well pump cycling too fast

My well pump seems to be cycling on and off about every 48 sec. It appears to cycle off at 50 psi then the guage falls to about 32 psi whn it kicks on again. This happens even when the water supply to the rest of the house is shut off. I'm concerned that this will burn out my well pump. Any help is appreciated.
Could it be the air bladder in my tank? I have a Amtrol Well-x-Trol 203 tank. How much is this likely to cost if I have to replace or repair?
Thanks, RD
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RD wrote:

Two things are most likely wrong with your system.
1. You have a leak somewhere. The pressure wouldn't change when all water was shut off unless it is going somewhere. Find and fix it.
2. Your tank is waterlogged. The bladder is broken. You can run it as is by treating it as a bladderless, i.e., air it up every few months. The air bubble disolves in the water and eventually disappears. Drain the tank (shut pump off) and air up to 2 psi below cut-in. Looks like you are set to 30-50 (on/off)
It is possible that your tank/bladder is just fine and you have a massive leak allowing the all the drawdown to drain in 48 sec.
Harry K
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Is there a check valve or foot valve that can be defective?
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Thanks for the suggestions. I'm looking into the check valve and tank bladder.
RD
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Good call, Harry. I had a plumber out today. He said the tank is definitely waterlogged (fortunately for me the tank is still under warranty). More disturbing, however, is that pressure is lost even when the water to the house is shut off. As you surmised, there's a leak somewhere between the well-pump and my basement where the tank is located. I have no check valve in the basement and this probably allowed me to notice the loss of pressure when the house water supply is shut off.
Any thoughts on what I can expect in the way of finding the leak? cost? excavation?
Thanks, RD
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RD wrote:

First place to look is the well piping itself--either the foot-valve isn't holding or the possibility of the pipe having developed leak. Do you have any place to isolate upstream of the pressure tank to confirm which side the leak is on?
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RD wrote:

Well that is unusual. I never thought that it would be -both- problems.
As for finding the leak: as Duane says, most likely (hopefully) it is in the well piping if it is galvanized, pin holed, corroded etc. You can try listening with an accoustic device (stethoscope type) along the pipe route between house and well. If it is there you -might- be able to hear it. Also look for suspicious wet or unusually green spots along the route.
Good luck.
Harry K
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Harry K wrote:

....
Can be there if it's plastic too...had a problem in our well just last year where a joint was misthreaded when placed and the misalignment eventually caused a failure--took almost 10 years, but it did eventually cause the pipe to break at the thread...
And, found pinholes in the last section which was left as galvanized at the same time...
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Harry K wrote:

Forgot to add about about cost and excavation. I have no idea as I don't know what your local soil condition is or your physical abilities. When I had a total pipe blow out (corroded galvanised), I dug clear across my lot (200 ft) myself - no luck. Finally had to rent a ditch which and replace the entire water line for 1/4 mile to the community well. Cost not that bad but then it only invlolved the cost of the pipe plus rental, no labor as I didn't count my time. Had I contracted it...
Going through top/subsoil that isn't too rocky you can dig an amazing footage of ditch with nothing but a shovel, even if you aren't in great shape (I was in average condition).
If it is a corroded pipe problem, don't just fix the area with the hole. Replace the entire pipe. The remaining old pipe will also leak soon if you don't do that.
Harry K
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