Has our Well gone Dry?

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JZero

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Recently, our pump 'tripped' and we called out a plumber to come to fix the problem. He tried a few things, including replacing the pressure tank and eventually the pump as well (the pressure switch too). Now he said that it's possible our well has gone dry. But we haven't seen signs of it going dry. It was a little cloudy, but it usually is after it rains. We've had no other problems with our water before this. And when I looked down in the well, it appeared to have water.

One of our faucets -- the bathtub -- has a little water coming out of it now, but it's just a light drizzle. And that water is fairly clear.

He said that the pump might not be powerful enough -- but I've also heard from someone we know who used to do plumbing work, that for our 30-foot well, that half a horsepower is enough and that the extra horsepower wouldn't work. (And it'd cost more on our electricity bills). I'm not sure if that's true or not, so I figured I'd ask here.

Is it possible our well has gone dry, and we just didn't have any many symptoms? Would the extra horsepower be costly on the electric bill? We're only getting a little water from one faucet. I really don't know anything about wells, which is why I figured I'd ask here.

Thanks for any advice you could give me.
 

Valveman

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Yeah a 1/2HP , 10 GPM pump is plenty from that depth, but a 1/2HP, 25 GPM pump is not. A larger pump does not increase the electric bill, as the larger pump only runs 1/2 as long to supply the same water. Even if the well is dry, it will usually pump full flow for a few seconds before dropping off. If it just starts out slow, it is most likely a pump problem, not the well.
 

JZero

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Thanks for the information!

Our plumber still hasn't been able to fix the problem. He said we might need to have our well cleaned. Is that a likely problem? The pump isn't getting water to the pressure tank. Or at least not much. Sometimes if the pump is on, we'll get a LITTLE bit of water in the house, but with no pressure.
 

fixitron

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A bit more information would be very helpful.
Is the well a drilled well or a point well (or other)? 30 ft. of well casing does not hold much water (1.5 gal./ft. of 6" casing)
When was it installed? and how long have you lived there? (it is helpful to know the history. If you have lived there for many years and have never run out of water, that would be good to know. If the well was installed after the mid-1900s we can rule out lead or galvanized piping that is corroded and clogged.)
Is the pump a submersible pump (it sounds like it is)? If it is a submersible, is it a two-wire or three-wire pump?
If the well is 30ft. deep, what is the depth of the pump in the well? What is the normal static level of the water? What is the recharge rate? How high is your bathtub above the level of the well head (which would be another 30 ft. to the bottom of the well).

The pressure tank has nothing to do with the supply of water. It is only a reservoir so that the pump doesn't run when you only draw a glass of water.
The pressure switch either works or it doesn't, and it is easy to check, either visibly or with a volt meter.
The pump should have been checked with a multi-meter, to measure voltage to the pump, resistance of the wires to each other and to ground, and the current draw.

As noted previously, a 1/2 HP pump is plenty big enough for a 30 ft. well. It can pump at least 1-2 gpm up hill for at least 300 ft. high. If you can see the water level in the well and the pump is not exposed, then there is a clog or a closed valve or a crushed pipe somewhere between the well and the house.
 

JZero

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More information (at least what I have)

It's actually 50 feet not 30 feet. About 15 foot of water I think? (We tried measuring conservatively)
The Well is about.. 32 years old I think
Never ran out of water before. We almost did one time, but it built back up.
I think the pump is 43 feet deep, but I'm not sure.

The pump is a Submersible Pump
Gould's Pump ITT Industry
Model #2455049004
By Franklin Electric
3 Wire Pump
115 volts

Also, I think he installed all new pipe. And we can't get much water out of our pumphouse, either.
 

fixitron

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You only answered a couple of the questions. Now you mention a "pumphouse". Why do you have a pumphouse for a submersible pump? If it is a drilled well, how could the plumber replace all of the piping, which is buried? How could you get water from the pump at the pumphouse? Please paint a clearer picture.
That model number is not a pump model from Goulds. It should have a couple of letters in it, probably starting with 5G5...?
 

JZero

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I'm not sure how much of the piping he replaced, I think he only replaced the piping from the well to the well house (I used the wrong term)

The model number might be 10GS05421
 

fixitron

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Now it is even more confusing. That pump will pump 10 gpm up to 1,200 ft. high (the "head"), which is huge. If you can't paint a better picture, then I am done here.
 

fixitron

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Oops, I had a brain hiccup. I was looking (too quickly) at the 10GS50 curve (which did seem quite high). Still, I have no idea how high your pump has to pump water to your house.
 

Valveman

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With 15' of water above the pump, it should run for a minute or so at full flow before it drops off if the well is dry. If it starts out weak it is more likely a pump problem than a well problem.
 

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