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external well pump


John Dirks Jr
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This house had an external well pump. The pump cycled on at 20psi and off at 40psi. When the pressure drops to the lower end, the flow capacity is noticeably lower. At the higher side near 40psi its much better.

Can and should the settings be adjusted to a higher level? How is the adjustment made?

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The adjustment and switch is that little box on the side of the motor; there's live action electricity in there, so don't be working on it hot.

You'll see a spring with an adjustment nut on top; tighten the nut to increase, loosen to decrease pressure.

Most systems around here are set to kick in @ 40psi and off @ 60psi.

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This house had an external well pump. The pump cycled on at 20psi and off at 40psi. When the pressure drops to the lower end, the flow capacity is noticeably lower. At the higher side near 40psi its much better.

If you can see a significant difference in the flow during a pump cycle, it's possible the hydro-pneumatic tank has failed. If the on/off cycles are quick, it has definitely failed.

Can and should the settings be adjusted to a higher level? How is the adjustment made?
One screw/nut raises and lowers the cut-in and cut-off pressures simultaneously. The other adjusts the difference between the cut-in and cut-off pressure. The old standard was 30/50 PSI. The new standard is 40/60.
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John,

In the first picture it looked like a single line pump. In the new picture I can see that it is a duel line jet pump. These pumps can pump water up about 40 feet or maybe a little more. That is still pretty sallow. So by comments still stand. Your area my be different but in Michigan they have not installed anything but a 4 or 5 inch bored well with a submersible pump since the later 70's. We just don't have a lot of good water at 40 feet anymore.

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There's some serious misinformation being posted here and at the 2 links to another site.

Anyone here inspecting buildings with private water supply systems should get proper training. You should also learn the requirements for these systems in each county that you serve.

Which once again gives me the opening to post the link to Purdue University's online Private Water Supply Course. Folks this is a very worthwhile course. It's a little bit clunky to use, because it was put together when the net was still relatively young but the information there is first rate. Take a Saturday off and work your way through it or tackle it an hour a night for a week to ten days.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Hey Kurt,

I think they, and me, are referring to Dan's stuff. Lots of the pump info is either poor or regional. Pumps are unique pieces of machinery and often mis-understood.

Shallow well pumps are limited by physics; can't suck water much more than 29' and not all jet pumps work alike.

Deep well jet style pumps can pump 200+ feet. lots of variables.

Too much for a couple of paragraphs and Mike has proposed a good study guide.

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I'd appreciate it if there was some specificity in the comments regarding "serious" misinformation.

The links I understand.......but what else?

Did I promote misinformation?

No.

An HI could find just enough info in this thread, combined with the info at the linked pages to get his/her butt handed to 'em. Like when incorrectly specifying which pump can handle what depth of well and declaring something a "shallow well" when it's not. Or, telling folks to go at a hydro-pneumatic tank with a bicycle pump to fix a much more serious problem.

Water supply systems can be hugely expensive to my clients. I like to give 'em very accurate info. I try to know as much about it as any other system in a building. I looked over the link Mike posted to a Private Water supply course. It has some useful info, but not enough to perform a complete inspection and identify components or problems correctly.

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I have learned not to give specific information about things I'm not sure of. In this case, I stated my observations about the fluctuating water flow at the fixtures and mentioned that it could be as simple as an adjustment or possibly a more serious problem.

Having said that, I do appreciate the warnings I get from my fellow inspectors here. Please keep that up.

A bit more info about this well in specific; The client had been told it was a shallow well. The concrete cover was about a foot in diameter. I took it off and looked down the concrete pipe. I could see water when I shined my flashlight down the pipe. The pipe was slightly smaller in diameter than the cover.

I never specified on what the well was. I stated my observations and referred it to a specialist.

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This house had an external well pump. The pump cycled on at 20psi and off at 40psi. When the pressure drops to the lower end, the flow capacity is noticeably lower. At the higher side near 40psi its much better.

Around here, that's not an unusual setting and of course you'll get more water at 40 psi than at 20 psi. As Bill said though, most pumps are either 30-50 or 40-60.

One issue with a 20-40 setting is that twenty feet above the pump, as with a second storey shower over a basement located pump, the pressure would be more like 12-32.

It may be set at 20-40 because the pump / jet valve combination is incorrect and the pump can't muster any more pressure than that, or because it's quite a deep well and the pump is doing all it can just to lift the water or a lot of old timers use 20-40 settings to decrease their electric bill. If it takes, say, 90 seconds to cycle the pump at 20-40 it'll usually take nearly twice that long to get the pressure to 50.

Jet pumps -two line set ups for deep wells- are terribly inefficient compared to submersibles because they only put a small portion of what they pump into the tank.

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You know, I'm in back assward Kentucky, and I've NEVER checked out a house that wasn't connected to a municipal water-supply system. It's surprising that everyone talks about well pumps as if they're common sights--especially further North and East of where I am.

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NY is far more rural than most people think. It's fairly common to see an Amish family roll into Walmart here. My town is 50 square miles with a population of 6200, half of those are housed by the State in one of the two prisons in town, and 80% of us are in one of three water districts. The prisons have their own massive water system, and the rest are on private wells. In a 20 mile radius, I'd wager 25% are on wells.

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In my town, in the Finger Lakes area, population 2000-the town center (former village) has a municipal system serving about 250 homes. Everyone else uses private wells. Along the lakes, most folks use convertible jet or submersible pumps extending into the lake. Local dive businesses exist solely to install/service these lake-systems. The zebra muscles have added an interesting facet to maintenance, as they are so prolific, they clog the pump intake screens.

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