frequent pump runs


M

mcdonnep

Hie everyone. I have a submersible pump with a fl 7 composite bladder
tank. The pump turns on at 40 and off at 60. Every time I flush the
toilet, the pump turns on. Is this normal? I thought that the tank should
hold more that 1 toilets worth of water. I don't know how much the toilet
holds, house was built in 1991. Thanks in advance for the help.
mcdonnep
 
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D

dpb

Hie everyone. I have a submersible pump with a fl 7 composite bladder
tank. The pump turns on at 40 and off at 60. Every time I flush the
toilet, the pump turns on. Is this normal? I thought that the tank should
hold more that 1 toilets worth of water. I don't know how much the toilet
holds, house was built in 1991. Thanks in advance for the help.
mcdonnep
The tank is waterlogged -- you can try draining it entirely (after
turning of pump, of oourse) and then checking the pressure. Should be 2
lb under the cut-in pressure -- 38 in your case.

See if that will extend the life of the tank a little while -- but a new
tank is in your future sooner rather than later.

--
 
T

The Daring Dufas

Your toilet is probably 5 gallons per flush.

If withdrawing 5 gallons from your bladder tank is sufficient to cause
it's pressure to drop below 40 psig, then the pump will come on every
time the toilet is flushed.

You may want to consider installing a much larger bladder tank. The
bigger your tank, the less frequently your sump pump will come on, but
the longer it will run each time it does come on.
Um, I didn't think you used a sump pump for potable water. o_O

TDD
 
D

Doug Miller

Hie everyone. I have a submersible pump with a fl 7 composite bladder
tank. The pump turns on at 40 and off at 60. Every time I flush the
toilet, the pump turns on. Is this normal? I thought that the tank should
hold more that 1 toilets worth of water. I don't know how much the toilet
holds, house was built in 1991. Thanks in advance for the help.
A little bit of Googling shows that the FL7 is a 22-gallon tank.

If you're interested, ask, and I'll post the details of how I got to this figure... but I calculate that
with your on/off pressures at 40/60, you can withdraw *no more than* 5.9 gallons from the
tank before the pump kicks on.

If you have a 5-gallon toilet, I'd expect the pump to come on nearly every time you flush it,
about 17 times out of every 20. That is perfectly normal.

If the toilet uses less water than 5 gallons per flush, this is *not* normal. For example, if it's a
1.6-gallon toilet, you should expect that, on average, the pump would run about one flush in
every four.

So before anyone can tell you (as some have tried to) that your pressure tank is definitely
waterlogged, you need to tell us:

(a) How much water the toilet uses per flush (should be marked inside the tank)

(b) What happens if you flush the toilet, wait for the toilet to fill *and* for the pump to stop
running, then flush it again? Does the pump kick on before the toilet fills, or not?

(c) How often does the pump run in one hour if nobody is using any water at all? Any answer
other than zero means you have a leak somewhere; the higher the number, the worse the
leak.
 
D

Doug Miller

nestork said:
If the tank were waterlogged, then the diphragm in the tank is
torn. So, once you emptied the water out of the tank, the air pressure
on the air side of the diaphragm would also leak out. So, why would you
measure 38 psi? It would seem to me that with the tank empty and the
diaphragm torn, the pressure on both sides of the torn diaphragm will be
atmospheric pressure, wouldn't it?
If the system's open to the atmosphere, yes. That's why you close the shutoff valve before you
pressurize the tank.
 
D

dpb

Daring Dufas:
I think she means a well pump. That's a cylindrical pump that goes
right down the water well. But it's still underwater, so it's just
another kind of submersible pump.

Dpb:
If the tank were waterlogged, then the diphragm in the tank is
torn. So, once you emptied the water out of the tank, the air pressure
on the air side of the diaphragm would also leak out. So, why would you
measure 38 psi? It would seem to me that with the tank empty and the
diaphragm torn, the pressure on both sides of the torn diaphragm will be
atmospheric pressure, wouldn't it?
There can be a pinhole leak that takes a long time to lose a significant
amount of air so that if re-establish a new working pressure/volume one
can often get by for quite some time.

Or, of course, could have lost air to atmosphere thru a leak Schroeder
valve and the bladder/diaphragm is fine...

--
 
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T

The Daring Dufas

Daring Dufas: I think she means a well pump. That's a cylindrical
pump that goes right down the water well. But it's still underwater,
so it's just another kind of submersible pump.

Dpb: If the tank were waterlogged, then the diphragm in the tank is
torn. So, once you emptied the water out of the tank, the air
pressure on the air side of the diaphragm would also leak out. So,
why would you measure 38 psi? It would seem to me that with the tank
empty and the diaphragm torn, the pressure on both sides of the torn
diaphragm will be atmospheric pressure, wouldn't it?
When I was a kid back on the family farm, we got our water from a
natural spring that had been dug out and turned into a 2,000 gal
reservoir with a little pump house built over it. The pump used to
pump water to the house 100 yards away was a long cylindrical well
pump. Perhaps my father used such a pump designed for a deep well
because the water had to come up out of gully where the spring was and
on to the house which was some distance away. There was a pressurized
tank in the basement and as I remember, a toilet flush could start the
pump running but those were the older (wasteful) toilets that actually
flushed the contents down to the septic tank with one flush. It's been
40 years since I've seen it so my experience is a bit out of date but
from what I've seen in other homes over the years, the basic well pump
installations are all the same. ^_^

TDD
 
R

Robert Green

(b) What happens if you flush the toilet, wait for the toilet to fill *and* for the pump to stop
running, then flush it again? Does the pump kick on before the toilet
fills, or not?

That's a good test because it eliminates any potential slow leak.
(c) How often does the pump run in one hour if nobody is using any water at all? Any answer
other than zero means you have a leak somewhere; the higher the number, the worse the
leak.
Also a good test. Both need to be performed to determine if there really is
a leak.
 
F

Frank

+1 on the "waterlogged". Here's a bit more detail on hot to correct.

1) Shut power to pump

2) Open a "lowest" sink or hose valve and drain tank completely.
Leave valve open.

3) Add air pressure to you tank until you are at 38 psi.

4) Close the valve opened in (2) above.

5) Turn on pump.

If the problem happens again in less than a year or two, you will need
a new pressure tank, but can get by for as long as you are willing to
repeat the above procedure. However that is not recommended as
frequent cycling of the pump shortens it's life.
I've never checked pressure in mine and note that last tank was
installed 8 years ago. I had written on the tank that the installer
said bladder pressure should be set at 25 - 28 pounds.

This is third pressure tank on my well over its ~35 year lifetime.
 
D

dpb

On 8/18/2013 8:19 AM, Frank wrote:
....
I've never checked pressure in mine and note that last tank was
installed 8 years ago. I had written on the tank that the installer said
bladder pressure should be set at 25 - 28 pounds.
Should be 2-lb under the cut-in pressure -- which implies you're running
a 30-50 cycle; pretty common as well...
This is third pressure tank on my well over its ~35 year lifetime.
Which averages out to about a dozen yr/tank which is about what one can
expect on average -- it's quite possible OP can stretch the life of his
for several more years depending on the state it's currently in and
precisely where his leak is and how long it's been neglected in the
current state.

--
 
H

Harry K

On 8/18/2013 8:19 AM, Frank wrote:

...








Should be 2-lb under the cut-in pressure -- which implies you're running

a 30-50 cycle; pretty common as well...






Which averages out to about a dozen yr/tank which is about what one can

expect on average -- it's quite possible OP can stretch the life of his

for several more years depending on the state it's currently in and

precisely where his leak is and how long it's been neglected in the

current state.



--
??? I have never heard of a tank going bad that fast and I have been mainintain my well and neighbors for a long, long time. My well was put in in the 80s and the tank is still alive and well. A tank failing in 6-7 years would have to be due to something in the water eating the tank or bladder.

Harry K
 
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D

dpb

On 8/18/2013 8:54 AM, Harry K wrote:
....
??? I have never heard of a tank going bad that fast and I have been
mainintain my well and neighbors for a long, long time. My well was
put in in the 80s and the tank is still alive and well. A tank
failing in 6-7 years would have to be due to something in the water
eating the tank or bladder.
....

I don't think the quality of tanks/diaphragms is what it used to be is a
large (the largest?) part of it -- the first on the new well here lasted
nearly 30 yr; the replacement of it was also long-lived but not as long
as that I'd guess; that was during the hiatus while was gone for 30-yr
in VA/TN. In the fifteen yr since we've been back we're now on the
third--counting the one that was failing when moved back...same batwell,
same batwater.

I think next time I'm just going back to the old straight tank and air
bubble over it -- sure, have to recharge occasionally but there's no
bladder/diaphragm to fail.

How much, if any, has to do w/ all the new EPA requirements on
manufacturing so that the rubber compounds aren't what they used to be
or how much is just seeing how cheaply they can be made I don't know,
but I'd surely not bet on any new tanks lasting nearly what the old ones
used to...

--
 
D

Doug Miller

fills, or not?

That's a good test because it eliminates any potential slow leak.
The main reason it's a good test is that you *know* that the tank is as full of water as it's
going to get when you perform it, and you *know* how much water will be withdrawn from the
tank -- which means that you *know* that the pump _should not run_ (assuming a 5-gallon or
less flush) -- which in turn means that if the pump does run, then you know the tank is
waterlogged.
 
T

trader4

On 8/18/2013 8:54 AM, Harry K wrote:

...








...



I don't think the quality of tanks/diaphragms is what it used to be is a

large (the largest?) part of it -- the first on the new well here lasted

nearly 30 yr; the replacement of it was also long-lived but not as long

as that I'd guess; that was during the hiatus while was gone for 30-yr

in VA/TN. In the fifteen yr since we've been back we're now on the

third--counting the one that was failing when moved back...same batwell,

same batwater.



I think next time I'm just going back to the old straight tank and air

bubble over it -- sure, have to recharge occasionally but there's no

bladder/diaphragm to fail.
You shouldn't have to recharge it. Before the bladder type tanks,
the traditional ones for decades had simple self regulation
systems that added air in automatically if needed. It's just
that like everything else that after a long enough time they
would fail too and then the tank would water log.
 
D

dpb

On 8/19/2013 8:30 AM, (e-mail address removed) wrote:
....
....

You shouldn't have to recharge it. Before the bladder type tanks,
the traditional ones for decades had simple self regulation
systems that added air in automatically if needed. It's just
that like everything else that after a long enough time they
would fail too and then the tank would water log.
Never saw such; how'd that work? All we had until this new well ("new"
as in drilled in the early-mid '60s) was just a "plain 'ol tank".

--
 
T

trader4

On 8/19/2013 8:30 AM, (e-mail address removed) wrote:

...










Never saw such; how'd that work? All we had until this new well ("new"

as in drilled in the early-mid '60s) was just a "plain 'ol tank".



--
It's basically a widget that goes onto a fitting opening on
the side of the tank, about half up, ie at where the air level
should be. It has a float or similar inside it that reacts to
the water level. If the water level gets above the level
of the tank fitting, it triggers a valve in the widget to
open which is connected to the suction side of the pump.
That allows a small amount of air to get sucked in. Each
time the pump runs, that process works, until the air level
is back to the level of the widget.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/19320919?wmlspartner=wlpa&adid=22222222227017094556&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=26495372316&wl4=&wl5=pla&wl6=51984823956&veh=sem

if the link doesn't work, just google "water tank air control"
 
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F

Frank

Well, if the pump power-on pressure is 40 psi, most people would set
the empty tank bladder pressure to about 37 psi. I'm not sure what
happens if you do that.


That seems like a lot. How do you know the tank really needed
replacing and not just a recharge?
The other tanks were leaking externally. Well water around here can be
tough on systems. We usually get about 7 years out of an electric hot
water heater and sometimes get pinhole leaks in pipes although I have
not seen one in several years. Well is working fine and not rapidly
recycling. If it did, I would check pressure as I imagine bladder like
a car tire would slowly lose air pressure.
 
D

dpb

On 8/19/2013 12:48 PM, (e-mail address removed) wrote:
....
It's basically a widget that goes onto a fitting opening on
the side of the tank, about half up, ie at where the air level
should be. It has a float or similar inside it that reacts to
the water level. If the water level gets above the level
of the tank fitting, it triggers a valve in the widget to
open which is connected to the suction side of the pump.
That allows a small amount of air to get sucked in. Each
time the pump runs, that process works, until the air level
is back to the level of the widget.
....

Hmmmmn....concept ok, execution here would be _really, really_ tough as
it's 2-300 ft from well house where the pressure tank is and the well...
... Each time the pump shuts off the water is drained between the
bleeder orifice,which is about 5' down in the well on the drop pipe,
to the additional check valve at the tank.
--
 
T

trader4

On 8/19/2013 12:48 PM, (e-mail address removed) wrote:

...













...



Hmmmmn....concept ok, execution here would be _really, really_ tough as

it's 2-300 ft from well house where the pressure tank is and the well...
Yes, I guess I should have mentioned they only work on
jet pumps where you have the suction side of the pump
near the tank. Which is probably why you don't see them much
these days. Years ago, many wells were shallow. With a
submersible they can't be used.
 
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D

dpb

On 8/19/2013 5:14 PM, (e-mail address removed) wrote:
....
Yes, I guess I should have mentioned they only work on
jet pumps where you have the suction side of the pump
near the tank. Which is probably why you don't see them much
these days. Years ago, many wells were shallow. With a
submersible they can't be used.
....

That's more a function of local water tables than "these or those" days.
The water table here is 200-ft or so...

--
 

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