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BrandonD 04-28-2013 04:56 PM

Well pressure tank
My well pump is running continuously when I have a sprinkler zone on. The pressure reading remains consistent. Is this bad for my pump? We replaced the entire water treatment system shorting after we bought the house but did not replace the pressure tank thinking it had some life left.

Daniel Holzman 04-28-2013 05:23 PM

Your well should not be pumping continuously at constant pressure. Generally when there is a strong draw like a sprinkler on, the well will run for 15-60 seconds to pressurize the system to your high pressure cut off (mine is set to 60psi, pretty common), then the pump stops while the pressure reduces to the low pressure cutoff (mine is set to 40 psi, pretty common). Most pressure tanks have a live storage of around 15 gallons, so if your sprinkler is running at say 3 gpm, your pump should be off for 5 minutes.

The fact that your pump is on continuously suggests that the pressure tank has little storage, perhaps the bladder is damaged, or you need to add air through the valve. The topic of testing pressure tanks has been discussed many times on this forum, do a search and you will see numerous threads that discuss the issue, and present a step by step procedure to test the tank.

joed 04-28-2013 05:57 PM

It could be normal. If you sprinkler is using the same amount of water you pump is capable of pumping then the pump will never catch up and shut off. I do not consider this to be a problem. Definitely good for the pressure switch since it is not switching on and off.

BrandonD 04-29-2013 02:07 PM

Thanks both of you for your thoughts. I've read up on how to test the tank and will see if I can test it tonight just for my peace of mind.

SeniorSitizen 04-29-2013 02:31 PM

As mentioned, running continuously usually is often just pump capacity vs discharge and sometimes irrigation experts attempt to shoot for that to prevent the on again off again syndrome.

If your system has a bladder tank, one rating will be by gallons of draw down. ie - if it has a 3 gallon draw down you can test its function by running water into a container just after upper limit cut off pressure cuts the pump off.
If the tank and well pipe condition is in good order the lower limit cut in pressure should be obtained at about 3 gallons in the container and the pump starts again. Don't ponder over this exact 3 gallons too much because in will probably never be exact.

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