Using a Amtrol WX 350 to improve well efficiency

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Michaelco, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. Michaelco

    Michaelco New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    California
    We've been using our well for ~20 years, but haven't had the need to do much since installing - so, somewhat of a newbie...

    I'm looking for feedback on any errors in my thinking (shown below), or if there are any downsides? Are there better solutions?
    Also, checking whether www.PexSupply.com is reputable. Are there better suppliers for buying the WX 350?

    Current Setup:
    3/4 hp submersible located at 190' level in an 8" casing. Pump directly into a 5,000 gal storage tank which we pressurize using a couple Amtrol tanks and a booster pump (may have incorrect terminology).

    Problem
    We are seeing some issues with the well, as it is taking longer to refill the tank after we irrigate our orchard (most likely drought related). I don't believe the SymCom PumpSaver is tripping, but could believe the submersible is working harder than it needs to (as the well draws down).

    Solution
    We use drip irrigation and have started limiting how many rows of trees we irrigate at a time. The thought is to use the Amtrol WX 350 (119 gal tank - set at 40/60 psi) as an accumulator, and limit the flow out of it to allow the submersible some "down time" and thereby reduce the well draw down. I would think this should increase the wells efficiency, and make things easier on the pump.

    The submersible pumps at around 4 gpm, and we're planning on limiting the flow into the storage tank to 3 gpm. I checked the sizing chart on the WX 350 and the drawdown is 31.9 gallons with 40/60 psi pressure switch settings. So, if the submersible is pumping at 4 gpm, and the water is going into the 5000 gal tank at 3 gpm, we will see 1 gallon accumulating in the WX 350 every minute until it hits the 60 psi pressure switch setting. At that point it will interrupt the power to the submersible, and the WX 350 tank will drawdown until it hits the 40 psi cut-in setting which will turn the pump back on. This cycle will continue until the 5000 gal tank float has tripped, at which point the majority of the 119 gallon pressure tank will empty into the storage tank.

    Since the WX 350 drawdown is ~30 gallons, the submersible should run for 30 minutes, and be off for the next 30 minutes, which will allow the well to recover making it easier on the submersible.

    Questions:
    is this a reasonable picture, or am I not understanding what is going on?

    I'm thinking of using something like the following:
    http://www.****.com/itm/Stainless-S...065?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item58a1142919

    I'd be connecting to the WX 350 via PVC, so not sure the 1" NPTM x 1" Barb would be needed. Or do I need more flexibility that a hose connection would provide? I'm assuming the long section goes into the WX 350, and one leg of the T goes to the storage tank (shutoff valve side), and the other side of the T would connect to the well (check valve side)
    I'm assuming I need the check valve to prevent water from going back into the well. Is this accurate?

    Any pics of this type of installation?

    Sorry for such a long post - Thanks
  2. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,495
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Even 30 minute cycles are not good for the pump. I would just use a 3 GPM Dole valve to restrict the flow from the well and dump it directly into the storage tank. When the storage tank is full the float switch just turns off the well pump. You shouldn’t need a pressure tank and pressure switch for the well pump. It is better for the pump and the well to draw a steady 3 GPM than to cycle on and off while trying to draw 4 GPM.

    You need to make sure the Symcom can tell the difference between the amps when the pump is restricted to 3 GPM, and the slightly lower amps that occur when the pump runs dry. If the Symcom isn’t detecting a dry run condition, you will burn up the pump.

    The booster pump needs a Cycle Stop Valve. Then the pump will run steady instead of cycling on and off while running the smaller drip zones. This entire system can be done with a CSV and a 4.5 gallon size tank. But the CSV will work with any size tank, so you can use the one you have.

    Eliminating the cycling for the well pump and the booster pump will make the system more efficient and longer lasting.

    Also see this link for how a CSV works. http://cyclestopvalves.com/simple/home.php


    [​IMG]
  3. Michaelco

    Michaelco New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    California
    Thanks for the quick response - One of the reasons I wanted to go into the WX 350 was so the "contrast" between normal pumping and running dry was as high as possible - If I pumped directly through the flow control, then the pump would see a higher load, and less likely to see a "run dry" situation.
    The other benefit, I thought, for having the WX 350 in the picture was to keep the crevices/cracks filled with water, as water flows more freely. From what I've heard, the surface tension limits water flow when the crevices "empty out". Is this not accurate? I can understand that turning on and off the pump more often has it's downsides, but I heard that running continuously, on a low volume well, will create a higher load on the pump which has it's own issues.

    Other than running calibration on the Symcom, I am at a loss of how to verify if the Symcom would shut off if the pump ran dry.
    I have been out working near the well (for the full day) - and, while there, I could hear the water going into the storage tank. How can you verify a situation that hasn't occurred?

    I'll look at the link on CSV, but I'm not as concerned with the booster pump as it has continued to work well the entire 20+ years - I have a low level setting on the storage tank, to protect the booster, and for most days, the pump will only come on a few times a day to fill the pressurizer tanks. It's a different issue, when we irrigate, but thats normally once every couple weeks. And, during irrigation times, we're running the drip lines for 8 hours at a time - I wouldn't think we'd want to have the pumps running continuously for that duration. Probably cheaper to periodically replace the booster than to pay for the electricity :~}. But, I haven't looked at the CSV link yet, so my comments may be all "wet".
  4. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,495
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Actually, pumping through the flow control directly will reduce the load, not increase the load. But you are still correct that the Symcom is less likely to see a difference between the low load of the pump being restricted, and the slightly lower load that happens when the pump runs dry. You just need a device that CAN distinguish the difference in load. That is what a Cycle Sensor does. It is designed to work with the decreased pump load when using a Cycle Stop Valve, so it will also work with the reduced load caused by a flow control valve. See this link.
    http://cyclestopvalves.com/prod_sensor.html

    You are correct that it is better to keep the “crevices/cracks filled with water”, rather than having them “empty out”. But you have it backwards as in how to make that happen. If your well will make 3 GPM, then it is better to make sure the pump only produces 3 GPM, so the well doesn’t completely “empty out”. Pumping 4 or more GPM the well will empty out, the pump will shut off, the well will refill, and the pump will be restarted, over and over again. This empties out the crevices and cracks and actually decreases the amount of water you can get compared to drawing exactly the maximum, but no more than the well can produce.

    This is again where the counter intuitive properties of a centrifugal pump have you confused. “Running continuously” is good for the pump. Allowing the pump to cycle on and off is the worst thing you can do. And restricting the flow with any kind of valve reduces the load, it doesn’t “increase the load”, which means the motor runs cooler and last longer.


    You literally have to let the well pump dry while you are watching it, and hopefully have an amp meter clipped around one of the hot wires, so you can see what is happening. Then if the Symcom shuts off the pump when the amps drop about 50%, it is doing its job. Unfortunately when you install a 3 GPM flow restrictor the amps will probably drop about 30%, and the Symcom will shut the pump off even though the well is not dry. That is why the Cycle Sensor, described above, can work with a valve. The Cycle Sensor display IS am amp meter. You can see the difference between the amp draw at restricted flow as compared to no flow. Then you adjust the “current adjust” feature of the Cycle Sensor between these two numbers. That way the Cycle Sensor lets the pump run continuously when the flow is restricted, but will still shut off the pump if the well runs dry.

    The low level shut off in the storage tank is a good idea. And “booster type” pumps will take more cycling than a submersible because of there air cooled motor and larger diameter design. But cycling is still not a good thing for them and it causes wide variations in pressure in the house. Yes the booster pump will run longer periods of time when used with a CSV than when filling and draining a large pressure tank. But as discussed earlier the “load” is reduced, so running continuously while restricted, adds very little to the electric bill. What running continuously does is make the pressure in the house hold steady at a constant 50 PSI, instead of sometimes being at 40 and other times being at 60, depending on the level in the pressure tank. Running continuously will also make the pump, pressure tank, pressure switch, check valve, and everything else in the system last longer. And don’t be confused, the CSV will only make the pump run continuously WHILE you are using water. If no water is being used the pump is shut off as usual.


    You comments are not “all wet”, but they are typical of how confusing pumps can be. Pumps are made for, and will last longer when subjected to “continuous duty”, as compared to cycling on and off. And restricting the flow will “reduce the load” of a pump, not increase the load, as most people think. Once you come to terms with these counter intuitive principals of a centrifugal pump, you will wonder how many other things are not the way they seem.

    It will be much better for the pump, and the irrigation system, for the pump to run continuously for 8 hours, as compared to cycling on and off continuously for 8 hours. And reducing the irrigation zones size to match the production of the well pump will cause the booster pump to cycle even more.

    And there is no way that you can pay to replace a booster pump for the difference in the electric bill, comparing running continuously at reduced load, to cycling on and off at full load.

    At this point, I hope to see a bulb light up over your head. :)
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2014
  5. Boycedrilling

    Boycedrilling In the Trades

    Messages:
    42
    Location:
    Royal City, WA
    I think that one of the best investments that you could make would be a water level meter. I prefer the sonic water level meters so you don't have to lower a probe down the well and back up again. I personally use a Ravensgate sonic meter. They run about a thousand dollars. When I buy another one I will probably buy an Eno brand. I think they have a semi permanent mount one that automatically logs water levels for about half that price.

    With a level meter you would then be able to actually monitor the water level in your well and make sure that you aren't over pumping it. You will also be able to determine how fast and how much your static water level is dropping in your area.
  6. Michaelco

    Michaelco New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    California
    I may have a glimmer, but may have to wait til I have a fresher mind in the morning - So, would this be more accurate? Ignoring the case of running dry, the load goes to a minimum level at zero flow. Where at zero flow the pump is essentially pushing the same liquid around the impellers, which doesn't take much force (also ignoring whether this is a good thing or not)

    The problem I'm having is thinking there is a similarity between max flow and no flow. High pressure differential at max flow, and high back pressure at no flow. But is the significant factor that there is zero differential pressure in the no flow case?

    Maybe it will be clearer in the morning :~}
  7. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,495
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    A sonic water level meter is good if you test a lot of wells. But you can do a very accurate level gauge for about 30 bucks, if you install it at the same time the pump is installed. I use a length of ¼” poly tubing that is long enough to attach above the pump and will reach to the top of the well. The tubing is open ended at the pump, and has a tee with a Schrader valve and pressure gauge at the top. Adding a little air with a compressor at the top will blow all the water out of the tube. Then the reading on the pressure gauge will tell you how many feet of water are standing above the lower open end of the tube.

    With the picture below you can see the gauge reads 9 PSI. For every 2.31 feet of water standing above the bottom end of the tube, there is 1 PSI on the gauge. So with 9 PSI I have 9 X 2.31 which equals 20.79’ of water above my pump. When it pulls the water level down so the gauge shows 1 PSI, there is only 2.31’ of water above my pump.


    [​IMG][/QUOTE]
  8. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,495
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Yeah you are making this more confusing that it is.

    At full or max flow the pump pulls 100% of motor amperage.

    When flow is restricted with a valve to zero or very little flow like 3 GPM, the motor will be drawing about 50% to 70% of max amperage.

    When the pump runs dry and is no longer pumping water, the motor load will drop to about 40% to 50% of max amps.

    So when restricting the pumps flow with a 3 GPM Dole valve or a Cycle Stop Valve, you need a dry well protection device that can distinguish the difference between the 50% to 60% amperage that means the pump is restricted but still needs to run, and the 40% to 50% amperage that means your well is dry and the pump needs to shut off.

    You will have high backpressure when the pump is restricted to 3 GPM with a valve, but the amps will actually drop between 50% to 70% of max amperage.

    When you pump the well dry there is no pressure and therefore no backpressure, and the amps will drop slightly more than when the flow is restricted with a valve.

    To be able to restrict the flow of the pump with a Dole valve or Cycle Stop Valve, a dry well protection device needs to be able to distinguish the difference between low amps from low flow, and slightly lower amps at no flow.
  9. Boycedrilling

    Boycedrilling In the Trades

    Messages:
    42
    Location:
    Royal City, WA
    Valveman, I agree that an airline is the least expensive way to monitor the water level in a well. 1/4" poly tubing only costs 10-15 cents per foot. However it HAS to be installed with the pump. It cannot successfully lowered into the well after the pump has been installed, without pulling the pump.

    I have probably pulled a half dozen probe ends off of electrical wire water level sensors. They might go down the hole OK, but have a tendancy the snag on the drop pipe & wire as they are being pulled back out.

    On turbine pumps we normally use 1/4" black steel or stainless steel airline. If it's an oil lube we run the airline internally, and band it to the oil tube

    I use the sonic meter when there isn't an existing air line, or the existing airline doesn't work any more. A sonic meter doesn't work on all wells, but when it does you have a reading in a few seconds. Ambient noise doesn't seem to affect them. In December I test pumped a new well I drilled for a food processing plant. The test pump was a line shaft turbine being run by a Detroit Diesel 16V71 engine with a gear head .we pumped 2250 GPM FROM 309 ft with 7 ft of drawdown. With the sonic meter I could monitor the water level to the tenth of a foot. With the air line I'm guessing to within a couple of feet.
  10. Michaelco

    Michaelco New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    California
    A fresher mind does help. Thanks for the thorough explanation. I’m attempting to get a physical sense of things, rather than just remembering a set of numbers.

    I think I now have a reasonable picture, but definitely not complete or perfect - but it’s closer.

    I see why you recommended the CSV system - looks like a great solution for the output side of the storage tank - simple solution with little, to no downside. I could see adding a CSV to work with our current pressurizer tanks.

    Using the CSV to manage the load of the submersible doesn’t make sense as a simple flow restrictor you had suggested would do the job. The only downside to putting a flow restrictor in is losing the larger "contrast†where the SymCom might miss seeing the "run dry†occurrence. Using the Dole valve, or some other restrictor, will help manage the well’s drawdown, regardless of whether it’s used in conjunction with a CSV system, or after a WX 350. The WX 350 approach gives the SymCom a better chance for seeing a “run dry†situation, but isn’t as “friendly†to the pump as the CSV approach.

    I’m assuming we’re better off restricting the flow, as necessary, to match what the aquifer can provide - this will maximize the well’s overall production. And, if the water level continually drops, we have more restricting to do.
    Is this accurate?

    Seems like my next step is to do as you suggested - monitor the current level and see if there is a big drop off and whether the SymCom catches it - I'm guessing I would adjust the SymCom's sensitivity if it failed to trip when the current dropped off. Once I was sure this worked, then, repeat the process using a restrictor - I have a valve in the line which was intended to give me adjustable flow restriction, so should be able to adjust it down to a 3 gpm rate (by measuring the flow into the storage tank).

    Taking BoyceDrilling’s suggestion would give me a way to tune the restrictor, but I don’t know how the aquifer changes over the year - I could see this being manageable if it only required adjusting a couple times a year, but I wouldn’t want to add another task to be frequently re-adjusting. Could see adjusting restrictor for a worse case situation (summer time is typically when our aquifer is "hurting"). Even though the aquifer is typically in better shape during the winter we could leave it at that setting since our irrigation needs are lower as well.
    Any thoughts on whether this is a reasonable approach

    I like your alternative method using the poly tubing - since this opportunity is gone, wonder if using a rigid tubing, "after the fact†is doable - or, if the material cost is too high or risk of damaging something during installation too great.

    Thanks again for your help
  11. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,495
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    I agree 100%.

    But most homeowners can’t afford a Sonic meter. I have also had problems with meters picking up water cascading down from perfs above the pump. This can give an inaccurate pumping level. The air line is cheap and is not affected by cascading water.

    If it is properly weighted, the air line can be dropped into wells where the pump and pipe are already installed. But as you said, you may never get it back out. I would just tie it off and leave it in the well until the next time the pump is pulled. Then I would attach it to the pipe along with the drop wire.

    We use to run a ¼ rubber air hose in test wells up to 1500’. Cascading water was a big problem in these deep wells. The only trick was using a tank of Nitrogen instead of compressed air, because I couldn’t find and air compressor that would build the 300 PSI I needed for these deep wells.
  12. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,432
    Location:
    IL
    When you tape that tubing, or the wires, to the drop pipe, what kind of tape do you use? I am guessing that tape would be good for other purposes too.
  13. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,495
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    I did not recommend a CSV for the well pump. The drawing shows a Cycle Sensor attached to the well pump. With the Cycle Sensor you don’t have to worry about “losing the larger "contrast” where the SymCom might miss seeing the "run dry” occurrence.”

    [​IMG]

    It also means your well is cycling on at full flow and off for zero flow, to supply a steady 3 GPM to the storage tank. This is not good for the pump or the well.

    You can leave the well restricted to 3 GPM, and the Cycle Sensor will cycle the pump off when the well pumps dry. Then it will restart the pump after a set period of time. This will protect your pump from dry run, but it would be better to restrict the output of the pump to match the inflow from the well.

    As described, when properly weighted, you could put the air line in a well where the pump is installed. Or you can use rigid pipe like ½ PVC. However, the amp draw will tell you when the well is pumped dry, and you can adjust things accordingly without a water level gauge.
  14. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,495
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Scotch 33 electrical tape.
  15. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    977
    Location:
    ct
    I have an Eno sonic water level detector, ehhhhh it's ok when it works, which is about 60% of the time. A friend uses a Ravensgate and thinks it is a better unit.
  16. Michaelco

    Michaelco New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    California
    I think I am understanding your points - just not clear in my writings...

    Got it. I understood you recommended to use a Dole valve. There was a point in my thinking last night, when I thought it might be useful to use a CSV. But, then realized you'd still need to use a restrictor for health of the pump, and keep the crevices and cracks filled with water. Which meant there was no benefit in having the CSV with this fixed demand situation. I think I have this piece, just putting it out there in case I missed something.

    This is the kind of thing I was looking for. I thought the SymCom PumpSaver Plus works in a similar manner as the Cycle Sensor - e.g., monitors the current and trips when the current drops. Is there some other difference?
    I'd like to see if I can get the SymCom to work, as it just replaced an old pump monitoring unit that's been there since the well went in. I would go out now, and play with it, but the tank is full and we're getting some much needed rain.
    I haven't adjusted the SymCom's sensitivity level as it was recommended to keep it at the factory default. I'm assuming, if it doesn't catch a current drop, then I should disregard this recommendation and bump the sensitivity up, and re-check.

    Understand - that was what I was referring to when I said "but isn't as 'friendly' to the pump...". Still, seems there is a benefit (higher contrast) that this approach offers. I understand the negative (cycling) that comes with the benefit. Yes, and I hear you when you say the Cycle Sensor doesn't require the additional "contrast" - don't know why, but heard your message :~}.
    You said it much clearer than my attempt at it :~}.

  17. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,495
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    I hope this doesn’t further confuse you, but the CSV could still be used on the well pump if you want to keep the same control set up for the storage tank. I assume you are using a solenoid valve controlled by a float switch to fill the storage tank. In this way the pressure switch turns the well pump on when the float switch drops, opening the solenoid valve that fills the storage tank. I am sure you restrict the flow going into the storage tank with a ball valve. So you choke the ball valve back to 3 GPM, which is the recovery rate of the well. This effectively draws 3 GPM continuously from the well. However, the well pump is filling the pressure tank at maybe 10 GPM, depending on the size of the pump. Then the well pump shuts off while the storage tank drains the pressure tank at a rate of 3 GPM. So the well pump is cycling on and off. This causes the well to draw way down, then recover its level while the pump is off, even though the storage tank is being filled at a steady 3 GPM.

    You could simply put a CSV on the well pump. When the pressure switch starts the pump, the CSV will adjust the output of the well pump to match the rate you set at the flow control gate valve. So the pump will draw a steady 3 GPM from the well while you are filling the storage tank at 3 GPM. The water level in the well will remain constant, instead of going up and down like it does when the pump is cycling.

    But it would be simpler to just put a 3 GPM Dole valve on the well pump, (or use the gate valve you have now), and let the float switch in the storage tank turn the well pump on directly. No pressure tank, no pressure switch.

    Many of the devices out there like the Symcom pumpsaver work fine for dry well protection, as long as you don’t restrict the pump with a valve of any kind. When the pump is cycling on and off at full capacity, it is also drawing maximum amperage when running. And as you said there is a “higher contrast” between full load amperage and dry run amperage, so the Symcom default is to see a 25% amp reduction as a dry well condition, which turns the pump off.

    When you restrict the pump with a valve, the amperage drops about 30%, and the Symcom sees that as a dry well, and shuts the pump off, even though it shouldn’t. If you adjust the sensitivity for the Symcom to work at the reduced amperage when the pump is restricted, then it shuts the pump off on overload when you go to full flow. With a 3 GPM restrictor on the well pump, and using the float switch directly, without having a pressure tank and pressure switch, you maybe able to make the Symcom work. This way you can adjust the sensitivity to work at the amperage when the pump is restricted, and the pump will always be restricted. So the Symcom should work with the Dole valve/float switch combination.

    A Symcom won’t work with a Cycle Stop Valve using the solenoid valve/pressure tank/pressure switch method. This is because the CSV would let the pump produce full flow and max amps when it first comes on, then it would reduce to low amperage when the CSV started working to restrict the pump to 3 GPM. The amperage range of the Symcom is not wide enough to let the pump work at high flow/high amperage AND low flow/low amperage.

    The difference in the Cycle Sensor is that it WILL work at high flow/high amperage, and will still protect the pump if the amperage drops below the low flow/low amperage setting.

    I don’t blame you. They aren’t cheap. So if you also want the water level in the well to remain constant, use the Dole valve/direct float switch type control, and maybe you can adjust the sensitivity on the Symcom to make that happen.

    The problem you are going to have is when you restrict the output of the well pump to 3 GPM, the Symcom will shut the pump off on low amperage/dry well condition. You can probably adjust the sensitivity so the pump will stay on when the flow is restricted, but it may not shut off when the well is dry. So after setting the Symcom to stay running at the lower amperage, I would remove the Dove valve, or open the gate valve to pump the well dry. Then while you are watching it with a clip around amp meter, you can tell when the pump runs dry by a slight reduction in amps, and no water coming out the pipe. If the Symcom doesn’t automatically shut the pump off within a minute or so, it is not going to work with the restrictor.

    If the Symcom won’t work with the flow restrictor, the Cycle Sensor will. It lets you set the exact amperage where you want the pump to shut off. So it can tell the difference between low flow and no flow.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2014
  18. Michaelco

    Michaelco New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    California
    Currently, we pump directly from the submersible into the 5000 gal tank without any intermediary storage/pressure tank. We haven't added an intermediary tank, nor have we throttled the output of the submersible pump, but were planning on doing so prior to the info you have provided.
    Except for the last 4 months, we have been fine with this setup rarely tripping. The 5000 gal tank recovered as expected - e.g, in the number of calculated hours). The thought was to add a pressure tank and throttle it's output to 3 GPM to accomplish a couple of things - cycle the pump at 50% cycle, limit the big drawdown in the well and still keep the "contrast" high. However, I can see the benefits of keeping the pump running at the throttled level keeping the water level up, making it easier on the pump, and possibly easier on the structure of the well (an assumption, but no basis).
    At this point, I will experiment with the existing system, and see what I can and can't get to work. If I can't get the SymCom to work with the flow restrictor I'll try the Cycle Sensor. I'll deal with the booster pump in the spring time - another few months most likely won't "do it in" - willing to take the gamble.
    To set up the Symcom, I first placed it in Calibration mode, and turned on the power. It ran for 10 seconds, and the calibration light went out. I assumed this captured a reference current to use for the max current level. I don't know what the purpose of this step would be if this is not the case. After calibration was done, I set the time delay to 160 minutes and let it r
    My plan was to first see if the Symcom could trip if the current dropped. If it didn't, I would adjust the sensitivity until it did. I would then restrict the well output (e.g, throttle the valve), and once I had it set properly to give me 3 gpm, I would re-calibrate so the SymCom would capture a new reference. The only questionable area is whether the sensitivity made when set with no throttling would be "workable" for the restricted case. And, in throttling down to 3 gpm the drawdown might not lower the water level down far enough to the pump level - I guess I could wait until the 5000 gal tank is fully emptied before allowing it to refill to give it as good a chance to run dry that I could give it.
    Good to know.
    Seems like a better approach (Cycle Sensor) - I may try to contact SymCom to see if they have any thoughts on how to approach. If the sensitivity adjustment is a percentage of the current captured during calibration, then I might be able to extrapolate what the sensitivity adjustment should be. Too verify it works may be a whole different issue - especially if I'm restricting flow to keep the water level high and avoid getting into a run dry situation.

    Thanks again for sharing your experience and ideas. Definitely has changed where I was headed, and with a better solution.
  19. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,495
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    I have used thousands of Symcoms. Their model 77C has an adjustable underload, but I don't think the one you have will work when throttling the pump. After the Sysmcom is calibrated for the 3 GPM throttled flow, you will need to run the pump wide open until it pumps the well dry to see if the Symcom will still shut off the pump on dry run.
  20. Michaelco

    Michaelco New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    California
    If that's the case, I would need to repipe to provide a bypass around the flow restrictor. Thanks for the info.
    Probably still worth contacting SymCom and see if they think the unit would do the job - less likely chance of success if they say it won't - presuming I can get a hold of anyone who has good knowledge. I may be willing to put the effort in to repipe if they say it should work - knowing the quality of the info is "fuzzy" and it's not a "sure thing"
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