?Pump? seems to turn on and off

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by emcreative, May 25, 2008.

  1. emcreative

    emcreative New Member

    May 25, 2008
    We have well water and seem to be experiencing problems with the pump. Please excuse my absolute inability to comprehend all things mechanical. I'll do my best to explain.

    I hear what I am guessing is the "pump" motor sound turn on and off when we need water. Sometimes, after water has been used (a toilet flush, for example) I can hear it shut on and off for a while.

    Now in the past few days we are to the point where we turn on a faucet, the washer, etc...and it takes a while for the water to appear. Tonight, no water has appeared for the washer in 20 minutes.

    Yes, I know this is something I most likely should have called someone about immediately. Please have mercy as my infant son is in the NICU and my husband is in the hospital in the OTHER direction, so I hardly have time to recite my name.

    Please let me know if there is ANYTHING I can do to try to improve this problem in the short term.
    Last edited: May 27, 2008
  2. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Nov 23, 2006
    disabled-retired industrial fabricator
    200 miles south of Little Rock
    It sounds like your bladder or air tank is waterlogged, and that is making your pump short-cycle until it heats up and the thermal switch cuts it out until it cools. Putting some air in the appropriate part of the tank will likely solve your problem or at least buy a few days until the accumulation tank can be replaced, if necessary.
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  4. emcreative

    emcreative New Member

    May 25, 2008
    Thank you so much for your advice! Could you direct me to somewhere on the web that might explain how to do this?

    Would this also be impacting our hot water supply? I'm assuming you mean the hot water heater? I do not know of anywhere else that water accumulates/holds inside the house. We are also having problems with water warming, etc, even though the heating element is on.

    (psst...I'm proof positive that a graduate degree does NOT make one smarter than anyone else!!)
  5. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Mar 15, 2006
    Pump Controls Technician
    Lubbock, Texas
    "To check the air pressure in a bladder tank the power to the pump must be turned off. Then a faucet should be opened until water stops coming out of the tap. While the pump is off and the faucet is still open, you can check the air pressure at the schrader valve on top of the tank. You will need to use a car tire pressure gauge on the schrader valve. The air pressure in the tank should be 2 to 10 PSI below the "start" pressure of the pump. IE; with a 40/60 pressure switch, the air pre-charge in the tank should be no higher than 38 PSI and no lower than 30 PSI. Use an air compressor to pre-charge the tank to the correct pressure. If the air is coming back out of the open faucet, then the bladder is busted. If while holding the valve core down on the schrader valve, water comes out, the bladder is busted. If the schrader valve will not accept air from the compressor, the bladder is most likely busted."

    See complete article at;

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