Pump Problem?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by caribu, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. caribu

    caribu New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan
    About a week ago I went to turn my shower on and noticed that when I turned my water on it ran at a very slow trickle then turn on with normal pressure after about 20 to 30 seconds. I have not noticed any problems for about a week. This morning my daughter called me with the same problem but this time the water was trickling out very slow for a longer period of time then suddenly turned back on with normal pressure. We have a well, not sure how deep. The pressure tank was replaced in December of last year. The pressure gauge appears to be holding at normal ranges. It is very inconsistent so I'm having a hard time trying to figure out what's happening. Any ideas?
     
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Occupation:
    Information Technology
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    My guess is that you are not looking at the gauge at the moment that the water is a mere trickle. The gauge could well be lying and the pressure switch may be failing.

    Most likely, the tank is empty at the time and the jet pump (I'm guessing) is just starting and starving for pressure. Make sure the tank precharge is not too high for the switch kick-in setting.
     
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  4. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    If this is a jet pump, I would think you are losing prime.
     
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Occupation:
    Information Technology
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I think it's losing its head, not its prime. A jet pump uses pressure to make more pressure. At the same time it uses volume to make more volume. If you cut the precharge too fine, the pressure dives just as the pump is coming on and hesitates. How would the precharge vary over time?

    A pressure switch setting can drift with age or from mineral buildup under the diaphragm. A bladder can fail over time and slowly "jack up" the precharge or silt/can displace the water between the bladder and the tank.

    A common mistake that people make when setting the precharge is to assume their air pressure (usually read with a tire gauge) reads the same as their water pressure gauge. Seldom do they read the same and so they need to be calibrated.
     
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