Vibration from water well pump - Water Pump Switch as cause?

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Bucky Plumber

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Go to a supply house.
Buy a foot or two of 1.5 inch pex, and fittings to splice into your line.
Because the fittings have a smaller ID than the pipe.
Sharkbite type, or rent or borrow tools for pex couplings.
Change all your exposed existing well pipe hangers to ones that let the pipe move, or buy new oversized hangers and just pad out the pipe with Gorilla tape.
This will reduce transmitted vibration to your house framing.
Sorry if you guys are getting tired of reading these posts but I did another experiment that has only led to further confusion.

The attached photos show my main water line coming from the well and branching off into the house.

I removed all pipe hangers in this corner of the house (where the vibration comes from) and unscrewed the hose spigot in this corner so that the pipe could be moved around.

With no water line connected to anything structural in the immediate area, when the pump kicked in there was no change in the vibration! It was just as loud.

This has me completely confused. I thought the vibration was traveling up from where the the water line comes into the house and transfers to the support beams where the water line is hung. But I no longer think thats the case.

Where else could this vibration be going through?

Any thoughts on this new theory?

Thanks in advance.

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Twowaxhack

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Have you checked the amp draw of your pump while it’s running and compared it to it’s amp draw rating on the pumps spec sheet ?

How old is the pump ? How old is the bladder tank ?
 

Bucky Plumber

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Have you checked the amp draw of your pump while it’s running and compared it to it’s amp draw rating on the pumps spec sheet ?

How old is the pump ? How old is the bladder tank ?
The pump is 18 years old. The bladder tank is about 10 I think.

Is there an easy way to check the amp draw? I have attached photos of my electric setup for the pump.

Would a failing pump draw over the listed amps on the spec sheet? Would that possibly cause my vibration issue?

Thank you!

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Twowaxhack

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I would check the amp draw at the wires entrance to the pump control from the breaker panel or in the breaker panel.

If it read over or under the listed amp draw that would point to a possible motor problem if everything else was operating properly.
 
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Bucky Plumber

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I would check the amp draw at the wires entrance to the pump control from the breaker panel or in the breaker panel.

If it read over or under the listed amp draw that would point to a possible motor problem if everything else was operating properly.
I must be doing it wrong...

I dont have a meter with an amp clamp so I wired in parallel on one of the lines as shown in the picture. The picture was taken with the pump running and the meter shows 0, it did flash to 0.06 when the pump kicked on. Possibly because it is a 2 wire 230v system? Not sure how I would wire in parallel to both lines with my cheap meter.

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Valveman

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Don't think the amps are the problem or it would be tripping the overload. Sometimes the length of pipe down the well is exactly the right length to cause a resonant vibration. I would use a rubber hose or a piece of poly pipe to isolate the vibration. But if resonance is the problem, lengthening or shortening the pipe down to the pump is the only fix.
 

Twowaxhack

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Don't think the amps are the problem or it would be tripping the overload. Sometimes the length of pipe down the well is exactly the right length to cause a resonant vibration. I would use a rubber hose or a piece of poly pipe to isolate the vibration. But if resonance is the problem, lengthening or shortening the pipe down to the pump is the only fix.
Can you ohm the motor windings on a well pump ?

I don’t think it’s pulling too many amps either, obviously not enough to trip but it may show something abnormal. I’m thinking the motor is in its way out......

I’m guessing but its cheaper than just throwing parts at it.

I don’t believe the vibration I has always been present. So that would eliminate having to put flex lines in or the pipe length, it worked before and the pump is 18 yrs old.
 
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Valveman

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Ohms will tell you if there is a short, open leg, or imbalance leg. Basically whether the motor will run or not. Submersible pumps don't usually start vibrating without being so worn they trip the overload in the process. But it is possible. Could be a lot of things. When it is 100 or 300 feet underground we are all just guessing until someone pulls it up and has a look.

Having said that I would never pull a deep pump without ohming and checking everything as well as trying a new control box. A bad running capacitor can do some strange things.
 

Bucky Plumber

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I am going to replicate what I have done in the past when manipulating the system and take a video to post here. Previously when I drained the pressure tank to install the flex line when I turned the pump back on there was no vibration until I opened the ball valve to the rest of the house.

Stay tuned...
 

Valveman

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I am going to replicate what I have done in the past when manipulating the system and take a video to post here. Previously when I drained the pressure tank to install the flex line when I turned the pump back on there was no vibration until I opened the ball valve to the rest of the house.

Stay tuned...
That makes it pretty obvious the problem is after the ball valve. You are going to find a leaky toilet float valve or something making that noise.
 

Twowaxhack

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The only thing that’s obvious to me is that there is a noise and it happens when the pumps running.

If it’s the plumbing it should happen when the pumps off and the load being used is carried by the pressure tank without the pump running, from what the OP has stated, it doesn’t make a noise if the pump is off.
 

Twowaxhack

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Keep the ball valve off and use a hose faucet that’s on the well system before the ballvalve.

I want you to use water from the well system while your house plumbing is turned off.

Water being used but not through the house piping and the ballvalve off.

I want the well flowing water but not into the house piping.

See if that’ll recreate the noise.

Id be looking hard at this valve too.....I’d take it apart and service it or remove the washer and screw and open it all the way up, or just remove it. B4C0FA76-FD8E-4B26-B7A2-154FF43CAE5B.jpeg
 
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Valveman

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The pressure to the house is stronger when the pump is running than when water is coming from the tank. That little extra pressure is causing a rubber seat in a valve or something to buzz. The test Twowax mentioned would be a good way to remove the pump itself from the equation.
 

Twowaxhack

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The pressure to the house is stronger when the pump is running than when water is coming from the tank. That little extra pressure is causing a rubber seat in a valve or something to buzz. The test Twowax mentioned would be a good way to remove the pump itself from the equation.
So if I watch the pressure gauge with the pump running, it will exceed the maximum cut out pressure ? That doesn’t make sense.

Seems like your highest pressure would be the cut out pressure and the highest pressure the house would see is when the pump is static with the pressure tank full.
 

Twowaxhack

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I would increase the pressure to 80+ pounds to help find my problem if it continued to elude me......

oh and definitely take valvemans suggestion serious and check all toilets. That should’ve been done a long time ago. They can sound like an outboard motor......🤣. Literally.
 
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Valveman

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So if I watch the pressure gauge with the pump running, it will exceed the maximum cut out pressure ? That doesn’t make sense.
No. But the pressure in the pipes is stronger when water is being "pushed" by the pump than when being "drawn" from the tank. The gauge does not see how strong the water pushing is, only how strong it is once it has been pushed into the tank. Because of friction loss, when the pump is running there is always more pressure in the pipes than the gauge on the tank shows.
 

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