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By sunnybob
Some background;
I live in Cyprus. Water systems here are pumped from a large tank because of erratic water supply and pressures.
My neighbour called me yesterday that she had no water from her pumped system. We had a mains water cut (very common) and the pump should have supplied from the storage tank. Mine did, hers didnt.
The pump has a pressure switch fitted, so the system is... tank....pump....check valve....switch....into the house. There is also a valved mains feed into the house supply so you switch to mains feed in case of a power cut (we get them as well)
OK, thats the background.

On her house, the mains water was cut, but the pump did not cut in, it showed no pressure. I checked the water flow from the tank into the pump,,, good. i undid the pipe from the switch to the house,,, very poor dribble. I pushed the override button on the switch and the pump ran for as long as I held the over ride switch in, but would not continue and the dribble did not increase.

As this was saturday evening I said I would take it all apart on monday when I could get replacement parts. I suspected the pump impeller was at fault (the pump runs, the switch works, what else?).

Today the water was restored and the pump started working again perfectly!
This should not happen, it defeats the object of having the pumped system
Whats going on?
User avatar
its one of those- until you search you wont find.

seems to me there is a blockage so i would inspect inside tank for debris first.
my bet is also on the check-valve jamming so thats where i would be next.
but odds on dirt/scale causing it.
By sunnybob
The tank is floor level and crystal clear.
Disconnect at the tank and the flow is full on.
The pipe from the tank to the pump is 4 foot long and flows clear to the pump.
I havent pulled the pump / check valve/ switch apart, but what I dont understand is the fact that the pump will not pump water from the tank, but it will pump water once the system is filled?
If the valve was blocked, why does it not work when the system is drained down but does work when there is water in the whole system?

I dont want to use the shotgun method of just replacing everything because shes not well off and a new pump /switch set will cost a couple 100 euro.
By sunnybob
We had yet another water cut, so I had to dig into it for her. The check valve was a very cheap one with a plastic spindle, and it had melted and bent so the valve was jammed shut.
I replaced the valve, but the pump just did not pass any flow at all so she had to have another one of those as well.
If she gets any more problems she's going to have to employ a plumber. I'm retired and although happy to help in an emergency, I'm not getting into rebuilding her system.
By sunnybob
yes I do.

Theres no regulator on this pump system, or pressure gauge, and its a very small pump, so using mostly guesswork and a bit of local experience I think what happened was the pump was unable to pressurise the whole house enough to operate the pressure switch. This causes the pump to just keep running untill it gets red hot. The cheap and nasty check valve (never seen a plastic spindle in one before) got the heat transferred from the pump and bent in the 99% closed position.
This meant that the pump spent its life trying to reach enough pressure to trip the switch.
This lady is a nice neighbour, but not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and she did not realise that the mains bypass valve was open all the time.
So, the pump is going nowhere fast, but she is still getting mains water in the house. Its only when the mains water was cut that the problem arose. She has lived there for 4 years and never realised.

I havent bothered to strip the pump (not really interested now the crisis is over) but I expect the internal impellers have melted together.
By SimonG
Warmflow combis use plastic check valves, absolute mare for the guts melting. I swap them with Grant ones. More expensive but a better build quality.

Customer had a pump on their hot water. Pump packed in, went to have a look and hot water produced by solid fuel back boiler, not hot water temperature control. The impellors expanded and jammed

Stuff just made toi cheaply these days.
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