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Thread: Well pump turns on too much!

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  1. #1
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    Well pump turns on too much!

    I live in an area where wells are very rare. I just got a house this year and the outside water is still hooked up to a well, inside water is city though. I know I have a submersible pump that is not original to the house (1954) but I think the reserve tank is, the pump is probably 10-20 years old though. My question is how often should the pump turn on and off? When I am running 1 sprinkler it will take around 25-30 seconds for the water to go from about 75-80PSI down to about 50PSI. This seemed very quick to me. Once the pump turns on it only takes about 15-20 seconds to go back up to the 75-80. The reserve is pretty big, I would guess around 50 gallons. It is the old galvonized steel type with a rubberized undercoating all over it. I see no air valve (I assume it is older than the bladder technology). Since this is only used for outside water I drain the tank in winter so I have tried emptying it and re-filling. I don't want to burn out my pump and paying extra electricity money for a pump that is running too often. I am thinking about getting a much smaller bladder type tank and running 40-60 PSI. Money is an issue so I cannot spend a lot. The most that would be run at one time is 2 sprinklers. What do you recommend?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Pump guy speedbump's Avatar
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    You need a Cycle Stop Valve. That will cure most of your problems. A small bladder tank will work nicely with the CSV where the galvanized tank you have now will just waterlog.

    bob...

    Products and Pricing

  3. #3
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    Doing what you are thinking of doing will cause short cycling and burn up the pump motor. You need CSV to prevent that and be able to use the small pressure tank.

    Gary
    Quality Water Associates
    www.qualitywaterassociates.com
    Softener Forum

  4. #4
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    Ok, so a new tank and a CSV is all I need? What tank would you recommend?

    I did some searching on CSVs and they keep the pump on all the time? Isn't that bad or is it better because we are eliminating the inrush current? Won't it cost a lot more to operate? How many GPM would you want for a sprinkler?

    If someone could make it really clear what I would need to do that would be great. This is my first time working with a well.

    Thanks

  5. #5
    quote:Originally posted by DKAudioI did some searching on CSVs and they keep the pump on all the time? Isn't that bad or is it better because we are eliminating the inrush current?
    Motors are designed to be run all the time, that is how they are rated... now that said does it mean that the 30% less cycling equals or is greater than a doubling in the running time, I don't know neither do Bob or the maker of the CSV, there are no valid studies of a residential well done for that.
    quote:Originally posted by DKAudioWon't it cost a lot more to operate?
    In a test I did, it used twice as much electricty.
    quote:Originally posted by DKAudioHow many GPM would you want for a sprinkler?
    Depends on the sprinkler, if you designed the system correctly you design the number of sprinklers so that your pump doesn't cut off, then you don't have any reason for a CSV, in an residential application where replacing a bladder tank is part of the cost, then if there is also irrigation, then a CSV might be an option.

    Rancher


  6. #6
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    so should I keep my beastly old galvonized tank and just install a CSV?

    In the test you did, how often was the well used and how much was the monthly cost to operate?

    The cheapest CSV on this site is $70, a 25 GPM valve. I assume I should get 50 PSI? Like I mentioned above, my well currently pressurizes to 80PSI and goes down to around 55.

    Here is some more info...
    I found a little page for my control. It is called U.S. Air Volume Control For Deep Well Type "WJ" by AMETEK

    You can see my presure gauge (2nd pic down) and my air control unit (3rd and 4th pics down) here...

    http://www.deanbennett.com/well-accessories-page31.pdf#search='ametek%20wj%20air%20volume%20co ntrol'

    There is also a short description...
    "PRESSURE TANK AIR VOLUME CONTROLS
    AIR VOLUME CONTROLS FOR USE WITH SUBMERSIBLE PUMPS
    These deep well air volume controls maintain the proper ratio of air to water in standard pressure tanks
    installed in a drain back type water system. This control opens the air valve on the fall in tank water level,
    thereby bleeding excess air from the pressure tank. These controls have an 1-1/4” male thread for the
    opening approximately half way up the pressure tank’s side.
    $ 17.45 F93B1C F93B-1C Johnson Deep Well Air Volume Control
    $ 24.50 TYPEWJ Type WJ Ametek Air Control with Die Cast Metal Body"

    Remember mine is the WJ. I don't know if that helps at all. You can see the adjustment screw sticking out of the end on the right. It says this adjustes the venting pressure. In the book it says "if the pump operates too frequently the venting pressure should be increased by turning adjustment screw "E" to the right (clockwise).
    I have tried adjusting this screw but it is not have any effect. I wonder if the relief vavle (internal) is clogged. It says if it is clogged with foreign material, bring pressure to 0 and remove vavle housing. With a tire vavle cap unscrew relief vavle and clean or replace. I don't really understand what they mean by that.

  7. #7
    Pump guy speedbump's Avatar
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    When you unscrew that 7/16" bolt, you have destroyed the valve. Just buy another one and be done with it.

    If your valve is leaking water, your air maker is probably plugged up and not giving air to the tank. The adjustment screw you are referring to is handy if you have a lot of power outages, but in the same process helps the valve plug up much quicker. I take them out and throw them away.

    I drew up a diagram of an air maker system. It makes sense to me, I just hope I get the point across to everyone else trying to learn how they work. I spent over an hour doing this, so don't laugh to hard. Here is the link:
    Air Maker System

    bob...

    Products and Pricing

  8. #8
    quote:Originally posted by DKAudio
    In the test you did, how often was the well used and how much was the monthly cost to operate?

    The cheapest CSV on this site is $70, a 25 GPM valve. I assume I should get 50 PSI? Like I mentioned above, my well currently pressurizes to 80PSI and goes down to around 55.
    In the test I did, my well cycled 25-30 times/day without the CSV and around 10-15 with the CSV. Cost to operate without the CSV was 10-15 cents/day, with the CSV it was 20-30 cents/day. Run time per day doubled with the CSV.

    A 50 psi CSV will not do anything at all with the pressure settings you currently have, you will need at least a 60psi model, and I believe that is as high as they go in the $70 plastic model.

    Realize also you will only have a max pressure of 60psi when you are watering.

    Rancher

  9. #9
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    Rancher so your saying without the CSV it cycled 25 to 30 times per day. With the CSV it cycled 10-15. If the CSV was of the correct pressure then you are saying you turned the water on and completely off 10 to 15 times. Without the CSV you only cycled 25-30 times so your pump and tanks only cycled once during the use of water? Are you sure?
    I have a well that does not have a CSV and in running the water for about 5 minutes it cycled 4 times! So assuming a nice long 20 minute shower that would be 16 times per person, not including filling the washer, dishwasher or any sprinklers. I would imagine it cycles at least 50+ times per day without the valve. With the valve I save 3 cycles per 5 minutes of operating time.
    Or am I seeing something wrong here? Why does your system cycle so infrequently?

  10. #10
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    quote:
    When you unscrew that 7/16" bolt, you have destroyed the valve. Just buy another one and be done with it.

    If your valve is leaking water, your air maker is probably plugged up and not giving air to the tank. The adjustment screw you are referring to is handy if you have a lot of power outages, but in the same process helps the valve plug up much quicker. I take them out and throw them away.

    I drew up a diagram of an air maker system. It makes sense to me, I just hope I get the point across to everyone else trying to learn how they work. I spent over an hour doing this, so don't laugh to hard. Here is the link:
    Air Maker System

    bob...

    Products and Pricing
    I am not leaking anything right now and I never unscrewed the big bolt on the top of the tank, I don't know where you got that, sorry for the confusion. Thanks for the drawing but again, I am lost. The bleeder does not look like something I can reasonable do. My well room is about 16" higher than the rest of my basement, it is only around 3 1/2 ' X 3 1/2' and around a 5' cieling. I believe I can see everything in you diagram up to the footvalve, then it goes down into the concrete.

    quote:
    your saying without the CSV it cycled 25 to 30 times per day. With the CSV it cycled 10-15. If the CSV was of the correct pressure then you are saying you turned the water on and completely off 10 to 15 times. Without the CSV you only cycled 25-30 times so your pump and tanks only cycled once during the use of water? Are you sure?
    I have a well that does not have a CSV and in running the water for about 5 minutes it cycled 4 times! So assuming a nice long 20 minute shower that would be 16 times per person, not including filling the washer, dishwasher or any sprinklers. I would imagine it cycles at least 50+ times per day without the valve. With the valve I save 3 cycles per 5 minutes of operating time.
    Or am I seeing something wrong here? Why does your system cycle so infrequently?
    This is the same reason I posted this thread, my pump cycles so much. Probably over 200 times every time I water the lawn!

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