Well system "pops" when pump comes on

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  #1  
Old 06-23-20, 06:04 AM
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Well system "pops" when pump comes on

All,

Twelve year old well system, submersible Goulds 3/4 hp pump, small(ish) bladder tank, 40-60 psi cut-in/out pressures.

System works well, but occasionally (I'd say 25% of the time), the system emits a lout pop or snap noise when the pump turns on. I can't tell if it's coming from the tank/piping or the electrical system (220V control box). It's not the pressure switch, at least I don't think. You can hear the pressure switch pop slightly first, then the second louder pop of concern.

I've confirmed bladder tank pressure is set to about 37/38 psi to be a couple of pounds below cut-in. This was measured with tank fully drained.

Video attached: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U50PJ_eM9hQ

Can anyone give any insights?

Thanks.
 

Last edited by jogordo; 06-23-20 at 07:05 AM.
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  #2  
Old 06-23-20, 07:56 AM
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hi jogordo-

Can you put your ear up close to the pump control box up on the plywood? That sounds like it may be a relay in the pump control box Ė which would be energized after the pressure switch contacts close, which is the first noise you hear.

It would be better to listen with the control box cover removed but I donít think you can take the cover off the control box and still run.
 
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Old 06-23-20, 12:10 PM
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In your video are two sounds. The first..... quieter one is the pressure switch closing.
The second.... louder one.... is the start relay opening in the pump control box.
The sounds in the video sounded normal.

If the relay chatters in the relay box.... it may need new capacitors.
 
  #4  
Old 06-23-20, 01:21 PM
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In your video are two sounds. The first..... quieter one is the pressure switch closing.
The second.... louder one.... is the start relay opening in the pump control box.
The sounds in the video sounded normal.
Thanks. I will leave "well" enough alone then. The second one is quite loud, and intermittent, so I wasn't sure if it reflected a problem or issue. It will make you jump if you happen to be down in the basement. Can hear it on the other side of the block wall when you are out watering plants with the hose too.
 
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Old 06-30-20, 05:27 AM
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Resurrecting this for some more feedback...

I have been noticing a delay that I believe is related to this original post, which has me concerned.

Some times when turning on water, I will have a second or two where flow/pressure drops very low before picking up again. It's noticeable at a faucet - pressure/flow on the lower side at first (telling me pressure switch is close to cut-in), then drops off to very low, then starts to pick back up (system pressurizing). Like a quick drop-out of flow.

My suspicion, though I haven't been able to confirm it since I'm not at the well when this is happening, is this is the 1-2 second delay between the pressure switch cutting in and the second "pop" heard in my video which is presumably capacitor/relay kicking in in the control box.

I'm going to check my bladder tank pressure today, with pressure off the downstream side, to confirm it's set 2-3 psi below the pressure switch cut-in pressure (should be 37-38 if pressure switch cuts in at 40).

Any other thoughts?
 
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Old 07-01-20, 06:47 AM
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Update:

Checked water pressure gauge at cut-in and cut-off. Seemed to be about 39 psi and 59 psi (hard to see exactly as the needle jumps a bit when pump comes on/off).

Bladder tank was set at 38.5 psi when pressure was off the water side.

Re-set the cut-in/cut-off to 40 psi/60 psi, more precisely.
Also re-set the bladder tank to 37 psi.

I've been sitting next to the pump while running an outdoor sprinkler, so it's doing a bit of cycling, and I have heard only one "pop" since.

I'm figuring, within the error of the gauges I have and my ability to see the numbers accurately, I might have had the tank and pressure switch set too close, or possibly the tank set higher than cut-in on the switch.
 
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Old 07-01-20, 08:08 AM
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hi jogordo-

I might have had the tank and pressure switch set too close, or possibly the tank set higher than cut-in on the switch.
Iíve had that problem already. You run out of water before the pressure switch cut-in is reached, then the pressure drops fast and the cut-in is reached and the pump comes on, but at the faucets etc. you certainly experience the delay: the process is not smooth and is very noticeable. A little adjustment of the tank pressure should do the trick as you say. (Gauges can also be off a little as you indicate.)

That noise from the control box does not sound like a pop to me Ė but that could just be me. (I think a pop would be scarier because I think that could mean electrical arcing somewhere.)

To me it sounds more like a relay snapping shut. I donít know though why it would be intermittent. But if it were actually a sticky relay would it maybe just take more energy at some times than others to close it, and then at those times you would hear a snap as the relay finally yields to the extra energy and then closes hard? Just a WAG Ė I have no idea if that would be possible with the types of relays in those boxes.
 
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Old 07-01-20, 09:27 AM
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Yes, pop, snap, loud click, bang, hard to describe. Definitely not electrical in nature.

I wonder if, in some way, the pressure setting being off was doing something to hold the relay/contact on the pump out for a sec and creating the noise?

Or if perhaps it was coming from the bladder tank instead?
 
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Old 07-01-20, 02:47 PM
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hi jogordo-

Iím no well guy by any means but I keep mine going- usually Ėlol.

The first noise as you know is definitely the contacts in the pressure switch closing. So immediately you would then get power at the control box and not before. I donít think there is any way you would be hearing anything going on with the submersible pump motor as it is deep down in the well. I have never heard of a pressure tank making any sounds, and that would make sense because the only movement in the tank is the bladder. But maybe there would be some way, stranger things have happened I guess lol.

So to me, anyway, that would leave only the control box. I think most of the 3-wire motors with the control box have a START and a RUN circuit. When the motor comes up to speed the RUN circuit is switched in and I think the START circuit is switched out (but I think the schemes vary but it all has to do with getting the motor up to speed and then operating in a RUN circuit).

But anyway, I think it takes seconds before the motor is up to speed and the switching to the RUN circuit occurs. Anyway, just seems to me that the sound you hear may be at the point in time when the switching to the RUN circuit occurs in the control box. Seems like a real coincidence if not.
 
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Old 07-01-20, 05:28 PM
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Thanks zoesdad. What you mention is the most logical possibility. I guess I was just taken back today by the fact that the noise (which has persisted for multiple years) has almost stopped now that I reset the pressure switch and tank pressure. Perhaps a coincidence, but I was looking for some relationship to that. Thanks again.
 
  #11  
Old 07-02-20, 07:29 AM
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Sure thing jogordo. Glad everything is working. Good luck! (Nice thing about the control box is that if anything does go wrong itís easy to work on or replace Ė and the pump doesnít need to be pulled Ė yaaay- lol),
 
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