water flowing from faucets in bursts

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by nflguy, May 29, 2005.

  1. nflguy

    nflguy New Member

    May 29, 2005
    Hello...new to this forum.
    Lately, water comming out of my faucets comes through in bursts as if its under bursts of pressure. The entire system is about 20 years old. The pump is not short cycling. I am thinking this seems like a pressure switch problem? Can I rule out the pressure tank bladder because I would think all the air would be out of the tank by now since this has been going on for a month or more. Thanks for any help you can give me.
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Does the pump start as soon as you open a faucet? Watch the pressure gauge while someone opens a faucet - does it almost immediately drop, or does it slowly drop prior to the pump turning on? Or, does it bounce back and forth as the water surges? The job of the pressure tank is to provide some storage of water under pressure to even out the pump cycles, and keep the pump from having to turn on every time you draw a cup of water for a short time. When the water surges, do you get air out, or is it just that the water does not flow smoothly?
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  4. nflguy

    nflguy New Member

    May 29, 2005
    Thanks for your response, Jim.
    No, The pressure drops normally as I draw water from the system. The pump doesnt kick on until the gauge drops to the normal setting. The pump kicks on until the high cut off is reached. Then the pump shuts off. It isn't kicking on and off any more or any quicker than normal. When the water surges like this, I see there is a lot of air mixed with the water. I am now thinking maybe I have some blockage in the galvanized piping leading out of the pressure tank, and it builds pressure in the line and when it finally breaks free, its under so much force that it creates this "bursting" effect. I know we have a lot of iron in our water and galvanized pipes tend to block up under conditions such as this. Any thoughts on this? Thanks again.
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Aug 31, 2004
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    You can't get air out of water lines without getting it in to them in the first place. Right? So... you're getting air from somewhere, like in the well with a split in the drop pipe or a fitting which will allow air intrustion into the water line. A submersible pump or jet pump foot valve sucking air is a good possiblity, that is caused by water falling to the pump inlet or a jet pump sucking air through a fitting or break in the pipe. If you have a submersible pump, then you could have a leak in the drop pipe and a leaking check valve possibly.

    Or.... the well could have methane coming in with the water now. You can test that by filling a 2 liter plastic soda bottle with your water and capping it and then shake it hard for a few seconds. Then holding a flame close to the cap as you uncap and squeeze the bottle. Any flaming and you have methane, as long as there is no odor to your water. If there is it could be H2S but I think you would have mentioned the odor. Either is easy to treat.

    Quality Water Associates
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