Well pump questions and water softener


Q-1: We have a 1.5hp, 230v well pump at around 360ft. I was in the pump roo m today and the pressure switch kicked in. There was a slight humming and n o pressure increase for about ten seconds. The humming suddenly got a littl e louder and the pressure started rising.

I have checked things as recommended on the Franklin control box sticker an d all measure OK.

Anyone care to offer ideas on what might be going on? Should we be saving u p for a $700 pump pull? Four well companies around here and they all seem t hink that's a fair price for two hours work. New pump about four years back for $1400!

Q-2: I am thinking of changing over to polypipe so we can lift and lower it ourselves. The pump has a stainless steel cable running down with the wire s so I am thinking I may be able to use that with an electric winch then ma n-handle the polypipe into a large coil as it comes out.

I believe the polypipe can handle the depth/pressure but all the well peopl e I talk to here want me to stay with the 21' or 25' lengths so they can ro b us blind pulling it I suspect. :)

Anyone care to offer some ideas on that? preferably from personal experienc e.

Q-3: Kenmore softener is not softening so I checked the resin. The containe r is near full of a sand-resin mix. The resin looks in god shape and about

50-50 mix with the sand.

The bottom and top strainer baskets in the resin are not clogged as I can s iphon water out and pour it back in quite fast. Previous owner must had run it without filters, bummer. I can post a pic of the mix, but the little go ld balls look like they may still do some work. Or will they?

I have pulled it from the plumbing but the boss is not happy with the taste of real filtered water. LOL

Anyone care to leap in here?

Thank you all.


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Woodworking Smarter
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About 19 years ago, we pulled (by hand) my pump from ~212ft (The well driller supervised everything we did).

There was 4-5 of us guys. The hardest part was supporting the flexible pipe so we wouldn't crimp/fold the pipe as it was withdrawn/reinserted into the well casing.

We had to maintain a pretty large radius as the pipe was transitioned from vertical coming out of the casing to horizontal, and take care not to let the loop flop/fall over sideways. The pipe is flexible, but once its folded/crimped, it breaks/develops holes easily - or so we were told. Bill

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Mine is at 300 feet and on 200 PSI Polyethylene. I put it in my darn self - pulling it would be a bit more work, but for $1400 I might just do it, or invest in some tooling (primarily "top of well pipe clamp") to make it easier and then do it. Don't think "coil up the pipe" think "run the pipe out in a loop about 175 feet", there will be less agony. Biggest issue is not tearing up the pipe and wires on the edge of the well casing. At $1400 you could afford to only be careful inserting the new pump with new pipe and new wires and _still_ be money ahead, but I prefer to not ding up the old if it's still serviceable.

IMPE, careful shopping of internet water system suppliers saved me a bundle over the local folks - I hired them for the hole, and between being backwards and too costly, they did not get my business for the rest of the job.

21/25 foot threaded pipe is so old school it's backwards, particularly if it's galvanized iron. If it's schedule 80 PVC it's workable with a top of well clamp, just haul up that much, clamp securely, unscrew and repeat. Iron is heavy as heck and prone to be rusted solid when you need to remove it, so you end up decoupling it with a sawzall, and you'll need a good hoist to haul it up. The major issue with either is always making sure that the clamps are good EVERY tiem, so you don't drop the string and get to pay the well drillers even more. With poly, you just make sure you buy a single roll long enough for the whole depth without joints.

If you have a three wire pump (seems likely if you have a "box to check in your well room") I highly recommend getting out of the old-school on that front as well and putting in a two-wire pump. The logic on 3 wire (without 3-phase to the house) ran out 30 years ago, but well folks live in a miasma of mythical reasoning AFAICT which perpetuates the use of the things.

If you have sand coming out into your softener, a "spin-down filter" is wonderful at getting the big crap out. Mine is the second thing after the overpressure valve when the pipe comes into the house. Collects in the clear bottom, flip a valve to dump it and backflush the screen (since the pressure tank is upstream.)

My personal experience with keeping old softeners alive is that buying a new softener is less hassle, works reliably, and has a warranty for a while, unlike fussing with the old one. The parts that are reusable from an old one are the parts that cost the least, so you can spend as much (or more) refurbishing an old one and it takes more time. Up to you.

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Thank you Bill. Had not thought that big radius/loop thing through, a 180-ft loop of tubing going roughly straight out sounds like a struggle.

Might have to stay with fixed-length pipe.

Reply to
Woodworking Smarter

Thank you for all that detail. As I mentioned in my reply to Bill, 180-ft l oop might be a struggle to manage given the surroundings of the well-head.

I take your point on the softener v replacement, but cash is in short suppl y so refurbish makes sense for us. Although, we will run without it in the plumbing for a while and see how life is without it. If it messes with the clothes washing then I am guessing I will be given no option by the boss, t o make it work.

When I pulled it apart the float for the change over valve had a salt-cryst al growth on top of it of about 1/4-lb so it was clearly staying at the bot tom. The saline tank must have been totally saturated all the time.

There are two 10" x 2.5" filters installed and I have always changed them e ach month, so the sand ingress was not on my watch. I guess my question on that was more of, will it still soften, even some, with the 50% sand conten t?

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Woodworking Smarter

I pulled my much shallower well pump using a scissor lift a few years ago. The total job took me a lot longer than 2 hours. If I had done it with a chain lever setup (which I have used on other wells in the past) it would have taken me all day. $700 for a pump and $700 for everything else seems pretty reasonable to me. Actually maybe a little cheap. I did it myself because I was a little cash short at the time. With a wife and kids in the house, not having water was not acceptable. LOL. If I count the time chasing parts and setting up to do the job it took me all day anyway. It was hot too. Thankfully my son was available to help.

Kenmore water softener. Call Sears customer service, pay for the service call, and grill the guy who comes out to decide whether or not it will be worth your while to service it yourself in the future.

Reply to
Bob La Londe

Hi Walt,

I could type a lot of my own experiences with well pump personal experiences over the past 38 years or so, but, to save time typing I will just give you a pointer on maybe why you noticed the delay in pressure rise once the contact engaged.

The check valve at the pump is most likely leaking. Meaning that from that depth and no water or pressure in the pipe it takes 10 seconds or so to get the water up.

When I was replacing my pump a number of years ago I was at the local hardware store. The owner was Harry and Harry was a retired plumber. And he said "Take it form a old plumber, the pump has an internal check valve. I ALWAYS installed a second and sometimes a third directly above the pump. That way if one should ever fail, you will still have a check valve that will work."

Today there are TWO(2) check valves above my pump and it has been down at least 28 years or so. So I am at least good until I send this posting...........................

Hope that helps.

BTW Harry has since passed, I miss that old plumber.


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If properly regenerated, yes, sure. Some (deliberately installed) sand and/or gravel is not uncommon simply as a filter bed at the bottom of the column (look for pretty pictures on softener websites - perhaps even animated ones) which gets stirred up in backwashing and settles itself under the resin when normal flow is restored. There would be screens to keep it in place, if so. Sounds like yours is not regenerating correctly.

I fiddled with the old one for years before replacing it, and in hindsight I should have replaced it at the start, but follow your own path there.

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