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Country Discussion Topics
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Well pump overkill problem
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rhudson    Posted 03-13-2003 at 04:43:50       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Need some options fellows. put in a cattle watering system last year during drought. well 357 ft deep, water filled up casing to within 38 feet of surface. installed a 3/4 hp submersable pump, 40 equalvant gallon bladder tank. feeds a 300gallon trough with a 1/2 ball-float valve. now for the problem. as the trough is nearing the filling point and the float valve is throttling off flow, the pressure of the system rises so high that it starts cycling the pressure switch and pump off and on. (i wished i had used a 1/2 hp pump now). i know i could set the pe switch to a higher pressure, but the system is around 95 psi at end of fill. i really don't want the system to run at that high of pressures. the tank was supplied with a 3/8 valve which aggrevated the problem, the 1/2 valve helped but system still cycles enough to cause an occasional breaker trip.. i know i'm damaging the pump and pe switch as well as my electric bill.

Any ideas fellows? Thanks


Alvin-Va    Posted 03-14-2003 at 18:31:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hey Robert
I have almost the exact same setup on a waterer and no problems.Before I tried anything else I would drop the pump pressure to about 40 lbs. and set the bladder pressure.I couldn't remember what mine was set at so I popped the cover on the well and checked,40 lbs.This will still give plenty of pressure for any other use,garden hose etc.Mine is pushing water 900+ft. and still has plenty of pressure.Can't imagine 90 lbs,dang,you could almost pressure wash with that much.
I'm not real knowlageable on pumps, but it would seem that the float valve slowly shutting down would be no different than any other valve being slowly closed.The pressure tank,if working properly should provide several gallons before the pump is asked to do it's thing.
If this doesn't cure the problem,I would question the workings of the pressure switch,new doesn't always mean OK.
Good luck,let us know what happens.


Hal/WA    Posted 03-13-2003 at 22:09:59       [Reply]  [No Email]
I would suggest adapting a float switch system like they use in a sump pump or sewage effluent pump. Such a float system could be set up to turn on the pump when the water level gets down several inches in the tank and turn it off when the tank gets as full as you want. That way the pump would not turn back on until the water level went down far enough for the float to operate the start switch. No more short cycles.

This control circuit could be run with low voltage (to protect the animals if they somehow disturbed the float system) and a couple of low to high voltage relays. The relays would control the pump circuit. I would suggest that you check with a pump professional to make sure this is done right!!!!!

If the stock tank is the only thing serviced by that well, I don't see why you would need a pressure tank in your system. I would just open the valve to the stock tank and let the pump move as much water as it will. I suppose a check valve would be a good idea, so that the system could not backflow syphon from the stock tank back into the well. Obviously, if the well serves anything besides the stock tank, such a system would not work. It would operate an electric valve, though.

How are you preventing the water lines from freezing? Heat tapes, unless extremely well protected can be dangerous to livestock. It is possible to make water lines self-draining with a calibrated orifice/ball check fitting like they used to use in putting air in conventional, non-bladder tanks. But for that kind of system to work, the tank supply pipe would have to be above the surface of the water in the stock tank.

I doubt that it is good for your pump or the system to have the cutout set at 95lbs. All the pumps I have dealt with specified about 60lbs as the proper shut off pressure. Unless your well might run out of water (and thus burn up the submersible pump), I would not worry about the pressure in the system being too low, especially in a 357 foot well. Good luck!


BJ    Posted 03-13-2003 at 10:27:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
I am having a hard time trying to visualize a 40 gallon tank with only a 3/8" fitting seems like it should be 1" but anyways if you have a tank with a sealed bladder (Well-X-Trol would be a good example) the precharge in the bladder should be the same as the cut-in pressure on your pressure switch, ie if you have your switch set at 30-50 you should have the bladder in the tank precharged to 30psi this is set with the pump shut off and no water in the tank


Lazy Al    Posted 03-13-2003 at 10:00:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
Are you saying that when the valve is full open
that the pump runs steady and when it starts to
close on the last 75 gal the pump starts cycling?
Al


rhudson Yes that is what is happening    Posted 03-13-2003 at 14:42:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yes Al, the cycling only occurs at end of trough fill during throttling of float valve.

for others who have pointed out bladder items. when i increased pe switch cut in pressure bladder precharge was also changed (specs with bladder call for 1 psi lower precharge than cut in pressure on switch)

The 3/8 fitting is not bladder fitting, it is the float valve size, which was later changed out for a 1/2 inch float valve size (which helped cycling somewhat)


Lazy Al    Posted 03-13-2003 at 16:35:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
Sounds like you've done all the right things .
What about making a header and putting on a couple more float valves ? So your water flow
keeps going full force untill your down to 20 gal
or less . then spread the cut in and the cut out a little maybe 20 / 50 psi, don't for get the tank too
Good luck
Al


Duey (IA)    Posted 03-13-2003 at 09:49:20       [Reply]  [Send Email]
The low pressure setting and the high pressure setting are tied together on one adjustment but there is another adjustment to increase the spread like to 20-60. This will be more in the working range of the bladder. Only the compressed air in the bladder stops the cycling cause you can't compress water.
By raising the system pressure, you are narrowing the working range of the bladder. Also the bladder must have air added initally to have something for the water pressure to compress.


rhudson more info,    Posted 03-13-2003 at 08:49:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
i have set the pressure switch up in an attempt to keep it from cycling. have increased size of bladder tank to max that will fit in enclosure. i think the problem (as i see it) is that the pump is pumping too high a flow as the float starts throttling off. (the float has a slow shut off) the float will barely be passing water, but will continue at slow rate for about another 75 gallons or about 5 inches of water level before it completely closes off. its during this time that the bladder charges and shuts down pump, only to start up a few seconds later as the slow throttled valve discharges the bladder. if it were not for the larger bladder the system would be cycling many times more than it is now. the best solutation would be an electric level control with a lot of deadband, but i think the cows would destroy that. and besides i should be able to solve this without extra controls. if you don't mind keep the ideas comming, i'll give them a try this weekend. Thanks


DeadCarp    Posted 03-13-2003 at 07:32:34       [Reply]  [No Email]
2 suggestions: First, get that pressure adjusted down to like 20-40 PSI. Trust me. (best place for the water meter is right next to the pressure switch, so you can read as you adjust - since they're like $4 just leave the meter there permanent)
Next, check the air charge in your pressure tank. Or just drain the thing and let the water find its new level.
Reason i say that: Sounds like the pressure is set too high for the valves to work right. And without a good bladder in the pressure tank, air has a way of mixing with the water and pretty soon there's not enough air left to cushion the valve surge.



DeadCarp    Posted 03-13-2003 at 07:29:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
2 suggestions: First, get that pressure adjusted down to like 20-40 PSI. Trust me. (best place for the water meter is right next to the pressure switch, so you can read as you adjust - since they're like $4 just leave the meter there permanent)
Next, check the air charge in your pressure tank. Or just drain the thing and let the water find its new level.
Sounds like the pressure is set too high for the valves to work right.



Willy-N    Posted 03-13-2003 at 06:58:13       [Reply]  [No Email]
Sounds like you have a problem with the Bladder tank not doing it's job for you. When the pump shuts off the water searge and hamer affect is pounding the control switch off and on. You could put a flow valve just befor the tank and switch and it should stop this. Check your tank to make sure it is charged with air. Since the way you said it you don't have a bladder and it may be water logged also. Mark H.


Lazy Al    Posted 03-13-2003 at 05:32:43       [Reply]  [No Email]
95 psi seems HIGH to me . Why do you have it set that high ?
Your pressure tank should take up the slack and not let it cycle .
I would lower the pressure by changing the cut in cut out
setting . Maybe increase the differential settings . Another
thing is you might have to move your pressure switch , should
be close to the pressure tank.
Al


Salmoneye    Posted 03-13-2003 at 05:12:44       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Guess I am confused too...

Why do you have a pressure tank at all?

Just take that out of the system completely and run the pump juice through the float valve...

Level drops, pump goes on...level rises...pump goes off...

Either that or take the float out of the equasion, and run off the pressure switch on the tank...

One or the other, but not both...


Red Dave    Posted 03-13-2003 at 05:08:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
Not sure I understand what your setup is, but the pump should cycle on and off with pressure rise and fall in the bladder tank, not the float switch in the trough. It sounds to me like the pressure switch is not installed properly or it is faulty. 3/4 or 1/2 horse pump shouldn't matter.
95 psi at pump stop sounds high, most domestic water systems on a well around here cycle from 20-40 or 30-50 psi.


BW    Posted 03-13-2003 at 04:55:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
Any chance of wiring a second switch , or the float valve to cut the juice to the pump totally ?
Then have it turn power back on to the pump after the water level in tank is down ?
Just an idea
Bill G.


bob    Posted 03-13-2003 at 11:33:31       [Reply]  [No Email]
Does this pump only handle tank or is it for house etc second switch won,t work if other systems are on. sounds like pressure is way to high and it is over what your bladder in tank can be used as a controller. check bladder pressure and get them down to a closer working range. you can,t have 100lbs pres and 40 lbs air to work right


BW    Posted 03-13-2003 at 04:55:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
Any chance of wiring a second switch , or the float valve to cut the juice to the pump totally ?
Then have it turn power back on to the pump after the water level in tank is down ?
Just an idea
Bill G.


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