Well issues

rwhite Posted By rwhite, Jan 2, 2017 at 8:32 AM

  1. rwhite

    rwhite
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    Nov 8, 2011
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    I was searching for explanation for my high electric use and found that my well is likely running more than it should. I pulled the cap to see if I could see the pitless adapter leaking. This well has a vented cap but the PO had it sealed and some bubble wrap shoved in the 1st few feet of the casing. I removed the bubble wrap and put the cap back on and the well blows air just like this:

    I shut the well off last night and this morning the gauge was 0. So this well is a weird setup where the pressure tank (spun fiberglass) is buried outside. I'm thinking this was done because the PO had the well drilled about 5 years before he built the house. Maybe an alternative to building a well house? So at some point they ran the switch and gauge (with 3/8") hose under the house. Here is a diagram of my set up

    20170102_052250.jpg

    My thoughts are to dig the pressure tank and pitless adapter up today and see how all this is ran and see if there's a leak in this hose system which I think there might be as the hose and switch power are ran inside a 2" pic and there is water in the pvc.
     
  2. rwhite

    rwhite
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    Nov 8, 2011
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    Based on what my suspected pressure loss it the well is having to kick on every 3 hours or so. So 8 times a day in addition to normal use.
     
  3. heat seeker

    heat seeker
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    Feb 25, 2011
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    Where is the air coming from? I would guess it's feeding from the electrical pipe...? But there has to be something pressurizing the air, and the air has to be coming from somewhere.

    I had a similar problem, but one of the symptoms was wet ground around the well head. Turns out a fitting near the pitless has been eaten away by the acidic water, and was leaking water constantly, like leaving a faucet on.

    I'll be watching this thread, as this is a really interesting situation.
     
  4. rwhite

    rwhite
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    Nov 8, 2011
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    Not sure where the air is coming from. Almost like the well hole is pressurized. If you can imagine this: it appears that the pipe below the pitless adapter has a "t" and a pressure relief valve on it. From that tee a 3/8" line is ran. About 1.5' above the pitless adapter is a hole in the casing. The 3/8 line and switch power is ran into that hole. It comes out in the house through a 2" pvc. The switch and guage are about 15-20' from the tank and well. I have all the paper work that a certified well guy installed this set up and it was inspected when i bought the place. So im assuming that the design is okay.
     
  5. rwhite

    rwhite
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    Nov 8, 2011
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    Lowered a flashlight down and ran the pump and there was no indication of any leaks. The well pump seems to get to pressure like it should. It a 7 gal/min 1.5 hp pump. The tank capacity at 30psi says its 17.7 gal. The pump will run about 2 minutes to fill the tank.
     
  6. rwhite

    rwhite
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    Nov 8, 2011
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    I still can't explain the well blowing air deal. Not much info out there but what there is is saying barometric pressure can cause blowing/sucking so maybe? Any how to the pressure issue: I found 1 of my frost free hydrants not adjusted right. Not enough pressure to send it out the stand pipe but I could hear it with my ear to the pipe. I was losing 6psi per hour and now it's holding at 50psi for the last 2 hours. So I'm optimistic I figured it out.
     
  7. heat seeker

    heat seeker
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    I hope that you found the problem! Is there anything in the house that would raise the interior pressure? That pressure could be coming out through the 2" pipe and escaping in the well casing...maybe. Maybe the wind blowing on the house, or something equally odd. It sounds like a large volume of air escaping.
     
  8. rwhite

    rwhite
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    No the 2" pvc pipe blows about the same pressure. As I under stand it, its because of a fairly deep well (375') and the temp and pressure are just creating a differential. But now I know why the PO had bubble wrap in the 1st few feet of exposed casing. The rush of air just creates an ice block when it hits the surface if it's not insulated. So the bubble wrap insulated and more or less forces the air to come out through the 2" pipe under the house. Free ventilation I guess?
     
  9. Highbeam

    Highbeam
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    Does the air blowing out of the well smell like anything. Did you try to light it?

    The regular place for a leak in the well is at a threaded joint in the galvanized drop pipe. Usually right at the pump but sometimes at the water level. With poly pipe it's down where the floppy poly rubs against the casing until it leaks.

    I've never seen a pitless leak.
     
  10. rwhite

    rwhite
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    It's all galvanized pipe according to the well log. No smell and I did try and light it. Actually I was checking the air direction with a lighter when I realized that may not be a good idea. But it didn't light! Just blew the flame out. I don't think there's any other leaks in the system other than the one at the hydrant. It held 50psi for 4 hours with the pump off.
     
  11. Highbeam

    Highbeam
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    With a proper expansion tank you will lose a lot of water before the pressure drops. I think that leak might have been pretty big.
     
  12. rwhite

    rwhite
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    Probably was. I figure if the tank held 17.7 gal and it had to kick on probably closer to every 2 hours, it was running about .14 gal/min. So had to be around 200 gal a day. Must have been adjusted just to the point of not letting it up the stand pipe but still through the bleed hole. Was definitely noticeable when I put my ear to the pipe.
     
  13. rwhite

    rwhite
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    I don't know how much of a temp differential it would take to cause warm air in the casing to rise. At 380' the water temp was 54 degrees according to the log. But if it's 9 outside and 54 in the hole, maybe?
     
  14. rwhite

    rwhite
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    Don't know why I didn't think of this (wrong forum I guess :)) but how would the well be any different than a chimney? Apply heat to a chimney and it pulls air. The taller the chimney the more pull. If the temp at 350' is 54 degrees, that's quite a stack effect.
     
  15. maple1

    maple1
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    Yeah, but your chimney is open to atmosphere at the bottom.
     
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  16. heat seeker

    heat seeker
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    Good point, but if all that air is coming out, where is the replacement air getting in?
     
  17. rwhite

    rwhite
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    IDK. But riddle me this one; I go out today and it's not blowing air any longer. Could it have been the pump ran so much it created a vacuum and it took a day to stabilze?
     
  18. Highbeam

    Highbeam
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    You said it was blowing out. The only time I can see air being blown out is after an equal amount of air was drawn in. This would happen when the water level of the well is drawn down during pumping (suck in air) and then the pump shuts off and the water from below refills the casing which would expel the air from the casing.

    Ignore barometric pressure, stack effect, and temperature all of those are constant. You are dealing with a low production and very deep well. So it is possible that drawdown during pumping is very large. It has to be this.

    Be sure that the vent holes in your cap are screened to keep bugs and mice out. It is relatively warm in that well and might draw in critters.
     
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  19. rwhite

    rwhite
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    According to the well log there was zero drawdown on a 1hr test at 7 gal min. But that was also 15 years ago. Who knows? I suppose if it keeps pumping and has no leaks I'll quit worrying about it.
     
  20. Highbeam

    Highbeam
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    Well we know there is more than zero drawdown. The guy just didn't measure it. If there was minimal drawdown then they would have given you a higher pumping rate like 15 gpm which is the normal water meter flow rate for a normal home. I agree, don't worry if it's not leaking down.

    You know those expansion tanks don't last forever and with yours being buried I doubt that anybody has checked the air pressure in it. Won't save money but will save your pump from short cycles.
     
  21. rwhite

    rwhite
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    Pressure tank is only buried to ground level. I checked the air pressure in it. It was 30 psi. It's a spun fiberglass tank. If it ever needs replaced it's going under the house where it belongs though.
     
  22. Highbeam

    Highbeam
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    And your pressure switch is a 40/60? The diaphragms inside fail.
     
  23. semipro

    semipro
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    Agreed. These are red herrings.
    Gas (e.g. air) coming out of the wellhead is either coming from the formation your well is installed in or from some other external source such as the conduit the power wire is enclosed in. If it only occurs when the pump is shut off its recovery displacement as Highbeam notes.
     
  24. rwhite

    rwhite
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    Nov 8, 2011
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    No I reset the switch to 32-52
     
  25. rwhite

    rwhite
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    Nov 8, 2011
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    IDK, like I said it blew all day yesterday and hasn't done it at all today. Never seen anything like it.
     

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