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Well Pump Short Cycles: Possible Cause

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Larry in Arkansas is on the line and has a problem with a well pump. Tell us what’s going on.

    LARRY: Yes. I’m out in a rural area and have a well pump. And I don’t want to have a plumber come way out here and then tell me some silly, little thing that I could have taken care of. But the problem is that day and night, this pump keeps going on and off, on and off. I’ve looked everywhere I can think of where there might be a leak in the system. And I can’t find any leaks. But the well pump just keeps going on and off all the time. Is there something that I’ve overlooked or should be looking at?

    TOM: How about your toilets? Have you checked for leaky fill and flush valves?

    LARRY: Yes, I put dye in the tanks and watched and no appreciable leakage.

    TOM: So, you might – this is called “short-cycling” and it’s a pretty common condition in houses. Usually a lot to do with the water-pressure tank not having enough air in it. What I would suggest you do is to have not necessarily a plumber but have a well company take a look at it. Because I don’t think it’s that you have a leak in your house that’s running; I think this is an issue with the well pump itself. It’s either the control circuit or the pressure tank.

    LARRY: Well, one thing that I – that comes to my mind, that I haven’t been able to check is – there is some kind of a check valve in that system that could be faulty after so many years, like 15, 20 years?

    TOM: Yeah. And letting some of the water back into the well line and then reducing the pressure down to the point where the pump thinks it has to come back on? Yeah, it’s all possible. But I think it’s in the well equipment; I don’t think it’s a leak.

    LARRY: OK. I want to thank you for – so much for taking my call. And I want to compliment you on one of the greatest shows that I listen to every week on the radio.

    TOM: Oh, well, thank you very much. We really appreciate that.

    LARRY: Thank you so much.

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