Posted 11-11-2003 at 16:55:21
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My well water suddenly got very dirty and I went into the pumphouse to investigate. I found that the pump was cycling over and over at about 5 minute intervals. The pressure gauge would come up to the shut off pressure, the pump would shut off and the pressure would slowly go back down until the pump started again. I shut the valve that controls all of the water leaving the pumphouse and found that the pressure was still being lost.
I talked to a friend who has a pump and well service. He told me that he was 95% certain that the check valve in the pump had failed and my pressurized water was leaking back down the well whenever the pump motor turned off. He suggested just adding an external check valve in the piping right above the pump, which wouldn't be nearly as expensive as installing a new pump.
I pulled my pump the next morning, when my son could help me manage the 22 foot sections of galvanized pipe. Then I went to town and bought the new check valve and plastic pipe, as well as the fittings needed to hook everything back up. By 8PM I had the pump back in the well and operating. In a couple of days the water was back to its usual clarity. Obviously the water cycling back and forth from the pressure tank back into the well agitated sediment that was present, but not usually disturbed by just pumping water out.
With the new plastic pipe, I can have the pump out of the well and on the ground working alone in about an hour. Lots easier and there is a lot less danger of the pump and some of the pipe getting away from me and falling down the well.
You might want to see if your pump is cycling abnormally. If you lose pressure with everything turned off, you may have the same problem I did. Good luck!