Water acts like it is pumping when well pump is off

My refrigerator water line keeps making a sound like it was pumping water to fill the ice tray every few minutes. However, the ice maker was full of ice. I also noticed the same sound every few minutes at the hot water heater. So, I went to the well house and noted the water pipe going from the tank to the house would vibrate as if the pump was running every few minutes. It only lasts about 7 secs.
The contact switch was open, so no current was activating the pump. And the pressure never changed at the pressure gague.
I turned off the water cutoff valve between the tank and the house and the apparent "pumping" activity at the pipe stopped and did not start back again until I opened the water valve again.
What would cause such a thing and how can I get this to stop?
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wrote:

Is your pump a submersible? Are you sure the gauge is in working order? Are you sure all power is shut off to the pump? Do you have a pressure tank? Is the tank a "bladder type"?
We need more info.
Hank
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My pump is submersible. Gauge works when running water. I can visually see the contacts are open, so, I am presuming no power to the pump, but will try cutting off the breaker and re-checking. Pressure tank is bladder type.
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My guess is that you don't have a check valve above ground at the tank, and the check valve on the submersible is leaking, causing the flap to flutter. When you close the valve at the tank, it acts like a check valve and prevents the backflow of water into the pump, so the flutter stops
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Seconded. -----
- gpsman
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I have a check valve above ground between the tank and the pump (Submersible). I presume there is a check valve at the pump (There usually is).
I am thinking of replacing my check valve above ground and see if that helps.
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On Feb 1, 4:54�am, snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com wrote:

Some pumps have check valves built into them, some have them attached AT the pump below the water level, some are above ground.
I agree with other posters that his problem is probably a bad check valve, but if the electric was disconnected the pump will not run and the pressure will drop. If the pump is not running, and the water is back flowing, he either has a bad check valve or a leak somewhere. I may be misunderstanding the original posters disscription of problem.
Hank
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OK, Upon closer examination of the symptoms, here is what I have found: If I turn the cutoff valve off between the tank and the house (the cutoff is at the tank) the symptoms all go away, and no pressure is lost. With the cutoff valve open, the intermittent "fluttering" returns and the pressure does drop during the fluttering about 1/2 a pound during the "fluttering" activity.
Another funny thing is that I notice the fluttering of the pipe intermittently even when the pump is on and re-pressurizing the system.
So, now I am not certain if it is the check valve or a possible leak between the house and the well.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote: ...

Well (so to speak :) ), if there's no pressure drop on the well side w/ the valve closed and there is when it's open the problem has to be on the downstream side of that valve by elimination.
What, specifically, would cause such a symptom I can't exactly come up with, but it has to be on that side.
Mayhaps it will be something you'll have to simply monitor for a while until symptoms get to where the root cause becomes clear.
Oh--Don't have a cattle/horse waterer or something else similar on a float, by any chance? That or even a toilet flapper could possibly cause the fluttering...
I'd be considering every device on the system for similar faults and trying to isolate each systematically.
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No horse/cattle waterer, but I do have an automatic pool filler on a float valve, but have already ruled it out as the culprit, by cutting off the water to it. Will do, and thanks I will re-post if I can come up with the answer or anything else that it may be.
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I don't know what you mean by fluttering. Still could be a bad check valve at the pump. Another possibility is that your well is going dry and you are getting air in the system. Do you get air when you open any faucet? If not, no problem.
Does your bladder tank have the correct amount of air charge? How much time between pump cycles? when you shut off all faucets, how long until the pump comes on? Or does it? With every sink faucet closed, the pump shouldn't cycle. If it does, water is getting out the pipe somewhere.
Hank <~~~just throwing ideas around
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Thanks Everyone---Especially you Hank!
The mystery has been solved. I have a toilet in a pool house building out back that was the culprit. It was causing all the problems. The fluttering was a term used by one of the posters which seemed to better describe the symptom (Rapid fluctuating pressure within the plumbing, first noticed from the icemaker line going to the refrigerator making a sound like it was "pumping water every few minutes... which was ruled out by turning off the refrigerator and the cutoff valve to the icemaker).
Thanks so much for all of your replies!
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I just spent the night at Holliday Inn Express, but here's a well pump installation site, that says a check valve is required at the pump, and every 120' vertically, and at the pressure tank. http://www.do-it-yourself-pumps.com/4f05s07-301sample-well-system.htm
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I have one at my tank, and on the pump. My well is 160' deep. It seems to me that between the pressure built up in the tank, and the weight of a 1" column of water, that's a lot to ask of one valve. It's also a waste of electricity and wear on the pump if you only have one check, and it develops a slow leak
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Well hell! I wouldn't have responded if I knew you stayed at the HIE. :-)
Seriously, if I were the original poster, I would shut the power off to the pump and open a valve and let the water pressure drop to zero. That would tell him if his gauge is working or not. If gauge is working, then power up the pump and build up pressure. After pressure builds up, shut pump off again and see if pressure drops. If it don't, that probably means teh check valve is working. If the pressure switch clicks (opens the circuit), then he either has a leaky check valve at the pump, or a leak in the piping that goes from the pump to the gauge. Hank <~~~pump psychic
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The gauge definitely works. There does appear to be a slight pressure loss during these fluttering events when the cutoff valve is open at the tank between the tank and the house. There are no fluttering events when the cutoff valve is closed, and no loss of pressure.
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On Feb 1, 4:54am, snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com wrote:

.
That's what I have is a brass one way valve at the tank.
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