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dmaves 06-27-2013 05:50 AM

Low/fluctuating water pressure after power outage, pump issue??
We lost power at our home a week ago for about an hour, the next morning we woke up to limited water pressure. We've had this problem before, but it was caused by scale/sediment, and it would fix itself. However, this time it did not fix itself, thus a different problem this time.
I thought at first it might have been a clogged inline filter for our culligan system, checked that and cleaned it; still no go.
After this, I thought maybe it was the pressure switch, however, I can get the pressure switch to trigger by moving the lever, however, the system can't build a high enough pressure on its own to trip it. The gauge next to the pressure tank will not read higher than 30-35psi, even in the morning before any water usage.
I tried cycling the breakers and power switches, and I could hear/feel the pump shutting on and off so it is working, I'm just not sure its running at full capacity, and thus the reason for low pressure??
Another odd thing is that sometime the pressure appears to be better (not 100%) for a short period of time, then it drops down to worthless piss stream again, excuse my language.

Does anyone have any input/advice on this issue??

bud16415 06-27-2013 07:20 AM

Is your pump in the house or in the well? What kind of pressure tank do you have?

I had a similar problem once where my foot valve was letting water drain back over time. When the power was on if I lost some pressure to drain back it would replace it before it was a problem and I never noticed the loss. I had a shallow well with a jet pump at that time.

Speedbump 06-27-2013 07:48 AM

I would first get rid of the cartridge in the in line filter since it serves no purpose other than to make the seller more money.

If this is a jet pump, it could have a plugged jet. If it's a submersible pump, you could have a hole in the drop pipe or the pump could have gotten hot and melted an impeller or two.

dmaves 06-27-2013 10:52 AM

I have a submersible pump (no pump in the house) and have a sealed diaphragm style pressure tank, one of the common blue type ones you typically see.

I find it odd that we started to witness the pressure issues after a power outage.

Speedbump 06-27-2013 11:14 AM

I agree, it's a little odd that it is acting up after a storm. The only kind of damage a storm can do to a submersible pump is lightning getting into the motor or controls. Since it's running and making some pressure, lightning didn't get it. If it continues to run for more than a minute chances are there is nothing electrically wrong. So it's either the pump or the pipe. You could have a leak anywhere from where the pipe leaves the house near the tank all the way down to the pump.

bud16415 06-27-2013 11:32 AM

If something was clogged upstream you would still build pressure at the pump and or tank where your gage is. You would just have a flow restriction. Seeing as how your pump is in the well that rules out loosing prime etc. The pump is coming on and running just not making pressure. If you shut the out valve for the tank and manually run the pump bypassing the pressure switch and all you can get deadheading the pump is 35PSI the problem is down in the well. Pump not making pressure or pipe leaking at connector or pipe itself, or the line between the house and well. May have not had anything to do with the power outage.

You may be able to take the cover off the well and listen down the pipe to see if you hear a leak in there or if you have a pitless adapter look for a leak there.

pumpguy 06-27-2013 12:13 PM

Make sure you have 240 volts to the pump. Half power or 115 volts can make it act that way, and could have happened during a power outage.

bud16415 06-27-2013 12:26 PM

great point pumpguy :)

dmaves 06-27-2013 12:53 PM

All good advice thus far; so I can just pull the cover off my well and listen for a possible leak in the down pipe?

Also, I will have to see if I there's a valve before the pressure tank and see if I can build pressure. My original thought was a clog somewhere, but seeing how I am only building 35psi MAX, it makes me think there is a separate issue.

Pumpguy, how can I test for correct voltage to the pump?

nealtw 06-27-2013 01:09 PM

If this pump is wired for 240 volt and you loose one leg, it won't run on 120 volts unless you have far greater problems.

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