(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Shallow Well Pump - Constant Short Cycling with Irrigation System

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Gheuett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Snellville, Georgia
    Posts
    5

    Default Shallow Well Pump - Constant Short Cycling with Irrigation System

    Hi All,

    I am building a rainwater irrigation system that uses a Harbor Freight 1HP Shallow Well Pump to pump rainwater from above ground storage containers that feed into the crawlspace where the pump is located.

    The problem I have is the pump cycles up to around 50 PSI and shuts down for about 2 seconds then powers back up. It does this whether or not water is flowing.

    Right now, I have one outside spigot connected to the discharge side of the pump. There is a check valve on the discharge side but there isn't one on the intake side. There is a sediment filter on the intake. The pump sits lower than the source so as I understand, one is not needed. There are no leaks in the system.

    I have been in touch with Harbor Freight Tech support and here are the recommendations I have tried:

    * One suggestion was to reduce the tank pressure. I originally pumped the tank to 28 PSI as recommended. One Tech suggested dropping it because my discharge PVC is only about 7' total right now. See PIC. Before I lowered the pressure, the tank made a sound that resembled a high pitched Harley when you turned off the pump. That has pretty much gone away as I dropped the pressure. Even with the reduced pressure (now down to about 10 PSI) the cycling has not changed.
    * The pressure tank appears to be holding its pressure so there don't appear to be any leaks there.
    * Adjust the pressure switch. I have tried adjusting both the large and small spring settings and I've managed to get the cycle to stretch just slightly longer but it still is a matter of 2-3 seconds.

    I could understand the pump cycling when water is running through but when the spigot is closed, I would think it should pump up to 50 PSI and then stop until something changes such as opening a spigot.

    I'm out of ideas. The pump does work well when hooked to a sprinkler etc. I'm just concerned that the frequent cycling can't be good in the long run. Appreciate any suggestions or ideas of where I might try. I can post additional pictures if needed.

    Thanks!!
    Gib
    Attached Images Attached Images     

  2. #2
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Lubbock, Texas
    Posts
    4,156

    Default

    With a pump set up like that, the only place you can put a check valve is on the suction side. Your check valve way up there is not doing any good. I would put the check valve where the filter is, and put the filter after the pump. With the filter on the suction side, it will starve the pump for water and cause cavitation. Also the filter is just another place to get a suction leak. Any leak in the suction line will cause you to lose prime.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member Gheuett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Snellville, Georgia
    Posts
    5

    Default

    I thought that filter might be needed to keep the large particles out of the pump. That particular filter has a 100 mesh screen. My instructions indicated that if my pump is below the water source, a check valve is not needed on the intake side. Would installing one there maybe improve this situation? The reason I had one on the discharge side was following one set up I had seen on Youtube. That can be undone though!

    Thanks!
    Gib

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member Gheuett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Snellville, Georgia
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Would this be a situation where the Cycle Stop Valve might help? I still can't figure though why if I have no leaks would the system cut back on once it reaches the cutoff pressure if my spigot is off. I would think it would hold at least for a period.

    Thanks,
    Gib

  5. #5
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    northfork, california
    Posts
    3,258

    Default

    Sorry, but this is a situation where you can chuck the pump off the roof into a dumpster. Harbor freight + electricity + pressure tank = garbage, caca, sure to die in one year. The "bladder" in the tank is probably made from kids ballons or old tires.

    HF is good for impact sockets and giant wrenches and disposable and non - stealable crescent wrenches.

    Do the filter and check valve swap, then budget for a better pump.

    Maybe you can bypass the pressure switch and just turn it on and off when irrigating. Keep the box and hope it dies in "warranty"
    Last edited by ballvalve; 09-15-2010 at 10:39 AM.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member Gheuett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Snellville, Georgia
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Oh yea. This was definitely a low end pump. I figured that if I could get in this project without spending a lot and prove that it could work, I could upgrade and get something better. I'll make that swap and we'll see if things improve. In reality, I'll probably be watering over periods probably no longer that 45 minutes - 1 hour and even with the cycling, it will still work. It will just likely hasten its demise and that trip to the dumpster!

    Thanks for the help!
    Gib

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member Gheuett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Snellville, Georgia
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Problem solved - as you all suggested the check valve on the intake side did the trick. It pressures up and holds as it is supposed to.

    Many Thanks!
    Gib

  8. #8
    Porky Cutter,MGWC Porky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
    727

    Default

    Most people at the big box stores; Northern Tools and Harbor Freight know nothing about pumps. . . they only sell their products. If the product won't work they will replace it, then if it doesn't work they will finally return your money. Very frustating to the purchaser. Now that you have the pump cutting off right, it may be a good time to consider installing a Cycle Stop Valve http://www.cyclestopvalves.com/index2.html to give you a constant pressure, keep your pump from cycling while you are running sprinklers while extending the life of your pump, pressure switch and tank.
    Porky Cutter, MGWC
    (Master Ground Water Consultant)

Similar Threads

  1. Tank Pressure at Zero, Pump Short Cycling
    By woodworkergal in forum Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-28-2009, 12:58 AM
  2. Pump is short cycling.....Very short!!
    By crittercatcher in forum Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 06-29-2009, 09:26 AM
  3. Short Cycling Pump - Confused
    By tracyandskye in forum Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-07-2008, 06:54 AM
  4. Irrigation pump short cycling overheating...GGRGGR
    By tombong in forum Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-15-2008, 07:49 PM
  5. Constant Cycling
    By TheConnollyKid in forum Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-13-2006, 01:12 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •