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Water pump control switch noises:
Wwhat causes humming or clicking noises at a building water pressure control switch: diagnosis, warnings, advice.
This article describes the causes of noises heard at a water pump pressure control switch: humming or clicking.
We warn that some noises may indicate trouble and the need for repair, including very frequent clicking or relay switch humming. A stuck pump relay can burn up the switch or even cause a fire.
We also provide a MASTER INDEX to this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need.
Water Pump Pressure Control Switch-Related Noise Diagnosis
Reader Question: humming water pressure pump control switch
My water Pump Pressure Switch seems to be emitting a low hum all of the time It sounds sort of like you hear around electrical transformers.
This is a new thing for the unit. My electric bill has also been high and my water pressure is intermittently low. I can make the hum stop by pressing on the plate that's connected to the springs. It sparks when I do this. Yikes! I suspect that the switch is stuck in the on position. What do you all think? Thanks! - James 11/27/12
(Feb 6, 2014) Ivan said:
The pump only hums. It was recently installed when the old one did the same thing. This is a water well. Could the Foot valve in the well be blocked causing the pump not to kick on
James, the pressure control switch might click on and off, but humming?
First - make sure that the sound is coming from the switch itself and not from nearby water piping or from a nearby pump. Well pumps are not silent, and pump noise can be transmitted via water piping.
A mechanic's stethoscope can help make sure you've pinpointed the noise source.
Second - if you are convinced it's the switch, if tightening the electrical connections at the switch doesn't fix it (do this with power OFF) I would replace it promptly. The pump relay is an electromagnetic switch. If it is humming and vibrating it is probably failing and you're about to have
a short circuit, maybe a switch burn-up or worse
Watch out: I wouldn't keep pressing on the relay. There's live 120V or 240V in that switch - touching exposed wires or connectors is asking for a potentially fatal shock. Keep me posted, what we learn will help other readers.
When a water pump only hums - that is, it's not moving water - the problem could be a bad pump motor, bad motor start capacitor, low voltage, OR - indeed as you speculate - if the pump has lost prime (perhaps due to a leaky foot valve) it may also seem to be doing nothing but humming a monotone.
Try turning off the pump and priming it manually. Then close the priming opening and turn on the pump.
If the pump sounds normal - even just briefly - that may confirm that it's running dry; sometimes you can recover water by repeat priming at the pump, but if the foot valve is bad, your pump will also keep losing prime. But that would be diagnostic.
Watch out: don't let a pump keep running dry -chances are you'll damage it.
Reader Question: Clicking: after replacing pump and pressure tank the pump switch keeps clicking
relay switch on water pressure device clicking when water is being used why and what is the fix please. - Anon 9/30/12
i replace my pump and pressure tank. but when i turn on my water. i here the pressure switch go click click click non stop when i turn on water - Jerry 11/16/12
Reply: normal vs. abnormal well pump relay switch clicking frequency
It is normal for the relay switch to "click" on and off when you are running water continuously.
It's a sound that folks don't notice if the switch is right next to a (noisy) well pump, but when the well pump is submersible (located in the well) the pressure control switch click may be about all you hear.
If the clicking is rapid - see my warning just above. If the click occurs say once every 30 seconds, that's normal. It's the pump switching on and off as pressure falls and rises.
Watch out: If the clicking pressure switch is switching the pump on and off very rapidly, say every second, TURN THE PUMP CIRCUIT OFF immediately to avoid damaging the equipment. Then check for a clogged water filter, a water valve that should be open is closed, or a waterlogged preside tank
Chattering Pressure Control Switch
Watch out: while a single on-off click is normal for pressure switch operation, a pump pressure control switch that buzzes or chatters is sick and needs repair or replacement.
Schneider, discussing maintenance of their Square-D pressure control switch series offers these explanations and cures for a chattering pressure control switch (adapted):
Incorrect air pressure in an internal-bladder type pressure tank: check and correct the tank pre-charge pressure, set it to 2 psi below the switch cut-in pressure.
Switch exposed to vibration, for example from a pump or due to poorly-secured piping.
Isolate the pressure switch by using vibration-isolation mounts (available from plumbing suppliers).
Also check that the pump mounts are in good condition and that the pump itself is not damaged.
Excessive pump vibration may indicate a failing impeller or pump bearing.
Reference: "Preventive Maintenance and Troubleshooting Guidelines for
Class 9013F and 9013G Pressure Switches" (2007), Original source: Schneider Electric USA
8001 Knightdale Boulevard
Knightdale, NC 27545 USA
Chattering noises: in relays or switches used on HVAC equipment is discussed separately
Reader Question: My pump pressure control switch melted.
The repairman said it was due to bugs. Now my well pump is noisy. Did the pressure switch meltdown make my pump get loud? Can I replace it with a quieter pump?
I must confess that I don't know much about well systems.
Unfortunately, a well is where my water comes from for my house. I say unfortunately because it seems I’m always having problems and never had such hassles when having had city water.
The system is almost 10 years old and the upkeep seems to be constant and expensive.
Recently, one evening, while I was out of my house for a few hours, the system's pressure switch literally melted. I turned off the well system when I got home and waited 'till next morning to call the company who services the system.They came out and replaced the switch box.
They said it was likely caused by some bugs getting inside it which makes it malfunction.
I have been told to make sure to place moth balls around this box and to spray bug spray. They tell me this unfortunately is a common problem and that there doesn’t seem to be any remedy available. Well, this strikes me as an expensive situation.
Since the melt down and replacement, my system seems extra loud. Every time the pump goes on (I have a 7 gallon draw down) I can hear it all throughout the house and it’s especially loud in the room that the system is closest to. I doubt anyone could sleep in that room because of the noise.
I don’t remember the system being so loud before this happened.
Do you have any thoughts about this scenario? And do you know of any pumps (submersible) that are not loud, and do you know what they would cost??
- E., North Port FL
Reply: A shorted electrical circuit or switch might damage a pump; a damaged pump or a well with limited water capacity might lead to a burned-up the pressure control switch
A competent onsite inspection by an expert usually finds additional clues that help accurately diagnose a problem.
That said, here are some things to consider:
it's possible that the same conditions that caused the pump control switch to have a melt-down damaged the pump. Bugs in the switch are not the only possible cause of switch failure.
Frequent pump cycling, burned switch contacts, improper switch adjustment, a pump or well that lost capacity to satisfy the cut-out pressure and left the pump running toolong, and other events could damage the pump switch.
If one of those other conditions occurred as part or even all of the original problem, the pump may have been damaged not by the switch but by the event that showed up as a switch melt-down.
signifcantly noisy well pumps may be due to a wearing bearing or damaged pump internal parts that move water - the impeller, as we discuss in the article above, beginning at PUMP NOISES, WATER & WELL
even if the root problem was something peculiar to the pressure control switch itself, depending on how it failed it could have shorted pump wiring, potentially damaging the pump before the circuit breaker tripped or fuse blew.
It might be diagnostic to think back to
what were the pressure control switch cut in and cut out pressure settings before the problme
what problem signs had been observed about the well or the well pump such as short-cycling on and off frequently, hard stating, occasional loss of water pressure
You can replace a noisy above ground pump with a quieter model, and if your pump motor or the actual impeller assembly are loud due to damage or wear, it's a good time to think about that step.
If you convert an above-ground well pump to a submersible pump sysem you won't hear the pump motor at all, just a little click when the pump relay switch turns the pump on or off.
In fact you might notice previously masked (by pump noise) sounds of water entering the pressure tank.
Some typical well pump repair or replacement costs are discussed
Question: Square D pressure switch clicking noise is too loud - how can we block the sound?
2016/08/27 Bill S. said:
We have a 35 foot deep well with a submersible pump. My question is how or what can be done to reduce the noise (loud click on and off. when the pump turns on or off.
Our basement has a guest bedroom and the noise wakes up our guests.
We have had the square D switch replaced once by our plumber, who said to get a quiet switch would be very expensive if he could find one? Note we have two bathrooms and a full lawn irrigation system, so the switch does work a lot in the summer months.
The loud on off sound is able to be noticed in our living room as well. This is a very solid custom built home. Do I need to put sound dreading material over the switch ? Thank You email@example.com
Reply: Things to check for loud pressure switch noise causes & suggestions for sound-reduction at the pump room around the pressure tank and control switch
Watch out: if your water pump pressure control switch is making a very loud bang, pop, or similar noise when the contacts open or close the switch may be damaged or unsafe, or the line voltage may be incorrect.
While a modest amount of spark or arcing at the pressure control switch is normal when the switch opens or closes, very loud noises or smoky arcing indicate that something more serious is happening.
I'd check the pressure control switch and water tank and plumbing in that area. Check at the pressure switch for:
loose electrical connections,
loose switch parts
abnormal supply voltage,
abnormal current draw from the water pump
I'd check for abnormal movement in the plumbing pipes such as water pump torque that's banging inadequately supported welll pipes and transmitting that sound into the building.
But these switches are not normally very loud - to my hearing anyway. I'd look further at the switch mounting and location to see if its click is being amplified by a mount, sheet metal, tank contact or something that might be corrected.
I'd stay away from just wrapping the pump switch directly out of concern for
forming a moisture trap that damages the switch or makes it unsafe
forming a heat trap with the same effectsd
Blocking access to the switch thus making more trouble when you need to inspect or maintain or repair that control
And I'd look instead at sound transmission between the pump room and the nearby areas.
Class 9013 Square D Commercial Pressure Switches: Water Pump Pressure Control Switch Class 9013, Type F, G, Manual, Square D Company, 8001 Highway 64 East, Knightdale, NC 27545-9023, USA, (919) 266-3671, www.squared.com,
web search 02/24/2011, original source: stevenengineering.com/tech_support/PDFs/45COM.pdf. Quoting:
The Type FSG, FYG, FRG - PUMPTROL® Water Pump Pressure Switches are used to control Water Pump Pressure Switches are used to control
electrically driven water pumps and have the following features:
The Type FSG is the standard water pump switch, suitable for all types of pumps: jets, submersible,
The Type FYG is designed to meet higher horsepower and pressure requirements.
The Type FRG is reverse acting: the contacts open on falling pressure.
All are diaphragm actuated.
The Type G - PUMPTROL® Commercial/Light Industrial Pressure Switch is used to control electrically
driven water pumps and air compressors. It has higher electrical ratings for direct control of motors in
pump and compressor applications. The Type G switch is diaphragm actuated and has contacts that
open on rising pressure.
Access Water Energy, PO Box 2061, Moorabbin, VIC 3189, Australia, Tel: 1300 797 758, email: firstname.lastname@example.org Moorabbin Office: Kingston Trade Centre, 100 Cochranes Rd, Moorabbin, VIC 3189
Australian supplier of: Greywater systems, Solar power to grid packages, Edwards solar systems, Vulcan compact solar systems, water & solar system pumps & controls, and a wide rage of above ground & under ground water storage tanks: concrete, steel, plastic, modular, and bladder storage tanks.
Smart Tank, Installation Instructions [ copy on file as /water/Smart_Tank_Flexcon.pdf ] - , Flexcon Industries, 300 Pond St., Randolph MA 02368, www.flexconind.com, Tel: 800-527-0030 - web search 07/24/2010, original source: http://www.flexconind.com/pdf/st_install.pdf
Typical Shallow Well One Line Jet Pump Installation [ copy on file as /water/Jet_Pump_Grove_Elect_Jet_Pumps.pdf ] - , Grove Electric, G&G Electric & Plumbing, 1900 NE 78th St., Suite 101, Vancouver WA 98665 www.grovelectric.com - web search -7/15/2010 original source: http://www.groverelectric.com/howto/38_Typical%20Jet%20Pump%20Installation.pdf
Typical Deep Well Two Line Jet Pump Installation [ copy on file as /water/Jet_Pump_Grove_Elect.pdf ] - , Grove Electric, G&G Electric & Plumbing, 1900 NE 78th St., Suite 101, Vancouver WA 98665 www.grovelectric.com - web search -7/15/2010 original source: http://www.groverelectric.com/howto/38_Typical%20Jet%20Pump%20Installation.pdf
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