Kitchen Sink Back-up & Malfunctioning Well Pump

I have a tri-level home with an upstairs bathroom that recently started backing up water into the kitchen sink located on the main floor. The master bathroom is also upstairs on the other side of the house, with a bathroom just below on the lower level, that do not have drainage problems. I’ve had Mr.Rooter out here 2 times, and they ran a 1/2″ power snake in the kitchen sink clean out, and have removed the upstairs toilet and ran the snake down there too.(75′) Same problem ! I ran a smaller 3/8″x 25′ power snake through all the roof vents and laundry room clean out. Same problem ! Ran the power snake through the outside clean out to the septic tank. All clear. It was pumped out and I put in a new sump pump prior. All was working good, including checking the distribution box and leech lines. Same problem with the main bathroom backing up into the kitchen sink. Any suggestions ? We really need this bathroom ! Should I run a water hose down the vent above the main bathroom ? Thank you in advance.

Answer:

Clearly, if the kitchen sink is showing a back up flowback, then there is clearly a clog or blockage triggering this event.   I would suggest two courses of action.  First, consider enlisting the services of a different plumber, explaining to him the previous efforts made to correct the problem.  I am somewhat reluctant to offer my other suggestion as despite the specificity of what you have described, having eye on the ground is important to proper diagnostic of plumbing problems.  But you may give consideration to evaluating whether your water pressure is sufficiently high to facilitate the proper movement and flow of water.

Second Question:

Hi, I’ve replaced my deep well pump on average every 4- 6years and I am in the process once again in just under 4 years from the last one. About 25 years ago I installed a 1/2H.P 2 wire that lasted about 4 years,  so I replaced it with 3/4 H.P. 2 wire (thinking I had maybe undersized the first time)also I got married  and built a new house with more fixtures, that lasted about 6 – 7 years I again replaced it with a 3/4 2 wire that went out after about 4 years but I suspected lighting because it went out right after a storm. Once again a 3/4  2- wire about 4 more years I decided to upgrade once again, I went to a 1 H.P 3 wire that went out last weekend not even 4 years, I also replaced the control box once in that time.  I tried all the easy fixes before pulling the pump and along the way found so many issues that I’m not sure what the cause might be. The pressure switch was plugged solid with scale probably causing short cycles, the pressure tank was ruptured and would not hold an air charge and when I pulled the pump I noticed that the black wire had apparently been rubbing on the side as it was just barely rubbed through exposing copper this was on the pigtail off the pump. I would like to set this up properly and I seek wisdom. My well depth is about 185′ originally I set the pump at 175′ when I pulled it I noticed considerable mucky residue and installed the next one at about 165′ subsequent pulls have not shown muck, but water does contain rusty scale early in the spring and after considerable amounts of rain as evident in the in-line filter and occasional inspection of the nipple to the pressure switch. after the initial lift of about 165′ feet to pit less adapter the 1″ water line travel below frost to the house about 160′. I have # 10 wire running to pump wires and from control box to switch also to  2 pole 30 amp breaker. I’ve purchased another Red Lion 1 H.P. 3 wire pump ( I checked pulled pump in a container of water laying somewhat on it’s side and ensuring exposed wire  was not in contact with water and it just hummed). I already had replaced pressure switch (40-60) and control box for Franklin 1 H.P.before I pulled pump and I’ve purchased a new 33 gallon pre-charged tank. I’m wondering if  maybe with this tank being factory set at 28 p.s.i. (even though I checked it with a new digital tire gauge and it reads 33.5 p.s.i.) Should I increase the air to 38.p.s.i or turn pressure switch down to 30 p.s.i and make sure tank is set at 28 p.s.i. The red line pump is rated for about 7 gal per minute at 60 p.s.i The red lion 33 gal tank is set at 10.3 draw down when set at 30-50. I tried lower pressures on other pumps always matching pre-charge with cut-in but wasn’t happy with water pressure in up stairs showers. I guess what I’m trying to accomplish would be – proper run  time and minimal start ups of the pump with out sacrificing allot of pressure also this the 33gal tank is bigger than my old wel-x trol 20 gal. would installing a filter before the pressure switch and tank be a bad idea ? I’ve never seen a diagram with this installation so thinking it’s not a good practice. Thanks for any help you can suggest. I really wish we had sites like this a long time ago, would have saved the trial and error method I’ve been using for repairs. Thanks again, Tim

Answer:

Thank you for your clear and detailed explanation for what your experience and efforts have been.  I think you are moving along the right path and I agree with your conclusions.  I think you are correct about your thinking of setting the air pressure to 38 psi given the maximum load range and your personal experience with lower pressures inefficiences.  Every pump system and environment is unique in the sense that there are so many variables at play and sometimes one has to tweak things (i.e. within the allowable ranges) to find the optimal performance.  I am sorry you had a little bad run of luck with the exposed wire and the rupture of the tank.  But my guess is that with the measures you have undertaken, you will be pleased with the performance; though we will have to wait for the future to unfold to learn exactly how things progressed years down the road.  Meanwhile, kudos to you for following a logical and practical course of actions.

 

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