Water surging and Water Pump Control Relay Short cycling

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Chris Botti, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. Chris Botti

    Chris Botti New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Florida, NY
    Hi,
    Lately I have been noticing that my water pressure throughout my home is surging when you turn a faucet on. While in the basement where my water pump controller is and while having the washing machine on I was noticing that the relay seems to be clicking on and off almost in a short cycle. My pressure gauge on the front of the control unit is at a little over 60 psi. The control unit is an old sears model #3902835 and the pump appears to be a 1HP P217-135... which I can't find much info on. I do have a large gray Well Mate pressure tank that is about 5' in height 14 " wide and the pressure gauge is also reading just about 60+ lbs. Does anyone have any ideas for me to help diagnosis what the problem could be? I have read some of the other posts on the site and am leaning toward a pressure switch... Would emptying the pressure tank some, and allowing air into the tank help? I don't think it is the pump itself but more of the control unit. Any help would be great! Thank You.
  2. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    854
    Location:
    ct
    The tank is probably either water logged or has a bad bladder/diaphram.

    No, draining the tank will not put enough air back into the tank. A bicycle pump won't work either.

    Fix it now before you fry the pump
  3. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,838
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    LOL I still remember pumping air into my dad's galvanized tank with a bicycle pump. It was in a space too small to stand up in. It helps to turn off the pump and drain the tank first.
  4. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    854
    Location:
    ct
    We were on a job a few weeks ago where the guy had been trying to put a precharge in his Ace hardware store tank with a bicycle pump.

    Gotta love it
  5. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots Sprinkler Guy

    Messages:
    798
    Location:
    Metro NYC
    I actually did that once on an old, thankfully small, galvanized tank, while visiting a relative, and no other air source was at hand.
  6. Chris Botti

    Chris Botti New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Florida, NY
    Ok...

    Hi Craig,
    How do you recommend that I fix it? Is it as simple as replacing the physical tank? It looks like there I one line in and one line out. Obviously I would shut down the pump and drain the tank. Once I've done that, do I simply disconnect the line in and out or is there more to it? Sorry man, I'm use to city water. No pressure tanks needed there. Also, is there a better brand tank and size to replace it with that you recommend?
    Thanks for the info.
  7. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    Do you have a air volume control ? or a bladder tank ?

    If it has a Air Volume control, then draining the tank will help. Just close everything up before you turn your pump on.


    Good Luck.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
  8. Chris Botti

    Chris Botti New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Florida, NY
    Also, the tank appears to be fiberglass wrapped with a large hex nut on top. Any other thoughts? I have no problem replacing what I have to. Just need some more info to make an educated decision. Thanks again.
  9. Chris Botti

    Chris Botti New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Florida, NY
    Honestly I have no idea. How do I find out the difference? I am thinking bladder tank. There is only the feed line in and the line out. Nothing else that I can see.
  10. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,838
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    You need to determine whether it is a bladder type captive air tank or a hydro-pneumatic. If it is a bladder type, there should be a schrader valve on it. If it is hydro-pneumatic, there would be a vent.

    If it is a bladder tank, you might be able to replace the bladder, assuming it no longer holds air. If it is hydro-pneumatic, you need to either fix the airmaker system or the AVC.
  11. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,838
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    There has to be more. Usually if the in and out are separate ports, then it is likely to be hydro-pneumatic in which case there is an AVC under that top nut and a vent on top.
  12. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,838
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    If there truly is nothing more, and the in is at the bottom with the out at the top, then it is a contact tank which is not meant to have any air in it. In that case, there would need to be another tank.
  13. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Sounds like some sort of water filter.

    Or I missed something.
  14. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,838
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    More likely the OP neglected to tell us something. Hard to miss something you've never seen.
  15. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    854
    Location:
    ct
    The give away is the large nut on top of the tank. He has a Well Mate with a verticle air volume control.

    Sometimes they will get cruded up with iron and quit working.

    On top is that large nut, back that out, lift it up and you will see the air volume control. I would replace the avc, and then be sure there is Bleeder port in the drop pipe so the system will balance itself. The AVC is like $23.00 or so.
  16. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,921
    Location:
    IL
    I suggest you post a photo. Does your tank look like one of these? http://www.wellmate.com/

    A pressure tank normally has only one water pipe connection, although that connection is often via a tee.

    Also, you say that the water pressure is 60+. Is it still that high when the pump turns on?

    If you turn the pump off, and then open a faucet, how about much water comes out of the tap before the pressure tank is down to 30 PSI or lower?

    Edit: On http://www.wellmate.com/en-US/produ...ersal-retention-tank/ut-quick-connect-series/ I see this which seems to match the descripton:[​IMG]

    So that is a contact tank rather than a pressure tank. If that is what the OP describes, he must have a pressure tank somewhere else.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
  17. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,838
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I have one of those. When the AVC fails, it fails in one of two ways, either it stops letting air out, or lets out too much of the air, if it lets out too much air, then it also leaks water out the vent. Water leaking from the vent should not go unnoticed but the OP made no mention of that.

    The position of the AVC inside the tank is about two thirds of the way down, so it cannot let all the air out. The only plausible explanation is that someone plugged the vent because water was leaking out and then over time the air got absorbed, waterlogging the tank. For that to happen, the airmaker would also have to fail or be disabled. Granted, that too happens whet people put a valve cap on the snifter.

    The big nut could also be where the replaceable bladder is inserted.
  18. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    854
    Location:
    ct
    Ever try to change one of those "replaceable" bladders?

    It's easier to change the tank
  19. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX


    LOL.

    KY Jelly works wonders.
  20. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,838
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    LOL Never underestimate the frugality of a Yankee!
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