Intermittent Loss of Water Pressure : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

We live in a house with a deep well that has the pump down in the well. Just recently, we started losing water pressure from time to time. The water will be coming out of the faucets at a normal flow rate and then stop completely. In about 15 seconds, it comes back on at the normal flow rate.

I went down to watch the pressure guage while this happened. The pressure slowly dropped to about 28 (we have a 30/50 prssure switch) and then the pump kicked on. The pressure rose to about 32 and then the pump went off. If the water was still on, the pressure would drop to 0-5 PSI and stay there until the pump kicked in again. If the water wasn't on, the pressure would be maintained at 32 for about 15 seconds at which point the pump would go on and bring the pressure up to about 36. This would continue until the pressure got up to about 48. Then it would hold at this pressure until water was used again.

I tried draining the holding tank (a 2 year old bladder type) and checking the pressure (it was fine at 28PSI). I would GREATLY appreciate any insight into what could be causing this. I'm so confused!!

-- Steve K (, April 13, 2002


switch pressure sensor is bad, I think.

Prolly ought to change out the pressure gauge, too.

-- Rose (, April 13, 2002.

Thanks for the reply, Rose! I really appreciate your help :)

I went down and watched the pressure switch with the cover off this morning. When the pressure dropped to 28, it clicked on and the pump started. The pump ran for 7-10 seconds and then stopped (though the pressure switch didn't click off). After about 30 seconds, the pump went on for another 7-10 seconds. This continued until the pressure reached 48 and then the pressure switch clicked off, stopping the pump.

It seems almost like the pressure switch goes on and off when it should, but that the pump won't say on long enough to build up the pressure correctly.

-- Steve K (, April 14, 2002.

We have really hard water, & the tiny pipe going to the pressure switch gummed up over the years & caused the pressure to be different at the switch than what it actually was in the pipes - made for some odd symptoms! Just a thought.

I would start with a new switch & check any small piping leading to it. That would be the best fist guess of where the problem is, altho there can be other things.

Also don't trust a pressure guage that has been in the system for a number of years, in hard water they also stop working correctly....


-- paul (, April 14, 2002.

Could the thermal interrupt be kicking off your pump, sensing that the pump is getting too hot (whether it is or not, is another question).

-- BC (, April 14, 2002.

We had a similar problem (water coming out fine, then no pressure, turn it off and on and it would be fine again). We put up with it until one day we just had no pressure. Our problem turned out to be a wire which goes down to the pump, which had partially broken, and would work sometimes,but not always. We ended up replacing the wire. If you can easily pull up you pump, it might be worth checking.

-- Lori (, April 14, 2002.

The check on the pressure switch indicates it is working ok.

Intermitant operation idicates several things: 1. pressure switch malfunction - but seems ok 2. thermal overload on motor due to overheating 3. Loss of water in pump ... lack of water to pump (well drying up) 4. power a faulty wiring connection somewhere.

Right now I would suspect #4.

I would also suspect #3. It has been dry in some areas, is it possible the pump is pumping out of water? Does the motor run while you are out of water pressure? It would run for a while then, no water could cause the thermal overload to shut off during this time due to heat.

Just my thoughts! Good Luck.

-- milam (, April 14, 2002.

I want to thank everyone for there insight on my problem. The problem ended up being in the motor on the pump. I had it replaced this morning and we're good to go again!!

The advice I got here helped me isolate the problem and saved me having to pay the plumber's hourly rates to diagnose the problem. Thanks again!

-- Steve K (, April 15, 2002.

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