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Thread: is our pump dying? can we fix it?

  1. #1

    is our pump dying? can we fix it?

    My apologies in advance for the long post and cross-post at we have a one-month baby at home and are trying to troubleshoot this problem as soon as possible. Thanks for any advice!!

    About a year ago, we were having some problems with our pump:

    In brief, we live on a steep hill and have a Sta-Rite multi-stage jet pump to boost the water pressure from the street (HMSF Series - 1.5 HP).

    Hooked up to the pump are 4 Flotec pressure tanks (One FP7135 - 320 Gallons, Three FP7130's - 220 Gallons).

    Here are some pictures:

    The water is used both for the house and for a fire sprinkler system.

    Last week, we noticed that the pump was running for a really long time and the pressure was stuck at 40psi. I think that the pressure switch was set to 40/60 at the time.

    We cut the power to the tank, and called a pump/well guy who diagnosed it as a bad/dying pump and temporarily reset the pressure switch to 20/40. He recommended replacing it with a 1.5 HP Gould pump.

    The pump is currently eking along at 20/40, but is a little noisier than usual.

    With the new baby at home, we have been using a lot more water than usual. Babies generate a lot of laundry!

    My questions are:

    Does it seem like the pump is really dying, or is it possible that something else is afoot and it can be repaired (e.g. partially clogged jet, damaged impeller)?

    If the pump IS dying, what's the ideal thing to replace it with? Should we rethink the whole configuration while we have the opportunity? Would a CSV make sense?

    Below are some relevant snippets from the previous thread that have gotten me thinking, but I know very little about pumps and would really appreciate any suggestions. Many thanks!!


    "Your pump is misapplied. You plugged the return hole in the front of the pump. This hole is meant to be used in conjunction with a shallow well jet in your application. A 1/2hp jet pump would have worked better and used much less electricity."

    "The pump you have if used properly would have a jet bolted on the front of it. With the jet adding more pressure to what you have now, you could be looking at possibly100 psi. You can add that to the incoming pressure for total pressure. I don't think you would be needing that kind of boost. A shallow well jet pump 1/2hp for instance would pump up to ten gallons per minute and add up to 60 psi to your existing pressure. So that might be the better way to go. The Sta-Rite pump you have is overly expensive and has a motor that will fit ONLY that pump. All other pumps on the market use one of two popular motors that are far less expensive when replacement is necessary. As a matter of fact, the 1/2hp jet would be less expensive than the motor for the Sta-Rite."

    "Even though bigger than need be, it's a fine pump (one of the best) so if the electric bill isn't too bad, just wait for it to go bad. I said it's a fine pump and it is, but it's not fun to work on. It's probably one of the hardest pumps to work on. So replacement after failure would be the best thing in my opinion."

    "And those large powered valves, are they pressure regulators? Why a regulator on the city main when there's little flow and a pressure relief valve on the outlet of the pump?

    "Why a Pressure Regular on the pump outlet up the wall before the pressure tanks? No drains on the tanks or entire system plumbing!!"

    "Yes it sounds like it was damaged by the long run time, if it won't make the pressure it did before, either the impeller is damaged or the jet is partially clogged."

    I don't know that the stored water is for fire fighting, there's barely enough stored for a family of four for an evening's water use! It seems more a rube goldberg system due to low water flow up the hill than fire fighting. Atmospheric storage instead of pressurized would be a much better system for both needs. If there is a fire, and no power because it is an electrical caused fire, how is this water used for fire fighting?

    "Everything else is looking pretty bizarre, especially what looks to be the pump output running through a pressure relief valve! Thats a first."

    "As it is he may have a melted impeller etc. which is very affordable to replace."

  2. #2
    Pump guy speedbump's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Murphy, NC. USA.
    That Sta-Rite Pump might have a partially plugged impeller. That would be the most likely cause of reduced pressure. Or the city's pressure dropped a bunch. That pump should be able to make around 60 psi without a jet or an imcoming pressure.

    As for working on it. It is one of the most difficult pumps to work on and one of the most expensive to repair.

    I would replace it with a standard 1 or 1.5hp single stage jet pump like the Jet Pump I sell. The SFH100 or 150. It will also make easily 60 psi and will pump over 25 gpm. I would get rid of that brass pressure regulator and use a Cycle Stop Valve instead.


    Products and Pricing

  3. #3
    Thanks speedbump!

    The local pump installer recommended installing a Goulds J155 pump because that's what they stock. Is this similar to the SFH150 you recommend?

    The Cycle Stop Valve sounds very interesting. Is that something any pump person would know how to install, or would we need to seek out a specialized installer? Would a CSV conflict with our fire sprinkler system?

    If we bought something like the CSV1.2560 from your site, would that be compatible with the J155 pump they want to install?

    Thanks for all your help!

  4. #4
    Pump guy speedbump's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Murphy, NC. USA.
    Goulds changed their model numbers so frequently that I can't keep up with them. I don't know anything about a J155 except that J might stand for Jet. If so, that's good. If it's a self primer or an end suction, then it's a bad thing. They don't work well with pressure switches.

    There are a lot of people in the business who don't know what a CSV is. As for the sprinklers, I am not sure what the requirements are, so it's hard to say. The CSV1-1/4" is for 25 to 50 gallons per minute. That would not be the correct one for your house. I imagine the sprinklers can be plumbed seperate from the house plumbing and still be code.


    Products and Pricing

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Wherever we park the motorhome, , USA.
    You need an atmospheric storage tank rather than a larger pump.

    No pump is going to suck more water than the city water system is supplying you.

    Quality Water Associates
    Softener Forum

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