Pump is short cycling.....Very short!!

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by crittercatcher, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. crittercatcher

    crittercatcher New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Problem: pump is kicking on & off as fast as you can snap your fingers (faster than I can before my morning coffee). I replaced pressure switch & it didn't fix the problem.

    Background: I've lived in this house for 7 years without ever experiencing this problem. The problem appeared all at once, about 4 days ago. I have not made any adjustments, additions, etc. to the plumbing/well.

    Additional Info: When changing the pressure switch did not fix the problem, I did a little experiment to verify that the issue was not with the pump itself. I turned on the faucet at the well house and manually forced the contacts together in the switch with a screwdriver. The pump ran great without any variations in pressure.

    I would greatly appreciate any help.
  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    More often than not it is the bladder tank...the bladder ruptures and the space that should have air in it is now water logged and the pressure spikes so fast it causes the pump switch to cycle off and on rapidly...when you replaced the switch did you check the 1/4" tube to see that it was clear of debris...
  3. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    you can check the bladder by letting air out of the schrader valve...if the bladder is ruptured you will get water...
  4. crittercatcher

    crittercatcher New Member

    Messages:
    6
    I did not visually inspect the nipple, but a good stream of water was coming out of it while I was attempting to get the new pressure switch on so I assume it is free and clear.

    How can I check to see if the problem is a ruptured bladder?
  5. crittercatcher

    crittercatcher New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Thanks Cass.

    I will check that ASAP and let you know what I find out.
  6. crittercatcher

    crittercatcher New Member

    Messages:
    6
    I used a screwdriver to open the valve stem on top of the tank (its a small 2 gallon affair) and I did get a small spray of water and then just air. However, when I checked the water flow at the adjacent faucet,....no more short cycling! Is this a temporary reprieve?
  7. Waterwelldude

    Waterwelldude Well driller,pump repair. and septic installer

    Messages:
    303
    Location:
    Texas
    A water logged tank

    (when the pump turns on and off real fast)


    Instructions to pressurize a Galvanized steel pressure tank:


    1. Turn the power OFF to the well pump.
    2. Open the drain at the bottom of the tank until the pressure on the gauge is down to 0-psi...
    3. Take the gauge out (that breaks the vacuum on the tank)...
    4. Empty all water from the tank....
    5. Apply thread sealant to the threads on the gauge, then replace it.
    6. Close the faucet...
    7. Turn the power back on...
    This will start to refill the tank with some water, but will properly give the tank the air charge/cushion needed for proper operation.


    Instructions to pressurize a water tank that has a bladder in it,(newer style)


    1. Turn the power to the well pump OFF.
    1a. Turn off main water valve.
    2. Completely drain the pressure tank.
    3. Check the amount of air in the tank using the air valve on top of the tank
    4. Using a small compressor, adjust the pressure to read 2-3 psi under the cut-in pressure of your pump. For example, if you have a 30/50 pressure switch,provided nobody has re-adjusted the switch, you air pressure in the tank should be set at 27/28 psi.
    If the tank is out of air and will not hold air, then the bladder/diaphragm is bad and the tank needs to be replaced.
    5. Turn power back on allowing the tank to refill.
    6. Turn main water valve to house back on.



    Travis
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    If you don't check and adjust the air pressure to make sure the tank is bad, you are replacing some good tanks at the expense of your customer. And "messing with it" to replace a tank takes much longer than adjusting the air pressure, which should be done with any new tank anyway.

    Plus, this is a forum where people ask for help to fix something rather than replace it unnecessarily, like the switch he replaced that wasn't causing the problem.
  9. crittercatcher

    crittercatcher New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Update

    cut on pressure= 65
    cut off pressure= 85

    I adjusted the tank pressure to 62, turned power back on and waited about 40 minutes. I went back out and checked the tank pressure to see if it was leaking down and it was still approximately 60-62 psi. I still had the faucet near the pump open from draining the tank to check the pressure when I turned the power back on. The pump begins to rapidly kick on and off again until I closed the faucet.
  10. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Turning the power on ran the pump, filling the tank, so you can't check air pressure, you read water pressure.

    If you were running water out the faucet, and the pump was running, the pump can't build any more pressure than the 60-62 psi. And 40 minutes of water out a hose possibly pulled the the water level down far enough the pump can't keep up.

    I think you have the switch set too high at 65/85. Why so high, which is quite abnormal?
  11. crittercatcher

    crittercatcher New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Clarification

    I don't think I explained what I did very well. Sorry for that.

    1. Turned off power to pump
    2. Opened adjacent faucet to drain water from tank
    3. Adjusted pressure in tank to 62psi
    4. Closed faucet and turned power back on
    5. Waited 40 minutes
    6. Repeated steps 1. & 2.
    7. Measured pressure at 60-62 psi
    8. Turned power back on with faucet still open. Pump cycled on & off very quickly (like it had been doing before) until I closed the faucet.

    I don't have any reason for the pressure being what it is other than I figured more pressure was better for filling bath tubs, showers, dishwashers, etc.

    Thanks
  12. upper

    upper DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    154
    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    Think he should run the water through a coffee filter first? Just kidding.Clasic need a new tank deal...Upper
  13. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Ok.

    I think the pump couldn't keep up with the flow of the faucet and the switch pounced around opening and closing the points; turning the pump on/off.

    So is it working right now?

    If so there's no problem and you don't need a new tank or anything else. But I'd set the air to 29-28 lbs and the switch to 30/50. The higher the pressure the more often the pump comes on and that is hard on motors and bladders and spins the electric meter more. It also takes more water out of the well and makes it splash out of sinks and tubs etc..
  14. 99k

    99k Radon Contractor and Water Treatment

    Messages:
    460
    Location:
    Fairfield Co.,Connecticut
    On a 2 gallon tank that has a pressure of 62 psi, there really isn't much water storage ... are you sure you don't unknowningly have ongoing water usage (ie, flapper valve in water closet leaking, open bibb, etc) which can also get a system to cycle excessively.
  15. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Do your self a favor and install a 80 gal Equivelent bladder tank...install a 30-50 switch with low pressure shut off, and don't mess with it...and set the blader tank air pressure at 28# and all will be good....
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2009
  16. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    If you really knew now to check a tank, and you found it to be good, a cycle stop valve would solve your problem without having to get a bigger tank. Otherwise, a two gallon tank with any kind of pump is way too small.
  17. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Ditto on the CSV...
  18. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Crittercatcher, 99 is right about the 2 gallon tank, I forgot about that.

    That tank is too small for the pump to not 'fill' it so fast the switch shuts off the pump, teh pressure falls and the pump comes on, and off and that will kill the motor very quickly but, instead of buying a new larger tank, buy a much less expensive CSV from Speedpump and you'll have constant pressure and can use the 62/82 settings or less.
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