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Marc, Plumber
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 1127
Experience:  Plumbing heating & home maintenance contractor
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Our house is on a well and we recently dried it up. we have

Customer Question

Our house is on a well and we recently dried it up. we have allowed it to refill and the pump to our indoor tank has filled the tank, but we've developed an air lock in the pipes so none of the faucets or toilets will get water. Any idea how to fix this?
JA: How long has this been going on? And how severe is the problem?
Customer: the pumps were off yesterday to let the well fill up, we get absolutely zero water coming through from the indoor tank today
JA: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?
Customer: I hope to
JA: Anything else we should know to help you best?
Customer: nope
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Rick replied 11 months ago.

Welcome to Just Answer, my name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help you with your issue. First I’ll need some more info so I have a more complete picture of you situation.

Where is you pump, in the well or next to the tank? do you have pressure on the gauge?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
we've got two pumps, both next to the tank. Not sure which you mean
Expert:  Rick replied 11 months ago.

Do you have pressure on the gauge?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Expert:  Rick replied 11 months ago.

Did you shut off the main shut off to the house at any time? if so does the shut off have a round handle or a lever handle?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
we did not shut it off. It has a lever handle
Expert:  Rick replied 11 months ago.

Do you have a drain valve at the holding tank? if so do you have water there? do you get water to any fixtures or outside faucets in the house?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
there's no drain valve that I know of. there is no water going to anu fixtures or faucets in or outside the house. The tank itself is below ground.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
by which I mean in the basement
Expert:  Rick replied 11 months ago.

Where is the gauge? what does it read? did it move when the pump first started.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
pressure gauge is at 8psi and is on top of the pump unit. It has not moved. Also, because both the internal(tank to faucets/fixtures) and external(well to tank) pumps are on the same circuit. we are not able to let them run constantly when the system is not working because the external pump will burn out.
Expert:  Rick replied 11 months ago.

Ok 8 psi is inadequate and the pump should not shut off until the gauge gets to at least 40 psi. If the pump is not running and the gauge us at 8 I suspect you have a bad pump switch or the switch (or the piping to it) is clogged with rust. Is the pump running?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
no, as I said we are cautious about leaving it running when the well is empty as both pumps run until the internal pump shuts off automatically, but the external pump has burned out in the past because of this.
Expert:  Rick replied 11 months ago.

I don't know what you mean by internal and external pumps. Systems only have 1 pump. The pump runs on the pressure switch which automatically control the pressure which should range between 20 & 40 psi at a minimum. If you have problems with low water levels in the well you can get a pressure switch that will shut the pump off if the water level gets too low.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
we have a well that is pumped to an a storage tank inside the house, I refer to this as external. there is a second pump unit that pulls water from the tank and pushes it to the faucets and fixtures, i refer to this as internal.
Expert:  Rick replied 11 months ago.

Ok, not a typical system. Sounds like you have a cistern type system. So the cistern (storage tank) usually works off a float or similar type switch. It sounds like that tank is full and the pump for that is not running. That's OK. I'm talking about the pump that sends water to the house. If the cistern is full and the gauge to the house is at 8 psi then the house pump should be running

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I get that, but the well pump does not have its own shutoff. It is tied controlled by the house pump and they are on the same fuse. So if house pump is running to build up pressure, the well pump will be trying to pull water from an empty well until the house pump reaches the pressure shutoff and turns BOTH systems off. the well pump has overheated and burned out in the past, which then entails replacing parts so I am trying to avoid that risk.
Expert:  Rick replied 11 months ago.

I can't help that your pump controls are not wired properly (as described above). You need to build the pressure up to at least 20 psi to have any reasonable expectation that you'll get water out of the faucets. 8 psi could just as well be zero or close to it.