014) Seth said:
I'm probably not using the right terms. It's water under pressure and when you pull the handle the pressure is what draws the water up to the pump and out.
Sounds to me like a valve that you are opening to allow water from an electric pump (located somewhere) to be delivered at the barn. Look for a pipe leak.
Search InspectApedia for
Hand Dug Water Wells: Home Page
if you want to see a photo of a hand pump
Question: artsian well, pump runs for extended time
(Apr 6, 2014) Kathy said:
We have an artesian well. A month ago, the water pump started running for extended periods of time. A day later , water started cascading into the cellar through the chimney opening where our exhaust pipe for the pellet stove exits the house. That opening in the foundation wall is approximately - 3 ft to the left of...and 3 ft higher up on the same wall where....the well pipe comes through the wall and connects to the water pump.
Turning off the switch to the pump stops the cascading water (in time). Turning the switch back on, there is enough time to fill the kitchen sink and toilet tank, before water starts cascading again. The water pipes shake violently while low pressure water trickles into the dishpan. The shaking is a new issue.
My son has dug a hole next to the house where we expected to find a faulty pipe, but it seems to be buried beneath a large slab of concrete... possibly footings for an old brick chimney. Water begins to come through the dirt beneath this concrete and fills the bottom of the 6 ft hole he's dug. We assume the pipe problem is on the outside of the foundation wall.
Is there a way to work around the water and fix the problem once located? Or is this something professionals will have to be paid to do? Should we assume our water is contaminated because there is a break in the line?
Kathy, I've been thinking about your question but remain puzzled. As an artesian well delivers water without a pump, I am guessing you're using the pump to boost pressure in the water system.
Water pouring into a basement from a chimney base is something I've seen before - the hollow chimney base may extend below ground, accumulate water from any nearby leak or water source until it finds its way into the building.
You can see a photo of this sort of event at the top of our article at
In your case the leak may be right inside the wall - water can travel horizontally in a concrete block wall, or outside the wall.
If you are not in a freezing area you'll probably be able to jury-rig a temporary water line bypassing the point of leakage, cutting into the line before and after where you think the leak occurs.
Question: well leaking between casing and cap
(Apr 8, 2014) Debbie said:
While walking the property I noticed that our private well was leaking water between the casing and cap as though our well was to full and was spilling out the extra water. It has been a very wet winter, and our Spring has been rainy. Should be I be worried or can this be from a high water table.
Debbie I'd be a bit worried about the potability (safe drinking water) of the well water.
If spring runoff at or near ground surface is leaking into the well then the well water is not likely to be sanitary.
If spring runoff is filtering down into the aquifer and raising the level of water in the aquifer tapped by your well that might be ok.
Take a water sample and have it screened for bacteria. Let us know what you find.
Question: add a water filter in my well
(Apr 10, 2014) Lynda said:
I want to install a filter in my well. But there is no shut off valve just straight line
Lynda, the main water shutoff for a private well, pump, and tank system is normally located close to the pressure tank, usually on the house side of the tank. To work on the tank and pump side of that valve one would need to turn off power and drain pressure from the system.
Thanks I was afraid if I turn off the power and lost the pressure I would loose the prime too, but I didn't, I installed a shut off valve before going into the tank and one coming out of the tank, the installed the sand filter and then the paper filters with quick disconnects then installed another shut off valve after those. Turned back on the power to the pump, and it stared working just fine. The sand filter had to be flushed twice to clear it of sand. After that it was OK.
5/25/14 ater Well, Pressure Tank said:
Question, I have a water well that holds pressure, and runs great, but sometimes when the sprinkler system is on it will get to a certain station and I will lose pressure. I can turn the power off for about 30 seconds, and then back on and it will work fine for a few days. Just wondering what could be causing this? When it is not in use it holds pressure so that ruled out a leak in the pipe.
If powering off and back on for just 30 seconds restores water I don't think it's a well flow problem; more likely a failing pressure control switch or switch sensor.
5/25/14 Deanna said:
We are getting sand in our water. We called a well company and he said we had to drill a new well. Can we not use our existing well and just repair the pipe, leaving the casing in place? Do we need to drill a completely new well? Thanks
First you want an accurate diagnosis of the cause of the trouble.
If the well casing has been damaged, say rusted through, usually the damage is at a limited or perhaps just a single location. There are well repair sleeves and similar procedures that can repair that problem - if that's the case for your well.
Question: well pipe leaks show up in yard
(June 4, 2014) Bryan said:
I have a well system and the 4 inch pipe in the yard is leaking a very small amount of water from a hole in the pipe. Looks like the hole is for drainage. Hole size is 1/2 inch. Is this caused by high water table or a possible crack in pipe. My pump is not running any more than usual. Only when we use water.
(July 8, 2014) James said:
Hi I was wondering if you could help. There is water coming out the sides of the my well pipe outside. You can see the grass is greener around the pipe and is soft and wet. This occurs only when the well pump is on. If I poke a hole where I see the water coming out you can see more water coming out. When the well pump goes off it subsides. Is this a pitless adapter leak?
Indeed I would excavate and expose the pitless adapter to look for a leak there or in well piping at or near that location.
Question: types of water pressure tanks: changed tank, now hear a hissing noise
(July 6, 2014) Joe said:
I have a question, 2 years ago I changed from a pressure tank to a bladder tank. The two systems were just swapped. 1 year ago I noticed a small leak coming from the well cap and hissing noise. Now it seems to have gotten a bit worse were you can see the water coming out and hear the hissing noise louder. Was their something that needed to be adjusted at the well cap when switching over? What do you believe the problem is? Thanks
Both tanks are pressure tanks, one with an internal bladder, the older one without.
Hissing at the well cap suggests a blocked vent - many wells are vented to permit air to push out as water rises.
Other hissing sounds could be from a failing snifter valve in the well - found with older bladderless pressure tanks AND submersible well pumps. Ask your plumber what you have installed. Certainly if there was a snifter valve (Search InspectApedia to read about snifter valves) installed you don't want it to remain if you've changed to an internal bladder pressure tank. Leaving it will introduce air where it's not wanted.
Question: how to fix a hard-to-reach leaky plastic drain pipe
(Aug 10, 2014) jeff said:
i have a leaking pcv joint. it is a toilet drain that 't"s with a sink drain. very difficult to get to to cut out and replace. any suggestions ?
Since a toilet drain is not normally under high pressure, if you can clean and dry the joint surfaces you may be able to stop the leak using an externally applied epoxy pipe sealant or patching material. Clean the surfaces, sand lightly, wipe with alcohol to remove any grease or water, then when dry try the patch. If extra strength is needed, include fiberglass mesh in the patch.
Question: problem with lawn watering system - pump can't reach cut-off pressure
8/19/14 Steve said:
I need help identifying a problem with my lawn watering system. History follows:
- Tech details deep well system approx. 90ft deep. 1 hp system with pressure switch 30-50. System worked well for 10 years.
A few months ago, the system started occasionally not shutting off because it would not attain the cut off pressure necessary after use. On 2 occasion it happened at night resulting in damage due to boiling. I have tried the following over several weeks:
The current pump pumps fine except that it won't turn off, when unplugged the pressure falls more rapidly than in the past bleeding off to 0 in about 3 hours. Since I now unplug the system when not in use, I lose prime over night.
Any ideas greatly appreciated. I suspect I have damage or clog in the well itself but would like to get outside ideas if there is anything else I can do. Thanks in advance
Indeed water delivery problem complaints seem to be increasing among our readers who use watering and irrigation systems, perhaps as global warming weather patterns, increased use of pumped water from various aquifers, and increased use of watering and irrigation in dry seasons have been dropping the water level in many wells.
If your well water flow rate is diminished that could explain why the pump is unable to reach shutoff pressure - waiting for the well to recover the pump keeps running.
The risk is damage to the pump that can also reduce it's ability to reach cut-off pressure. Lowering the cut-off pressure slightly gives temporary relief but as well water flow rate diminishes and pump deteriorates the problem returns.
With a new pump installed and confidence that there are no leaks I would be SURE to install a pump controller that includes a pump protection circuit that will shut off the pump if it's running dry or hot or drawing improper current. Some pump protection switches require manual reset, others not.
There are also well tailpieces that can protect a submersible pump against running dry. In the More Reading links abovce see
see this article on pump protection switches: WATER PUMP PROTECTION SWITCH
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