Short cycle

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by swbrown23, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. swbrown23

    swbrown23 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    NY
    We have a vacation cabin in the Southern tier of NYS. The well was put in about 12 years ago with the presure tank (thought to be a membrane type)buried 6 ft deep next to the well head. The issue was noticed this summer with a short cycle of a couple of minutes when no water is being called for. The presure gauge started at 40 lbs and drifted down slowly to 20 which caused the pump to cycle.

    We were hoping to not dig up the old presure tank this winter and a theory was hatched to add a second membrane tank in the house thinking that if the old one had ruptured it might just act like a dead end pipe.

    We installed the new tank in the house and at first glance it seemed we had sucess, the presure gauge read a steady 40 lbs. Over the course of the weekend we then realized that gauge would hold at 40 for a couple of minutes than drift down to 20 and kick the pump on when no water is being called for. The short cycle is now longer at about 5 minutes.

    I think we know what must be done at this point, just wondering if there is anything else we should check like the presure switch before we get out the shovels?
  2. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,460
    Location:
    MD
    How deep?
    ******xx
  3. swbrown23

    swbrown23 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    NY
    The well was 155 ft deep from what everyone remembers.
  4. upper

    upper DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    154
    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    What exactly are you thinking Mr. Brown...Upper
  5. swbrown23

    swbrown23 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    NY
    That we have to dig out the old presure tank and cap the connection since we now have a new tank in the house. How likely is it that the old tank still has enough air in it to be causing the 5 minute short cycle?
  6. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    I have a suspicion that when you unearth the old tank you will find that it has a leak or two in it. They were not made to be burried.
  7. swbrown23

    swbrown23 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    NY
    That would not suprise me at all, I was not there when the well was drilled but I would guess they buried it to keep it from freezing? or maybe the well guy was planning to replace it about now....
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Pressure tanks that can be buried have been around for decades.

    You really want to remove the old tank from the water line because the area above the bladder is not meant to have water in it and any water that gets above the bladder gets really funky really fast, and rusty too. It can smell like the most rotten thing you ever smelled and it's not good for your health.
  9. Allen Meyers

    Allen Meyers Previous member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Monroe, LA
    Did you remove the AW8A? Is is want makes the underground tank work with the pump. To do this, you will have to lift the dope pipe up about five foot. It screws into the pitless. We bury about 20 tanks each year. Likely that was your problem in the first place. They go bad from time to time.
  10. swbrown23

    swbrown23 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    NY
    We did not remove anything at the well head. I am not familiar with the "AW8A" is that a valve of some sort?
  11. Allen Meyers

    Allen Meyers Previous member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Monroe, LA
    There are different styles. Take the cap off the well and see what you have. There should be a tube with greenish liquid running down to the pittless. If it has a submersible pump.
  12. swbrown23

    swbrown23 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    NY
    So, if I understand correctly the pitless adapters connection could fail over time essentially creating a leak which allows the pressure drop. I wonder if we could detect the leak by looking down the well casing.
  13. Allen Meyers

    Allen Meyers Previous member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Monroe, LA
    If you have an AW8A it is causeing the problem now. It needs to be disconnected or a new one and use the underground tank. It is telling your pump to run.
  14. Allen Meyers

    Allen Meyers Previous member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Monroe, LA
    Just in case this is the old style, where is your pressure switch? At the well head?
  15. Allen Meyers

    Allen Meyers Previous member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Monroe, LA
    Sorry, I just saw this. An AW8A is a type of pressure switch for underground tanks. So if you added a switch with your new tank, you could have two switches telling the pump what to do.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2009
  16. swbrown23

    swbrown23 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    NY
    The pressure switch is under the house from the original install, never been touched.

    Sounds like the possibilities are the in ground pressure tank bad or a leak somewhere. After reading some other well problem posts might also be the check valve at the pump.
  17. Allen Meyers

    Allen Meyers Previous member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Monroe, LA
    Is your new tank under the house? The switch needs to be as close to the tank as possible.
  18. swbrown23

    swbrown23 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    NY
    The new tank is in the house about 5 ft of pipe from the switch.
  19. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Hey Allen, I'm squinting real hard and I'm familiar with wells and pressure tanks etc. but I can't see your AWBA thingy, so what are you talking about so Mr Brown can see if he has one? What is a AWBA and what does it look like and where is it so he can understand what you mean?
  20. Allen Meyers

    Allen Meyers Previous member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Monroe, LA
    The Baker part number is 8AWAA control less. It is a pressure switch for underground tanks. It screws into a special type cap. It sits on the well. There is two pieces of tubing with green liquid in it. One goes down in the pittles, the other to the switch. Then one water supply line goes in the house from the underground tank. They work very well however, they do go bad. I have some pictures. I will post them when I get time.

    If his switch is under his house he has a very old set up.
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