Water pressure cutting out.

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jmitch86

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Over the past few weeks when I turn on any faucet in my home the water will run for a few moments and the completely shut off, it then comes back to full pressure and runs like normal. The issue only happens if the water has not been used for a few hours. The house is supplied by a well with a submersible pump and I recently changed the pressure tanks, switch and pressure gauge. Anyone have any ideas?
 

Reach4

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Comes back to full pressure after how long? 300 milliseconds, 3 seconds, what?
1. The pressure switch could be sticky in some other way. In that case no power is sent to the pump. You could put a voltmeter across terminals 1 and 4 to see if the pressure switch is sending power.
2. The pump could be sometimes slow to start after the power gets sent from the pressure switch. One way that can happen is that the start capacitor in the control box is weak.

Not everybody has a control box. Control boxes have a non-polarized electrolytic start capacitor. Those will go bad with time and starts.

Some just replace the control box, and that way they get new start capacitor and new relay, and more.
 

Valveman

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Remove the check valve you installed at the tank(s). Sounds like the check valve on the pump is leaking back. Removing the above ground check valve may make the one on the pump hold. But if you loose pressure even when no taps are open, the check valve on the pump will need to be replaced.

BTW, cycling on and off is what causes the failure of check valves, tank bladders, and most expensively the pump.

 

Bannerman

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What pressure setting is your new pressure switch calibrated for?

What was the air pre-charge air pressure in your new pressure tank(s?) while the tank(s) contained 0 water?
 

jmitch86

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What pressure setting is your new pressure switch calibrated for?

What was the air pre-charge air pressure in your new pressure tank(s?) while the tank(s) contained 0 water?
The switch was a 30/50 and I checked the tanks with no water and set them at two psi below the cut on pressure. 28psi.
 

Rburt5

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Over the past few weeks when I turn on any faucet in my home the water will run for a few moments and the completely shut off, it then comes back to full pressure and runs like normal. The issue only happens if the water has not been used for a few hours. The house is supplied by a well with a submersible pump and I recently changed the pressure tanks, switch and pressure gauge. Anyone have any ideas?
Rather than start a whole new thread, I thought that I’d just add to this because my issue is similar. My pressure would suddenly cut out for a moment about every 2-3 minutes in the shower. It recovered quickly. I replaced the pressure switch and reset the tank pressure to 38. It worked great for a day after that. Today it’s doing it again. So I cut the power and water, drained the tank, and set it back to 38 again. Now it’s working again. Assuming the problem comes back, what could be causing that?
 

Reach4

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Rather than start a whole new thread, I thought that I’d just add to this because my issue is similar. My pressure would suddenly cut out for a moment about every 2-3 minutes in the shower. It recovered quickly. I replaced the pressure switch and reset the tank pressure to 38. It worked great for a day after that. Today it’s doing it again. So I cut the power and water, drained the tank, and set it back to 38 again. Now it’s working again. Assuming the problem comes back, what could be causing that?
When the water pressure drops , the pressure switch should turn on the pump. Then the water held in the tank supplies the water until the water from the pump arrives. A jet pump is slower to respond than is a submersible.

So this stutter in water pressure could be because the air precharge is too high, but it could also be because the pressure switch is slow to respond to the pressure drop. The pressure switch could be slow because the path is blocked partially by a clogged nipple, or the switch itself is gummed up somehow.

You did not say if the pressure drop was for 0.5 seconds or 2.0 seconds. If shorter, but longer when the water use is higher, lowering the air precharge a bit. There could also be a calibration difference between your air pressure gauge and your water pressure gauge. When the pump is not running, and no water is being used, the air pressure and water pressure are about the same. If you see more than about 1 psi difference, expect a calibration difference. Compensate.
 
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Rburt5

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When the water pressure drops , the pressure switch should turn on the pump. Then the water held in the tank supplies the water until the water from the pump arrives. A jet pump is slower to respond than is a submersible.

So this stutter in water pressure could be because the air precharge is too high, but it could also be because the pressure switch is slow to respond to the pressure drop. The pressure switch could be slow because the path is blocked partially by a clogged nipple, or the switch itself is gummed up somehow.

You did not say if the pressure drop was for 0.5 seconds or 2.0 seconds. If shorter, but longer when the water use is higher, lowering the air precharge a bit. There could also be a calibration difference between your air pressure gauge and your water pressure gauge. When the pump is not running, and no water is being used, the air pressure and water pressure are about the same. If you see more than about 1 psi difference, expect a calibration difference. Compensate.
That actually helps me a lot because it makes me think I fixed the problem. When I replaced the pressure switch the other night I charged the tank after the water and electricity was on. This morning I turned all that back off, drained the tank, and reset the tank pressure while it was all empty. Maybe that’s all it needed.
 

Rburt5

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I have an update. It started short cycling again. What I noticed is that the pump is kicking on when the pressure gauge goes below 50 rather than below 40. What would cause that with a new pressure switch just installed?
 

Rburt5

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I
I have an update. It started short cycling again. What I noticed is that the pump is kicking on when the pressure gauge goes below 50 rather than below 40. What would cause that with a new pressure switch just installed?
It also seems like the pressure in the tanks drops from 60 to 50 faster than I’d expect. With the washing machine filling it only took about 1 minute or less to drop 10psi
 

Valveman

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With a 40/60 switch the pressure should never drop below 40. At 40 the pump should come on and the pressure come up. If not, the pump is probably not coming on. Like I said, see the video in post #4 as your problem, as nearly every problem with a pump, is caused by the pump cycling on and off too much. Sounds like the overload in the motor is tripping and it will automatically reset in a minute or two. Soon it won't reset as the pump has cycled enough to let out all the smoke out of the motor and it can't be put back in.
 

Reach4

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Pressure switch should be mounted at the input to the pressure tank. If you have a considerable distance of not-large diameter pipe, that can lead to early cut-off.

How big is the pressure tank?

Consider posting a photo that includes the pipe coming in from the well, the pressure switch, the pressure gauge, and the input to the pressure tank.

Air precharge is always set and measured with the water pressure zero.
 

Bannerman

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I cut the power and water, drained the tank, and set it back to 38 again.
In a captive pressure tank, the air pressure will not change unless there is a leak through the tank's internal flexible bladder.

A brief loss of flow is a common symptom when the tank's air precharge pressure is higher than the pump cut-in setting, since all of the water within the tank will become depleted before the pump becomes activated.

A torn bladder will usually result in loss of air pressure in a short period of time, which will usually result in the pump cycling rapidly, but once the tank's air chamber becomes almost filled with water, the symptom you describe could occur.

When the pump is turned off and the tank is emptied, is there any water remaining within the tank? When water remains within the tank, rocking the tank side to side, sloshing will often be felt/heard.
 

Rburt5

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Yes, there’s definitely some water in the tank. Also, it’s confusing to me that I keep having to reset the charge. It keeps returning to almost 50psi when it cycles. I’ve never added air to it - but I keep taking air out to get it back down to 38psi whenever I reset it (my switch is 40-60).

I’m having a pro come look at it tomorrow because he installed the tank and it’s only 3 years old. Hopefully I don’t need a whole new pump with my tank.

In a captive pressure tank, the air pressure will not change unless there is a leak through the tank's internal flexible bladder.

A brief loss of flow is a common symptom when the tank's air precharge pressure is higher than the pump cut-in setting, since all of the water within the tank will become depleted before the pump becomes activated.

A torn bladder will usually result in loss of air pressure in a short period of time, which will usually result in the pump cycling rapidly, but once the tank's air chamber becomes almost filled with water, the symptom you describe could occur.

When the pump is turned off and the tank is emptied, is there any water remaining within the tank? When water remains within the tank, rocking the tank side to side, sloshing will often be felt/heard.
 

Reach4

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Always measure your air precharge while the water pressure is zero. WIth that in mind, if your precharge keeps rising over a matter of days, your pressure tank is shot. The diaphragm has a hole, and water is pushing into where the air should be.
 

Bannerman

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Yes, there’s definitely some water in the tank.
It seems, there is likely a tiny hole in the tank's diaphragm, so the tank first needs to be replaced.

Water that has passed through a tiny hole in the diaphragm into the tank's air chamber, will not drain rapidly, so air that remains in the air chamber, will remain compressed at higher pressure until sufficient water is eventually pushed back out through the tiny hole. By repeatedly draining the air pressure back down to 38 psi, will be allowing additional water to enter the air chamber once the pump is running and the system is back at full pressure.

Consider replacing the tank with the Cycle Stop Valve PK1-A Pside-kick kit. https://cyclestopvalves.com/pages/pk1a-pside-kick
 
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