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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If your well pump won't start, see the diagnostic and repair advice at WATER PUMP WON'T START
See details at CHECK RESET SWITCH / BYPASS LEVER (not present on all controls)
See these two procedures
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.
This topic has moved to PRESSURE SWITCH REPAIR KIT - separate article
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 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
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Questions and answers posted originally at this article are now found at WATER PUMP PRESSURE SWITCH REPAIR FAQs
Additional questions and answers posted originally at this article are found at WATER PUMP CONTROL SWITCH REPAIR FAQs.
Below are some additional pump control repair questions and answers that you may find helpful
(June 28, 2011) elmer said:
Is a good article but i still with my question because i did not find the answer . My well pump tank make a noise after the tank begins to fill again?..The pressure control works fine.
It might be normal to hear a noise at the pressure tank when the pump is running, as water is flowing into the tank. If you hear air gurgling then there may be a leak in your well line causing the pump to also send air into the tank.
(July 19, 2011) carter said:
i have a question,,i have a new installed jet pump...6 months,,when i flush my toilet my pump will run for maybe 20/30 seconds,,,it runs fine,,but when its right at the end,,the pressure points will snap on and off right fast 3/4 times,,i adjusted the screw and it worked good for a day now its doing the same thing,,,,runs smooth until right the end,,,then click,,click,click,,
Pump pressure control switch contact bouncing?
It sounds as if the contact switch points may be burned; take a look, or try replacing the switch. I am guessing in that direction because at the end of a pump cycle even if the pressure sensor of the switch is not working properly I wouldn't expect pressure sense to drop so far as to fall below the cut-in right at the END of the pump cycle.
(Aug 30, 2011) Janice said:
I have a question. We have a pressure control switch lever (as shown above) that we need to re-gauge if we run two faucets (or demand too much water) at one time. The pressure will drop to zero and we need to engage it in order to get the water working again. Any suggestions on what would be causing this? This also happens if we run the faucet in the tub or the washer. Thanks!
Janice if your water pressure is dropping to zero, the problem sounds like more than just adjusting the pressure control switch. It sounds as if the well pump is not keeping up with the water flow rate demand in the building. Or your well itself cannot keep up.
Before trying to adjust the pressure control switch I'd check out the well flow rate itself.
(Sept 5, 2011) Jim said:
I've adjusted cut on and off pressures, etc. My problem is that when the pressure drops through the cut in point, the switch "tries" to trip. The contacts close briefly, pump just starts to turn, then everything stops and pressure falls. I can start it with the manual switch and it will run fine . Pressure tank is brand new, and adjusted to about two pounds below cut in pressure. Any ideas?
(Oct 18, 2011) Kerry said:
Pressure control switch isn’t turning on the pump - when using the manual cut in switch the pump isn’t turning on either, however, if you manually use a screwdriver and push the contacts down you can get the pump to engage. hold the contacts down and you can get the tank up to pressure, however as soon you run out of pressure you have to go down with your screwdrivers and get the pressure back up
Hmmmm whats going on?
I realize there could be another problem, such as with the pump itself, but I'd start by replacing the pressure switch. Also replace or clean out the switch mounting tube so we're sure it's properly sensing water pressure.
it's possible that the pressure sensing port on the bottom of your pressure control switch is clogged and not properly sensing water pressure. If the switch thinks that you are above the cut-off pressure it won't turn on the pump. Another possibility is that the switch contacts are burned.
I'd try replacing the switch and making sure the little tube on which it mounts is also unblocked by rust or debris.
(Oct 21, 2011) Andrew said:
I have a relatively new Gould. Today I noticed the pressure was not right then it finally had no pressure. While in the pump house I re-booted the power. The pump came on for about 10 seconds and then shut off again. Again, I said it is about 3 1/2 years old and all the contacts I looked at look like the day it was put in. What is the most likely problem ? Pressure control switch - capacitor etc... Thanks for your help
(Jan 12, 2012) warren said:
my presure switch is tapping on/off on/off when i turn my tap on. what could be the cause?
Andrew check the actual pressure in your system, then run water. Watch to see the pressure at which the pump cuts on. Then turn off water and watch to see the pressure at which the pump cuts off.
If the pump cuts off very quickly I suspect the water tank is water-logged - it's lost its air charge.
(Feb 13, 2012) Rob said:
@Warren - two things come to mind that can cause that (as I just had the same problem). A bad pressure tank can cause your pump to kick in and out repeatedly while running water. The other potential problem is the setting on the pressure switch itself. If the in and out are too close it would cause this. If you haven't adjusted your pressure switch I would check the air pressure in your tank. If you press the valve down and get water, then you've most likely got a ruptured bladder in your tank.
(Jan 11, 2012) Steve said:
Square D 9013FSG 2 pressure control switch. While testing with a VOM probe, I got a small spark and everything went from dead to working normally (I think...at least the water is back on). If I eventually need to replace this switch, are there several varieties of the 9013FSG 2? How do I know what version to get? The tank is a red AMTROL H20W-TO WATERWORKER 9015-585 in a residential installation.
Steve, just match the new switch to the original one by
brand and model or part number
equivalent brand and model chosen by the factory pre-set cut-im and cut out pressure
(Jan 12, 2012) Archie said:
just repaced breaker, wire, pressure regulator switch on home well pump and still nothing works. I checked the gauge tube for clogs and it was clear, when I open the contact points, there is no spark, but there is power going to them, what am I missing
Archie, you need to run water until pressure in the pressure tank drops below the cut-in pressure set in the control.
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