Replace a Sump Pump
LESLIE: Bob in Florida listens to The Money Pit on WGUF. Hey, Bob, how can we help you?
BOB: Well, I’ve got a problem with my well system. I have a water softener – I’m on a well, obviously – so that … so what happens is my aerator tank fills up past where it’s supposed to. And I had … a year ago, I had irrigation put in; everything’s fine, running good. All of a sudden my pressure switch went bad, I thought, so I changed the pressure switch, changed my flow switch. And my aerator tank keeps – every once in a while, with no one in the house; I live by myself – the pump turns on, the well pump turns on; something makes it turn on and it overfills and then it shuts off. But it’s always like overfilling to a point and like weeping out the side holes and stuff like that. And I’ve replaced – like I said – the flow switch; I replaced … there’s a little cellunoid switch on a valve on the side, because I have irrigation, it works in conjunction with my load switch.
So I replace this … the cellunoid that’s inside this valve, but the thing still does it. The only thing I … and I check my bladder tank (laughing).
LESLIE: You like that word; it made you laugh. (laughing)
BOB: No, it’s just I’ve checked … I’m laughing because it’s … everything’s been almost changed, except for the system, but …
TOM: Yeah, everything except for the well itself, right?
BOB: (chuckling) Yeah, yeah. Right. Everything except for that.
TOM: See, I was going to kind of let you go and sort of have you come up with your own solution to this question, Bob. Because it sounds to me like it’s definitely a control circuit problem and you worked your way around all the easily accessible parts of that control circuit. And it sounds to me like, for whatever reason, the well is not getting the point. (laughing) You know, the pump is not getting the point. And it’s not listening, it’s not behaving properly and it’s, basically, running with a mind of it’s own and it’s overfilling and overpressurizing.
I mean you have the opposite problem of what most people complain about with wells; and that is that they don’t have enough pressure. You’ve got too much pressure and you’ve got pressure there when you don’t need it; to the point where it’s causing an issue.
Now, is your well … is your pump submerged?
BOB: Yes, submerged in the well.
TOM: Aw, man. Well, you may need to replace the pump. That is probably …
LESLIE: How difficult of a job is that?
TOM: Well, you know, it’s not … it’s not hard but it’s costly. They basically have to fish the pump up out of the well. And that is most likely what’s causing this. It’s just not behaving properly. Everything you’re explaining to me means the control circuit has got an issue.
BOB: What about that valve on the side … on the side of … that goes in. It’s a pipe that comes from my well, comes into the pressure switch that obviously turns it on, and then there’s a valve with a … with a cellunoid on it that goes into the aerator. Would that valve have something to do with it?
TOM: No, I don’t think so. Not based on what you’re explaining to me. Because you’ve worked your way through the pressure side of that and that seems to have all been updated. So I go back to my original theory which is that there’s something not right … working right with the pump itself. How old is that pump?
BOB: My house is four years old.
TOM: You know, check it. It might be under a five-year warranty. Are you the original owner?
TOM: Worth looking into.
BOB: Yes. I guess you’re right. I think I’ll do that.
TOM: Thank you very much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974. Yeah, you know, a submersible well pump is not something that’s easily accessible because it’s down in the well. But it can be brought up and perhaps it could be tested. I mean there may be a way to check it and find out what’s going on with the pump. But if you’ve worked on everything on the top side, that’s all that left.
LESLIE: And it’s good because, since he’s the original owner … generally these warranties don’t transfer with ownership transfer.
TOM: Yeah, exactly.
LESLIE: So it’s good he’s the original owner. There’s a good chance it could still work for him. And, heck, it’s the only thing he hasn’t tried to fix.
TOM: That’s right. Yeah, good luck trying that out, Bob. Thanks again for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.