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Well pump

347347 Member Posts: 116
I'm upstate NY visiting a friend's house that has a we
ll. The pump seems to be short cycling (turning on/off) with every use of the water. My friend says it happing more frequently then it used to. I do not know any thing on how these pumps work. It has an Amtrol tank next to it. I was told that the tank is pressurized to stop the short cycling. Can anyone give me some advice on if this is normal or how to check the tank?


Comments

  • mattmia2mattmia2 Member Posts: 1,738
    You have to depressurize and empty the water side of the tank then pressurize the air side to the setpoint of the well pump pressuretrol. It is possible that the diaphragm in the tank has failed and it is no longer holding air pressure.
    SuperTech
  • 347347 Member Posts: 116
    Asumtion, power down the pump. Shut off main valve drain the tank. Check the pressure (like an extol tank), re-pressurize if necessary and reverse the process? Turn on power to,pump and it should self prime again?
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 13,209
    The pump should not turn on with every use of water -- that's hard on the pump. Chances are the Well-X-Trol has either lost its charge -- or has failed. If I read the photos correctly, there is a really simple quick test: Get the tank up to pressure, then turn off the pump switch and close the valve (blue handle) between the pump and the pressure tank. Go turn on a tap -- you should be able to get at least a gallon or two of water out of the tap before the pressure drops to nothing. Probably a good bit more, since that's a fairly good size tank. If it quits quickly, the tank is bad or has lost its air charge.

    Before you turn the pump back on, use a tire pressure gauge and, on the top of the tank, there should be a Schrader valve (tire valve). Check the pressure there -- it should be the same as the turn on pressure of the pump (probably around 20 to 30 psi). If not, If the pressure is low, figure out a way to bring the pressure up to what it should be, turn the blue valve back on and turn the pump on. Repeat the above test -- good flow for a bit? Tank had lost its charge. Not much change? Tank is shot.

    Now open that blue valve again and turn on the pump and bring the pressure up and turn off the pump and make sure there is no other water use in the building. The pressure should hold or at worst decrease very slowly. If it drops quickly, there may also be trouble with the check valve for the pump -- which may be down in the well (I hope not, as I don't see a well cap to allow pulling the jet and foot valve...).
    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
    Paul Pollets
  • 347347 Member Posts: 116
    Thank you both for the responces. I'll test the tank later today
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 7,110
    If you shut off the power and listen to the piping going down the well....if check valve failed then water would be pushed down the well. (A short length of pipe to your ear as a stethoscope may work. )

    If that is quiet then run all the water out of the system. The tank should feel empty if you wiggle it. If heavy and especially top heavy, then water is on the wrong side of the tank bladder.
    Water will probably be present at the air schrader valve also.
    rick in Alaska
  • 347347 Member Posts: 116
    The air side was low. Pumped it up and the water runs out of a single faucet for a little while before the pump turns on, no more on/off. Pump turns on at about 25PSI turns off at 50PSI.
    Thanks again for your help.

    I do have another question. Why is there two lines coming in from the ground? Bypass of some sort?

  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 7,110
    If you depress the air valve with water pressure in the tank and water comes out then the water is on the air side of the bladder.
    Adding air will provide a temp solution for the short cycling.
    The tank should feel empty if all water is out of the system.
    Should be almost empty when the pump kicks in.

    That is a deep well 2 pipe jet pump. Single pipe jet pumps have limited lift....maybe 20' or so.

    The 2 pipe system allow much deeper wells.
    One pipe sends pressurized water down the well in usually a smaller pipe to the "jet" that is down there. Venturi action then sends water up the pipe to the suction inlet of the pump.
    Some of the discharge of the pump is directed down the smaller pipe to the jet.
    Often takes a fair amount of water to prime it.
    SuperTechZman
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 13,209
    and on your pump the larger pipe with the grey elbow which goes into the bottom of the pump casing is the return side to the pump. The smaller pipe is the motive flow going down to the actual jet, which is near the bottom of the well.
    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • mattmia2mattmia2 Member Posts: 1,738
    the distance you can lift water by suction is limited by the weight of the column of water, if the pressure from the weight is greater than atmospheric pressure, no pump will be able to lift it. the jet allows the pump to push the water up from the bottom of the well.
    Intplm.
  • SuperTechSuperTech Member Posts: 1,390
    I can definitely agree with the statement about it taking a lot of water to prime the pump with a two pipe deep well system.  Mine takes a ton of water and a lot of patience to prime. Last time I changed my tank I put a couple of ball valves on the pipes before the pump. This way if I have to replace a pump or a tank it won't be such a pain to get everything going again. 
  • Intplm.Intplm. Member Posts: 1,173
    347 said:

    The air side was low. Pumped it up and the water runs out of a single faucet for a little while before the pump turns on, no more on/off. Pump turns on at about 25PSI turns off at 50PSI.
    Thanks again for your help.

    I do have another question. Why is there two lines coming in from the ground? Bypass of some sort?

    This problem will happen again. Most likely you have lost the bladder or diaphragm on that tank. The air will surely be lost again. Consider changing the tank soon.
    JUGHNESuperTech
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