Short cycle alarm

Got water again. SHMBO is happy. I guess I'll never teach her to crap
in a bucket I feel kind of dumb. The control box has motor
overloads. Only had the pump since '82 and didn't know that. At least
it was a cheap fix.
OK, the problem was short cycling. Air bladders out of air and pump
running 15 seconds to make pressure. I'd like to build a better mouse
trap. I'm thinking of a short cycle alarm. Get a timer relay that
trips when power is applied. If power drops before timer runs out,
apply power to buzzer. Should be just a few relays and wiring. But my
brain is pea size when it comes to EE logic. Can somebody draw this
up? Or, I'm open to another idea.
Karl
Reply to
Karl Townsend
Loading thread data ...
Karl. My suggestion is to replace the pressure tank with one of a better quality. The water well system on this place is about the same age as yours.
The first owner replace the pump once due to pipe freezing at top of well. We replace pump two years ago due to sand blocking. The pressure tank has never been replaced.
My neighbor has replaced his tank twice in the same time frame but used cheap tanks.
I can look up the name/part number if you are interested.
Paul
Reply to
Paul Drahn
yea, we already looked them up. Two 120 gallon tanks at $800 each. Plus, I can see the plumbing would never come apart. I'm guessing a couple hundred here for new fittings and pipe. This is a five horse well and two inch plumbing.
Anyway, keeping them topped with air will have to do for a while. I've been doing this 1/year with no trouble. I might have forgot last year. Karl
Reply to
Karl Townsend
Wel-X-trol used to make some pretty good bladder tanks. That is what my Dad used to install with his jobs. Came from the local wholesale supplier where he still had an "in".
The farm I worked on many years ago... just hooked up a light to the pressure switch. When the light was on the pump was running (Doh!) and it was pretty easy to deduce that something wasn't right when the light was going on-off in a funny pattern. A simple delay switch might do the trick too.
Reply to
Leon Fisk
I could be wrong, but I don't think that would work - the pressure stays the same, just not enough volume??
Reply to
clare
You got me curious, so I got the brochure from the well file. It is a WELL-X-TROL by Amtrol, Inc. Probably their WX-251 unit. They are permanently pressurized at the factory. Ours has been emptied many times for various reasons and have never had a problem.
Paul
Reply to
Paul Drahn
Better replace the start capacitor and relay. It will not be long short cycling and age are sure signs to me. Grainger or an equivalent will have the parts. Make sure the run caps are good too. You should have 10.5 amps on the RED or start leg. If it is less add the appropriate capacitance.
Scott
Reply to
jano
I think I'd use a 555 timer configured for whatever you think a minimum run time should be, use the circuit from the app note that starts the timer on rising voltage. power the timer from a wall wart running on the primary power, trigger it (start it) with pump start. Use a standard latch circuit to set an alarm if the power to the motor is off when the timer expires.
Reply to
Bill
Got water again. SHMBO is happy. I guess I'll never teach her to crap in a bucket I feel kind of dumb. The control box has motor overloads. Only had the pump since '82 and didn't know that. At least it was a cheap fix.
OK, the problem was short cycling. Air bladders out of air and pump running 15 seconds to make pressure. I'd like to build a better mouse trap. I'm thinking of a short cycle alarm. Get a timer relay that trips when power is applied. If power drops before timer runs out, apply power to buzzer. Should be just a few relays and wiring. But my brain is pea size when it comes to EE logic. Can somebody draw this up? Or, I'm open to another idea.
Karl
Hey Karl,
Allen-Bradley makes a nice timer. They can be set up in many modes. They would handle the pump relay (not the pump direct). I use one of these in a similar manner to protect my air compresser so it doesn't run too long or too often.
Reply to
Brian Lawson
Bingo! Get a Vaportight outdoor wall fixture ('Jelly Jar' with a protective cage) and put a 4O Box up on a Rigid conduit riser over the well building (use a roof jack for the shingles) so you can see it from all around.
Do NOT get the 'lantern' style Vaportight where the jar is pointed straight up - those depend on there being a good gasket at the base of the jar to keep the water out, worst case it runs down the inside of the conduit and does nasty things to your pump panel.
With the jar mounted Open End Up gravity keeps the water out of the fixture, the gasket is only there for washdown circumstances.
Put a Green or Amber globe on it, and a ~40W 130V A Lamp. It will catch your eye from anywhere when the pump is running, and if the light is blinking and fluttering you know something's up.
You could add a second Red one and hook it to a pressure switch if it can't get enough pressure up - you might be overdrafting the well and it's running dry. Or better, you get a Warrick Relay (Warrick Controls Co.) - they have a low-voltage electrode that looks like a sparkplug, you drill and tap a hole in the side of the well output pipe. When the pump starts sucking air the detector electrode goes open to ground, and it will trigger the Warrick to shut down the pump until reset.
If you get a deal on an 'Indicator Stack' light that's outdoor rated, go for it. You can then have a White indicator for Power On, Amber or Green for run, Red for Failure, and a Blue for a Heating Alarm - the pumphouse heater or stat has failed and it's below 45F in there.
But then again, let's not... What am I saying?? R.C.M ALWAYS over-thinks these things!!
-->--
Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman (munged human
Wait a minute. This is 2011. You should be able to check it remotely on your phone. Surely there's an App for that...... ;-)
Pete
Reply to
Pete Snell
formatting link
A cautionary tale. 1:26:10 Frontline: Digital Nation
-- Inside every older person is a younger person wondering WTF happened.
Reply to
Larry Jaques
I was thinking this would be a good application for an AVR or some such microcontroller. Wasn't Karl working on a temerature sensing thing with a micro a while back - something about radio interference? This would be a good add-on for that project.
Reply to
rangerssuck
Yes. This is the sort of project folks do with Arduino systems all the time. Look at the forums on
formatting link

Arduino is a super low-barrier-to-entry microcontroller development platform aimed (partly) at education and artists.
As regards the actual core problem, I would also look at Terry Love's most excellent Pumps and Wells forum. Lots of expertise there to draw on.
____________________________________________________________________ Gardner Buchanan gbuchana(a)teksavvy(dot)com FreeBSD: Where you want to go. Today.
Reply to
Gardner

Site Timeline

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.