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Thread: Delay from when pressure switch clicks and pump turns on

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Bobo's Avatar
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    Default Delay from when pressure switch clicks and pump turns on

    Hi all.

    I have a 265 ft 1.5 HP submersible well pump with bladder tank. System is about 10 yrs old. Twice now we have been using water and all of a sudden the flow stops and then starts up again. No sputtering or air. Last time I ran out to the well house when the water stopped but the pump was already running. I did notice maybe a 10 second delay from when the pressure switch clicked to when I heard the pump energize. The pressure switch is new, 40-60 psi and I have replaced the start capacitor a few years back. I was going to take home a meter Today and run through the checking procedure on the control box.

    Since the problem is intermittent (has occurred 3 times in the last couple weeks) would checking the control box show any issues with the components?

    Pic of the control box attached.

    Thanks in advance for any help.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Bobo; 08-23-2012 at 05:40 AM.

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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member Bobo's Avatar
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    Thanks LLigetfa. Actually I did see that thread I was hoping mine was an easier solution.

    Below are the results from my control box check.

    Start Capacitor 105-126 MFD measured 106

    Run Capacitor 10 MFD measured 7.6

    Overload should not be over .5 ohms measured .58

    Relay Should be zero measured .57 ohms

    The run capacitor was off the most and the relay seemed a little high ( I'm a mechanical guy though, I usually shock myself around electricity). Could any of these be the culprit?

  4. #4
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Clamp on an ammeter and see what it reads during the first 10 seconds.

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    DIY Junior Member Bobo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    Looks like I have the same problem. I wasn't able to get a hold of an amp meter but everything now points to a bad check valve or a hole. It now takes exactly 30 seconds every time for the pressure to rise when the pressure switch cuts in. Doesn't seem like I'm getting any air. I was able to readjust the pressure switch to operate from 45 to 60 and even when I'm running several zones of sprinklers the system recovers before any noticeable pressure loss.

    Any problem with leaving the system running like that?

  6. #6
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    There is a problem if your pump shuts off while you are running sprinklers. The cycling on and off will destroy your pump, motor, switch, control box, and is most likely why your check valve has failed. Taken 30 seconds for water to reach the top is not good but the real problem is that the irrigation zones do not match the output of the pump which causes cycling.

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    DIY Junior Member Bobo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valveman View Post
    There is a problem if your pump shuts off while you are running sprinklers. The cycling on and off will destroy your pump, motor, switch, control box, and is most likely why your check valve has failed. Taken 30 seconds for water to reach the top is not good but the real problem is that the irrigation zones do not match the output of the pump which causes cycling.
    Sorry... I may not have described the cycle well enough. The system is now cycling properly at current pressure switch settings. Cut in at 45, cut out at 60. But when the pump cuts in it takes 30 seconds for the pressure to start rising.

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    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    What sort of pressure tank do you have?

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    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo View Post
    Sorry... I may not have described the cycle well enough. The system is now cycling properly at current pressure switch settings. Cut in at 45, cut out at 60. But when the pump cuts in it takes 30 seconds for the pressure to start rising.
    I know what cycling is, and there is no such thing as “cycling properly”. If it ever reaches 60 and shuts off while the sprinklers are running, you have a cycling problem.

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    DIY Junior Member Bobo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    What sort of pressure tank do you have?
    80 Gal pre-charged to 36 psi, Don't remember the brand.

  11. #11
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo View Post
    Cut in at 45...
    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo View Post
    80 Gal pre-charged to 36 psi...
    You are squandering drawdown capacity and needlessly stretching the bladder. The pre-charge should be 2 - 5 PSI below cut-in, not 9 PSI.

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    DIY Junior Member Bobo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    You are squandering drawdown capacity and needlessly stretching the bladder. The pre-charge should be 2 - 5 PSI below cut-in, not 9 PSI.
    When I had the pressure switch set at 40 to 60, flow to my home would sometimes stop momentarily if I was using a lot of water since it takes 30 seconds for the pump to start increasing the pressure. Presumably due to a bad check valve at the pump. Running 2 showers or the sprinkler system would decrease the pressure in the system by 5 psi in 30 seconds. I realize the pump cycles more with setting at 45 to 60 but I don't have to listen to my wife when the water stops in the middle of rinsing her hair.

    I'm sure I'm going to need to have the system repaired eventually but for now unless I'm watching the pressure gauge everything seems normal.

  13. #13
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Your stop-gap remedies and procrastination will only result in costing you more in the long run. Stretching the bladder, short, more frequent cycles, and water hammer on the checkvalve will exact their toll.

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    DIY Junior Member Bobo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    Your stop-gap remedies and procrastination will only result in costing you more in the long run. Stretching the bladder, short, more frequent cycles, and water hammer on the checkvalve will exact their toll.
    If I do pull the pump I'll probably replace it too since it's 10 yr old along with the check valves. If I do procrastinate (more than the week so far) how will it cost me more than that?

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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo View Post
    ...how will it cost me more than that?
    By also needing to replace the bladder tank sooner.

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