Water Well and Pump Repair/Water well


QUESTION: I have no water at all, my well is insulated real good  because it is freezing cold here in Michigan. My psi gauge reads 20, when I turn the well pump off, the psi gauge stays on 20. Shouldn't it drop to zero when the pump is turned off? Do I need to replace the gauge to have running water again? Also when the well pump is on, reading 20 psi, the pump continuously runs even Though I'm not getting water. Please help, I have horses here who need plenty of water.

ANSWER: Even though you have things insulated, your having some unusually cold temps up in Michigan these days.

From the way you described your problem, I would say it's frozen somewhere.  You said the pump runs, so I'm assuming you have a Jet Pump.  Is that correct?  I wouldn't let it run if it's not moving water.  It may self destruct.  If you have any idea of where it may have frozen, I would try to insulate it some more and get some kind of heat in there fast.  A little space heater, a couple of flood lights, hair dryer or what ever you have.  Then try to keep it warm until the deep freeze is over.

I am from Michigan and was in the business up there for a lot of years.  I've seen things actually freeze in a heated basement.  There was a little crack in the cement block and the wind blowing in from outside froze a copper pipe that was 6" from the wall.  We had to thaw it with a torch.

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QUESTION: Thanks for the fast reply! When I turn the pump switch off, the psi gauge does not drop to zero, it remains on 20 psi. I thought that to be odd, what's your opinion on that?

ANSWER: The gauges used by most of us are extremely cheap.  They are great for us to set your pressure switch when installing a pump, tank or whatever.  Typically they don't last a year.  Being stuck on 20 would have nothing to do with your water system.  They are strictly something to look at.  When you turn a pump off, there is no reason for the pressure to go to zero unless you have a leak or are using water somewhere.  It wouldn't happen immediately even if you were using water with the pump off.

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QUESTION: Good to know, I assumed it had more importance than that. Ok, I have to agree that it's most likely a frozen pipe, any idea on where to start looking and how to identify a frozen pipe? I guess you can tell I'm a girl by my questions so any and all advice will be taken seriously and appreciatively!  Thank you, especially for the fast reply!

The first place would be wherever pipes are exposed, even in a building that is not well heated.  If it were a pipe underground, it would be very difficult to find.  Where is your pump and tank located and where is your well?  Can you describe all of the items to me.  Or post some pictures?  I don't know if you can post pictures here or not.  If you can't, you can go to my Forum, register and post pictures there.  This might help me to help you.  Or some of the other guys on the Forum.  If you want to go there, here is the address http://www.pumpsandtanks.com/forum

I had to check the url of my forum several times before I got it where this site would post it.

Water Well and Pump Repair

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Robert Tabor


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