House water pressure (well) sometimes goes to zero for seconds before pump start


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Old 05-19-21, 09:36 AM
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Question House water pressure (well) sometimes goes to zero for seconds before pump start

This house was plumbed when new, 33 years ago. 50gal electric water heater (original).

I have zero information about the well & well pump other than the latter operating on 240v.

Original pressure switch (Square-D Pumptrol 9013 Ser:B Type:FSG-2 On/Off:30/50) and pressure tank (Well-X-Trol Mod:WX-203 Factory charge:30psi) also still in-place.

The Schrader Valve is dry and, to my knowledge, has never had its pristine safety cap removed since we moved in.

The water pressure gauge that is just downstream from the pressure switch is stuck at ~30psi. It may have been that way since the beginning, I just took note of it recently. I mention it just in case it may be of importance.

The newly developed pump-start delays have only happened for the past few/several months. I think that this is an intermittent condition (currently) because there have been times when I was using beaucoup water (washing clothes, using the garden hose, etc.) and anticipating the OFF when only a lessening of pressure occurred prior to the pressure picking back up.

AT LEAST periodically now, the water pressure will go to zero for as few as ~5 and as many as ~30 seconds before the switch kicks.

I measured the air pressure in the tank. ON is at ~21psi and OFF occurs at ~43psi.

This morning I isolated the pressure tank/switch system segment, drained the water and measured the empty air pressure charge in the tank: 19psi.

Under highest water pressure, the water from my garden hose will spray noticeably less far than it did last year and before.

===

I have a from-the-factory 30psi pressure tank with a current "factory charge" of 19psi (perfect for a 20/40, apparently) and a from-the-factory 30/50 pressure switch that currently trips ON at ~21 and OFF at ~43.

Hmmmmm. If not for my noticing the lower top pressure/distance via the garden hose, from looking at these numbers I might think that this was manually configured by the installer as 20/40.

===

My inclination is to target the pressure switch, since the air in the pressure tank may have been the same for 33 years. Perhaps the installer failed to check that it arrived on-site with the listed 30psi. ?

Are these Square-D pressure switches known to eventually get twitchy in the presence of well water "sand"? At the start of 1996 I added a cartridge water filter to the water system, so "sand" has been much less of a potential problem since then (1 micron yarn filter cartridges, btw).


I will hold-off moving forward until, hopefully, someone has some cogent thoughts to share on my situation.

My apologies for all of the words ... and thank you for your patience.

 
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Old 05-19-21, 09:44 AM
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AT LEAST periodically now, the water pressure will go to zero for as few as ~5 and as many as ~30 seconds before the switch kicks.
Yes.... that's a pressure switch issue. It may not be the actual switch. A very common problem is the 1/4" pipe fitting that feeds the switch gets rusted/plugged and keeps the proper pressure from being seen at the switch.

Remove the pressure switch and check it for a clogged connection as well as the pipe that feeds it.
Replace the gauge too. It's important to know the system pressure when diagnosing problems.
 
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Old 05-20-21, 09:06 AM
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Exxxxxxxcellent news! Thanks, PJmax!

Good to hear that the Square-Ds are known to eventually get twitchy and better news that mine may only require orifice cleaning rather than replacement.

Hopefully I will have some time tomorrow to address this ... and also to replace that stuck gauge while I have the segment drained and am taking stuff apart.

I will update the Thread once I am done.



 
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Old 05-20-21, 09:15 AM
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Whenever I have to replace the pressure switch I go ahead and install a new pipe nipple. And vice versa. If the pipe nipple is clogged with debris I replace the pressure switch because the mud probably also got through the orifice and into the switch which could cause erratic performance.
 
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Old 05-20-21, 09:16 AM
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I have a well and the pressure tank is supposed to be at 27psi with a 30/50 switch. did you shut off the well and drain it down to zero water pressure before you checked the pressure on the schrader valve? If it was me I would check the pipe to the pressure switch, replace the gauge and the switch. 30 years plus is a long time. just my two cents,
 
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Old 05-20-21, 10:32 AM
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Youngblood -


Perhaps the installer failed to check that it arrived on-site with the listed 30psi.
Look inside the switch cover. It will tell you whether itís a 20-40, 30-50, or 40-60.

(Iím with frank1046, to replace those parts. I even use multiple gauges.)
 
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Old 06-04-21, 03:03 PM
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WHEW! The stars finally aligned so that I could get this tiny project done.

According to the new pressure gauge, my new pressure switch turns ON at 30psi and OFF at 47.5.

Thank you for all of the timely & excellent advice, guys!

 
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Old 06-04-21, 03:52 PM
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Yep, there's your problem...

Thank you for reporting back.
 
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