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Well pump short cycling every second. What's the most obvious cause?
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: May 02, 2012 07:16PM
I use the well to water the grass, but don't drink it because of the iron. It's been short-cycling about every second for awhile. The water comes out OK, but it's like glug glug glug. The water if very full of iron and I'm hoping it's just the pressure control switch clogged up. It's about 12 years old.

I don't understand anything about the bladder or other things it could be. Would inspecting the switch be the obvious first thing to do? If it is not clogged, would replacing it be the next thing to do? They are not terribly expensive and not hard to change.

Here's a link, but I figure I can better direct advice here:

[inspectapedia.com]

Edit: I went and looked at it and I can hear a sound from the bladder each pulse. Also, the metal plate on top of the 6" pipe that has a 3/4 galvanized ell on top has a crack around the ell that has water coming out, but only a minute amount. It sounds like a heart beating in the area.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/02/2012 07:38PM by Dennis S.
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Re: Well pump short cycling every second. What's the most obvious cause?
Posted by: lafinfil
Date: May 02, 2012 09:36PM
Sounds more like a leaky or waterlogged bladder. Did you check he air pressure ?

There should be a Schrader valve (like a car tire) on the tank (usually the side)
It might have a cap screwed over it, and should have the recommended
pressure marked next to it.



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Re: Well pump short cycling every second. What's the most obvious cause?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: May 02, 2012 10:24PM
This is one more of those things where it would really help to be there in person. I think lafinfil is going in the right direction. Is it hard to get a photo of the setup? The well pump at my cousin's cabin was tough to get to, in a cramped little hole covered by years of collected water toys and fishing equipment.



In tha 360. MRF User Map
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Re: Well pump short cycling every second. What's the most obvious cause?
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: May 02, 2012 10:28PM
Are you talking about the pressure gauge like this? It goes high then low back and forth every cycle.

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Re: Well pump short cycling every second. What's the most obvious cause?
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: May 02, 2012 10:40PM
The gauge flips from 57 to 87 constantly about once a second or faster. When I turned it off, after a few seconds it pegged at 90 but everything was off.

There is no valve connected to the tank unless it is underneath concealed by the round stand that holds the tank up.

I can't get to it until tomorrow and I'm on a PC which doesn't work very well with my CF card from the camera. I'll throw the breaker and check out the regulator for iron deposits.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/02/2012 10:57PM by Dennis S.
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Re: Well pump short cycling every second. What's the most obvious cause?
Posted by: lafinfil
Date: May 02, 2012 11:22PM
Quote
Dennis S
Are you talking about the pressure gauge like this? It goes high then low back and forth every cycle.


No - that would be the water pressure gauge (usually pressure from well to tank)

The tank has a air bladder in it that gets compressed when filled with water and uses that compression to create water pressure. There should be a stem valve (like a tire) to check the air pressure in the air bladder. If you post a make & model for the tank that would help.



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Re: Well pump short cycling every second. What's the most obvious cause?
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: May 03, 2012 12:13AM
It's a WellMate WM-6. The stem is under a cap on top of it. The tank label says recharge to 40 pounds. I checked it a few times and it reads between 20 and 25. When I bear down hard enough to get a 25 reading, water squirts out of it.
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Re: Well pump short cycling every second. What's the most obvious cause?
Posted by: haikuman
Date: May 03, 2012 12:14AM
What about a bad impeller . . . I would be inclined to check that out first and replace it .



“Stay Hungry Stay Foolish"
Steve Jobs

"There are only two mantras yum and yuk mine is yum "
Bernard Mickey Wrangle<>Tom Robbins<> "Still Life With Woodpecker"

"There is a fine line between a rut and a groove"
G.D. Kittredge III

"






Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/03/2012 12:33AM by haikuman.
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Re: Well pump short cycling every second. What's the most obvious cause?
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: May 03, 2012 01:06AM
Where the diagram says "well seal" it is broken around the pipe coming out the top and flexes on every beat when the pump goes on and off. There is a little water around the crack, but it doesn't really leak. It almost seems like an amount condensation would cause.

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Re: Well pump short cycling every second. What's the most obvious cause?
Posted by: haikuman
Date: May 03, 2012 01:55AM
The Pressure switch is also an obvious consideration.



“Stay Hungry Stay Foolish"
Steve Jobs

"There are only two mantras yum and yuk mine is yum "
Bernard Mickey Wrangle<>Tom Robbins<> "Still Life With Woodpecker"

"There is a fine line between a rut and a groove"
G.D. Kittredge III

"


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Re: Well pump short cycling every second. What's the most obvious cause?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: May 03, 2012 02:42AM
My money is on a leaky bladder. But I usually lose my bets.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Well pump short cycling every second. What's the most obvious cause?
Posted by: lafinfil
Date: May 03, 2012 06:11AM
"The tank label says recharge to 40 pounds. I checked it a few times and it reads between 20 and 25"

Fill the tank bladder back to the proper pressure and see if it holds to 40lbs.



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Re: Well pump short cycling every second. What's the most obvious cause?
Posted by: modelamac
Date: May 03, 2012 06:32AM
You need to add air to tank.It should be about 2/3 water and the rest pressurized air. There is a Shrader valve somewhere on the tank. User a compressor to add more.



Ed (modelamac)

I think I will just put an OUT OF ORDER
sticker on my head and call it a day.
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Re: Well pump short cycling every second. What's the most obvious cause?
Posted by: RonT
Date: May 03, 2012 08:15AM
Foot valve is bad.
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Re: Well pump short cycling every second. What's the most obvious cause?
Posted by: billb
Date: May 03, 2012 08:30AM
The "well seal" , if it is like mine, just helps to keep future dead animals out.
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Re: Well pump short cycling every second. What's the most obvious cause?
Posted by: lafinfil
Date: May 03, 2012 08:35AM
Here is a good trouble shooting guide - [inspectapedia.com]



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Re: Well pump short cycling every second. What's the most obvious cause?
Posted by: haikuman
Date: May 03, 2012 12:26PM
Pressurizing the tank to 40lbs PSI is also good advice me thinks . . .



“Stay Hungry Stay Foolish"
Steve Jobs

"There are only two mantras yum and yuk mine is yum "
Bernard Mickey Wrangle<>Tom Robbins<> "Still Life With Woodpecker"

"There is a fine line between a rut and a groove"
G.D. Kittredge III

"


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Re: Well pump short cycling every second. What's the most obvious cause?
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: May 03, 2012 02:21PM
Quote
RonT
Foot valve is bad.

That would be my guess as well. No pun intended.
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Re: Well pump short cycling every second. What's the most obvious cause?
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: May 03, 2012 02:48PM
Well, the regulator is rusted shut on the inside. The galvanized pipe it is connected to is a ball of rust on both ends. I'll have to redo all of the plumbing between the well and the pump and the water hose and underground pipe. It's mainly a galvanized 4-way with two 1/4 or 3/8 holes on top to connect the regulator and pressure gauge. There is a 3/4 in from the pump, a 3/4 out to the main line, a 3/4 to the tank and a 1/2 or 3/4 out to the water hose. Does anyone know what this is called so I can search for it? It is specially made for this purpose, apparently. It's all around 15 years old. I'll have to dig a hole in the ground under it all to be able to operate.

Also, will continuing to run it damage the pump itself?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/03/2012 03:48PM by Dennis S.
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Re: Well pump short cycling every second. What's the most obvious cause?
Posted by: haikuman
Date: May 03, 2012 03:21PM
I think some form of PVC is best Dennis. You will be able to avoid the carcinogens that are part of using galvanized pipe.



“Stay Hungry Stay Foolish"
Steve Jobs

"There are only two mantras yum and yuk mine is yum "
Bernard Mickey Wrangle<>Tom Robbins<> "Still Life With Woodpecker"

"There is a fine line between a rut and a groove"
G.D. Kittredge III

"


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Re: Well pump short cycling every second. What's the most obvious cause?
Posted by: lafinfil
Date: May 03, 2012 03:32PM
I would probably just patch it in with PEX & push on connectors.



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Re: Well pump short cycling every second. What's the most obvious cause?
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: May 03, 2012 04:26PM
I noticed our shower would go from hot to cold to hot to cold until our handyman added some air pressure
to the air tank. It seems that was the problem, knock on wood.



Grateful11
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Re: Well pump short cycling every second. What's the most obvious cause?
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: May 03, 2012 04:59PM
After further review, the manifold is brass and has three 1" female inlets and outlets plus one smaller for a water hose and two 3/8" for the regulator and gauge. It's only $10 and in stock locally. Most of the existing PVC can stay in place and bend out to accommodate the new manifold. So, I can replace all of that stuff, pump up the tank and hope everything still works.
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