Water pump on/off every 3 seconds

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On 10 Nov 2004 06:32:42 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Harry K) wrote:

Well, since we stated having this problem a few days ago, pressure in the shower is way too low, and just barely enough. If one thing is using water and you try to use something else, you get only a tiny amount of pressure. For instance if a toilet is filling, and you try to use the sink, only a small amount of water comes out. This problem just started a few days ago.

I did have that valve closed.
We're OK for now, but not great. I'll probably have someone come look at it soon, since we seem to need a new tank. I looked at them at Home Depot yesterday, and one that looks like the size we have costs $240.
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You frequently see better prices (and higher quality) at plumbing supply shops, and farm supply stores. If there's a TSC store in your area, it's probably worth your while to pick up the phone and call them.
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(Harry K)

With that much pressure in the tank, you shouldn't have any flow problems at any outlet even using 2 at once. You have blockage somewhere after the tank or a valve that is only partly open. It is possible that the blown bag is allowing full flow into the tank and then at least partially blocking the outlet for outflow, i.e., acting like a flapper valve.
Harry K
Harry K
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On 10 Nov 2004 19:28:34 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Harry K) wrote:

Yes, it could be. Also, with the broken bag, the volume of air in the tank is different from what it would normally be, FWIW. I plan to call a water system guy tomorrow.
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Ahhh, never mind calling the water system guy, just replace the stupid tank. That's what he's going to do anyway. Might as well replace it yourself and save the cost of a service call -- it isn't rocket science. Anybody who can use a wrench can replace a pressure tank.
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On Thu, 11 Nov 2004 12:23:19 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

I'm thinking about that, but I don't know if I can do it. I haven't called them yet.

Hmmm... I don't even have a wrench as big as the pipe. I'm not very good at moving something that big, and I'd probably have to get a truck anyway. I'm going to do one or the other.
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It's cheaper to buy a couple of pipe wrenches at Sears, and rent a truck, than to pay somebody else to put the tank in for you. :-)
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On Thu, 11 Nov 2004 20:04:19 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

I know it is simple - set it in there and connect one pipe, but I don't think I'm physically able to do it.
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Ah, I see. I hope I didn't offend.
Perhaps you can get a buddy or a neighbor to put it in for you. It's still cheaper to buy pipe wrenches at Sears, rent a truck, and buy a couple pizzas and a case of beer for your neighbor.
If you live in central Indiana, maybe we can make a deal. :-)
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(Doug Miller)

I see google is being very slow again as yesterday's post hasn't shown yet.
Don't be intimidated by the -size- of the tank. They weigh relatively nothing. The box they come in and any packing materials almost weigh as much as the tank. They are awkward to haul and maneuver tho due to the size.
Harry K
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Interesting.
The reason I say that is that the bladder-style tank we have isn't very big at all. It's about 14" in diameter, about 24" tall, and probably weighs about 15 pounds empty. That handles us without any problems whatsoever. (simultaneously taking a shower, flushing the toilet, running the dishwasher, and clothes washer when the irrigation system is in operation! Okay, yeah, we couldn't take the shower without a pressure balance valve...)
A _large_ tank (ie: anything approaching a hot water tank in size) is suggestive of either an old-fashioned bladder-less tank, or cistern requirements (ie: very low flowrate well).
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wrote:

Disagree. A large tank can also be indicative of a homeowner who likes to have a really high pressure and flow rate in his shower, without short-cycling his pump by a small draw-down. :-) At our previous place, we had a high-output submersible pump (it would fill a 200-gallon livestock tank in about 10-12 minutes), and an 85-gallon pressure tank, with pressures set at 50/90.
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snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote in message (Harry K)

Right. All it takes is two pipe wrenches and one will do if you're lucky. Just don't do what I did once and forget to empty the tank before you break the connection. :)
Harry K
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Or what I did once. In a hurry to test whether the new water pump was working in a new house, I wired it up, and only did enough plumbing to get it to the tank.
Fired it up.
Hey, cool, it works!
Now _how_ do I empty the tank?
I almost got away with partially cracking open a 1/4" NPT plug on the meter manifold and deflecting the spray into a bucket. Until the plug fell out.
FWOOMMP!
There were a number of very upset (wet) people on the other side of the basement.
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On 9 Nov 2004 05:55:40 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Harry K) wrote:

...
The tank is a Stay-rite Con-Aire "controlled air water tank" (I couldn't get the model number), so I'm assuming that it means that it is a bladder type.
I did all of the steps you said, except pump up the air. (I do have a tire pump so I could do it, I just didn't know to last night.) Now it is working like it was a few days ago, so the immediate problem is solved. However, we bought this house 2+ years ago, so it may have already had the problem. We always thought the water pressure was low.
Since it has a burst bubble, this problem will happen again, if we don't replace it, right?
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Sure sounds like it.

Yes, it will.
When you install the new tank, put a tire pressure gauge on the air fitting to measure the precharge pressure. Then let air out, or pump more in, as needed, to adjust the pressure to about 2 psi below the cut-on pressure setting on your pump control.
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On Tue, 09 Nov 2004 18:44:47 GMT, Doug Miller wrote:

Might I suggest to the OP the purchase of a powered air pump that plugs into the cigarette lighter in your vehicle. Hand pumping a pressure tank is a time-consuming and fatiguing process - at least for one the size I have (35 gal). I used a little portable battery powered air pump that I bought to top off the vehicle tires from time to time, but one that plugs into your vehicle would work just as well so long as you can get your vehicle close enough. They are relatively inexpensive - IIRC I've seen them for about $20.
I guess if you know your cut-on pressure, you could take the tank to the gas station and put air in it there to obtain the correct pressure. Bit of a pain to disconnect/reconnect and load/unload though. If you're replacing your tank, you could stop on the way home with the new one and pump it up....
Later, Mike (substitute strickland in the obvious location to reply directly) ----------------------------------- snipped-for-privacy@att.net
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Michael Strickland wrote:

My Well-Trol by Amtrol was precharged to 30 PSI (according to the label).

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On Wed, 10 Nov 2004 10:27:03 -0500, willshak wrote:

True, they are precharged to a standard pressure, don't recall off the top of my head what mine was precharged to. 30 psi precharge is good for a pump cut-on pressure of around 32 psi. Precharge should actually be 27-28 psi for a 30/50 pressure switch if 30 psi is the actual cut-on pressure.
The reason for suggesting raising the pressure is that the OP is using, IIRC, 42 psi as the cut-on pressure, which means that he needs somewhere around 40 psi precharge. Precharge pressure should be a couple-three psi below cut-on pressure, so it depends on what your cut-on pressure is exactly what your precharge pressure needs to be for optimal pump operation.
Later, Mike (substitute strickland in the obvious location to reply directly) ----------------------------------- snipped-for-privacy@att.net
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Michael Strickland wrote:

I'm not a plumber, so I was just commenting on the factory precharge as listed on my tank. As a matter of fact, I do not know what the working pressure is on my tank. It is 20 years old and has never been tested or serviced, unless that was done by the plumber that installed it 20 years ago. I should have it looked at, although it is working fine, as far as I can tell. For one thing, the pressure guage is broken (needle sitting at 0), and has been like that for many years. My wife's nephew is a plumber and has installed our Central A/C, services our boiler, and does our other plumbing jobs when needed. The last time he was here, I mentioned the pressure guage being broken and he said he would replace it, but you know how it is with getting relatives to do jobs for you. :-) I also just found out the tank name was Well-X-Trol, not Well-Trol (the X is stylized into the logo).

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