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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    5

    Default submersible pump goes on and off

    My well pump is set to kick on at 40psi and off at 60. It kicks off at 60psi and doesn't do anything until it drops to 40, say 4 or 5 flushes of the toilet or a long shower, but when it drops to 40 it doesn't stay on until it gets back up to 60, it goes on for about 3 seconds and then shuts of for 20, then the cycle repeats until 60psi is reached, when it shuts off for good.

    My tank, when dry, has 37psi in it. I don't know what could be causing this problem. It just started this morning when my wife was in the shower. It was fine last night for two loads of laundry and one baby bath.

    I haven't got the foggiest idea. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,775

    Default Re: submersible pump goes on and off

    It could be the pressure switch. The contacts may be burnt. It could also be a break in the wires to the pump. I would suggest replacing the pressure switch first to see if that takes care of the problem.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    5

    Default Re: submersible pump goes on and off

    If I shut the power to the pump off for 30 minutes or so, then kick it on, the pump runs for about 30 seconds before starting the 3 off 15 on cycle.

    I'm beginning to wonder if it could be a well supply issue.

    Any thoughts?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,775

    Default Re: submersible pump goes on and off

    Usually if you have low water you get a lot of air in the lines.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: submersible pump goes on and off

    So I changed the pressure switch, which took about 30 minutes. I had the pump off that entire time. I switched the pump on and it ran for about 15 seconds before starting up with the 2 or 3 on and 15 off thing. I then shut it off for 10 minutes and then on and it ran for about 5 seconds.

    Is there any way this might be a problem with my well refilling?

    Otherwise I'm still at a loss.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,775

    Default Re: submersible pump goes on and off

    You could always drop a weighted line down the well to check water level.

    My best guess at this point is that you have a pump motor problem.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: submersible pump goes on and off

    Most likely the "Goulds" box is a pump control that prevents your pump from burning up if the water level drops. It reacts to current loads, so it is possible that your pump doesn't start up correctly. Most submersibles have electronic starters that shift from the start winding to the run winding. The can go bad the pump will run on the start winding, but may eventually over heat. If the well goes dry (water level drops below the pump) the pump will run over speed and draw more current than normal, which would cause the pump control in the Goulds box to shut it off for a preset time and then come back on. It would repeat this until the pressure switch turns off the power.

    You need to look in the well and see where your water level is and check the current draw of the pump. If all else fails pull the pump control out and take it to a local Goulds dealer and have it checked.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,565

    Default Re: submersible pump goes on and off

    Lee S may be right about the control box monitoring the current. I don't really have any experience with these. However, there is one point I must take issue with.

    Lee says that an unloaded motor (as in a well run dry) will draw more current. It is true that an unloaded motor will spin faster*, but a motor under load will draw more current than one that is unloaded. Otherwise, we'd all be trying to figure out ways to bog down our motors almost to the stalling point, in order to save electricity. It's a simple matter of energy used being proportional to work done.

    (*Some motors do have speed governors which ensure a constant speed under load. Probably not found on water pumps.)
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

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