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Old 09-02-2012, 05:21 PM   #1
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Well pump short cycling


I planted new lawn this weekend and watered it from my well. I guess I overdid it because all of a sudden I lost pressure. Went inside and the pump kicks on for about 5 seconds or so and then shuts off. This continues to happen about every minute. I removed the cover from the squareD pressure switch and noticed that the contacts stay in contact the whole time. I turned off the pump and am in a holding pattern until I figure out what to do next. The pressure switch controls an old wall mount relay that controls the submersible pump. Is there something on the pump that will not allow it to run if there is not enough water in the well? Do I just need to wait for the well to eventually fill back up?

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Old 09-02-2012, 05:40 PM   #2
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Well pump short cycling


The pressure tank has lost its air cushion.

Turn off the pump. Open a cold water faucet.

Add air to the pressure tank top air valve (similar to a tire air valve maintaining about 5 PSI until water stops flowing from the faucet.

Close the faucet. Pressurize the tank to about 3 PSI less than the pump turn on pressure. Turn the pump back on.

If the well runs dry then you need to wait until the well fills up aagin. Otherwise the pump will just put air into the lines.

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Old 09-02-2012, 05:54 PM   #3
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Well pump short cycling


Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
The pressure tank has lost its air cushion.

Turn off the pump. Open a cold water faucet.

Add air to the pressure tank top air valve (similar to a tire air valve maintaining about 5 PSI until water stops flowing from the faucet.

Close the faucet. Pressurize the tank to about 3 PSI less than the pump turn on pressure. Turn the pump back on.

If the well runs dry then you need to wait until the well fills up aagin. Otherwise the pump will just put air into the lines.
If the problem is low air in the bladder of the pressure tank then wouldn't I see the contacts on the pressure switch release when the pumps stops? I'm not trying to be snarky. I appreciate your input. I'm just trying to understand how this stuff works.
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:46 PM   #4
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Well pump short cycling


If the pump switch is still on and the pump stops, chances are the pump has been overloaded and a thermal cutoff switch inside the pump has tripped. This can happen if the air cushion in the pressure tank is completely or almost completely lost.

Water does not compress.

The air cushion grows and shrinks within the turn off and turn on pressures. As water is drawn, the air cushion gets larger and the system pressure drops. Then the pump turns on. As water is pumped, it goes into the pressure tank if no one is using water. The air cushion shrinks, the pressure rises, and the pump shuts off at the turn off pressure. If the air cushion is very small, the volume of water that can be drawn before the system pressure falls to the turn on pressure is small and the pump cycles more often. If the air cushion is large, the volume of water that can be drawn before the system pressure falls to the pump turn on pressure is large and the pump does not come on so quickly.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 09-02-2012 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:29 PM   #5
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Well pump short cycling


The pressure is 33 psi and I believe that the switch is set to 35 to kick in. When I turn on the pump it does the same thing. It runs for 5 seconds and then shuts off. It continues to do this about once every minute. Does the thermal switch on the pump keep it from pumping if the well is dry?
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Old 09-03-2012, 11:48 AM   #6
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Well pump short cycling


Just to follow up. The well service guy was out this morning and determined that the pump is shot.

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