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Old 06-02-2011, 02:52 AM   #1
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Franklin controller rapid cycling


I have a submersed 3-wire 230v well pump with a Franklin controller (one capacitor). The system has been working fine since replacing the pump/controller a few years back. Recently I noticed rapid (meaning every 3 seconds) fluctuations in water pressure whenever a facet is turned on or a toilet flushed. When I observe the controller operating, it is turning on and off literally every few seconds. It continues to do so until the pressure hits the cutoff level.

I am familiar with bladder tanks and this is not the same symptom. I have corrected the pressure in the tank in the past to obtain longer intervals. This situation seems like a relay gone haywire, but I don't know enough about the relays design to understand if a failure could cause this situation.

I switched out the pressure switch since that was an easy check . . . no change.

Any one have any advice. I am concerned that my controller/pump is going to fail with these continuous rapid on/off cycles.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 06-02-2011, 03:48 AM   #2
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Franklin controller rapid cycling


Pull the pump,check condition..pain, but necessary.

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Old 06-02-2011, 11:11 AM   #3
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Franklin controller rapid cycling


Thanks for the quick reply. It would be cheaper to replace the controller box if there was a 50/50 chance vs. pulling out the pump. I was hoping to either rule in or rule out the controller first. Is there any possibility that a faulty relay could cause this problem? If not, then I am out of variables . . . except of course for the pump.
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Old 06-02-2011, 02:00 PM   #4
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Franklin controller rapid cycling


What is the pressure switch doing? Is it staying on the whole time?
You could measure the amps going to the motor and verify if the pump is bad.
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Old 06-02-2011, 02:16 PM   #5
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Franklin controller rapid cycling


Thanks for the suggestion. My clamp meter is not handy but I will try that soon. The pressure switch is kicking on and off, well below the normal cut off level. The pump basically goes through these 3-second run cycles until the demand is gone and the pump can work its way up (via these short run cycles) to the proper cut off pressure. Also, as soon as the pump/switch cuts off, it immediately starts again. So 3 second run, sub-second stop, 3 second run, etc. The new pressure switch did not change the behavior . . . that was my $20 first attempt to solve the problem.
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Old 06-02-2011, 05:25 PM   #6
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Franklin controller rapid cycling


If the pressure switch is cutting on/off then normally that is the water tank being water logged. You say you checked that so then I would be looking for blockages between the pressure switch and the pressure tank. I don't know if pump over current can kick the pressure switch.
Do you have a link to the controller. I would like to see if there is something in there that could be an issue.

What happens if you open several faucets full at the same time?
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Last edited by joed; 06-02-2011 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 06-02-2011, 05:39 PM   #7
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Franklin controller rapid cycling


Quote:
Originally Posted by mdcyr View Post
Thanks for the suggestion. My clamp meter is not handy but I will try that soon. The pressure switch is kicking on and off, well below the normal cut off level. The pump basically goes through these 3-second run cycles until the demand is gone and the pump can work its way up (via these short run cycles) to the proper cut off pressure. Also, as soon as the pump/switch cuts off, it immediately starts again. So 3 second run, sub-second stop, 3 second run, etc. The new pressure switch did not change the behavior . . . that was my $20 first attempt to solve the problem.
Do your self a favor, go to Franklins website and look up your pump and box. They have an excellent guide to troubleshooting. You will need a multimeter. Good luck.
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Old 06-02-2011, 05:41 PM   #8
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Franklin controller rapid cycling


I'm not sure what you mean by "link to controller." The controller is a Franklin model 2801084915. Can you shed any light on what the relay does in the controller? Could it be the culprit? I'm trying to explore everything before pulling that pump out!

I actually have not checked the water tank. I was referencing previous situations where the cycles were too short due to low pressure in the tank. However, in this situation, the pump/switch is cutting off well before even coming close to cutoff pressure, and then continuing to cycle a few seconds per cycle until it crawls up to normal cutoff pressure. I will check the tank to eliminate that variable.

Thanks again.
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Old 06-02-2011, 07:06 PM   #9
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Franklin controller rapid cycling


All the controller (box) has in it is an overload relay and a capacitor. The pressure switch makes (closes) and powers the controller which powers the pump. Unless you have had to reset the overload relay on the control box the controller is good. Sounds like a pressure tank problem.
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Old 06-02-2011, 07:53 PM   #10
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Franklin controller rapid cycling


I looked up that controller at the Franklin site. It has no connection with the pressure switch. If the pressure switch is going on/off then your problem is not with the pump. It is with the pressure switch or plumbing system. Your symptom are the exact ones you would see if the pressure tank was waterlogged.
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:13 PM   #11
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Franklin controller rapid cycling


Despite being "convinced" that I did not have a waterlogged tank . . . I now agree with the assessments provided by those of you who responded. I know for a fact that I re-repressurized the tank to 38 psi about 6 months ago. Tonight, the tank feels/sounds heavy and the air pressure is not even reading on my gauge. I get a little air release holding the valve down . . . water drains VERY slowly. When I turned the pump back on it stayed on longer than the rapid cycle behavior, then reverted back to the rapid cycle. So I guess it worked steady to refill the waterlogged tank and then back to rapid cycle. I am curious though . . . if the bladder failed wouldn't I get water to come out of the air valve?

I just got back from HD with a new tank and fittings so I can start in the morning. The existing tank is at least 12 years old and could be as old as 20. I also live in a hard water area so it will be interesting to see the condition of the pipes. I have a sediment filter but it is downstream from the tank.

I hope I have not severely shortened the life span of my pump. This issue has been going on for a few weeks (albeit with only one person in the household).

Thanks again . . . I learned a few things today. Also, the recommendation to read the manual/guide on the Franklin site was great . . . a gold mine of information for those of us who don't do this stuff for a living.
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:17 AM   #12
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Franklin controller rapid cycling


Few case I know some well may have very low water level some case low flowage as well if you did change the pressure tank and do not clear up then next issue is the well itself few case I know foot checkvalve { located at the pump itself } can go bad or may have a crack on the pipe itself just take the well cap off and listen to the sound and get powerfull spotlight and shine it down you should able see any marking where the water is leaking.

If that the case be extra carefull when you try to pull the pump out espcally with plastique pipes if you jerk it too hard some case it may come apart and you loose the whole pump head the only way you can get them is call the water well guys to come out and pull it out they have specail attachement to pull it out.

And also once you get the pump out if you have a well drilling guy there to pull the pump out then ask them to see if they can pop out the screen bottom of the well I belive it can be clogged as well.

Merci,
Marc

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