well pump pressure switch

Fixing Well Pump Short Cycling: Causes, Solutions, and Tips

If your well pump is short-cycling, meaning it frequently turns on and off, it needs immediate attention. It can be annoying and lead to more significant problems. This blog will explore the causes of short cycling of well pumps, the potential consequences, and how to fix short cycling well pumps.

What is Well Pump Short Cycling?

Well pump short cycling refers to the situation where the pump turns on and off repeatedly within a short period. Depending on your water usage, your well pump should run for a few minutes and then stay off for a significant duration. If it’s well pump cycles on and off too frequently, there’s likely an underlying issue.

Causes of Well Pump Short Cycling

Short cycling of the well pump might result from several circumstances:

Pressure Tank Issues:

Air Volume Control Problems: 

Pump cycling on and off quickly indicates a malfunctioning air volume control.

Waterlogged Pressure Tank: 

The pressure tank may become saturated over time, which indicates that there is not enough air and too much water within. It lessens the tank’s capacity to control pressure efficiently, leading to the pump’s short cycling.

Pressure Switch Problems:

Faulty Pressure Switch: 

Inaccurate pressure readings from a broken pressure switch might result in fast cycling.

Leaks in the System:

Leaky Pipes: 

No matter how tiny, plumbing system leaks can swiftly lower water pressure and turn on and off the pump.

Check Valve Issues: 

If a malfunctioning check valve permits water to return to the well, the pump may cycle often to maintain pressure.

Pump Size and Efficiency:

Oversized Pump: 

An oversized pump has the potential to flow water excessively quickly, filling the pressure tank quickly and producing brief cycling.

Pump Wear and Tear: 

If a worn-out pump can’t keep up the pressure, it will cycle a lot.

Possible Repercussions from Short Cycling of the Well Pump

Neglecting brief cycles can result in several well pump problems, including:

Increased Wear and Tear: 

Continuous cycling shortens the pump’s lifespan by adding stress to it.

Higher Energy Bills: 

Higher electricity consumption from frequent beginning and ending cycles increases energy expenses.

System Failure: 

Short cycling can eventually lead to the failure of essential components, which could require expensive repairs or replacements.

Water Supply Issues: 

Short cycling might cause irregular water supply and pressure, interfering with everyday tasks.

How to Fix Short Cycling Well Pump Issues

waterlogged pressure tank

Finding and fixing the root cause of well pump short looping requires a systematic approach. It is how you do it:

Check the Pressure Tank:

Inspect for Waterlogging: 

After draining the tank and turning off the pump, use a tire gauge to check the air pressure. There must be two pressure points lower than the switch’s cut-in pressure. If not, use an air compressor to add air.

Examine the Air Volume Control: 

Make sure it’s operating correctly. If needed, replace it.

Inspect the Pressure Switch:

Check Settings: 

Make sure there is enough room between the cut-in & cut-out pressure levels. Generally, a difference of 20 psi is suitable.

Test the Switch: 

If the switch seems broken, replace it. To accomplish this, turn off the electricity, remove the switch cover, and replace the old switch with the new one.

Look for Leaks:

Inspect Pipes and Connections: 

Look for leaks in any piping that is readily apparent. Fix any leaks you discover.

Test the Check Valve: 

Look for decreases in the pressure gauge to identify and replace a defective check valve.

Evaluate Pump Size and Condition:

Assess the Pump: 

See an expert about swapping out the large pump for the proper size.

Check for Wear and Tear: 

Take into consideration changing the pump if it is old or exhibits wear.

When to Call a Professional

While most well pump short cycling problems can be fixed by homeowners with some do-it-yourself knowledge, some could call for expert help. Call our licensed well-system professional if you need clarification on how to diagnose the problem or if you have tried to remedy it without success. If necessary, they may offer a comprehensive assessment and more sophisticated fixes.

Preventative Maintenance Tips

To avoid well pump short cycling & guarantee the effectiveness of your system:

Regularly Check the Pressure Tank:

Check the volume control and air pressure in the tank regularly.

Monitor the Pressure Switch: 

Verify that the switch is configured correctly and operating as intended.

Inspect for Leaks: 

Make sure to inspect your plumbing system frequently for leaks and fix them right away.

Schedule Professional Inspections: 

To identify problems early, have a professional evaluate your well system once a year.

Ensuring Well Pump Longevity and Performance

Short cycling of well pumps is a frequent problem that, if left untreated, can cause serious issues. By comprehending the root reasons and implementing suitable measures to address them, you may prolong the lifespan performance of your well pump. Maintaining a regular and dependable water supply and avoiding short cycling require routine maintenance and prompt repairs.

To guarantee effective and dependable water systems for their clients, Daigle Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling handles well pump short cycling by examining and fixing pressure containers, pressure switches, & plumbing leaks.