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Why Is My Well Pump Short Cycling?

When your well pump is cycling on and off, it’s a sign that something’s wrong. Getting to the root of the problem is the first step in fixing it. Here are some of the reasons why your well pump may be short cycling, and what can be done to fix them.

Common Causes of Well Pump Short Cycling

Loss of Air Charge

Loss of air charge is, perhaps, the most common reasons your water pump will short cycle. If you have an older, non-bladder type water pressure tank, this is almost always the reason. Look at the condensation line. If it’s in the upper 70% of the tank, then that means there’s not much air reserve, and likely this is the cause of your pump short cycling.

To fix this, first make sure the air volume control valve is not dirty or leaking. This is typically the place where the problem lies. If it is, clean and fix it, then use the water tank air inlet valve to pump air into the tank with a bicycle pump. You will also want to drain some water from the tank to create room for the air. This should restore the normal function.

Water Pump Control Switch Problems

If you have sufficient air but still have short cycling, you may have a faulty or clogged water pump pressure control switch. This can occur when the water is full of silt or other debris, or when the water has high mineral content. Replace or repair the switch to restore normal function.

Blocked Water Supply Piping

If the water supply pipes become clogged, the pump will short cycle. A clog in the water supply creates high water pressure very quickly. The best way to check for this is to check the water filter. If it’s dirty or blocked, replace it, and you may restore function.

Too Much Air

The air pressure tank can have too much air, a problem known as “overcharging.” This can occur in captive air water tanks, because they don’t have a process for leaking excess air. Over charging can damage the water tank or break the bladder, so this is something you need to avoid. If you think you’ve over-charged the system, turn it off, let out the water, and reset the air charge to the factory specified pressure.

Get Professional Help for Well Pump Cycling

As you can see, there are quite a large number of reasons for a well pump to cycle. If you’re noticing this and can’t get to the problem quickly, it may be time to call a pro for help. John Nugent & Sons has been offering well pump services to families in Northern Virginia since 1975. Our technicians can quickly diagnose the problem and offer prompt repair, so you can get back to normal function of your system.

Call today for a free estimate, and don’t forget to ask about our financing options. With John Nugent & Sons, you can have a functional and effective water pump for your well in no time.

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