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Thread: Water surging and Water Pump Control Relay Short cycling

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Chris Botti's Avatar
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    Default Water surging and Water Pump Control Relay Short cycling

    Hi,
    Lately I have been noticing that my water pressure throughout my home is surging when you turn a faucet on. While in the basement where my water pump controller is and while having the washing machine on I was noticing that the relay seems to be clicking on and off almost in a short cycle. My pressure gauge on the front of the control unit is at a little over 60 psi. The control unit is an old sears model #3902835 and the pump appears to be a 1HP P217-135... which I can't find much info on. I do have a large gray Well Mate pressure tank that is about 5' in height 14 " wide and the pressure gauge is also reading just about 60+ lbs. Does anyone have any ideas for me to help diagnosis what the problem could be? I have read some of the other posts on the site and am leaning toward a pressure switch... Would emptying the pressure tank some, and allowing air into the tank help? I don't think it is the pump itself but more of the control unit. Any help would be great! Thank You.

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member craigpump's Avatar
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    The tank is probably either water logged or has a bad bladder/diaphram.

    No, draining the tank will not put enough air back into the tank. A bicycle pump won't work either.

    Fix it now before you fry the pump

  3. #3
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigpump View Post
    A bicycle pump won't work either.
    LOL I still remember pumping air into my dad's galvanized tank with a bicycle pump. It was in a space too small to stand up in. It helps to turn off the pump and drain the tank first.

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    DIY Senior Member craigpump's Avatar
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    We were on a job a few weeks ago where the guy had been trying to put a precharge in his Ace hardware store tank with a bicycle pump.

    Gotta love it

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    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigpump View Post
    We were on a job a few weeks ago where the guy had been trying to put a precharge in his Ace hardware store tank with a bicycle pump.

    Gotta love it
    I actually did that once on an old, thankfully small, galvanized tank, while visiting a relative, and no other air source was at hand.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member Chris Botti's Avatar
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    Default Ok...

    Quote Originally Posted by craigpump View Post
    The tank is probably either water logged or has a bad bladder/diaphram.

    No, draining the tank will not put enough air back into the tank. A bicycle pump won't work either.

    Fix it now before you fry the pump
    Hi Craig,
    How do you recommend that I fix it? Is it as simple as replacing the physical tank? It looks like there I one line in and one line out. Obviously I would shut down the pump and drain the tank. Once I've done that, do I simply disconnect the line in and out or is there more to it? Sorry man, I'm use to city water. No pressure tanks needed there. Also, is there a better brand tank and size to replace it with that you recommend?
    Thanks for the info.

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Botti View Post
    Hi Craig,
    How do you recommend that I fix it? Is it as simple as replacing the physical tank? It looks like there I one line in and one line out. Obviously I would shut down the pump and drain the tank. Once I've done that, do I simply disconnect the line in and out or is there more to it? Sorry man, I'm use to city water. No pressure tanks needed there. Also, is there a better brand tank and size to replace it with that you recommend?
    Thanks for the info.

    Do you have a air volume control ? or a bladder tank ?

    If it has a Air Volume control, then draining the tank will help. Just close everything up before you turn your pump on.


    Good Luck.
    Last edited by DonL; 10-20-2013 at 08:21 AM.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member Chris Botti's Avatar
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    Also, the tank appears to be fiberglass wrapped with a large hex nut on top. Any other thoughts? I have no problem replacing what I have to. Just need some more info to make an educated decision. Thanks again.

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member Chris Botti's Avatar
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    Honestly I have no idea. How do I find out the difference? I am thinking bladder tank. There is only the feed line in and the line out. Nothing else that I can see.

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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    You need to determine whether it is a bladder type captive air tank or a hydro-pneumatic. If it is a bladder type, there should be a schrader valve on it. If it is hydro-pneumatic, there would be a vent.

    If it is a bladder tank, you might be able to replace the bladder, assuming it no longer holds air. If it is hydro-pneumatic, you need to either fix the airmaker system or the AVC.

  11. #11
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Botti View Post
    There is only the feed line in and the line out. Nothing else that I can see.
    There has to be more. Usually if the in and out are separate ports, then it is likely to be hydro-pneumatic in which case there is an AVC under that top nut and a vent on top.

  12. #12
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    If there truly is nothing more, and the in is at the bottom with the out at the top, then it is a contact tank which is not meant to have any air in it. In that case, there would need to be another tank.

  13. #13
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Sounds like some sort of water filter.

    Or I missed something.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  14. #14
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    Or I missed something.
    More likely the OP neglected to tell us something. Hard to miss something you've never seen.

  15. #15
    DIY Senior Member craigpump's Avatar
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    The give away is the large nut on top of the tank. He has a Well Mate with a verticle air volume control.

    Sometimes they will get cruded up with iron and quit working.

    On top is that large nut, back that out, lift it up and you will see the air volume control. I would replace the avc, and then be sure there is Bleeder port in the drop pipe so the system will balance itself. The AVC is like $23.00 or so.

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