Water Supply Hesitation

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by Martin D, Feb 20, 2005.

  1. Martin D

    Martin D New Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    I have a problem with hesitation in my system. This has just recently developed so I believe it is a problem with either the tank or the pressure switch. Please help. I'll try to be as detailed as possible.

    Problem: After a minute or three of running water (depending on the fixture used and the current water pressure reading), the water just stops. Then, roughly 5 to 10 seconds later, the water kicks on again. Leave it running and whole process begins again...and again, and again, and again...

    Details: The pressure gauge reads 60 psi at full pressure when the pump is off. I turn on the petcock and watch as the pressure slowly drops to about 40 psi. In the past, this is the point at which the pressure switch would kick on, the pump would start and the pressure would slowly climb back up to 60 psi. But instead of kicking on at 40 psi, now the gauge immediately falls to below 10 psi, stopping all water flow. It holds there for a few seconds, jumps back up to 40 psi and then the switch activates to turn on the pump, bringing the pressure at the gauge back to 60 psi. The pump then shuts off.

    If the petcock is turned off before the gauge drops to 40 psi, the system waits (as I believe it should) until the water is flowing again. Then the pressure slowly drops to 40 psi, at which point it again drops immediately to 10 psi, jumps back to 40 psi and the pump starts up again.

    System Information: With the exception of the actual well itself, most of my system is only about 3 years old. I replaced a jet pump in late 2001 with a submersible 1/2 hp Aeromotor Series S model# 02221 at 230v (3-wire)and a max flow of 12 gpm. The Franklin Electric panel and the Square D 9013 FSG2 20/40 pressure switch was also new. The installer adjusted the factory settings from 20/40 to 40/60 at the time of installation. All the wiring and water supply lines were also replaced with new.
    The pressure tank is a Well-Rite model# WR60-02 that was part of the old system. Drawdown Gallons at 40/60 is 5.4, with a pre-charge pressure of 30 psig and a maximum pressure of 100 psig. I don't know for sure how old the tank is (I bought the house in 1997) but there is what looks to be a date of 10/25/90 stamped on the label. It was inspected by my installer before the work was started and determined to be in usable condition. I have tapped the tank at the top and towards the bottom when the pressure gauge reads 60 psi but I cannot easily distinguish the sound.
    The well itself is roughly 90 feet deep and the pump is set at 60 feet. The top of the well casing sits about 2-1/2 feet lower than the basement floor and is in a pit under my front stoop with access from the basement. It is about 20 feet away from where the lines enter through the basement floor. The water table is quite high in my area and I have not heard of any of my neighbors wells "going dry", so I am quite confident that is not the problem. When the pressure is there and/or the pump runs, I have no problem with poor pressure or air in the lines.

    I have not made any adjustments to the pressure switch nor have I added or removed any air from the tank. At this point I believe it to be a faulty switch or clogged nipple, and since the tank is the oldest mechanical part of the system, I cannot rule that out either.

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I consider myself to be quite handy in matters such as this and I'd like to tackle this problem on my own...any ideas?


  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Turn the pump off and open a faucet until the water flow stops. Then check the air pressure in the tank, you may find that it has dropped to about 10 psi, rather than the 35-38 psi it should have.
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  4. Martin D

    Martin D New Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    No luck yet

    Drained the tank and checked the air pressure...it's right on at 37.5 psi. What to do??
  5. Martin D

    Martin D New Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Problem Resolved

    Well, I fixed the problem. After reading all the other posts and replies, I determined that the next step was to remove the pressure switch and check for sediment buildup. Sure enough, almost totally clogged with gunk. Cleaned it out and put everything back together. Now it works great again.

    Thanks to all for the great info on other posts and a special thanks to Terry Love for this awesome forum...I'm sure I saved myself a $100 service call plus time off work.

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