Pressure gauge drops then jumps

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Old 01-13-05, 02:59 PM
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boetays
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Pressure gauge drops then jumps

We bought our house approx. 3 1/2 years ago. The previous owner said the the pressure should stay at 40. Never thought much about it but lately (last few weeks or more) the pressure seems to be lacking, but the main thing it does is say for instance I turn on the washing machine, the water starts to fill, than it slows and sometimes stops, then it starts up again. All the fixtures (toilet, sink, etc.) almost breathe like that after the water is on. It's like there is a hesitation or a slow down then it runs, then it slows, etc... We certainly don't want to run two things at once. Anyway, after reading alot of different posts on here I went downstairs to watch the gauge. I waited until the washing machine was done and made sure no water was running and the gauge did this: It's at around 70 then it steadily drops to around 32, where I hear a clicking and it jumps clear back up to around 70 again. When the water is running it goes to around 60 then it slowly drops and at around 38 I hear a click, click sound but it keeps dropping until around 32 where it shoots back up to 60. I pulled the manual from the previous owner, saw that we have a submersible pump replaced in 96, the pressure tank is from 89 and it says the pressure should be 30/50. I'm thinking that the previous owner changed it to the 40/60. Regardless, I don't know whether it's the pump, the pressure tank, or where to start. My husband is pretty handy but I'd prefer he knew what he was doing before starting anything.

Thanks in advance for anyone that can help!
 
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Old 01-13-05, 03:50 PM
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Hi Boetays,
- just let me check one thing you wrote;
Quote " it's at around 70 then it steadily drops till around 32". Quote
-- if there is no other water usage happening during this time, then you have leak somewhere. First try shutting off the valve to house and watch this again. If it still drops then you have a leak in the pipes between tank and bottom of the well pipe. Go to the well and uncap it, you will usually hear leaks in the pipe. If this is the case, the pipe and pump have to be pulled up to repair it.
Post back with details , we'll go from there

Do it Right - Do it once.
 
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Old 01-13-05, 05:17 PM
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boetays
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Unhappy

Thanks for replying. Let me add that the needle on the gauge goes up to around 70 in a matter of a second and within a few seconds it's at around 30 when it flies back up to 70 (with no water running). It's just back and forth very quickly. It's slower when the water is running and like I said earlier, it's at around 60 and then slowly goes down when I hear the clicking sound of the pump at 38 but it keeps going until it hits around 30/32 then jumps up to 60. I talked to my husband earlier tonight and he said that the previous owner had mentioned to him that we might have to drain the tank because of the bladder and then put pressure back in, I guess he had to do it a few times (previous owner). Could this be any part of this problem?? I know we'll end up probably having to call someone in on this but it's nice to know as much as possible beforehand. Thanks again.
 
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Old 01-13-05, 05:26 PM
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Hi Boetays,
-yes it is possible that you will have to put air in the tank - it's very easy.
But one thing at a time, did you do the leak check as I advised ? Pleas edo this and post back results, it is likely you have more than one problem.

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Old 01-15-05, 08:53 AM
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boetays
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Ok, did what you said and shut off the water going to house and the pressure stayed. I did remember that when we had our new heat pump installed we also went with the humidifier so there is a small water line that runs to it and we have it at around 45 right now. Ok, so no pressure dropping, and no leaks in house that I'm aware of. Is it the tank, or what is our next step?? Thanks again.
 
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Old 01-15-05, 12:49 PM
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Hi Boetays,
- it seems to be a problem with the tank. You will need a small compressor( it can be done with a bicycle pump, but a LOT of effort),one of my clients uses an auto tyre compressor, one of those 12v. ones, hooked up to his battery charger.
To start with, close the valve to pump and switch pump off. Now drain the tank completely if it's a bladder tank ( always has the inlet under the base, and usually pale blue, grey or white in color.) This tank will have an air nipple on top. Now take air pressure reading here. If water comes out here, bladder is shot. If it's less than 28 psi, add air to 28. If more, decrease air to 28. Now, leaving valve to house OFF, open pump valve and switch pump on. It should charge water to it's upper setting. Please note what this setting is. Now open valve to house, use water somewhere, and watch performance of pressure switch. Please note what pressure pump starts at.
Please post back with these figures, and if necessary we'll go further

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Old 01-25-05, 04:07 PM
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boetays
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Ok, we have found out that the bladder is shot. We're going to replace the pressure tank and switch. We've looked at some one the internet and have all the specs from our pump and the previous tank. Is this something we can do ourselves or should we have a professional do it? My Dad said he would help (he did his own plumbing when he put a bathroom in his downstairs) but I don't want to get in over our head if there is alot more to it than that.
 
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Old 01-26-05, 11:15 PM
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Hi Boetays,
- putting in a tank is quite simple. If your Dad has done a bit of plumbing his help will be invaluable. He will know the simple things like taping your joints,etc. We will also be glad to 'walkyou through it' when you're ready.
I fit 2-4 tanks every week and seldom have a problem unless it's really unusual plumbing. It usually takes me 3 hours or so .
Post back a day or two before you're ready to go ahead.

Do it Right - Do it once.
 
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