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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Default Well Pump question

    I have a well to supply my house with water. Lately it has been running quite a bit, for a short time and turning off, then turning back on. (when water is being used)

    If you are taking a shower, the water almost pulsates, from strong stream to weak stream. I cleaned the inline filter, thought that may have been the problem, but that didn't change it.

    The pump turns off at 50 psi, and turns back on at 35 psi. When using water, this PSI drops pretty quick, almost like the tank is not filling completely up. There is an air chuck like on a bicycle, do I need to add air to the tank? I remember my grandfather doing that to their pump at times, but I don't remember why.

    Thanks a bunch
    Chuck Ruffing
    Clyde, Ohio

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    612

    Default Re: Well Pump question

    http://advice.thisoldhouse.com/showt...=pressure+tank

    Here is a link to a previous thread on pressure tanks...

    Sorry, didn't have a lot of time to get into details on this post, others will be along to help out I'm sure but I thought this may get you started. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
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    Default Re: Well Pump question

    If you have an old style bladderless pressure tank, it is probably water logged and you will need to add air.
    If it is a bladder type tank it is likely that the bladder has failed and will need to be replaced. You can try emptying it and pump the pressure up to 33 lbs and refill. If it holds the bladder is OK and it only need air but if you get back into the same situation in a short period of time you will need to replace the bladder tank.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    731

    Default Re: Well Pump question

    Quote Originally Posted by bunker45 View Post
    I have a well to supply my house with water. Lately it has been running quite a bit, for a short time and turning off, then turning back on. (when water is being used)

    If you are taking a shower, the water almost pulsates, from strong stream to weak stream. I cleaned the inline filter, thought that may have been the problem, but that didn't change it.

    The pump turns off at 50 psi, and turns back on at 35 psi. When using water, this PSI drops pretty quick, almost like the tank is not filling completely up. There is an air chuck like on a bicycle, do I need to add air to the tank? I remember my grandfather doing that to their pump at times, but I don't remember why.

    Thanks a bunch
    Chuck Ruffing
    Clyde, Ohio
    From what you describe sounds like short cycling.

    This site has a lot of good information that will help you identify parts of your system, and diagnose your issue (click on link): http://www.inspect-ny.com/water/pumprepair.htm

    then navigate to this section (click on link): http://www.inspect-ny.com/water/watertank.htm and read about short cycling (water pressure pulses).

    Then read this section on the causes of short cycling of a water pump: http://www.inspect-ny.com/water/ShortCycleCause.htm


    Signs of air loss: http://www.inspect-ny.com/water/WaterTankAirLoss.htm

    Water tank air, how to add: http://www.inspect-ny.com/water/WaterTankAir.htm

    If you don't know how to find your pump pressure gauge, pressure controls, switches and controls, see the section on Controls & Switches on Water Pumps & Tanks: http://www.inspect-ny.com/water/WaterPumpControls.htm

    There are a lot of possibilities as to what can cause short cycling besides air loss, and even if you are losing air it may not be that you need a new bladder or air tank, so replacing it is not necessarily going to correct your complaint.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
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    5,621

    Default Re: Well Pump question

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue RidgeParkway View Post
    From what you describe sounds like short cycling.

    This site has a lot of good information that will help you identify parts of your system, and diagnose your issue (click on link): http://www.inspect-ny.com/water/pumprepair.htm

    then navigate to this section (click on link): http://www.inspect-ny.com/water/watertank.htm and read about short cycling (water pressure pulses).

    Then read this section on the causes of short cycling of a water pump: http://www.inspect-ny.com/water/ShortCycleCause.htm


    Signs of air loss: http://www.inspect-ny.com/water/WaterTankAirLoss.htm

    Water tank air, how to add: http://www.inspect-ny.com/water/WaterTankAir.htm

    If you don't know how to find your pump pressure gauge, pressure controls, switches and controls, see the section on Controls & Switches on Water Pumps & Tanks: http://www.inspect-ny.com/water/WaterPumpControls.htm

    There are a lot of possibilities as to what can cause short cycling besides air loss, and even if you are losing air it may not be that you need a new bladder or air tank, so replacing it is not necessarily going to correct your complaint.
    The symptoms posted by th OP point only to a pressure tank problem. No one said the tank had to be replaced. Both types of tanks were referenced and a test and/or solutions suggested.
    Jack
    Last edited by JLMCDANIEL; 12-17-2008 at 02:11 PM.
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    1,131

    Default Re: Well Pump question

    Quote Originally Posted by JLMCDANIEL View Post
    The symptoms posted by th OP point only to a pressure tank problem. No one said the tank had to be replaced. Both types of tanks were referenced and a test and/or solutions suggested.
    Jack
    Evidently.....you don't understand, Jack. When you have all day to Google ad-infinitum.....every problem posted has some obscure/extremely unlikely cause & resolution.....no matter how simple & classic the symptoms.

  7. #7
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    Jun 2007
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    Fayette County, Ohio
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    Default Re: Well Pump question

    Hay ****ie,
    I have a question for you. Are you aware of any inexpensive monitors you can hook up to say the pressure switch to record time on/off for a well pump with perhaps a computer interface?
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: Well Pump question

    No, I'm not familiar with any such critter as I've never had reason to monitor for an extended period of time. I'm pretty sure there are such critters out there, though. $$$, probably...or more $$$ than I'd wish to spend for a one-time deal or infrequent usage.

    However....I can think of a pretty easy way to do this with a piece of software I have loaded; Cool Edit. It's an audio recording and editing program. If a guy was to hook up a radio or similar (old style with mechanical on/off switch & capable of running off line power.. instead of batteries only) so that it received power only when the pressure switch tripped on.....and then hooked up from the radio's earphone jack to the mic input on the puter........it would then have something to record while the radio was on and only while the radio was on. Leave this hooked up for as long as you wish to monitor (limited only by available hard-drive space) and then take a look at the end result. Time on and time off would be easy to see and it would give you those times by simply highlighting each "on" and "off" frame.

    (This approach shouldn't theoretically eat up alot of HD space when the pump is idle as there would no incoming data to record. Also, you can set the bit-rate sampling on the recording to very low as you don't really need a quality recording and this would also save on HD space. YOu could also direct the save to a larger external HD if you desired.)

    I like to think I could putz around and have this sorta thing set up and running within an hour or less, maybe.

    PS- A guy might be able to use some manner of remote transmitter plugged into the radio's earphone jack and a receiver device plugged into the puter's mic input jack so the puter could be kept some distance from the actual location.....but I've never looked for such devices so can't tell you where to find them.

    If you'd like a copy of this particular program......let me know and we'll get it worked out. Just discovered that CE (by Syntrillium) apparently is no more as they were bought up by Adobe and the CE program was put to sleep, so to speak. That's what a Google tells me....and if you read it on the web, it has to be true, right?? <G> There are many other such programs out there, I'm sure.... but this one does everything I've ever needed and has a relatively small footprint, too.

    Or you could try a Google for- free old version Cool Edit - and see what you find. There may be some old trial versions out there yet that will run for 30 days without registration.

    PSS- Got me curious, ya did. Here's a free open source audio recording and editing program. http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ Should be capable of what you need to do. Google - open source free audio record edit - may lead you to even more programs.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by goldhiller; 12-18-2008 at 10:29 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Well Pump question

    Thanks for the help guys. The attached links helped much. Through testing and such, I am sure the bladder has a tear in it. I will be replacing the tank next week. Thanks for the help.
    chuck

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: Well Pump question

    One thing to consider is that builders often undersize tanks for the first cost of the item. It may pay to see if a larger tank is recommended. It will be easier on your pump if the larger size tank is needed.

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