Pump never kicks in under heavy load


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Old 12-22-18, 07:16 AM
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Pump never kicks in under heavy load

igh I am a total well noob here, so bear with me. My pump went a couple of months ago, and I replaced it with with a new Utilitech Pro 4 in submersible pump (220 volt). This is a 50 ft well with 32 FT of water drilled 22 years ago. My tank is a 30 gallon tank, pressure valve was replaced and set for proper pressure.

The issue is that if I run a high flow of water, like open the faucet in the bath tub with the pump not on, the pressure in the tank will fall right past the kick in pressure and bottom out without the pump rebuilding the pressure? Now, I can run a lower flow rate all day long and have for a couple of months with no issue. The sink, showers, stools, all run and never cause this issue unless I turn them all on at once. When the issue happens, I wait a few minutes and hit the lever on the pressure switch and it fires back up just fine. I had someone out to look at the system and check my work. They thought it might be a bad pump, but I can't get past that the pump never fails during low flow conditions.

Other than the pump, the only thing I can come up with is that when I was re-reading the installation instructions, I noticed in a picture there was a spring loaded one way check valve in the diagram. It said (recommended every 100 ft) It's been two months since I replaced the pump, but I don't remember there being one in the system? Could this cause the issue? My thought here is that maybe the water is flowing back through the pump and it can't catch up in time when we hit it with a high flow request? I thought I would check here before I pull the pump and replace it again. Ugh!

Anyway, any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
 
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Old 12-22-18, 08:49 AM
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I'm confused. In the first sentence of your second paragraph you said you run a high flow rate of water with the pump off but it doesn't build pressure??? Of course, if you have the pump off it will not turn on to rebuild pressure. Why are you turning the pump off?

When the pump doesn't run does it eventually come on after a while or does it say off forever?

Do you have an electrical tester or multi meter? If so, when the pump is NOT turning on is the pressure switch closed and sending power to the pump? If not then you might have a bad pressure switch or the pipe nipple connecting the pressure switch is clogged and needs to be cleaned out or replaced. If the pipe nipple was gunked up you may need to replace the pressure switch as the same debris could be up inside the switch clogging it and preventing it from properly seeing your water pressure.
 
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Old 12-22-18, 12:20 PM
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You would need a check valve if all the water was draining back into the well. Check valves actually reduce the operating efficiency of a well system but are a necessary evil. The way to see if you need a check valve is to let the system charge up. Shut the water supply valve to the house. Turn the power off to the pump. Watch the pressure gauge. If it just sits there.... no check valve is needed and there are no leaks between the pump and the tank.
 
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Old 12-22-18, 02:00 PM
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Told you I was a noob! Maybe I should have said when the pump is idle Pilot Dane. I am not turning the pump off, its just that its not running at that time. This happens if the pump is idle and there is good pressure in the tank, and then say I turn the faucets on the tub full open. The pressure just goes down to nothing without the pump kicking in, but if you run low flow, like a shower, the pump kicks in and runs fine every time. I replaced the pressure switch and didn't see any debris anywhere, but I can't say I was looking for it at the time. I did check and there is power going to the pump at the switch side when the pressure switch trips. I haven't been to the well head to check there yet?

I will check the switch and test the pressure to see if I need a check valve as Pete suggested.

Thanks for the input gentlemen.
 
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Old 12-22-18, 02:07 PM
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Ok.... that makes things a little clearer. Then you need to check into the pipe nipple that feeds the pressure switch as Dane mentioned previously. Your pressure switch is not registering the proper low pressure probably due to a plugged nipple.
 
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Old 12-23-18, 07:08 AM
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I did check and there is power going to the pump at the switch side when the pressure switch trips.
Are you sure? That conflicts with this:

When the issue happens, I wait a few minutes and hit the lever on the pressure switch and it fires back up just fine.
If you just started using a low pressure cut-off switch that may be your problem. They wonít tolerate the kind of pressure drop a non low pressure cut-off switch will. When you are using a lot of water you might be operating on the well production rate margins. If the pressure drops too low (i.e., 10 psi below cut-in) for an instant the switch will trip whereas the old one would not.

(I think many pumps have a built-in check valve. Check your specs.)
 
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Old 12-24-18, 11:53 AM
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You have a low pressure, pressure switch.
If the flow of water leaving the tank is too fast, the switch does what is is designed to do.
There seems to be a check valve in the pump or it would constantly cut on and off.
The only way to solve your problem is to change the pressure switch to one that is not a low pressure one.
Or when you need a lot of water, just donít let out the full flow all at once.
 
 

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