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Old 10-27-2012, 06:26 PM   #1
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What exactly is considered "short cycling" on a water well pump


I think my well might be short cycling. It cuts on at around 38ish and off at 60. It is on an 20 gallon bladder tank (well mate). With no water running besides the kitchen faucet on full blast, it takes around 20 seconds for the pump to cut on from full pressure. Once it cuts on it takes maybe 3-4 seconds to go to 60psi again. Does this sound odd to anyone else?

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Old 10-27-2012, 07:23 PM   #2
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What exactly is considered "short cycling" on a water well pump


Yep--that sounds like you have a pressure tank problem--

It should take more time between cycles---check the tank---

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Old 10-27-2012, 07:56 PM   #3
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What exactly is considered "short cycling" on a water well pump


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I think my well might be short cycling. It cuts on at around 38ish and off at 60. It is on an 20 gallon bladder tank (well mate). With no water running besides the kitchen faucet on full blast, it takes around 20 seconds for the pump to cut on from full pressure. Once it cuts on it takes maybe 3-4 seconds to go to 60psi again. Does this sound odd to anyone else?
shut off electric to pump drain holding tank...check bladder pressure is should be about 2psi less than cut in pressure....example cut in 40 psi bladder pressure 38 psi...ben sr
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:10 PM   #4
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What exactly is considered "short cycling" on a water well pump


Tank was installed new about 10 months ago
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:17 PM   #5
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What exactly is considered "short cycling" on a water well pump


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Tank was installed new about 10 months ago
ok it was installed 10 months ago..now what...did you do the test on bladder pressure ....ben sr
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:29 PM   #6
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What exactly is considered "short cycling" on a water well pump


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ok it was installed 10 months ago..now what...did you do the test on bladder pressure ....ben sr
How do I get all the warer out of the tank? Also forgot to say the pump is above ground jet pump if that matters. Tank is the well mate with quick connect fitting.
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:40 PM   #7
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What exactly is considered "short cycling" on a water well pump


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How do I get all the warer out of the tank? Also forgot to say the pump is above ground jet pump if that matters. Tank is the well mate with quick connect fitting.
just shut off power to pump so it don't come on ...open faucets to drain pressure off tank as low as you can....then check pressure from little valve on top of holding tank...
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Old 10-27-2012, 09:47 PM   #8
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What exactly is considered "short cycling" on a water well pump


It was 37 psi so it's ok. Although I did take too much out on accident and had to refill it with an air pump. One thing I am worried about was onc all the air pressure was gone, water came out of the stem..... It sure how that happens.
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Old 10-27-2012, 09:51 PM   #9
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What exactly is considered "short cycling" on a water well pump


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It was 37 psi so it's ok. Although I did take too much out on accident and had to refill it with an air pump. One thing I am worried about was onc all the air pressure was gone, water came out of the stem..... It sure how that happens.
if water came out you have a leak in bladder....ben sr
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Old 10-27-2012, 11:08 PM   #10
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What exactly is considered "short cycling" on a water well pump


Well lets hope it's under warranty. How much does a new tank run? Or can you replace just the bladder? Also how critical is it that I change it as fast as possible?
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:43 AM   #11
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What exactly is considered "short cycling" on a water well pump


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Well lets hope it's under warranty. How much does a new tank run? Or can you replace just the bladder? Also how critical is it that I change it as fast as possible?
How important is keeping your electric bill low. And saving wear and tear on your water pump, so it last a long time yet.
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:02 AM   #12
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What exactly is considered "short cycling" on a water well pump


Those tanks aren't a huge expense---not to difficult to replace,either----

You may want to call the well and pump company before you go ahead and DIY it--

Their price might not be out of reach----could be under warranty,too.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:03 AM   #13
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What exactly is considered "short cycling" on a water well pump


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Originally Posted by damian51 View Post
I think my well might be short cycling. It cuts on at around 38ish and off at 60. It is on an 20 gallon bladder tank (well mate). With no water running besides the kitchen faucet on full blast, it takes around 20 seconds for the pump to cut on from full pressure. Once it cuts on it takes maybe 3-4 seconds to go to 60psi again. Does this sound odd to anyone else?
The only accurate measure we have at this point to diagnose a potential problem is draw down gallons from cut out ( the higher pressure ) to cut in ( the lower pressure ). So I recommend researching the draw down gallons for your particular tank and measuring the gallons between the two aforementioned pressures. The time it takes to pump from low pressure cut in to high pressure cut out is moot at this time because we don't know the pump capabilities, depth of well, head pressure or pipe size etc.

As for water squirting from the air admittance valve, that's a poor diagnosis since it can very well be only condensation and one has to make a judgment call there.

Adjusting air pressure - - don't dwell on this too much since you are using two different gauges to set this pressure and gauges of that quality are manufactured to around + - 5 percent accuracy. Just do your best there with what you have at hand since right on the money isn't all that important and you aren't going to get exactly 2 lbs. lower anyway.

So what is short cycling. A rapid pressure drop that causes the pump to start long before the draw down amount in gallons is reached because of a lack of the proper air cushion in the tank.

Last edited by Fairview; 10-28-2012 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:34 AM   #14
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What exactly is considered "short cycling" on a water well pump


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The only accurate measure we have at this point to diagnose a potential problem is draw down gallons from cut out ( the higher pressure ) to cut in ( the lower pressure ). So I recommend researching the draw down gallons for your particular tank and measuring the gallons between the two aforementioned pressures. The time it takes to pump from low pressure cut in to high pressure cut out is moot at this time because we don't know the pump capabilities, depth of well, head pressure or pipe size etc.

As for water squirting from the air admittance valve, that's a poor diagnosis since it can very well be only condensation and one has to make a judgment call there.

Adjusting air pressure - - don't dwell on this too much since you are using two different gauges to set this pressure and gauges of that quality are manufactured to around + - 5 percent accuracy. Just do your best there with what you have at hand since right on the money isn't all that important and you aren't going to get exactly 2 lbs. lower anyway.
I know the draw down on the tank is 6.1 gallons @ 30/50 setting. I am not too sure how to measure the other drawdown.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:45 AM   #15
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What exactly is considered "short cycling" on a water well pump


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I know the draw down on the tank is 6.1 gallons @ 30/50 setting. I am not too sure how to measure the other drawdown.
A common practice is to use a pail (s) / bucket (s) of known capacity to measure the gallons from when the pump has cut off to when the pump cuts in. Here again, don't spend time being too precise. If the measure is 3-4 gallons or less it raises our eye brows a bit but if the draw down is 5.5 gallons there is better things to concern ourselves with in life.

The easy diagnosis is when a quart or pint of draw down determines cut off / cut in.

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