Water Pressure / Pump Works Intermittently

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Old 09-10-17, 02:48 PM
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Water Pressure / Pump Works Intermittently

Hey there,

So I saw a recent thread about a similar issue but not exactly the same (and the issue appears unresolved) so I'm starting a new thread...

I'm on a well system and my water intermittently shuts off - most noticeably when attempting to shower for more than 7-8 minutes or so. I did check the pressure at the pump during an episode and it would be at 0 psi and then recover to 40 psi. Eventually the pressure in the shower comes back on completely.

Here is the weird thing, it seems like it will recover for a while. For example, I just checked the pressure at the pump and it would cut-in at 42 psi and cut out at 62 psi (obviously I had water running so I could check the cut-in/out points). At some point, however, our water pressure will eventually cut out completely for a few minutes and then recover.

Another odd thing seems to be happening at the pump. During normal operation, it cuts-in at 42 and then cuts out at 62. Pressure will then drop to 59 psi, cut-in and bump up to 63 psi and that is where it stays when water is not in use. I don't know if that is normal or not.

Any help is appreciated...also, I did shut water to the house off to see if there was any pressure drop (all taps / showers, etc were off). There was no pressure drop...

Thanks!
 
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Old 09-10-17, 02:53 PM
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Many times the little 1/8" connecting pipe between the pressure switch and the water line gets plugged with rust causing erratic pump activity.
 
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Old 09-10-17, 02:57 PM
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Thanks for the fast response!!! So if I shut the whole house water off and drain it by opening any tap in the house (for some reason, my pump doesn't have a drain valve near it). Then shut power off at the switch, can I simply unscrew the switch and clean that 1/8" pipe out below it?
 
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Old 09-10-17, 02:59 PM
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That'll do it. You'll need to disconnect the wiring too.
 
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Old 10-22-17, 04:16 PM
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Bringing this thread back from the dead. So I ended up cleaning the switch and I still had the same issue.

Now, approximately a month later, I got around to completely replacing the pressure switch. Same thing happens:

-It will initially cut-on @ 40 psi and cut-off @ 60 psi
-It will then cut-on @ 20 psi and cut-off @ 40 psi
-Finally, it will go all the way down to 0 psi - we will be out water for about a minute and then the switch will turn on and pump up again...

Any thoughts on what I should look to at this point? Could it have anything to do with the pressure tank, water softener or water heater? I'm crossing fingers it's not my actual well pump...
 
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Old 10-23-17, 06:49 AM
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Get a portable pressure gauge that screws onto a garden hose faucet. Do your existing pressure gauge and this new gauge always read the
same (should be about the same).

Can you hear a click from your pressure switch when it turns the pump on? Not all switches do that but if your switch does, do you hear the click at the pressure the pump is supposed to turn on even if the pump does not actually come on?

You may need to clean out the connection between your pressure switch and the rest of the system again. There might still be sediment in the vicinity and gumming up the works.
 
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Old 10-23-17, 09:24 AM
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When the problem is occurring verify that the pump is turning on when the pressure switch is on and calling for water. Some motors have thermal overload protection and won't run until they cool down. Obviously your pump is working at least some times but I want to know if it turns on and runs when the switch calls for it. If the switch clicks on and power is sent to the pump but it takes is 30 seconds to turn on that could indicate a pump problem.

If your pump does turn on immediately when power is sent to the pump then I suspect a pressure switch problem. I would bleed down the system and remove/unscrew the pressure switch from it's pipe nipple. Then with the switch removed turn the well pump breaker back on for a second or two. You should see a solid stream of water shoot up out of the pipe nipple. If you do then the pipe nipple and it's connection to the water system is good and clear. If you don't get a solid stream of water you need to clean out or replace the pipe nipple.
 
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Old 10-28-17, 03:29 PM
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Appreciate both of you responses!

So, it will take me a bit to try both of your recommendations but wanted to get back to you here.

I can verify that for the initial cut on at 40 psi, I can hear the switch click and the pump immediately pumps. I probably have good water flow for about 5 or so minutes. Then it drops below 40 psi without clicking and then clicks on at 20 and the pump immediately pumps up to 40 and I still have good water flow. For that final cycle, it goes down to 0 without the switch clicking at all; stays there (no water of course) and then the switch clicks and the pump turns on immediately.

Like I said, I'll hopefully be able to try both your recommendations here as soon as I can but wanted to get back to you with what I know now.

Thanks again!
 
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