answer to pump clicking on and off every 5 min. : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Well after a very silent phone conversation(HIS SILENCE) He begrudingly came out the next day and was here for about3-31/2 hrs and did some pipe gluing and tightening up some piece of pipe at his truck. He claims we have a leak underground leading back to hog confinement. Well it behooves us because after 19 years living here we have always noticed a huge wet spot on the ground. Yet if the pump has been clicking on and off for two years we have absolutely no wet ground. Even when the pipe blows on the hog confinement we find wet cement.So I asked how much this will cost us and he said oh, it will only be labor. Yet he replaced a shut off valve to the hog confinements not at our request. As I recall labor is the most expensive part of the deal. How to find a leak somewhere in a 200 ft. span?

-- carla (, January 30, 2002


Does the pump that cycling provide water for the whole farm or just out buildings? Can you isolate the 200ft span from the rest of the house? Is there a shutoff for that water branch? If so shut it off and see if the pump cycles. My first test in cases like this would be to check the pressure tank and regulator. Is that the problem. You can usually isolate the pressue tank from the house by shutting off the outlet value comming out of ( or near) the outflow of the pressure tank. Now does it cycle? If it still does its a pressure tank/regulator issue. If not its further down stream.

As for finding a leak in 200ft span. It would be cheaper just to re-trench than try to actually find the problem.

-- Gary in Ohio (, January 30, 2002.

carla, I am surely no plumber although I have had to take over the plumbing duties at home now(with expert advice from neighbor).However I do know that if you have a "wet spot" standing on the ground with no logical explanation(just a low spot that collects moisture for instance)near a known water pipe then it needs to be dug up immediately and the pipe checked. We have pvc water pipe going everywhere on our acreage, it just grew like topsy! First you need faucets, then a bird bath, then water out to the stock, then a pond for the ducks.....etc. etc. and there are sometimes breaks in the pipe. So, I have had to do this quite a bit and I would not let a "wet spot" over a known pipe area go unexplored. It is not hard to do, anyone can repair a pvc pipe. The hardest part is digging the thing out around the leak and far enough on each side to manipulate the pipe. We do pump out(right term?)our pressure tank every year and put in more air. It just takes a little compressor to do that. Good luck with this, it is a bother isn't it? Hope you get it solved. LQ

-- Little Quacker (, January 30, 2002.

We once had the same problem (pump going on and off constantly) what it turned out to be was the foot valve at the intake end of the pipe. It had gone bad, and so everytime the pump would shut off, the water would rush back down the pipe (because the foot valve wasn't holding it in) and the pump would kick right back on again. It was easily fixed by replacing the foot valve.

It may not be so easy if you have a well, we get our water from a capped-off spring with a cistern. Easy to get to the foot valve.

-- chuck in md (, January 30, 2002.

We had our foot valve replaced on our 250' well a few years back for what sounds like the same thing. No wet spot..don't understand that. You could check and see if you have a pump that still has "points" in it. Then just take a nail emery board of a little piece of sand paper and clean them off. Good Luck !!!

-- Helena (, January 30, 2002.

Carla, do you have a shut off valve after the water leaves the pump? If you do, shut this off and wait and see if the pump starts and shuts off quickly as it has been. If it does, the problem is not a leak in the pipes beyond the pump, it would be the pump or the pipes on the intake side.

If you actually do have a leak in the 200' pipe, I'd tear the whole thing out and replace it. If it has split once, it might split again, and you don't want to do it twice. By the time you get a backhoe at work the digging goes pretty fast, anyway. I don't know what you have for water pipes, but if it's black plastic, the older pipes were made to withstand less pressure than the newer piping. It's not that you are using higher pressure, just that over time the older pipe gives out because the quality isn't up there. Replace it with the newer one and you'll never have a problem again.

-- Jennifer L. (Northern NYS) (, January 30, 2002.

Check for a lack of air in the tank, it takes a bladder full of air to make a pump maintain pressure, no pressure, the pump cycles on and off. However with a well there are many things that can affect the pump. Just my two cents worth. Good Luck, Wayne

-- Wayne & (LYN) Roach (, January 30, 2002.

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