Vibration from water well pump - Water Pump Switch as cause?

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Bucky Plumber

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First, let me apologize if you have read my previous post about my water well pump vibration - Link

In the above thread we concluded to just put a flexible line in to stop the vibration from traveling through the copper pipe to the house. I have not done this yet.

I am still searching for the cause of the vibration from my water well pump setup. My vibration is a constant low humming heard on the floors above while the pump motor is running (no knocking, hammering, etc)

I think the water pump switch may be causing the vibration, see photos of it below.

My questions are:
1. Has anybody seen vibration from water pump switches?
2. Is there anything that I can do to troubleshoot my current switch?
3. If I need to replace what is the most reliable brand? I currently have a Furnas 69ES1Z4060.

Thanks in advance,
Kevin

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Jeff Handy

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I suggest taking the advice to put in a flexible section, before ignoring that and going on another mystery hunting trip.

Take one thing at a time.
 

FishScreener

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i doubt that adding a flexible length will stop the vibration. Water is a better sound transmitter than air. And I doubt it is the switch. To produce a vibration the contacts would have to be chattering, which sounds more like a water hammer, than a vibration.

Fist thing, I would check is to make sure the pressure tank is still good.
 

sarg

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I would also suspect the pressure tank. I know from experience if the tank is leaking and / or the pressure is not set correctly it will create all sorts of "weird" system maladies that are very confusing.
 

RS

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I would suspect having the solid copper pipe from the well into the house is causing the noise, but our house has black flexible poly, and I can hear our pump, but very faint. Here is a test, when the pump is running put you hand on top of the well casing, can you hear/feel the same sound/vibration?
 

Bucky Plumber

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I would suspect having the solid copper pipe from the well into the house is causing the noise, but our house has black flexible poly, and I can hear our pump, but very faint. Here is a test, when the pump is running put you hand on top of the well casing, can you hear/feel the same sound/vibration?
Excellent idea, thank you.

At first I thought the vibration was travelling from the pump into the house as well. If this is the cause I will likely put in a flexible line like Jeff has been advocating versus replacing the pump.
 

Jeff Handy

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My old house had a well, and I had no experience with wells or pumps when I moved in there over thirty years ago.
I could hear the switch clicking on and off, hear the tank filling up, and could hear a clang when the pump cycle ended.

I finally went into the basement to investigate, while I had the water running full blast.

The mixture of newer copper and older galvanized water lines were touching other metal objects in several places on the basement ceiling.

They were banging against other pipes and conduits as the pump started and stopped.

And one long section was running tight against a big furnace duct, which was acting like a speaker box, and picking up and transmitting the whooshing sound of the water all over the house.

A few shims, some cardboard scraps, bits of folded rags, and moving around some pipe hangers fixed it, reduced the noise about 80 percent.

The well tank was also resting against a piece of paneling, which radiated the tank noise.
I was able to scooch it a quarter inch sideways, which got it away from contact with that masonite sheet.
 

Bucky Plumber

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Excellent idea, thank you.

At first I thought the vibration was travelling from the pump into the house as well. If this is the cause I will likely put in a flexible line like Jeff has been advocating versus replacing the pump.
I cannot feel or hear any vibration at the well casing. Makes me think the noise is originating inside the house.
 

Bucky Plumber

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Replaced the pressure switch today with a Square D Pumptrol and it fixed my vibration issues completely! Absolutely nothing heard on the floors above.

Such an easy fix after all that hunting. Thank you for all your input and responses to my posts.

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Twowaxhack

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So it was this switch that sits right out in the open and you couldn’t tell that was the source ?

I don’t work on wells, I’m trying to understand what was making the noise on the switch and then if it was so loud why it wouldn’t be obvious if you put your hand on it.........
 

RS

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Were the points badly burned, so it was chattering? I don't understand how a switch can cause a water system to vibrate! I have worked on water well systems for 50 years and never heard of this.
 

Valveman

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I have seen pressure switches buzz before. Usually the points are burned from too much cycling on and off, and the points buzz because they are not touching good. Nearly every problem with a pump system is caused by cycling. A buzzing or burned pressure switch points is just one of the first signs of trouble. The pressure switch is just the first thing to be destroyed by cycling, but it won't be the last.

 

Twowaxhack

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I have seen pressure switches buzz before. Usually the points are burned from too much cycling on and off, and the points buzz because they are not touching good. Nearly every problem with a pump system is caused by cycling. A buzzing or burned pressure switch points is just one of the first signs of trouble. The pressure switch is just the first thing to be destroyed by cycling, but it won't be the last.

Can a pump break without something “ cycling “ ? And it just be that switch that’s bad ?

I’ve heard them hum before but never rattle the plumbing in the house.

The ones that I’ve seen thst are doing that you can touch the pressure switch and feel that happening. How could test be missed if it was so loud.

Strange......And interesting. City boy here......✌
 

Valveman

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Every once in a while a pump/motor is destroyed by lightning, sand, pumping the well dry, or just old age. But the vast majority of pumps are destroyed by cycling. Not only that but most other components in a pump system are also destroyed by cycling the pump. Pressure switch points burned is usually one of the first signs of cycling. But bad start caps, relays, check valves, tank bladders, chaffed drop wire, and even broken or split fittings are also destroyed by cycling the pump on and off. Cycling also surges the well up and down, which can cause sediment or sand to be stirred up, and can enhance other well problems. Eliminating pump cycling solves 90% of all pump problems and makes pumps and equipment last much longer, which is why you won't hear about a Cycle Stop Valve from pump manufacturers. :rolleyes:
 

Twowaxhack

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Every once in a while a pump/motor is destroyed by lightning, sand, pumping the well dry, or just old age. But the vast majority of pumps are destroyed by cycling. Not only that but most other components in a pump system are also destroyed by cycling the pump. Pressure switch points burned is usually one of the first signs of cycling. But bad start caps, relays, check valves, tank bladders, chaffed drop wire, and even broken or split fittings are also destroyed by cycling the pump on and off. Cycling also surges the well up and down, which can cause sediment or sand to be stirred up, and can enhance other well problems. Eliminating pump cycling solves 90% of all pump problems and makes pumps and equipment last much longer, which is why you won't hear about a Cycle Stop Valve from pump manufacturers. :rolleyes:
What causes cycling and why doesn’t every well do it ? I guess the loss of pressure for one reason or another ? And every well doesn’t do it because those wells systems are not losing pressure ?
 

Valveman

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Yes every well or booster pump does cycle on and off. That is how a regular pressure tank system works. The pump is started when the tank is empty and the pressure switch is at 40 PSI. The pump produces its maximum flow rate until the tank is full to 60 PSI, then the pressure switch shuts the pump off. If it is a 10 GPM pump, it fills the tank at 10 GPM. If it is a 25 GPM pump, it fills the tank at 25 GPM.

While this is happening water is also being used from the same system. When you open a 3 GPM shower, 3 GPM comes from the tank until the tank is empty and the pump starts at 40 PSI. Then water for the shower is coming from the pump, while the other 7 GPM the pump is producing is filling the tank to 60 PSI, where the pressure switch stops the pump.

The only way to stop the pump from cycling when using the pressure tank only method, is to use all the water the pump can produce. When you have a 10 GPM pump, you need to run 10 GPM worth of sprinklers so there is no extra water to fill the tank and cause the pump to cycle. Never run 9 GPM or 3 GPM or the pump will cycle on and off repeatedly. Matching the irrigation to the pump and making every sprinkler zone exactly 10 GPM is almost impossible, even for professional irrigators.

Even when possible to make every sprinkler zone exactly 10 GPM, it is more convenient to match the irrigation to the yard instead of the pump. You may need a 10 GPM zone in the backyard, but only 7 GPM zone in the side yard, and a 2 GPM bubbler in the front driveway. While the 10 GPM zone will not cause the pump to cycle, the 7 GPM and 2 GPM zone will. Then there is nothing you can do to stop a pump from cycling when using water in the house. A 3 GPM shower will cause the pump to cycle. Two or three 3 GPM showers will also cause the pump to cycle on/off. Not only is this bad for the pump and everything else, it causes the shower pressure to fluctuate from 40 to 60 PSI over and over. The larger the pressure tank the slower the cycles, and the longer the pressure is low in the shower. The smaller the tank the faster the pump cycles and the faster you see the pressure fluctuate in the shower.

The video I posted is a good way to see how the CSV solves this problem. Basically the CSV turns any pump into a variable flow pump that will match the amount being used. When you are using a 3 GPM shower, the CSV turns the pump into a 3 GPM pump, where there is no extra water to fill the tank and cause cycling. When you use 6 GPM, 9 GPM, or even the full 10 GPM, the CSV just opens up and gives you that much water. The CSV keeps the pressure at a strong constant 50 PSI anytime you are using more than 1 GPM of water. When you stop using water the CSV lets the tank fill at 1 GPM rate until the pressure reaches 60 and the regular pressure switch shuts the pump off.

The old pressure tank method was/is a simple and dependable way to control a pump. The only real problems were associated with the pump cycling on and off. Adding a simple Cycle Stop Valve to a regular pressure tank system solves many problems, makes the pump last longer, and delivers strong constant pressure to the house or sprinklers.

I must have explained this a million times in the last 29 years. To be such a simple valve the CSV has a complicated explanation. It doesn't help that pumps are counter intuitive and work just the opposite of how people think. I don't know how many times I have heard someone say "They couldn't have hurt their pump because they were just using a little water". Without a CSV just using a little water causes the pump to cycle a lot and is the worst thing they could be doing to their pump.
 

Twowaxhack

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Oh ok so the answer is that you think that the normal operation of a well system is good for it. The “ cycle “ is just the normal on/off at the differential pressure setting.
Gotcha, something doesn’t have to be wrong.

You've developed something that somehow to mitigate this on/off cycling, because obviously the pump must turn on and off.
 

Twowaxhack

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My parents have a 100 gallon well tank and we flush the toilet quite a few times before the pump kicks on. A lot of times....

this is for irrigation mainly to water the grass once a week but we installed a toilet on the pump water line.
 
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