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Intermittent air from well

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bignozzle
bignozzle Member Posts: 27

Hi, I have a shallow well on my property with a submersible pump. When I use the water I will get air spitting intermittently. I went into the pump room(no pump in there:), and let a hose run. It spits air when it gets down to 40 psi. Once the pump starts at 30, no air until the pump shuts off at 50 and then bleeds down to 40. Never ran into this before. I’m hoping someone else has and can point me in the right direction.
thanks in advance

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  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,093
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    It could be that your water table is lower or not recharging as the longer you pump to get to 50 PSI the static pump down/drawdown is more than it used to be.

    IIWM, I would try to lower the pump.

    (easier than raising the water table 😉)

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,382
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    holes in the piping coming up from the pump

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • bignozzle
    bignozzle Member Posts: 27
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    I don’t think it’s the water table, because it would eventually stop pumping water, which it doesn’t. I think I’ve ruled out a leak in the pipes because I don’t lose any pressure if I don’t open any taps.

    Thanks

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,866
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    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,764
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    I don't see how holes in the piping could cause air with a submersible the pipe is on the pump discharge and the OP says it holds pressure.

    Mabe your well tank is failing, and air is going into the water side if you have a bladder tank.

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,554
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    Most — if not all — submersible pump installations have a check valve at the top of the pump, installed before the drop pipe attahces (they are all supposed to, but…). If that check valve isn't holding, and they do age, the tendency is for water to at least try to drain back into the well when it is off, and even a relatively small leak (for instance, in the pitless adapter) will allow air into the drop pipe. That could be your source…

    Note that if the check valve is really bad, you'll see it as more rapid cycling of the pump.

    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    LS123
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,390
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    Your pressure system will have either of two basic types of pressure
    tanks: captive air tanks (a.k.a. pre-charged or bladder tanks) or less
    commonly, a hydro pneumatic tank (a.k.a. atmospheric tank).

    https://support.boshart.com/deep-well-air-volume-controls-avc-a.k.a.-air-release-valves

    What kind of tank do you have?

    I DIY.
    DerheatmeisterLS123
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,382
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    I had the air problem on my well system, called a neighbor that has a well service and he suggested the pipe had a pin hole. It did, right about the static water level.

    He replaced 280’ of galvanized pipe and the pump as both were original. He used schedule 80, threaded PVC.

    The good news is I got 280’ of pipe to make fence posts😚And the old pump was solid brass, for some good recycle value.

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,155
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    If there are no leaks in the pipe, and the water table is not too low, the only other source of air from underground would be Leprechaun Farts. What does the air smell like? If You spray a mist of water into the air, do you sometimes get a rainbow effect in the mist? You may find that your pot at the end of the rainbow, is not full of gold!

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

    ChicagoCooperatorLS123
  • Robert_25
    Robert_25 Member Posts: 531
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    I had a similar issue at my house, turned out to be the check valve on the pump.

  • bignozzle
    bignozzle Member Posts: 27
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    I have a bladder type tank, 2 years old.

  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,390
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    Failed check valve in pump, pinhole in drop pipe, or legacy bleeder valve in drop pipe for previous system.

    You could try shutting of the power, getting all the water and air out, then setting tank precharge to 2psi below cut in.

    Then see if the air logging re-occurs.

    I DIY.
    LS123
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,554
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    That brings back memories… haven't seen one of those true hydropneumatic tank setups in decades… they worked very well indeed.

    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    LS123
  • DCContrarian
    DCContrarian Member Posts: 215
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    In order to get air, there has to be a vacuum somewhere in the system. If there's a leak in a pressurized pipe, air doesn't leak in, water leaks out.

    Here's my bet. There's a failed or missing check valve on the pump. There's a check valve in the house that's working. There's a slight leak somewhere between the drop pipe and the house check valve. When the pump is off, water in the drop pipe leaks down. The check valve in the house slams shut when the pressure in the drop pipe drops below house water pressure. As the water in the drop pipes continues to leak, the pressure drops further and eventually develops a vacuum. Once there's a vacuum, the tiniest leak above the water level of the well allows air in.

    You can test this if your water pipe has a drain bib between where it enters the house and the check valve. Go to your local hardware store or Home Depot and spend twelve dollars and get a water gauge like this:

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Watts-3-4-in-Plastic-Water-Pressure-Test-Gauge-DP-IWTG/100175467

    Put the gauge on the bib and open the bib. It should read whatever the house water pressure is. Turn the pump off for a few minutes and watch the pressure. If it starts dropping, there's your problem.

    LS123
  • bignozzle
    bignozzle Member Posts: 27
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    The air situation stopped as abruptly as it started. This is not my main well, I just use it for watering plants washing cars etc. It doesn’t have a bleeder valve and there’s no check valve in the pump room, just one screwed into the pump.

    Thanks for all the help. I’m hoping the problem doesn’t return.

    WMno57