Well pump cycling - small changes

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by szinger, Jan 5, 2006.

  1. szinger

    szinger New Member

    Messages:
    7
    I had a service person out today for my water conditioning system. He noticed that my well pump was cycling way too often. He thought my pressure tank was water-logged. Before I call anyone, I wanted to take a look.

    What I found was that the pressure was changing from a high of 50 to a low of 49 on the gauge - not what I expected to find...!

    The system was installed when the house was new in 1989. From the other posts, I do not believe that I should have a constant pressure system....(a feature that I am now getting for free!)

    Is this a symptom of a water-logged tank, a bad pressure switch, or something else? Seems like a switch issue to me.

    Didn't see this symptom in any other posts.

    Any thoughts are welcome.
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,947
    Location:
    New England
    Yes, that is a symptom of a failed tank. It's pretty easy to check for a failed (bladder type) tank. Take the cap off of the schrader valve (looks like a tire valve cap). Depress the center of the valve. If water comes out, or there's water there, replace the tank. If that appears okay, turn off the pump. Open a faucet. Does the pressure immediately drop to zero? If so, then it is one of two things, a bad tank, or the bladder does not have any air in it. If you tap on the tank after the pump is off and you've opened up a valve, if it sounds like it is full of water it is probably bad. Check the air pressure now. Try to pump it up to 2 pounds LESS than the turn on pump pressure (38 pounds if your switch is set to 40/60). If it holds air, then maybe you are okay. Note, if the tank had water in it, pumping air into it will force some out. You need to have the pump off and a faucet open to charge the tank. I might have forgotten something, but that is it basically. If you can pump it up, and it doesn't leak (it shouldn't have in the first place, so it is probably bad), then you should be back in business. It could be the valve that is leaking, and you can buy new guts to screw in.
  3. szinger

    szinger New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Thanks for the quick reply. I'll check it out in the next couple of days and let you know!
  4. szinger

    szinger New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Looks like you nailed it - water squirted out of the valve and smells like my good sulfur water!

    The tank is a Welltrol WX202. What would be a reasonable expectation on tank cost (materials) and labor (an hour at $50?) It should be an easy install for someone who know what they are doing

    (My wife is nervous about me doing anything that involves our drinking water....of course, I think I do Excellent work! :rolleyes: )
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,947
    Location:
    New England
    I've never installed one of those, nor am I a pro, but it sure looks fairly easy, especially if you can find one like it. Basically, it is pretty simple. You'd have to consider how heavy it is (you should be able to find out on the website), and if you want to try to drag the new one in and the old one out. Check out the nipples running to the pressure control and pressure gauge while you are at it, they tend to get some buildup of corrosion on the insides. One of the pros will probably have some comments. Around where I live, a master/helper plumber pair costs about $115/hour.
  6. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Your WX202 is equivalent to my PC-66 by Flexcon/. Both very good tanks.

    Do you have a tank tee? It will come out of the bottom of the tank and have the pressure switch and gauge etc. attached to it. If so, does it have a union? If so again, it would be very easy to change. If it is just piped with PVC, it will would be easy.

    bob...
  7. szinger

    szinger New Member

    Messages:
    7
    My tank is presently held by two straps between floor joists (but is larger than the center to center spacing) in my crawl (about 4 foot high). The tank is horizontal. The fitting comes out the side to a "T" where the gauge and valve are, along with a faucet for a drainage hose (so I can drain right at the tank to the stones in the crawl. Plumbing is the black iron stuff, I think.

    How heavy are these tanks? Do some fit between 16" center floor joints - so I can get a new one down?

    Thanks again for the insight!
  8. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    The WX-202 is not designed to be mounted in betlween rafters. It is supposed to sit vertically on a floor. But it doesn't matter if they are horizontal or vertical to work properly.

    The tanks are light if they are not waterlogged and full of water.

    bob...
  9. szinger

    szinger New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Another question - is it normal to hear the in-well pump (60 Hz hum) in the house when it kicks on?

    I'm thinking that since the tank touches the floor joists, this noise is being transmitted thru the water, to the tank, to the joists, and resonates throughout the house.

    Would it be quieter if it was sitting on the ground, since I'm putting a new one in?
  10. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Since the tank is horizontal and the bladder is failed, you probably can't rely on it being empty when you take it down.

    You can try to empty it by blowing air in the Schrader valve, but it may not be effective. Just don't be under it when you release the supports.

    If you put it on the ground, you may want to put it vertical (outlet down) if there is enough height. In any case, support it off the earth with some pressure treated wood or masonry, and if on the side, make sure the supports don't hold water and put a vapor barrier (piece of plastic, as little as a couple of layers of plastic grocer bags) between the wood and the tank. It will rust faster from the outside than from the inside if it is wet and the paint gets damaged, and the preservatives in most pressure treated lumber are very corrosive to steel.

    The tanks often come with a precharge of air so you don't need a compressor or pump. The air should be bled to 2 psi less than the turn-on pressure of your pressure switch.
  11. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    I think it would be quieter on the ground.

    bob...
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