Water pump control switch noises:
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.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2017 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
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
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.
Also see ELECTRIC MOTOR NOISE DIAGNOSIS where we diagnose humming electric motors and motors that won't start.
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
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
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):
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 1-888-SquareD (1-888-778-2733) www.us.SquareD.com
Chattering noises: in relays or switches used on HVAC equipment is discussed separately at CHATTERING RELAYS, HVAC EQUIPMENT
Or see CHATTERING RELAY CONTROL SWITCHES - home
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
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:
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
at WELL PUMP / TANK REPLACEMENT COSTS.
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
This question was posted originally at WATER PUMP PRESSURE CONTROL
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:
If you and your electrician and plumber are dead certain that the pump control switch is acting normally but the sound remains annoying, then let's look at sound control for the pump room:
You might look at some sound insulation techniques - see SOUND CONTROL in BUILDINGS at inspectapedia.com/BestPractices/Sound_Control_in_Buildings.php
and also SOUNDPROOFING MATERIAL PROPERTIES at inspectapedia.com/BestPractices/Soundproofing_Materials.php
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
And I'd look instead at sound transmission between the pump room and the nearby areas.
See FLANKING SOUND CUTOFF at inspectapedia.com/BestPractices/Flanking_Sound_Transmission.php
See SOUND CONTROL for PLUMBING inspectapedia.com/BestPractices/Plumbing_Noise_Transmission.php
Continue reading at WATER PUMP / SWITCH NOISE FAQs or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.
Or see PLUMBING NOISE CHECKLIST
Or use the SEARCH BOX found below to Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia
Try the search box below or CONTACT US by email if you cannot find the answer you need at InspectApedia.
On 2017-01-14 18:48:06.606348 by (mod)
Usually buzzing in a control box like the one you describe by Webtrol means that a low voltage transformer or more likely a relay switch is failing or has failed. I'd replace the control or at the least, if possible the buzzing relay. Watch out for electrocution - death by shock.
On 2017-01-14 16:12:07.176216 by Justin
Water stopped coming through the faucet the other day. Notice the Webtrol control box for the well pump has a buzzing sound that comes about every15-30 seconds then stops. The control switch (not the control box) on what i believe to be the bladder looks somewhat burned out, but not really sure how to test if its still working or not. With the cold weather i had been letting the watter run a slow drip on the faucets, i am gessing I burnt out the control switch by doing this? My guess about the buzz from the control box is its just telling me something isnt working properly in the system. I am a DIY as much as possible but havent really looked into replacing a control switch yet and not sure if that is where i should start. Unfortunately the house was a forclosure and no back story on the well system.
On 2016-10-12 01:46:01.137524 by Colin
Really loud buzzing or humming sound coming from the water pump, the noise is continuous for past 6 hours . What can I do?
On 2016-10-03 15:08:19.601268 by Samuel
My well motor has a black knob to change from 115 to 230. I tried to change it to 230 and heard a click. Then when we turned the breaker ON, it sparked and burned that part where black knob is. Is my well burned now? I bought it 2 months ago. Installed it myself but my neighbor said is supposed to be set at 230 not 115.
On 2016-09-27 21:34:17.077934 by Sam
I have a well pump filling a pressure tank for my geothermal system. When cutting in at 20 psi, the system makes a loud thudding noise which seems to be much louder than it ever was in the past (I have had the system for about 9 years). About 5 years ago, we had to replace the pressure switch when the contacts seemed to have burned. What could be the cause of this noise? Is it a water hammer?
On 2016-09-06 03:05:42.320576 by robert
My water pump clicks like it wants to come on but then pump just hums. I changes out the pressure switch and thought that was it but still same thing. When pump tries to come on, if I hit the end of pump really hard with screwdriver and something similar it usually comes on but only works for a little while and then goes off again. Could it be capacitor going bad or something else?
On 2016-08-23 22:46:20.481776 by (mod)
Generally no, except that if the pump was running when you stopped using water you might hear the switch click once when the cut-off pressure is reached.
If your switch is turning on and off for no apparent reason search InspectApedia.com for PUMP RUNS INTERMITTENTLY or PUMP RUNS FOR NO REASON to read diagnostic suggestions.
On 2016-08-23 18:04:08.409517 by debi
Should the water pressure control switch click when water is not in use?
On 2016-07-25 14:33:30.426312 by (mod)
Perhaps your new switch includes a pump protection circuit. If so, the switch will turn off the pump if it finds the pump running dry;
Finding deposits on the points, unless by some fluke the switch was defective, is not going to be fixed by cleaning the points: once you scrape or sand the contacts in any electrical relay, the small natural arcing that leaves some burned material on the contact surfaces will actually increase because you've removed the original protective plating on the contacts.
I'd instead look for causes of short cycling (search InspectApedia for PUMP SHORT CYCLING CAUSE if your pump has been turning on and off to rapidly
I'd check for debris in the water supply that might clog either the pressure sensor port on the pump pressure control switch or that might clog the tube that conducts water pressure to the pump. More details are below in my reply to Ozarks.
On 2016-07-24 13:08:42.375659 by Anonymous
We had a new pump and pressure tank put in two weeks ago. The new switch on the pump keeps stopping. They have come and cleaned the circuit points in the switch and it will run about two weeks and quits again. They are finding the points in the switch covered with some type of coating and it has to be cleaned again. What could be causing this? They are ready to put in another new switch if the cleaning job they did this time does not work.
On 2016-06-20 22:16:03.248947 by (mod)
I'm not sure, Ozarks,
Often a very rapid on-off cycling of the pump or pump control switch - less than a second - is due to very rapid rise to cut-off pressure. I think this happens wehn
- a valve out of the pressure tank is closed
- a filter cartridge is very dirty and blocking water flow out of the system
- a pressure tank is waterlogged
- sometimes a pressure control switch is defective
On 2016-06-20 21:10:59.152503 by water problems in the ozarks
I have a new pressure switch.my control panel was check all A OK And new pressure tank was put in .in Jan. ....if I run my water wide open example .garden hose....all OK If just minor stuff..toilet. Sink. Shower.the tab switch will click wildly and then trip the reset before I can walk away from the pump House. ..why is it doing this???
On 2016-05-02 03:22:44.563064 by dem
pls help me...every time i use my water pump when its cutting off the preasure its always rapid clicking? pls help me, my pump is all brand new...
On 2016-04-21 17:28:04.997653 by (mod)
I wonder if the pump is having trouble reaching the cutoff pressure or if there is air in the system piping or water source. If your filter cartridge is see-through you might look for bubbling.
On 2016-04-21 01:49:12.805116 by Bill
A year after upgrading the well tank pressure switch (from 30-50 to 40-60 w/ LPCO) and the pressure tank itself (from 20 to 32 gallons), noise has recently developed in the vicinity of the tank T. Cut-in at 20 psi and cut-out at 60 psi continues. After cut-in, noise develops at 45 psi, continues, and then subsides at 55 psi. The noise is a moderately frequent rattle/knock very similar to the noise we'd get as kids when we attached playing cards to the fender strut on our bicycles. Until the noise starts, the fill rate seems about normal which used to result is a replenish cycle of about 45 seconds. Now, once the noise starts the fill rate seems reduced and the replenish cycle is about 2 minutes. The tank seems to fill normally, as (by hand touch) the lower half is cold from the ground water temperature, and the upper half is warmer from the ambient room temperature. The well yield is unknown, but in the 22 years we've occupied our premises we've never exhausted the water supply. (Nominal load: two people, dishwasher, clothes washer, three bathrooms/toilets, two showers.) Sediment collection (usually small, fine grit) at the whole-house filter continues at a minor level. The 1-micron carbon filter requires changing every 1.5 - 2 months. From these symptoms is seems the submersible pump may be failing. It's a half-horse Gould located at 75 feet in a 90 foot well. It was installed, new, in 1983.
Any comments or suggestions, please? Thanks!
On 2016-03-01 03:18:05.150251 by Gary
After running no problems for several years, in july 2014 water pressure dropped to zero before pump kicked in. I replaced the Square D pressure switch (40-60) and life was good again. Same thing happened last week. I replaced the switch and could not get the switch to cut out. I adjusted the range switch to no avail. Suspecting a bad switch, I went back to Menards and purchased a replacement switch. Same problems--would not cut out--I turned power off at 70 PSI. Could not adjust to make any difference.
Thinking the whoe batch was defective, I purchased a 30-50 switch from Lowes this time. After backing off the range screw 9 turns CCW, I got a cut out at 30 PSI. I adjust 3T CW & got cut out at 39 PSI. I adjusted 3 more T CW and switch would NOT cut out but made a surging sound. Through all these trials, switch wouold not cut in--I had to use screwdriver to trip lever back to cut-in position.
I called SquareD tech support & he said my pressure tank pressure was off. I checked & it was the same as always: 38 PSI.
On 2016-02-29 17:18:59.312897 by (mod)
I'm not sure what's happening, Huey. Are you sure the noise is coming from the pump itself and not building piping? Search InspectApedia.com for WATER HAMMER NOISE to read details.
If you are sure the noise is at the pump motor look for
- loose motor mounts
- a failing impeller assembly
- loose piping near the pump
- something else I've not thought of
Keep us posted
On 2016-02-26 18:35:44.574563 by Huey
Every time the water is turned on the pump kicks on with a loud noise,' I have water running in the house, pressure on the pump is good, why the loud noise?
On 2016-02-22 00:30:07.777907 by (mod)
Find and fix the source of vibration: a loose pump mount, loose pipe, failing pump bearing. You might also need vibration / sound isolating plumbing pipe mounts but I'd prefer to find and fix the cause than to treat the symptom.
On 2016-02-21 22:28:23.657040 by Gary
When my pressure switch comes on a vibration goes to the lines and I hear it up stairs. I feel the vibration on the pipe from the switch to the water line. How can I stop it ??
On 2016-02-17 21:14:00.796598 by (mod)
There are multiple causes of pump noise. A very common one is running the pump dry - having lost its prime. IN that condition the water pump sounds more noisy than usual and the sound level will drop when the pump impeller chamber is re-primed (water full). Other noises may be due to a failing bearing, loose connections, loose pump mount, air in the water supply.
On 2016-02-17 18:21:19.280494 by Norris
what cause a loud noise on a shallow well pump when water is turned on and water is pumping through into the house and or hose out side
On 2016-01-26 20:45:33.551034 by Anonymous
how to prime a household pump
(Jan 17, 2016) Justin said:
Please help I have no water!!!! Here is the whole story. I bought a trailer on private property. When the water would run the lights would dim and pressure would change from high to low. Then the lights started flickering and water was pulseing on Christmas I lost water so I took the well cap off pulled the pressure switch noticed the ground was a bit soggy but it had rained.anyway switch as totally burned up and fell apart in my hands.
I replaced it and water was back on and more normal than ever problem solved right? WRONG!!!! Lost water today go out to take well head off and water was coming by out of the ground like jed just stru k oil in Beverly hillbillies. So I take the cap off reset the switch it looks like new it starts clicking and will not stop no matter what adjustment I make.
To answer your next question is bad Blatter in pressure tank right? Well mine is in the ground between the well and the house. I am frustrated and don't know what else to do.
On 2016-01-15 20:50:16.568692 by Anonymous
On 2015-11-15 15:46:24.493259 by Anonymous
Please see the
Clicking pressure switch
Discussion in the article above and let me know if questions remain
On 2015-11-15 15:10:58.338821 by stew
When a water tank make clicking noises and no water comes out of the fauset, means what?
5/25/2014 Andy said:
hi my name is andy i have no water coming into house, when i cut the power on i hear a buzzing noise coming from a box under the house and no power is coming threw the grey box, how can i get water back in my house please help andy
Andy I can't tell if the problem is that the pressure switch has failed or if the pump motor has failed and the switch is buzzing trying to turn on the pump. And if this is a deep well with a submersible pump in the well there MA be a second relay that actually turns on the pump. I would turn the system off -electrical switch - and get some help from an electrician or plumber familiar with pumps and controls. Keep us posted.
(Feb 11, 2014) Anonymous said:
Why is the piping on my well tank chattering while filling. I have an 850 ft. deep well. I don't have any problem with pressure.
Anon: I don't know. Often flowing water will cause water piping to move around from pump vibration, surging pressures or (not so good) even air in the lines; securing the piping, perhaps using fittings intended to avoid conducting noise, may be a first step.
(Mar 8, 2014) David said:
I have an ACE 1HP TS10 well jet pump and cannot get the cut in and cut out pressure set so that it cycles on and off upon demand. Any ideas on how to set the pressure swithch?
At WATER PUMP PRESSURE CONTROL SWITCH you'll see at MORE READING link that gives a series of detailed procedures on adjusting the pressure control switch correctly. We describe the two adjustment nuts found in most controls, how they are related, which way they are turned and so on.
(May 9, 2014) Mike said:
I just installed a new pressure tank and switch. The switch is a pumptrol 40-60. The switch arcs once it reaches the 60psi cutoff pressure. It does not chatter or bounce,it just sparks as contacts separate. Is this normal?
I'd check for dirt on contacts (don't file or sand them) - with POWER OFF -and also check voltage as well as for loose connections. If all of those are clean and secure you may be seeing a normal arc. If it's large, bright, I suspect a bad switch. Call the manufacturer (Schneider Electric) to ask if they want you to replace the device. Keep us posted.
(They don't seem to want you to call, just use an online contact)
(July 2, 2014) duran said:
my pressure switch is very loud. every time it kicks I can hear it throughout the house?
Are you sure you're not hearing water hammer?
(Jan 22, 2015) sandra hanly said:
i have just put my heating on and there a clicking noise coming from the square box in the hot press.
Sorry Sandra but though we'd like to help I'm mostly confused. I don't know what "hot press" you mean. Youi've posted a question on a page about water pump pressure control switches.
For heating system noises see
If you mean that the water pump pressure control switch is clicking on and off that may be normal if your system is using water, or it may mean that the well pump is short-cycling - in that case see
WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING CAUSES
Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.
Search the InspectApedia website