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Photo of a well pump pressure switchDiagnose & Repair a Water Pump Pressure Control Switch
Pumptrol® & similar pressure control switch repair procedures & kits

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Pumptrol and similar water pressure control switch repair procedures.

Water pressure control switch repair: Pumptrol switch repair & repair kits.

This article describes how a water pump pressure control switch works and how to diagnose problems with the building water supply that seem to be traced to the pump control, switch, or to other underlying issues with a water pump, well, piping or other controls. We describe the diagnostic steps to take if a water pump won't turn on, won't turn off, or a switch that is burned, corroded or damaged.

We discuss: How to Repair a Water Pressure Control Switch that Sticks "ON" or "OFF" or is irregular.

How to Find & Adjust the Water Pump Pressure Control Switch, what the pump pressure switch looks like, where is it located on the water system?

Pumptrol 20-40, 30-50, or 40-60 pressure switch operation. What are the controls, switches, valves found on water tanks and water pumps, what do they do, how are they repaired?

Well pump & water tank diagnosis & repair procedures.

This article series describes how to repair a water presure control switch that sticks on, off, or chatters or is otherwise not working properly, causing loss of water pressure or irregular in cycling on and off. We discuss how to diagnose problems with the water pump control and how to fix them by correcting an underlying problem, by replacing a bad pressure control switch, or by replacing switch parts such as bad contacts or diaphragm.

Water Pump Pressure Control Switch Repair Procedures

Photograph of a water pump pressure control switch with the cover on

This article explains inspecting, cleaning, and possibly repairing a typical Water Pump Pressure Control Switch, normally found mounted on piping at the water pressure tank such as in this example [image] where you see a small gray-covered box with electrical wires coming in (power) and out (to pump) of it.

We describe troubleshooting several problems that can cause the control switch to fail to turn the pump ON when it should or that can cause the control to fail to turn the pump OFF when it should.

[Click to enlarge any image]

Following the procedure to test the operation of a pump control switch just below we provide links to individual diagnostic & repair articles that address particular pump operating problems such as a pump that won't turn on or won't turn off or that runs continuously.

How to Check a Well Pump Pressure Control Switch for Normal Operation

If the water supply is high in sediment often sediment will clog the pressure sensing opening at the bottom of the pressure control. We've tried cleaning out this orifice but it's never proven to be a lasting repair. If your pump pressure switch stops responding to changes in water pressure it probably needs to be replaced.

How to Diagnose and Repair a Water Pump Pressure Control Switch that Sticks "on" or "off" or is misbehaving

If we’ve traced a pump control problem to the water tank or water pump pressure switch itself with some certainty, we will often just replace the switch. But beware, we once replaced a pump control switch when the problem was a clogged filter which was causing the pump to cycle on and off erratically. We felt pretty stupid.

How to Diagnose a Malfunctioning Water Pump Control Switch

Safety and shock warnings on the cover of a Square D Pumptrol pressure control switch (C) Daniel Friedman & Schneider ElectricWe’ll need to do some water pump switch diagnosis – here are a few ideas that may help getting a recalcitrant pump control switch working again.

Watch Out: Safety warning - Shock Hazards: To remove a pump control/pressure switch remember to turn off electrical power, and using a neon tester or VOM double check to make SURE that electrical power is off, and taped-off so that on one turns it on and causes you to get shocked.

Working around electricity and plumbing is particularly dangerous because of the increased chance of touching a live electrical wire while touching grounded plumbing piping. Turn off power.

See WATER PUMP ELECTRICAL SWITCHES.

A pump or water tank pressure control switch is designed and adjusted to turn the pump on at a "cut in" pressure, usually 20 psi or 30 psi, and to turn the water pump off at a "cut out" pressure, usually 40 psi or 50 psi.

When you buy this control it is usually set at the proper cut-in and cut-out pressures - check the box.

If your pump control is properly adjusted then it should be turning the pump on and off nicely at the pre-set pressures.

If the switch is behaving erratically or not coming on or not shutting off at all, there could be various explanations, some of which have nothing to do with the switch itself.

See WATER PUMP PRESSURE CONTROL ADJUSTMENT

These other problems are discussed at WATER PRESSURE LOSS DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR

and WATER TANK REPAIRS.

Alternatively you may want to see one of these water pressure or pump diagnostic procedures:

1. The water PUMP WON'T TURN OFF when it should - the pump just keeps running.

If water pressure is at or above the pressure switch CUT-OUT pressure and the pump won't turn OFF there could be several causes and fixes that we will describe.

Watch out: this is a dangerous condition. If the pump brings water pressure well above normal building water pressure levels, say over 70 psi, there is risk of a burst pipe or burst water tank that can cause a flood or injure someone. Turn off the pump.

See WATER PUMP WONT STOP RUNNING - there we list all of the things that can cause a pump to run continuously.

2. The water PUMP WON'T TURN ON when it should.

If water pressure falls below the pressure switch CUT-IN pressure and the pump won't turn ON there could be several causes and fixes that we will describe.

See WATER PUMP WON'T START - where we list all of the things that prevent a pump from turning on.

Some water pump control problems can cause both pump-start and pump-stop problems, as you'll see in the following

3. The water pump runs but there is WEAK WATER PRESSURE

See PUMP RUNS, WEAK or NO WATER PRESSURE for a diagnotic table

4. The water pump runs but there is NO WATER PRESSURE

See NO WATER PRESSURE for a diagnostic table

5. The water pump runs but the PUMP CYCLES ON & OFF RAPIDLY or INTERMITTENTLY

See WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING for diagnosing a pump that turns on and off too rapidly

See WATER PUMP INTERMITTENT CYCLING for diagnosing a pump that runs at odd times and for no apparent reason

The pump pressure control switch, by being connected to the actual water piping in the building, senses the water pressure and when necessary, turns the water pump on.

The water pump pressure control switch either turns on the water pump directly, or (particularly when a submersible water pump is in use), this switch may operate a physically separate (usually wall-mounted) heavier-duty pump relay which turns on the water pump itself.

See WATER PUMP RELAY SWITCH for more details of that control.

If the Water Pump Is Not Turning OFF

Watch out: If your well pump won't stop running, you should probably turn power to the pump off to avoid burning up the pump motor.

If the water pump will not turn OFF, see WATER PUMP WONT STOP RUNNING for detailed diagnostic and repair procedures.

Water Pump Won't Start - If the Water Pump is Not Turning ON Try These Steps:

If your well pump won't start, see the diagnostic and repair advice at WATER PUMP WON'T START

Try the Pressure Control Switch Re-Set or Manual or Bypass Lever - if your pressure switch has one

Pump control bypass lever (C) Daniel Friedman

See details at CHECK RESET SWITCH / BYPASS LEVER (not present on all controls)

Check the pump pressure control switch for pressure sensor clogging or failed diaphragm

See these two procedures

Check & Clean the Well Pump Switch Contacts

Photo of the interior of a water pressure control switch showing the electrical contacts.

If the pump pressure control switch contacts are burned we can sometimes get it working again for a while by first, turning off electrical power as we described above, and then using a file, carefully cleaning all touching-surfaces the switch contacts.

Details are at CHECK PRESSURE SWITCH RELAY CONTACTS

If after inspecting the pump pressure control switch or its mounting fittings you decide that you've repaired it or that you need to replace it, follow the instructions

at PUMP PRESSURE CONTROL REPLACE for reinstalling the control.

Watch out: do NOT try working on a pump control switch without first removing electrical power - you could be killed by electrical shock.

Replacement Parts & Repair Kits for Pumptrol® and Similar Water Pump Control Switches

This topic has moved to PRESSURE SWITCH REPAIR KIT - separate article

Guides & Manuals for Adjusting or Repairing the Water Pump Pressure Control Switch

This section has moved to WATER PUMP PRESSURE SWITCH MANUALS


Continue reading at WATER PUMP PRESSURE SWITCH INSTALL / REPLACE or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

Or see PUMP PRESSURE SWITCH REPAIR KIT to replace contact points or diaphragm in a pressure control switch.

Or see WATER PUMP PRESSURE CONTROL ADJUSTMENT

Or see WATER PUMP PRESSURE SWITCH REPAIR FAQs - pump control switch diagnostic & repair questions & answers

Or see WATER PUMP REPAIR GUIDE - home

Or see WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING - home

Or see this

Article Series Contents

Or see

Suggested citation for this web page

WATER PUMP PRESSURE SWITCH REPAIRS at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES: ARTICLE INDEX to WATER SUPPLY, PUMPS TANKS WELLS

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