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Corroded leaky galvanized steel well piping (C) D FriedmanWell Piping Leak Diagnostic FAQs

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Questions & Answers to Help Diagnose Well Pipe Leaks:

Questions & Answers on how to diagnose and fix leaks in well piping. These FAQs describe answer common questions about diagnosing and fixing leaky well piping.

This article series describes diagnosing and repairing leaks that can occur in building water piping between a private well and the building water equipment.



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Well Piping Leak Diagnosis FAQs

Old wells, lots of things to fix (C) Daniel Friedman

These questions & answers about finding & fixing leaks in well piping were posted originally at WELL PIPING LEAK DIAGNOSIS - be sure to see the diagnostic suggestions in that article.

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.
Thank You, Betty

(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.
My 180 foot deep submersible well pump does not shut off, and the water pressure builds to only 22 pounds. The water pressure in the house is weak. The 30-50 pressure switch was changed, and the pump was changed, and the in the well pipe holds pressure.

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.
How can I determine exactly where the leak is? Do I have to dig up and replace the entire line from the building to the well, or can I pull the pipe through the basement and feed it back to the well? Do you have any suggestions? Thanks.

Reply:

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.

Patrick:

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.

Mike,

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

Reply:

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.

Reply:

Hi Deborah,

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.

Reply:

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.

Scottie,


I am not sure I understand your installation, but I'm guessing that your well needs to have an air vent at the well head to allow air to vent out when well water is rising inside the well casing. You want the well head sealed against surface water entry - to keep it sanitary, but you also may need an air vent installed in the casing top if your casing cover is otherwise air tight.

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?

Reply:

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.

Followup

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?

Reply:

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.

Follow-up:

(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.

Reply:

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?

Reply:

Kathy,

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

inspectapedia.com/chimneys/Chimney-Leaks-Water-Damage.php

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.

See WATER PUMP WONT STOP RUNNING

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.

Reply:

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

Reply:

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.

Reader follow-up

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.

Question:

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.

Reply:

WPT

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.

Question:

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

Reply:

Deanna,

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?

Reply:

James,

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

Reply:

Joe

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 ?

Reply:

Jeff

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

Reply:

Steve,

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

WELL PIPING TAIL PIECE

and

see this article on pump protection switches: WATER PUMP PROTECTION SWITCH

inspectapedia.com/plumbing/Pump_Protection_Switches.php

Question: identifying a problem with my lawn watering system

(Aug 19, 2014) Steve said:
I need help identifying a problem with my lawn watering system. History follows:

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

Reply:

Steve,

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 the Aritlce Index found at the More Reading links abovce see

WELL PIPING TAIL PIECE

and

see this article on pump protection switches

WATER PUMP PROTECTION SWITCH

(Aug 19, 2014) Steve said:
Thanks for the advice Dan. At least if I put a switch in it will make it reasonable to back off on the pressure switch knowing that I won't go through another self destruction should the pump fail to shut off in the future.

Reply: You bet. Keep us posted.

Question: install a shutoff valve as part of repairing a well pipe leak?

(Aug 19, 2014) Rose said:

I have leak under the driveway in the inlet pipe from the well to the tank. I have the breaker off so it is not cycling the pump and don't notice the leak at this time.

The plumber wants to install a shut off valve at the well and then replace the pipe under the drive way. He wants to do this because he said there will be water continuing from the well even if the pump is off. Is it necessary to install the shut off valve?

(Nov 17, 2014) Etta Azhari said:
I have almost the same problem as Rose (Aug 20, 2014),but the leakage is in the outlet pipe from the pump to the house. We cannot make the pipe dry and cannot fix it because the pipe continues to drip water from the pump even after the pump is totally turned off. Please help.

fyi I installed my Sanyo jet pump with pvc pipes in 1984, so it is already 30 years old now.

Reply:

Rose

I would follow the plumber's advice. Most fellows have enough work to do that the don't recommend something unless they see a reason. I can't see your set-up and am reluctant to second-guess the plumber. Perhaps your well is an artesian one.

Etta:

You'll need to drain the pump, dry the wet parts, then after the repair, re-prime the pump.

But Plumbers can fix a wet pipe using pg any of several methods including freezing and soluble plugs as well as newer plumbing fittings that do not require soldering.

Question: dogs are digging a wet spot by the well and the ground is sinking

(Dec 3, 2014) Wade said:
Hi there, We recently moved into a barn apartment that has had a water well for about 20 years now.

This summer we adopted a few dogs and saw that they were digging next to the well. What I thought was at first a hole they dug was mushroomed out about 2-3 feet deep under the initial hole. So in essence the ground is sinking in that one spot. My question is what would cause this and how do I fix it. I don't want a giant sinkhole to open up and swallow my dogs.

The well has a 6-8" PVC tube coming out of the ground about a foot. Is it possible this tube somehow got a crack in it. How do we fix it? THanks

Reply:

Wade I don't have enough information to be confident about what's going on, but digging next to a well might disturb well piping if it was shallow-enough, causing leaks, soil subsidence and sanitation worries.

If you live in an area prone to sinkholes, see

www.inspectapedia.com/vision/Sink_Holes_Action_Guide.htm

Else some cautious digging is in order.

(Dec 3, 2014) Wade said:
I think digging will have to wait until next year as winter is upon us in the near Chicago area. I'm not exactly sure how a well works.

What should I be looking for. The apartment I'm in was empty for a few years so the water probably didn't run during that time. Is it possible some water froze in that PVC tube that goes in the ground? If so how do people repair stuff like that.

Reply:

Split sections of PVC pipe are cut out and replaced using plastic or brass or stainless steel connectors.

I'd be looking for leaks at the well casing, at the pitless adapter that permits well piping to exit at the side of the well casing (which should be below the frost line in your area) and for leaks in the well piping itself.

I'd also watch for ground water ponding in a doggie-dug-hole that has nothing to do with the well.

If your pump is submersible (in the well) you might see water squirting out of a piping leak at the doghole when the pump is running.

Also I'd look for a valve I forgot to open, sand clogged valve or pipe, or a low water problem that showed up during use of water to wash the filters.

Question: debris in water traced to damaged or leaky well casing? leaks and problems after well head froze.

(Jan 4, 2015) Anonymous said:

new pump installed two weeks ago then had below zero temps as in - 12 to -15 degrees and didn't get above 18 for 3 days in row in which time the well head froze and I spent time and 110.00 in buying items to get it thawed out it took 36 hours to get water back on to the house, then my pump was on for hours before shutting off for only a few min.

Before turning back on after someone using water any where. the company that installed the pump at first said I burnt my brand new pump and I said could there be a casing leak as you told me that you put a casing pipe on top that had erd osion areas on it on top that was on the bottom. I think that maybe the pump buily enough pressure to blow out the areas where it was weak and water is flowing out and down the outside of the pipe. what do you think?

Reply:

Anon:

A well casing that is leaking could admit debris that fouls up a pressure sensor control; But more likely is a damaged well water supply pipe that's leaking either from frost damage or a poor connection

. Yes such a leak can run back into the well if the leak is in the in-well section of piping; leaks can of course be anywhere along the course of the well piping.

Low well water will also leave a pump running and risk burning up the pump.

Question: hole wash out around the casing on a deep well

(June 27, 2015) Bill said:
Why would a hole wash out around the casing on a deep well?

Reply:

Not sure where the "hole" is and thus not sure of its effects. But if there is a leak in the well casing or in well piping that can cause subsidence or a "hole" around the casing.

On a newly-installed well such a subsidence could also be due to inadequate backfill and seal around the casing exterior.

Question: water leaking at joint where pipe connects to well pipe & turns to go to house

(June 28, 2015) rick wilson said:
water leaking at joint where pipe connects to well pipe & turns to go to house

--Do we dig down to pipe /is therean opening to well casing to remove pipe & Tighten or replace connection

--How remove connection?

--water leaks all the time but submersible pump loses pressure & then starts again?

--no plumber till tues-- any ideas-- bigfatrick@ Hotmail.com

Reply:

Rick:

Take a look at our discussion of pitless adapters at WELL PIPING PITLESS ADAPTER

as that describes what you need to address.

Question: 2 plastic lines coming from the basement floor/sidewall

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?

Thanks

Brian - 9/16/12

Reply:

Brian,

Indeed if water entering the electrical conduit for your well pump is seen only when the pump is running, it sounds as if there is a cross-leak somewhere in the well piping system, and indeed I'd want to fix that not only because it's wasting water and reducing water pressure, but because you may be soaking electrical wiring that expected to be protected in dry conduit - a possible short or shock hazard.

Usually well pump wiring (presuming you've got a submersible pump) travels from building to well casing head in conduit, and enters at the top of the well casing. From that point usually the wiring is exposed, taped to the well piping as it descends in the well down to the pump itself.

I SPECULATE that you might have a different conduit connection OR an artesian well whose water is rising above expected level and flooding the conduit. I'd start investigation by turning off power to the well pump for safety and then opening the casing cap to see what is going on with wiring and conduit at that end.

Keep me posted on what you find (photos would help) and we may be able to offer more suggestions.

Follow-up:

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.

Reply:

Brian

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: water pouring out the electrical conduit in the house.

(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.

Reply:

Brian

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.

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Continue reading at WELL PIPING LEAK DIAGNOSIS or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

Or see WELL PIPING LEAK DIAGNOSIS FAQS-2 - set 2 of diagnosis & repair questions on well piping leaks

Or see FOOT VALVES, WELL PIPING

Or see LEAK TYPES, WATER SUPPLY or DRAIN PIPES

Or see WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING CAUSES

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WELL PIPING LEAK DIAGNOSIS FAQS at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

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