Shallow Well Pump continuously cycling


Old 02-20-10, 12:20 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2010
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Shallow Well Pump continuously cycling

I have a small shallow well pump to irrigate my Central Florida lawn. Recently it began cycling on/off every 5 minutes or so. When I shut the power off, waited a while, then turned it back on, it immediately turned on for a few seconds, then back to it's 5 minute cycle.

I've run the pump, and it is pumping water, but I want to eliminate this periodic cycling. What should I be looking at?

Thanks in advance
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Old 02-20-10, 12:28 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 1,698
sucking air/running out of water would be the first place to look, what kind of tank control is it hooked up to. did you read the stickys and trouble shoot from that?

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Old 02-23-10, 04:23 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 2
cycling pump

[QUOTE=Speedwrench;1696589]sucking air/running out of water would be the first place to look, what kind of tank control is it hooked up to. did you read the stickys and trouble shoot from that?

I read the earlier post, I didn't seem to see anything that applied to my particular problem. I've checked for leaks, nothing is obvious (above ground at least). I thought about it being water logged, but I haven't found anything definitive about how to check for that. By tank control, do you mean the auto-switch that controls the pump during operation?
Old 02-23-10, 05:48 AM
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Location: NC, USA
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Do you have a pressure tank in the system? If the diaphram is ruptured it is possible for the pressure tank to fill with water (water logged) and it stops providing a "buffering" capacity to prevent the pump from quickly cycling on/off. Generally though the pump will cycle on/off faster than every 5 minutes.

I'm betting there is a leak somewhere or a check valve is leaking. The system bleeds down until after 5 minutes the pump cycles back on.
Old 02-24-10, 09:29 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 386
Sounds like your sprinkler company did not match the output of your well to your sprinkling system. It takes more time to do this but it is better for your well when they do... so look for a company that does this. Don't ask them if they do... they would all say yes. Look for a company that knows what they are talking about and, hopefully, brings this up first.

That said, here are some things we need to know to help you fix the problem. I am guessing that your irrigation system uses less water than your well can provide. So here is what sounds like is happening:

Your irrigation system starts running, and your well is currently in the off position. The water drains out of the bladder tank and the well kicks on in order to maintain pressure in the system. Otherwise anyone using a shower or sink would get just a dribble. Because the well brings up the water faster than the irrigation system can use it, it shuts off once the bladder tank is full. Then the cycle starts over again.

Take a look at these questions and we can give you some more ideas on how to help fix this. Constant cycling of your well can shorten its lifespan.

1. How many gallons per minute does your well provide? If this is a newer home then check the top of the well-head or some kind of a plate that may be near the power cutoff inside the house. If neither of these exist, contact the person who put in the well.

2. What is the size of your bladder pressure tank. They are usually blue in color. They will list their size, in gallons, on them somewhere.

3. Each of your zones--do they use the same GPM (gallons per minute)?

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