Pump issues?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Wells' started by TribesTime, Nov 26, 2019.

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  1. Nov 26, 2019 #1

    TribesTime

    TribesTime

    TribesTime

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    No changes made to the system lately but within the last week it seems we have 2 problems (or symptoms).

    1) Two times we have lost pressure completely while someone was showering.
    The first time it was when the clothes washer was also running
    the second time it was when 2 showers were running
    No loss during multiple other solo showers, using faucets, etc.

    But it was as if water had just been turned off completely, and then within 10-25 seconds it was back again.

    In watching to try and see if it would reoccur, I noticed
    2) the shower seems to be pulsing between full pressure to half pressure
    you can watch the water be full blast from the shower head and then drop back a little and then shoot back out further in a pulsing type pattern
    Similarly, it seems our toilet is refilling in pulses as well after a flush; you hear it run, stop for 1/2 sec, and run again several times before it's full

    Trying to figure out whether pressure switch is going bad, tank issues, or what??
    Since hot & cold in shower and cold only to toilet, I doubt hot water heater is in this mix.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Nov 26, 2019 #2

    Valveman

    Valveman

    Valveman

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    The pulsing pressure is probably from the pump cycling on and off. A pump can only cycle on/off so many times before it is fried. They start tripping the overload in the motor, which resets itself in a minute or so and water just magically comes back on. One day soon it just won't restart and you will need a new pump/motor. Cycling on and off destroys the bladder in the tank and lets the air out, then it cycles even faster until the pump/motor is also destroyed. That pump is probably too far gone and needs replacing. Figure out how to use a Cycle Stop Valve to stop the pump from cycling and the next pump will last several times longer than normal.
     
  3. Nov 26, 2019 #3

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

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    Everything Valveman said seems right.

    Except that you might just need to recharge or replace your pressure tank.

    If the water pressure is pulsing every few seconds, the pressure tank air bladder is popped and the tank is full of water.
    There is no trapped air to act as a pump helper, to take over when the pump turns off at the set high pressure.

    Or you might have an old-school tank with no bladder, just a volume of trapped air that does the same thing.
    And the tank might be waterlogged.

    If there is a little threaded air valve on your tank like for a bicycle tire, you can try adding more air to the tank.

    Turn off the pump, and open a faucet until water flow totally stops.
    It should be a faucet on the lowest level of the house.

    Put a bicycle pump on that threaded valve, and give it twenty or thirty or so pumps.
    If the pressure gauge starts going up, then adding air to your tank like this might fix everything.
    You will need to add a lot more air, but just add a little for now.
    Take off the bicycle pump, turn the well pump back on.

    If the pulsing becomes much slower, then adding air is working.

    You still might need a new tank, but this might get you going for now.

    Don’t use an electric air pump, in case water gets into it through the air hose.
     
  4. Nov 29, 2019 #4

    Valveman

    Valveman

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    The bladders or diaphragms in the tanks are destroyed from the pump cycling on and off just like bending a wire back and forth until it breaks.
     
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  5. Dec 1, 2019 #5

    TribesTime

    TribesTime

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    Thanks guys. Some good help for a usually city guy just now experiencing pump systems living in the country now.
    So question: If we go with the guess is the pump is gone, where is the pump actually located? Can I replace that component, or is that down deep in the well and needs a pro to replace?
    I can see the tank & pressure switch and I'll try to look for the valve but not sure on the pump itself location.

    Also, I did more observations if it helps. Pressure seems to be at 52 resting, dropping to 38 or so with 1 shower running, dropping to like 14-18 with 2 taps open. Then as soon as I shut the bath taps it jumps back to 52 almost instant. Pressure switch is indeed a 40/60.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  6. Dec 1, 2019 #6

    Valveman

    Valveman

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    Without a Cycle Stop Valve the pump should be cycling on/off between 40 and 60 with one or even two showers going at the same time. Either your well is not producing enough water, the pump is worn, or the screen is clogged up. Checking the running amps with a clip around type amp meter would give an indication of a well problem or just a pump problem. Full amps that drop quickly means the well is being pumped dry. Low amps from the start mean the pump is worn or screen is clogged.
     
  7. Dec 3, 2019 #7

    TribesTime

    TribesTime

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    Tried the bicycle pump deal tonight. Drained all; went to zero. Pumped up. Stopped final pumping at 40 psi. System seemed to flow better with less pulsing but of course air in lines so still hard to tell. Tomorrow's shower will tell for sure. System worked itself back up to resting 56 psi.
     
  8. Dec 3, 2019 #8

    Valveman

    Valveman

    Valveman

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    Air in the lines? How about a picture of the system? A bladder style tank should not let air into the system.
     

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