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Main water in the house stops running and then kicks on again.

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  • Main water in the house stops running and then kicks on again.

    I have an outside well with an expansion tank in the basement and we have lived here 12 years. When using the sink, shower, hose, or anything that calls for water, the water will run initially for about two minutes then it just slows to a trickle and stops for about 30 seconds to a minute. Then you can here the water coming back on again almost as if the well pump finally decided to start pumping. Once the water comes on again, it seems to be fine for the rest of the time you need water.
    Is this a well pump or pump control problem?

  • #2
    Re: Main water in the house stops running and then kicks on again.

    I do work on well equipment and what's happening is your pressure tank is failing. Your bladder is faulty. You use up what little pressure you have in the pressure tank and then your submersible pump kicks on giving you flow. What's going to happen eventually is you will burn out your pump if you don't get this fixed costing you bigger bucks. You need to have your pressure tank replaced, simple, and less expensive if you do it now. Did two this week with the same problem.

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    • #3
      Re: Main water in the house stops running and then kicks on again.

      What's a switch pipe?

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      • #4
        Re: Main water in the house stops running and then kicks on again.

        He may need a new pressure tank but it sounds to me like he has a plugged nipple going to his pressure switch, possibly the switch itself is bad. If it were me I'd change the $20 switch and nipple before the $300 tank, but that's just me.

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        • #5
          Re: Main water in the house stops running and then kicks on again.

          Originally posted by bartnc37 View Post
          He may need a new pressure tank but it sounds to me like he has a plugged nipple going to his pressure switch, possibly the switch itself is bad. If it were me I'd change the $20 switch and nipple before the $300 tank, but that's just me.
          20 dollar switch plus labor and service call and it MIGHT solve the problem. When I have a customer having problems like this and it's an older tank etc. they get the entire shooting match replaced there on the spot and it's relatively cheap, and it's a 100% fix the first time, everyone is happy. I always stock one 20gal Wellxtrol tank with all the fixings.
          Try the new switch, try a new nipple, you may get lucky. Maybe not.

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          • #6
            Re: Main water in the house stops running and then kicks on again.

            If you are getting a plumber to fix this do what Ironranger said & have them replace everything. If you are going to try fix it yourself. 1st check the air pressure in the tank with a tire pressure gauge. It should be 2 psi. below the the cut on pressure for a 30/50 switch it should be 28 psi. If it is less the tank is bad & replace everything. New tank & I would use a well-x-trol you can get one from a plumbing supply store or the internet & don't get a tank from the big box stores they are junk. A new T-pipe with new control switch, pressure guage, drain valve, pressure relief vavle, ball valve on the outlet side & back flow preventer on the inlet side. If the pressure is okay I would try a new control switch, nipple to the control switch & pressure gauge. The new pressure gauge is so you can set the new control switch. If you have never replaced the pressure gauge it is probably bad & they are cheap. If this does not fix the problem the tank is water logged & you need to replace everything.

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            • #7
              Re: Main water in the house stops running and then kicks on again.

              remember to check presure u need to shut off water n drain water out of tank but to just check n see if tank is bad is easy just release a little air if u get water blader is bad if u get air chances r blader is good then drain n check presure thats just me n what i do dont have a lot of exp on wells but I did work on lotts of highrises in chicago with bosters n terbine pumps for 40 n 50 story condos with presher tanks every were thats what we did with 100 gall presure tankes
              SMELLS LIKE $$$$$$ TO ME

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              • #8
                Re: Main water in the house stops running and then kicks on again.

                I'm in the new nipple and pressure switch camp.
                26+6=1

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                • #9
                  Re: Main water in the house stops running and then kicks on again.

                  I'm in the clean out the nipple and check the tank pressure camp.
                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    Re: Main water in the house stops running and then kicks on again.

                    I guess I missed this one somehow until today, but I agree, clean out the nipple/tubing feeding the switch. If the water pressure slowly drops to zero, then comes back on half a minute later, it's not the tank. It is going to be a problem with the switch points not closing usually because the pressure change can't get to the switch base. Even though water does not FLOW through this tubing or nipple, it can still close up completely with rust, sulphur, calcium and magnesium.

                    Bad tanks do just the opposite. They cause the pump to cycle rapidly which makes the pressure go up and down rapidly and also takes out pressure switch points and motors eventually.
                    Frequently asked questions about pumps and tanks.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Main water in the house stops running and then kicks on again.

                      Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
                      I'm in the clean out the nipple and check the tank pressure camp.
                      +1
                      26+6=1

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