Uneven pressure after repair

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Kenny747, May 16, 2006.

  1. Kenny747

    Kenny747 New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Hello, the capacitor went out on my water pump and after I replaced it my pressure switch seems to kick on and off too often and the water pressure drops noticably before it kicks on. I made no adjustments to the pressure
    switch after I first installed the capacitor so everything should work as it did and I have to assume it's something else.

    When I turn the water on full, it kicks on and runs for about 15 seconds and off for about 3 seconds, I'm not sure what it did before but, it just doesn't seem right.
    Actually I do seem to remember the water running for quit a while before it kicked on and I'm positive about the drop in pressure just before it comes on.

    I'm thinking it has something to do with the tank pressure as I did eventually adjust the pressure switch according to instructions but, never could get it to work right. The PS adjustments are now as they were originally.

    Thanks for any suggestions.
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,892
    Location:
    New England
    Turn the pump off, open a faucet and let all of the water you can out. Check the pressure in the pressure tank. It should be 1-2 pounds less than the turn-on pressure. Adjust as required. If you get water out of the air valve, replace the tank.
  3. Kenny747

    Kenny747 New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Thanks, jadnashua, sounds good to me. The water pressure guage is shot so, assuming there is no other way, I'll get a new one and do as you say.
  4. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Or you can do all this with the tire gauge.

    bob...
  5. Kenny747

    Kenny747 New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Bob, I don't have a converter fitting handy to get the water pressure with the tire guage.

    I just let all the water out and there was no air pressure in the tank so, to play it safe I put 20 lbs in just to see if we were on the right track and it does do better. I'll get a WP guage when I get to town.

    For future reference, It doesn't really make sense that it would but, did it somehow lose the air pressure when I drained the tank to repair a small leak in the line and if not, where did my air pressure go? No water coming from the air valve as of yet.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,892
    Location:
    New England
    WHen you shut off the pump and open a valve, eventually, the water pressure will drop to zero. This is NOT the same thing as the bladder tank pressure. You must use a tire pressure gauge on the tank to check its precharged pressure. That is what needs to be set 1-2 pounds less than the turn-on pressure switch setting. If the tank has zero in it when you check, either the valve leaked it all out or the bladder leaks. If it is the bladder, it's time for a new tank. On some, you might be able to replace the guts of the Schrader valve - it may solve the problem. Note that a good valve cap (same as a tire valve cap) is required to keep all of that air in the tank.
  7. Kenny747

    Kenny747 New Member

    Messages:
    14
    I understand, Jim.

    There was no bladder tank pressure (air pressure.

    Since no water is coming from the air valve (no hole in bladder, I can only assume that when the water pressure dropped to zero, there was less back pressure on the air valve than ever before and it may have allowed the air to leak.

    Actually that's more a theory than assumption.

    Anyway thanks again y'all and hopefully after I get the water pressure guage so I can get a turn-on pressure reading and set everything, all will be well and I learned something to boot.
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,892
    Location:
    New England
    If you don't have any pressure in the tank, then it will not hold much of any water under pressure. This will cause your pump to run more often. If you know your pressure switch is set to say 30-50, then put 28 pounds in it. See if it will hold pressure.
  9. Kenny747

    Kenny747 New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Makes sense to me. I'll bump the air pressure up to 28 psi tomorrow and that'll probably get it close to what is should be.

    Question: do the water pressure guages have a habit of going bad? The reason I ask is that if I have problems 5 or 6 yrs down the line and if my new WP switch is going to go bad again, I may as well just install a tire type fitting now and check it with a tire guage like Bob mentioned.
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,892
    Location:
    New England
    The main reason I hear the gauges stop working is because they get clogged with rust/crud. If you unscrew the gauge, you might find the inside of the pipe all full of rust.
  11. Kenny747

    Kenny747 New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Thanks, I'll try cleaning it before I get another.
  12. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    The schrader valve should be on top or high on the side of the bladder tank Kenny. If you install one in the plumbing it will only read system pressure not the precharge in the bladder tank.

    If there is no water coming from the schrader valve in the tank, that does not necessarily mean the tanks bladder is good. It just means it hasn't filled to the top with water yet. If you didn't let the air out, it sounds like a problem to me.

    bob...
  13. Kenny747

    Kenny747 New Member

    Messages:
    14
    I understand, Bob. I was just thinking that installing a schrader valve in the plumbing would give me a way to check the pressure for adjusting the pressure switch and tank air instead of a pressure guage that may go out on me again. I tink I'll just go with another pressure guage though if need be, they're cheap enough.

    I'm thinking that when I was adjusting the pressure switch with no working water pressure guage, I may have adjusted it too high and blown the bladder.
    Does that sound like a possibility?

    I just went out to bring the tank air pressure up to 28 and noticed it had leaked back to zero (I put 20 psi in last night). It's working fine now with 28 but, I have a feeling it'll leak out again.

    Since you mention I may still have problems even though there is no water coming from the schrader valve, I was thinking of removing the S valve, thus getting rid of any back pressure and if I do have a hole, the water should eventually run out the schrader valve hole when I turn on the pump?

    I'll check the air pressure again later today/tomorrow and go from there.
  14. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    You must drain all pressure from piping system before you can check the air in the tank with a tire gauge. Once you have it set right, you can also use the tire gauge to check system pressure at the same schrader on the tank. It's all the same once you have water pressure in the system.

    If your air is leaking out that fast, you need a new tank.

    bob...
  15. Kenny747

    Kenny747 New Member

    Messages:
    14
    you can also use the tire gauge to check system pressure at the same schrader on the tank.

    When you say "system pressure" are you refering to the water pressure. If so, what I'm getting is once the bladder is drained of water, I then bring the air pressure to what it should be, turn the pump on and fill the bladder, then I can test the cut in/out water pressure from the schrader valve?
  16. Kenny747

    Kenny747 New Member

    Messages:
    14
    then I can test the cut in/out water pressure from the schrader valve?

    Test = check
  17. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,892
    Location:
    New England
    The air will compress until the water pressure and air pressure in the tank are equal. If you don't precharge the tank, you will end up overstretching the bladder and causing it to likely fail early, plus, if there is no air pressure in the tank ,there is nothing to push the water out of the tank and your pump will need to run with any valve opening. Since water doesn't compress for all practical purposes, to get the pressure to stop the pump, you are expanding pipes, hoses, etc a very small amount. Since that probably only takes a few teaspoons of volume, when you open a valve, it drops instantly, and the pump comes on.

    Schrader valves aren't designed for wet environments...

    If you have one of those valve covers that has a split head sticking out, it is used to tighten or loosen the valve from the shell. Yours could be loose, and would leak air. After filling it up, when you draw water into a glass, do you see a lot of small bubbles in it? Or, did you get any spurts of air when you opened a faucet?
    Last edited: May 17, 2006
  18. Kenny747

    Kenny747 New Member

    Messages:
    14
    I'm now sure I've got a blown bladder.
    Can some one please give me an idea of the cost of a new tank here in NE FL, I can call tomorrow so no biggie. I'm just not going to be able to get another one right away and was hoping someone could tell me if there is any way I can get by w/this one for awhile without burning my pump motor up or any solution short of getting a new tank?

    Can I run this thing safely with it kicking on and off every couple of seconds? If so, for how long at a time can I run it that way? I can add air and it will hold for awhile so if it kicks on every 15 seconds or so, will that burn it up? I guess what I'm trying to ask is what is the most amount of times it can kick on and off before I risk burning it up (kick on every 5 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec.

    Just shooting in the dark here but I think I read here somewhere that as long as it's running constantly, it won't hurt any thing, is there a way I can adjust things to make that happen?

    I need to run it a minimum of 1 hr per day to save my small nursery but if I burn it up I'm really screwed. I know those are some oddball questions but, I have an oddball situation and any suggestions would be helpful.
  19. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,892
    Location:
    New England
    Constant on/off cycles will eventually both burn up the contacts in the pressure switch and burn up the pump motor. Can't help you with the problem...maybe someone else can, sorry.
  20. Kenny747

    Kenny747 New Member

    Messages:
    14
    That's OK, Jim, you've been a lot of help and I appreciate it.

    I just realized I can just go check a friends pump and probably get an idea of what's safe by checking normal cycle time on his and turning my water pressure down at the wells water shut off valve so it only comes on somwhere close to normal.

    I can deal with low pressure for awhile.
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