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wsamon

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Thursday, June 28th 2018, 8:50am

Well Point / Inflow Pipes Leaking - how to find leak and replace PVC well pipes

Within about 15-30 minutes of the pump shutting off, the inflow pipes lose their water and the system fills with air. It takes a hose to prime the pipes and about 15 minutes to get the system drawing water again. Once started it works fine.

My system uses 4 well points to draw water. Using a "hand test" I determined that one of the well points didn't have water flowing through it. I cut the pipe before the wellpoint elbow and capped it so that point was no longer used. This did nothing to alleviate the problem.

There are no obvious cracks and no wet spots on the pipes or the sand. What's the best way to find the leak?

With the system probably being 15-20+ years old, I'm thinking that the foot of the well points could be broken or clogged with sand, or the water level could have sunk and I need a deeper pipe. What's the best way to extract the PVC well point? The videos I've seen online involved a metal pipe located inside another larger metal pipe. Mine is PVC directly in the dirt / sand. I have no idea how deep it is. I tried pulling up the one I cut off but got absolutely nowhere. Since the ground here in FL is essentially sand, I can't dig a hole straight down. If it's even 10 ft deep I'd need a large diameter hole to get to the bottom. I have neither the time, tools, nor space to create something that big.

Assuming I can get these out and do the necessary repairs, does it make sense to attach a check-valve somewhere near the end of the well pipes to keep the water in the tubes and primed?

Wet_Boots

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Location: Metro NYC

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Friday, June 29th 2018, 5:33am

Well points can get clogged up over time. Re-post your photo of the pump. It, and the associated plumbing, are a likely part of any solution.

wsamon

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Friday, June 29th 2018, 11:46am

Well points can get clogged up over time. Re-post your photo of the pump. It, and the associated plumbing, are a likely part of any solution.
Once again it rained hard last night, filling in some holes and making a mess of the area, but here's some pics. If you're looking for anything specific please let me know.

Note that in trying to resolve this we've been cutting the inflow pipes before the elbow of the well points and capping them in an attempt to isolate which points are letting water escape and / or not working. If weather holds we should evaluating that today.

Someone suggested possibly running new 3/4" pipe inside the existing 1 1/4" well piping, using the 1 1/4" as a casing and proving me new unbroken pipe to pull the water.





Wet_Boots

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Location: Metro NYC

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Saturday, June 30th 2018, 1:38pm

What I wanted the photo for was to look for a check valve. I see what looks like one. You may have water draining back through the pump, even with a check valve in place.

Forget about using well points as a casing with a drop pipe. You will never get the same quantity of water.

It won't hurt if you replace all the suction plumbing, but that still might not be a cure.

A different approach would be to add a pressure tank and a pressure switch, and have it powered 24/7, bypassing a pump relay. If any water tries to exit via the suction line, the drop in pressure will activate the pump, and with the pump still primed and pressurized, the system will remain good to go. (your zone valves will also be pressurized 24/7, but good valves in working order won't be troubled)

Wsamon

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Sunday, July 1st 2018, 5:11pm

What I wanted the photo for was to look for a check valve. I see what looks like one. You may have water draining back through the pump, even with a check valve in place.

Forget about using well points as a casing with a drop pipe. You will never get the same quantity of water.

It won't hurt if you replace all the suction plumbing, but that still might not be a cure.

A different approach would be to add a pressure tank and a pressure switch, and have it powered 24/7, bypassing a pump relay. If any water tries to exit via the suction line, the drop in pressure will activate the pump, and with the pump still primed and pressurized, the system will remain good to go. (your zone valves will also be pressurized 24/7, but good valves in working order won't be troubled)

Yes that's a check valve near the pump. The old one was broken but we replaced it with a new one. There's no leaking from there up. I can turn the system off for days and that tiny bit of water gets pumped through as soon as it turns back on. After that though it's nothing but air for quite a while.

What do you think the problem is? I was thinking broken foot valves or cracked well point pipes or something which is why the 3/4 thing was suggested. Why do you think redoing the whole suction plumbing wouldn't fix it? I'm assuming that would include drilling new well points too.

I'll look it up but the pressure tank and switch idea sounds like it's out of my budget.

Wet_Boots

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Posts: 5,287

Location: Metro NYC

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Monday, July 2nd 2018, 7:08am

A pressure tank and pressure switch is about $100-$200 for the parts, depending on what you get for the tank. It's a solution for pumps losing prime. As long as your sprinklers run trouble-free when the pump is first primed, your problem is the prime not being maintained.

wsamon

Unregistered

7

Monday, July 2nd 2018, 11:59am

A pressure tank and pressure switch is about $100-$200 for the parts, depending on what you get for the tank. It's a solution for pumps losing prime. As long as your sprinklers run trouble-free when the pump is first primed, your problem is the prime not being maintained.
First off, and I should have said this a lot earlier: Thank you for taking the time to help me out with this. I really appreciate it.

I thought the tank and switch would be a lot more expensive. I'll look into it, though I imagine there's a lot more involved, such as rerouting pipes and electricity, finding somewhere to bury it, etc.

You're correct in that the problem is losing prime, so this may be a solution. I have a question though: If my system is losing prime every 15-30 minutes, won't this cause my pump to run a lot every day and skyrocket my electric bill?

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 5,287

Location: Metro NYC

8

Tuesday, July 3rd 2018, 5:44am

A pressure tank can be very small and still function for keeping prime. One example of a small one is the expansion tank found near many water heaters. Something larger that fits in your budget could enable you to have the pump supply you with hose watering, given that a large enough tank will combine with a pump and pressure switch to give you a 24/7 water supply.

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