Photograph of Photograph of a water pump pressure control switch with the cover offFAQs on How to Adjust the Water Pump Pressure Control Switch
Questions & Answers about how to set the water pump cut-in & cut-out pressures
     


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This article describes how to adjust a well pump or water pump pressure control switch. We provide pump pressure setting advice, procedures & questions & answers about adjusting the pump switch.

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FAQs on how to set the water pump pressure switch cut-in and cut-out pressures

Photograph of Photograph of a water pump pressure control switch adjustment instructionsArticle Contents

Watch out: SAFETY WARNING OF FATAL SHOCK HAZARD: if you remove the cover of the pump pressure control switch you can get access to the two nuts that adjust the operating pressures of the water pump.

But watch out! There are also live electrical contacts exposed in this area. If you touch them, especially being near water piping, there is a serious risk of death by electrocution.

Watch what you touch, or have a professional plumber or electrician do this job for you.

The individual well pump control switch repair article links below explain exactly how to set the water pump pressure switch, where the adjustments are located (the large and small nut found under the switch cover), which way to turn the nuts to increase or decrease the pump cut-in and cut-out pressures, and other pressure switch troubleshooting and repair procedures

Just below is an index into some common pump control switch FAQs that appear below

Question: Should I be using a 30-50 psi switch when running 38-64 psi cut-in/cut-out? Should I change the air pre-charge pressure in the water tank?

I have a 20 gal wellxtrol with a 30-50 psi squareD Pumptrol switch with pressure reading that are unusual. The pressure switch needed replacing because contacts were sticking. I put in a new pressure gauge and measured before I replaced the switch: tank pressure 18 psi, cut in 42 psi, cut out 67 psi. The system seems to work fine. It's 25 years old.

I replaced the switch with the same, and adjusted it to 38 psi cut in, 64 psi cut out. Do I need to increase the tank pressure to 36 psi? Should I be using a 30-50 psi switch when running 38-64 psi cutin-cutout? - D. Hurry

Reply: The 30-50 psi pressure control switch is acceptable. Set the water pressure tank air pre-charge to 2 psi below the cut-in pressure

D Hurry:

First, if your present pressure control switch is handling your (somewhat high) setting of 38/64 psi cut-in/cut-out you don't need to change the switch itself. Square D's pressure control switches typically can handle pressures up to 220 psi - much higher than a typical residential water pressure tank setting will ever be.

In the article above we list the factory air pre-charge settings for models of Well-x-Trol water pressure tanks.

Please read the WARNINGS about messing with tank air pre-charge in the article above. Then you can set your pre-charge pressure (with all water drained out of the tank) to 2 psi below the cut-in pressure on your pressure switch, or as you suggested, for a 38 psi cut-in, you'd set the air charge to 36 psi.

That 4 psi difference, however, is not very significant. Leaving the tank at factory pressure and setting the pressure control switch to a higher cut-in/cut-out pressure means that the volume of water you can draw from the tank before the pump turns on is a bit reduced.

Details about how to adjust the water pressure control switch are at PRESSURE CONTROL SWITCH ADJUSTMENT.

Question: can a 20/40 pressure switch be adjusted to different pressure ranges?

I just had a well switch replaced but now I have low water pressure. The pressure switch is set for 20/40 pressure and I know that the previous switch was set to 20/50 psi on and off. The plumber says the swich is pre-set and that's it! But looking at your website I see that one can re-set the pressure switch.

I am 60 yrs old and a widow and will try to do this myself as i saw your info on tightening a nut inside that gray box that the plumber put on.

What i want to know is that one CAN change the pressure on any and all pressure switch boxes? or is it true you have to order anther box preset for the pressures i had? ALSO i have a blue water tank with a bladder - how much pressure will be too much? - E.S., Louiville KY 10/14/2013

Reply:

When the plumber said the switch is pre-set to 20/40, s/he's right that that's how the switch came from the factory

But most pressure switches permit a limited range of adjustment or fine tuning. We discuss this in the article above.

But again, one does not usually need to mess with the pressure settings, and often, as I elaborate below, often when we're not satisfied with "water pressure" we ought to be checking for obstructions that reduce the water flow rate before just blithely upping the pressure settings.

Typically a 20/40 psi switch could be set up to a 50 psi cutoff and work OK, but if you set the pressure higher than your pump can reach the pump will just keep running;

I would not set the pressure over 50 in any case; both to protect the pump and to avoid overpressurizing the tank. Details are at WATER PRESSURE TOO HIGH: DANGERS.

Also let's be sure we're talking really about pressure, not water flow rate. Pressure is measured as a static condition - how much pressure is in the system when water is not running.

Water pressure alone does not make for great flow rate at the plumbing fixtures. Picture trying to push 70 psi water (measured with the pump off at the end of a pump-on cycle) through a pinhole-sized opening at a clogged faucet opening. You're still not going to see much water pouring out of the faucet.

When you open a faucet, what people loosely call pressure is properly called flow rate - how much water comes out of the faucet per minute. Indeed upping the pressure switch setting increases the flow rate, up to a point.

But if you are not satisfied with flow rate, other factors should be checked, such as clogged faucet strainers (common especially after work has been done on a plumbing system as we may have stirred up debris); and clogged piping due to mineral deposits (usually first detected in hot water lines). For some tips also
see WATER PIPE CLOG DIAGNOSIS.

Question: now many turns of the adjustment nut make how much change on a pressure switch?

(Sept 22, 2014) Anonymous said:
Pete how much turning in degrees of the pressure spring nut are we taking about. approx.

Reply:

Anon

Try a 1/2 rotation to one full rotation of the nut you are changing, then observe the pressure response change in the system. This is not lab-grade precise equipment nor are the effects of adjustment nut rotation degrees consistent throughout the adjustment range.

Question: warnings about limits of the smaller pressure switch nut adjustment range

7 March 2015 Andy said:
Near the top of this PRESSURE SWITCH NUT ADJUSTMENTS article, it says: 'Watch out! If you loosen this nut too much you can set the cut-off pressure below the cut-on pressure and the pump will turn on and run forever (or until it burns up.)'

This doesn't make sense. If you back the differential nut off 'too much', all that means is that the differential will be at its minimum which might cause short cycling. shortcycling is of course damaging too, but the pump can't fail to shut off if the main spring is set anywhere near the standard and all other things are normal. What am I not getting here?

Reply:

Thank you Andy, you're right and we're deleting the confusing text. We appreciate your careful eye and can use all the editing help we can get.

After adjusting nut #2, the smaller nut that in most of these controls adjusts the differential between cut-in and cut-out we kept this warning

Watch out: After adjusting nut#2 you may need to check the actual operating water pressures in your system and adjust nut#1 to be sure that you are not pushing the cut-out (upper pressure) so high that the water pump never turns off (dangerous).

As your comment points out, an additional caveat could be added: don't set the differential between cut-in and cut-out too close or the pump will short-cycle.

A different error would be to set the Nut #1, the larger adjustment, cut-out pressure too high. That's a common mistake that some folks make in trying to get the highest water pressure possible in their building. The result could indeed be a pump that never shuts off and that burns up.

Question: I'd like to get the cut-on at 60 and cut-off at 70 to get very high water pressure

I just rebuilt a Sta-Rite water pump (JBMG-41S)(2hp). It had never been serviced and had alot of iron build-up. The shaft had seized. After cleaning it out and putting new seals, it was still able to run ok so I reinstalled it. Then it seemed there was a problem with the pressure switch. I cleaned out the pipes connecting to it and cleaned the switch itself but I wasn't able to get to a setting that wasn't cycling too quickly. I then looked at the air pressure in the pressure tank.

This system is installed in an old 6 floor apartment building. The city supply is about 45psi I wanted to get a cut-on pressure of about 55psi and a cut-off at about 75. The pressure tank (Challenger pc266r - 85 gallon) turned out to be over-charged. I'm not sure what the pressure was at but it was over 60psi. I let out the air until it got to around 51. Now, cut-on pressure was around 55 and the pump was staying on for around 10 minutes before it reached 70psi but even with the differential nut unscrewed all the way I couldn't get the pump to turn off at 75psi. I finally unscrewed the main nut and the pump went off but now the cut-on pressure was slightly lower.

I'd like to get the cut-on at 60 and cut-off at 70.

Help appreciated. - Ben 4/9/12

Reply: watch out: setting the differential too small causes short cycling & setting the cut-out too high may exceed the pump's capacity, burning it up

Ben, please take another look at the details in the article PRESSURE SWITCH NUT ADJUSTMENTS about adjusting the pump pressure control switch.

You'll see that the two adjustments (on switches that have two) do not operate independently, so changing one can require fine tuning the other. The larger nut shifts the whole cut-in/cut-out pressure range up or down, while the smaller nut changes the width of that range - the differential between cut in and cut out.

Question: I want to control water supply to different areas of our factory through Inverter drives

Photograph of a water pump pressure control switch with the cover onI want to control water supply to different areas of our factory through Inverter drives , pressure feedback in order to simultanously achieve energy saving,equal pump running hours(There are 3 pumps with common header). There shall be bumpless transfer of pumps so that there is min. pressure surge. Can anyone give me solution - Mehboob Akber 5/21/11

Reply:

Mehbob,

I'm not sure what inverter drives you are talking about, but for general water pressure control to set different water pressures in different building areas, and provided that the base water supply and delivery system has adequate pressure and flow capacity, you would need individual pressure control tanks, pumps and switches, or for a simpler arrangement, simply a pressure regulator installed at the inlet to each factory area.

Pressure Control Switch Noises: Buzzing, Clicking, Humming

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

Reply:

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.

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
  • no water

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.

Question: 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:

Jerry,

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

Anon:

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 swithc 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.

 

 

 

Lost Water Pressure FAQs: water pressure slowly falls to zero or stops completely, returns, or does not return later

Question: lost water pressure, came back on its own, plumber replaced presure switch.

I had a Plummer come to my house on the week-end since I had lost pressure for my water. When the plumber arrived the pressure was restored but since the system was 21 years old, I decided to have him replace the switch. If I remember I had a 20-40 pressure switch that was adjusted to 40-55 so that when taking a shower we would not notice the low pressure.

When the plumber installed the new pressure switch 30-50 I asked him to adjust the pressure and that is what he did. He adjusted the pressure with the bigger nut as explained in the WEB site, so now the cut-in pressure is about 32 and the cut out is about 58-60.

The problem is that when someone is taking a shower the cut-in rating is to low so the pressure is down. What steps can be done to increase the cut-in pressure but keeping to cut-out pressure to about 60…. So I could have something like 42-60 or so if possible. Thank you - Andre 10/25/11

Reply:

Andre:

Please take a look at the pressure switch adjustment information in the article above. You'll see there are two adjusting nuts in the control. Basically the larger nut shifts the whole operating pressure range (cut in and cut out) up or down while the smaller nut adjusts the differential between the cut in and cut out. You can adjust the smaller nut to narrow the differential if you like - just don't make the cut-in too close to the cut-out or your pump may turn on and off too often and overheat.

Question: lost water pressure in freezing weather

(Feb 22, 2015) Cindy said:
how do I know if my lose of water is my pump pressure switch or my pipes are frozen?

Reply:

Cindy,

see WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSIS, PRIVATE WELL

Because is number of failures all result in no water.

In general, if the system was working and then stopped during very cold weather it's natural to suspect frozen piping. Turn off the pump to reduce the chances of riuining it.

If the pump is above ground you can determine that it's running by inspection. If its in the well some electrical tests can do the same.

Question: lost water while watering the garden

I just moved into an old farm house I was watering my garden when I lost water, I had run it for some time. did I use up all the water? I went to the pump imediatly and turn off the water spicket. did I burn up the pump, I don't get great pressure in the house since I moved in. later I got a little water but then it was gone again. what can i do to find out what happened - Sandra 6/5/11

Bladder tank set at 30 psi switch set at 40 psi cut off. I have water but no pressure. help - Charlie C 6/7/11

Reply:

Sandra:

You need a well flow test or an approximation of one so that you have an idea just what your well can deliver. If the well flow rate or recovery rate is limited you can drill a new well (expensive, no guarantee of success) or add a larger quantity of water storage in tanks.

But be sure you've accurately diagnosed the poor flow rate; poor water pressure or flow can be caused by clogged piping, for example, or you may have both problems: clogged pipes and a low-flow-rate well. - DF

Charlie:

if you have no water pressure at all I think you may best take a look at the diagnostic guide in the WATER PUMP DIAGNOSTIC TABLE

Question: water pressure slowly falls to zero, recovers after about 45 minutes

(Apr 1, 2014) Ray said:

The water at my home runs for about 5 to 8 minutes then it slowly stops. I turn the sink back on and still no water, after about 45 minutes I have water again what could be cause

(Apr 2, 2014) John Hernandez said:

I purchase a DAB water pump i'm having a problem with cut in and cut off the pressure guage needle drops to zero before it cuts in i tried adjusting it no results.Can you help me?

Reply:

Ray, Check these two key diagnostic approaches

WATER PRESSURE PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS TABLE

WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSIS, PRIVATE WELL

your well may be running out of water but it makes sense first to go through the diagnostic steps suggested in those articles.

John
Check to see if the pump pressure switch sensor port on the switch bottom, or its mounting/pressure sensing tube are dirt clogged. There could also be a sticking relay. In those cases replace the switch and its mounting tube.

Question: water pressure falls immediately from 60 down to 40 and pump cycles on and off

(June 24, 2014) Anonymous said:

My pressure is set at 60 to 40, When you turn the water on it drops from 60 to 40 immediately and will continue to turn on and off until the water valve is turned off. The pump basiclly want shut off until you stop using water

Anon when pressure drops immediately on opening a tap I expect that there is little or no air charge in the pressure tank.

Take a look at

WATER TANK AIR, HOW TO ADD

No water and no pump working following a power failure

I had a power failure today and now that the power has returned I still don't have water. I reset the breakers just in case with no effect. The pressure gauge next to the switch still says 50psi but no water is coming out of the taps. Never had a problem with this system before.

It is a pumptrol like in your picture. It doesn't have a lever on the side like I've seen in other pictures. Any ideas? - Alex D 8/18/11

(3 days ago) Anonymous said:

Have square D pressure switch 9013FSG2M4 on 1 hp elect pump; water from aireator to house through 35gal pressure tank (rubber diaphram). works fine normally ( 35psi to 55psi) except when lose electricity. If pressure drops below 20psi before the electricity returns; when elect. returns pump appears to start but switch contacts open. I have to hold contacts closed until pressure builds to 30 psi for them to stay costed. Why? What is solution?

Reply:

Alex:

Following a power failure or a lightning strike there are a number of possible sources of well and pump trouble. Starting with the clues in your question.

As your gauge says your system is at 50 psi but yet you have no water coming out of the taps, I wonder if the pressure gauge (and thus potentially the pressure control switch too) are dirt clogged and not registering pressure changes - try tapping on the gauge to see if it moves; replace a clogged gauge, pressure switch, or mounting pipe nipple or plastic line feeding water pressure to the switch sensor.

Have your electrician or other expert check for the presence of voltage at the pump and control switch

Check for a lightning strike that shorted wiring, burned wiring, or damaged the pump motor - see

Anon

It sounds as if the electricity loss means you are losing prime in your pump - check first for a bad foot valve or check valve.

Water Pressure Lost Completely

Question: lost all water pressure

(July 8, 2014) tony said:

i have lost all water pressure. when i turn the mair valve off the press gauge will go up to 40psi. however when the valve is opened the gauge goes to 0..new pressure switch about 2 weeks old.

Reply:

Tony

We give lost water pressure diagnostics at

inspectapedia.com/water/Water_Pump_Repair_Guide.php

For the case you describe, turning the main valve off is stopping output from the pressure tank into your building. As you see water pressure with the main valve off, that suggests that water is running in your building or there is a burst pipe - but that's just guessing from your brief question.

Also see PUMP WON'T START

Question: water pressure is low but the water pump won't come on

Pump won't come on: I just changed the pressure control switch and it will not turn on by itself. the water pressure is very low but the pump never comes on. - BigEd 7/16/11

The pump will not come on. There is no water pressure. I have a Square D Pump Pressure Control Switch. The contacts will not stay down/connnected. When forced to on postion they bounce right back into off ppostion. Any advice would be helpful. - Wilson 7/31/11

My water pressure is very low after one or two loads of laundry. The pressure gets down to less than 15 and the pump still has not pumped. I am not sure how low it gets before it pumps. Whan I get up the next morning it is back up to 45. What might be the cause of this problem? Is it the pump pressure switch or something else. I hear it running all the time. Any advice would be helpful - Mark 8/31/11

We are losing water pressure at any/all faucets/toilets/etc randomly- water will be running fine, and then it will slack off to nothing, then within 30sec to 1 minute, water will come back one and be fine. This happens at least once a day. This also just started happening once we replaced the entire reserve tank and pressure gauge and switch (we had a drip from our old tank, and a plumber came in a replaced the whole thing). Now he tells me he thinks this new problem is the well pump....seems very convenient to have 2 major things go bad at exactly the same time. What do you think? - Meg 9/2/11

Reply:

Big Ed

Sometimes changing the switch but mounting it on the existing 1/8" support pipe or connector to the pump or piping leaves a clogged component in place so that the switch doesn't properly sense the actual water pressure.

If your switch is properly wired and there is power to the pump, that clogging could be the problem.

Wilson

if the pump pressure control switch has electrical power and won't stay in the "on" position, that suggests that the pressure diaphraghm of the switch is indicating pressure at or above the cutoff point. If in fact there is no or low water pressure in the system then perhaps the pressure sensing end of the switch or its mounting tube is debris clogged. R&R the switch and mounting tube.

In a different direction, if someone messed with the adjustment nuts on the pressure switch they could have left it in an improper setting position.

Mark:

what you describe sounds like your well recovery rate is poor, perhaps seasonally during hot dry weather. Under WELLS CISTERNS & SPRINGS (links at the "More Reading" links at the bottom of this article ), see the article titled "How Much Water is In the Well?" for help in investigating that question.

Meg

I too tend to look first at work that was just recently done, or what was just changed, when debugging a building problem that has just shown up.

I tend not to start by blaming the pump, though there could be an indirect cause there: if the plumbing changes increased the water usage rate or the rate at which the pump was asked to operate, a pump motor that was overheating (failing) might on occasion turn itself off on thermal reset then reset and begin again automagically.

But before replacing the pump I'd look more closely at the pressure control switch; for example, if the plumbing work stirred up debris in the system, crud could be blocking the pressure sensing input of the pressure control switch, causing it to misbehave. You could try removing the switch, replacing or cleaning the small diameter mounting tube for that device (where water flows up to push on the switch bottom), and if necessary replace the switch.

See the water pressure loss diagnostic steps at WATER PRESSURE LOSS DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR (article link at the "More Reading" links at the bottom of this article )

Keep us posted - it'll help other readers

 

Question: How to increase the water pump pressure control cut-in and cut-out pressure

I have a square d control. It cuts off at 40 psi and goes down to 20 psi before it comes back on which is to low when I am using one sprinkler. I want it to come on at 30 psi. I can't understand how to do that looking your directions. Pls help - John 5/19/11

Reply:

How to increase the water pump pressure control cut-in and cut-out pressure:

Take a look again at the instructions above that indicate which nut to turn in which direction to increase the well pump cut-in pressure (that's your 20 psi number) and cut-out pressure (that's your 40 psi number).

You should be able to raise the cut-in pressure to 30 psi and you will probably want to raise the cut out pressure to 50 psi, provided that your pump can actually reach that number. If the pump keeps running forever even AFTER you have turned off the water, then it is not capable of reaching 50 psi and you'll have to lower that setting to avoid burning up the water pump.

If the instructions are still too complicated to follow then you would be best off asking a plumber to change the settings for you. Just be sure the person you hire is familiar with well pump pressure control switches.

Question: I'd like to get the cut-on at 60 and cut-off at 70.

I just rebuilt a Sta-Rite water pump (JBMG-41S)(2hp). It had never been serviced and had alot of iron build-up. The shaft had seized. After cleaning it out and putting new seals, it was still able to run ok so I reinstalled it. Then it seemed there was a problem with the pressure switch. I cleaned out the pipes connecting to it and cleaned the switch itself but I wasn't able to get to a setting that wasn't cycling too quickly. I then looked at the air pressure in the pressure tank.

This system is installed in an old 6 floor apartment building. The city supply is about 45psi I wanted to get a cut-on pressure of about 55psi and a cut-off at about 75. The pressure tank (Challenger pc266r - 85 gallon) turned out to be over-charged. I'm not sure what the pressure was at but it was over 60psi. I let out the air until it got to around 51. Now, cut-on pressure was around 55 and the pump was staying on for around 10 minutes before it reached 70psi but even with the differential nut unscrewed all the way I couldn't get the pump to turn off at 75psi. I finally unscrewed the main nut and the pump went off but now the cut-on pressure was slightly lower.

I'd like to get the cut-on at 60 and cut-off at 70.

Help appreciated. - Ben 4/9/12

Reply:

Ben, please take another look at the details in the article above about adjusting the pump pressure control switch. You'll see that the two adjustments (on switches that have two) do not operate independently, so changing one can require fine tuning the other. The larger nut shifts the whole cut-in/cut-out pressure range up or down, while the smaller nut changes the width of that range - the differential between cut in and cut out.

 

Water Pump Won't Stop Running - what to do

Question: my pump cannot reach the cut-out pressure setting - my pump runs all the time

I have replaced the Pressure swtch and I can not acheive cutout, pump continues to run. Switch is adjusted very low for cutout. The units cuts in about 26-28 psi. but exceeds the desired 50 -60 psi cutout. - BK 6/6/11

I had to put a new pressure switch on, the pump was running all the time and it burn the points up. The new one is letting the pump run all the time too, when the pump is running the water pressure keeps going up and down, until there is a small amount of water coming out. I'll turn the pump off and back on then the pressure will come back up and if it runs about a couple of minutes it will do the same thing again. I have no leaks, could this be the water tank?
I need help - Ed 6/18/12

My pump does not exceed 32psi and constantly runs then fails to cut back on even though pressure drops below 20psi. Only way to start it is to manually connect the flow switch to engage the pump. - Jack Nelson 7/7/12

(Nov 26, 2014) Evelio said:
water pump in the tank keep and pressure wont go over 40psi theres anething i can do

(Jan 26, 2015) Anonymous said:
pump does not shut off

Reply:

BK: Well pump won't stop running: try setting your pressure control to turn on at 20 psi and off at 40 psi. That should be achievable by most well pumps unless the pump itself is damaged. Once you have the pump operating normally in that pressure range you can try increasing the cut out, or both cut-in and cut-out gradually. Don't operate the pump too close to the highest cut-out pressure that it can attain, since there is the risk that when you're not watching the system may through wear or other factors leave the pump running until it burns up.

Jack, if the pump does not start at pressures below the cut- in point of 20 psi, the switch may be bad. But the pump running continuously and never delivering cutoff pressure is something else _ such as lost well water flow rate or a well piping leak or someone has lest a faucet open in the home.

Evelio, check for a well running out of water or a worn or damaged pump impeller or low voltage to the pump motor.

Question: pump won't stop running and got very hot - my well pump won't turn off

Pump has worked fine until today for some reason it kept running after the 'timer' stopped. I didn't notice for a while and by the time I got to the pump, it was really hot. I killed the power and water/steam shot out of a PVC pipe on the bottom. If I plug it in, it won't stop running. I turned the timer on and tried to send water to a sprinkler zone to no avail. Please help! - pumpwontstop 6/17/11

I have been having a problem with my well for a couple years now with it staying running. I hired a well guy and he told me it was a 30 year old system and it needed to be replaced, so i started to replace things and it has fixed some problems, but has cause others. We replaced the air tank, pressure control switch, the run capacitor, and the start cylinder.

When we turn it on after about 4 hours it will run for 5 to 10 min, but if we let it sit off for 8 hours or even 10 hours it will run for 15 to 20 min. I have no clue what is going on and seeing if someone could help. Also as I was down at the well, and it was turned on their was some sloshing in the system as it starts and turns off. If you need any more details just ask. - Mike 7/25/12

Reply:

If your well pump won't stop running and it is delivering water then I suspect that the pump is unable to reach the cut-off pressure.

That can happen for a variety of reasons like loss of water in the well, a well piping leak, water running somewhere that you didn't realize, a pressure switch set too high, or a damaged pressure sensor component of the pressure control switch.

See WATER PUMP WONT STOP RUNNING for a thorough diagnostic procedure

Ed:

If the pump runs all the time even when you turn OFF water from the pressure tank into the building, then since you've excluded the control itself:

- the pressure sensing port on the pressure switch may not be seeing actual water pressure if the small diameter tube or pipe feeding pressure to the switch is clogged

- you may have a leak in well piping in the well or in the ground between house and well.

- you may have a damaged pump impeller that is not developing enough pressure to reach switch cutoff

- or something else

Hi Mike. It sounds as if perhaps you are losing well prime back down into the well - could be a bad foot valve - or a leak in the well piping.

Is the pump in the well or above ground? If above ground, is it a one line or two line jet pump?

Followup from Mike:

the pump is in the well about 600 ft down how do i find a leak that far down or where is the foot valve in the pump? thank you for answering me fast

Reply:

Mike, first establish that there is a leak, and in what segment of the whole system it exists - say in the building vs between the water pressure tank and the bottom of the well. If it appears that the leak is in the well piping and if the leak is in the well piping that's in the well itself (as opposed to between well and building) you're in luck because you can pull the whole well piping and pump (use a professional to do this) to find and repair the leak as well as replace the foot valve. If the leak is between house and well then unfortunately excavation is in order.

If the leak in the well pipe is in the well and is between the water surface and well top, you'll hear or even see water squirting out of the leak when the pump is running; if it's under-water you may never see it without pulling the line.

All of this means that you start by determining that the leak is between house and well.

Search InspectApedia for

"find leak in well piping" to find our diagnostic article

Question: my pump would not stop running - the tech says I need a new drilled well

My pump began running non stop and when the well person came out they said they were able to set psi to 38 and the pump would shut off correctly however most likely the jet is plugged or a hole in casing for it to change suddenly and It will eventually just quit. Does this sound correct. It is now functioning fine at 38 psi but I am concerned since winter is coming and I shoul get a well drilled now. I am not planning in investing in repair if it needs repair because it's an old 2" - Amanda 8/26/12

Reply:

Amanda I don't understand the question you are asking. A hole in a well casing may admit dirt and contaminants and might speed up clogging of the well screen on a foot valve or pump pickup; But some more accurate diagnosis is needed before drilling a new well.

 

Water Pressure Control Switch Burn-Ups

Question: water to air heat pump switch burned up

Sept 17, 2014) DPaul1701 said:
Have a water to air heat pump supplied by a 1hp jet pump. After inspection, the contacts on the pressure switch appeared burned. Replaced the switch, however, upon replacement, the pump began cycling every few seconds while the AC unit was running. Usually the pump runs continuously providing water to the system until the AC unit turns off. Afraid of burning up my pump if this continues. Possibly a bad bladder tank (it's a small one like that used in an irrigation system)?

Reply:

Indeed D Paul, if a water pump is short cycling that can burn up the switch contacts as well as damage the pump itself.

IN the More Reading links above please see the article series WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING where we explain how to diagnose and fix the trouble. Your case might be a ruptured tank bladder or something else - as you'll read there.

 

Question: Genesis pressure control switch pressure adjustment

I've got a switch that seems to have been made by Genesis (but no maker data, no part number, etc.; that's just the name on the cover box) of my Panamanian pressurized residential system.

Turn-on was around 19psi by the gauge, off at 45 (which drifts down to 41.5 during the first minute after the pump shuts off, then stays stable). I tried both adjustment nuts, separately, and while a half-turn clockwise will get the left-hand nut (the big Range one) took the cutoff to 49psi, nothing seems to move the turn-on pressure up.

I'd like to be able to bring that up to about 25psi, because much below this the boiler (pass-thru, 7 liter tank inside) won't kick on and stay on. Was a half to a full turn just not enough to get that switch's attention? It's only a two year old switch. - notonyourtintype - 7/19/11

Reply:

Noton... I'd like to see some sharp photos of y our switch - you can send pix to the CONTACT link found at the left or bottom of our website pages.

The operating pressure range you describe is common: roughly on at 20 off at 40 psi. The gauge behavior you describe could be due to a partial blockage of the gauge mounting pipe or gauge bottom with debris, slowing down the passage of pressurized water into and out of the gauge bottom. Try tapping the gauge too - remember these water pressure gauges are not precise.

Most water pressure gauges work about the same way - if yours looks like the examples I show above, you should be able to review and follow the pressure gauge adjustment procedures found above on this page. Turning the nut just a half turn, depending on which nut, may not have registered, or it may take some tapping or a few pump cycles for you to see the effect.

Water Pump Turns on Immediately When we Run Water

Question: Goulds jet pump 3/4 hp, pump always comes on right away when water runs

i have a JRS7 Goulds jet pump 3/4 hp, recently i have been encountering a problem which i cant seem to rectify. my pump is set that immediately when any tap is opened it will come on and cut off when closed. it will run for the period while the water is being used but, the pressure however drops sometimes while in use to 0 psi on the guage resulting in the pump cutting off immediately and no water is being delivered.

i have changed the pressure switch and am still experiencing the problem. the thing no matter what i try while it is off it will not come back on until it feels like it then the guage will build back up to 45 psi and it will run for a while and then do the same again. please help - Shawn White 7/23/11

Reply:

Shawn, if a pump always comes on immediately when you open a faucet and shuts off when you close the faucet, your water pressure tank is water logged - it's lost its air charge. See the article titled WATER TANK AIR, HOW TO ADD (links above at the "More Reading" links at the bottom of this article )

You might also have a problem of sediment clogging at the pressure sensing switch and gauge both - even if you replaced the switch if its mounting tube were clogged the problem would continue.

Question: pump turns on as soon as spigot opened

(June 13, 2014) Anonymous said:

My pump comes on as soon as the water is opened and continues going on and off until the water is closed. What is the problem and how can I correct it

Reply:

Anon,

Before changing the pressure control switch setting I'd look at either having run the well out of water (pump can't send up enough water to reach the cut off pressure)

or the pump impeller is damaged (pump can't develop enough pressure to reach shutoff)

other explanations include well piping leaks or a damaged pressure control switch

 

 

Question: how do I add air to the pressure tank?

I need to add water to my water tank. I know you have to drain the tank before adding air, but the manual doesn't say if you add the air with the water valve open or closed. Any help would be appreciated. - Greg Weber 8/3/11

Opps, sorry. I need to add air to my tank, not water. Sorry.

Reply:

John M: replies to Greg W:

I'm no expert but I usually leave my water valve open, this lets the portion of the tank which holds water equalize with surrounding atmospheric pressure. If you close the water valve then pressure will build in that sealed space.

Greg,

If you are adding air to a water pressure tank (by which I infer you are not using the 'total-tank-drain-out' method, and if your tank uses an internal bladder, the water is kept physically separate from the air and it won't matter a bit whether or not your tank drain is open or not. You are basically pumping air into the air chamber of the tank that is separate from the water (in many but not all bladder type water tanks the water is in the bladder and the air is around it).

If your water pressure tank does not use an internal bladder and you add air to the tank with its drain (or some nearby plumbing fixture open), your incoming air pressure will push more water out of the tank. Now two things can happen, depending on how much air you put in.

If you stop putting in air before all water is pushed out of the tank and the tank pressure is below the pump cut-in pressure your water pump will come on and repressurize the system normally.

If you keep putting air into a bladderless tank and the water pump is left turned off, eventually you'll push all of the water out of the tank and air will start coming out of your tank drain or nearby faucets. That won't hurt anything, provided you don't lose pump prime.

You'll have charged the tank by emptying it of water completely, the equivalent of our 'total-tank-drain-out' procedure. When you close the tank drain or faucet and turn your pump back on the pump will return water to the tank and pressurize the air in the tank at the same time. If your water tank has excess air that will pass out through plumbing fixtures until the system stabilizes. - DF

Complete procedures for adding air to the water tank are at WATER TANK AIR, HOW TO ADD

Question: increased pressure switch settings - now I think the pump is bad

Last week I increased the cut-in cut-out pressure switch setting on my well. The system was running at 20-40 and after making the pressure switch adjustment it has been running at 40-60 just as I planned. I checked the cut-in and cut-out over several days after the change and it was working fine.

Today we found that we had zero water pressure. I looked over our system and found there is no water flowing into our pressure tank so no water is being pumped. I tested for power at the pressure switch and it is getting power but I did not check the voltage. The well pump was here when we bought the house about 10 years ago so the pump is at least 10 years old.

I don't know the specifics of the pump but the control box for the pump states 1 hp, 230 volt, single phase and includes a capacitor and some other blue device. I assume my increasing the pressure switch seating has lead to a pump failure. Anything else I should test before running out to buy a new pump? - John M 8/34/11

Reply:

John M:

Changing a pump pressure control switch from 20/40 all the way up to 40/60 has an understandable appeal: much higher water pressure, faster flow rate. But the risk is that you set a cut-off pressure that the pump simply cannot maintain. If that happens the pump might just keep on running - never reaching that 60 psi. If your pump was a submersible you might not know that the pump is spinning itself to death down in the well. Until it stops working or until the pump overheats and shuts down on thermal overload.

A second possibility is that sometimes when we start pumping water out of a well faster than before we can exceed the well's flow rate (especially if the well is not very deep- doesn't have a big static head). Even if the well later recovers, we can lose prime and lose water pressure, or in some cases run the pump dry and damage it.

Sorry about the bad news, but those are the worries that occur to me from your description.

Also take a look at PUMP NEVER STOPS

Followup:

Thanks for the reply Dan,

The pump is working fine now, the following morning after my post I replaced the thermal protection device, turned on the pump and it immediately started pumping and has been running fine since. Just for clarification and as I explained in my original post, the pump is cycling properly (cutting in and out) with the higher presser setting of 40~60 psi.

I suspect the problem occurred due to my extended continuous use of water while I was working on a landscaping project which had the water running continuously for 8 plus hours. It appears the thermal protection device which is designed to protect the pump from burning out did its job.

Happy to report the pump and well are working great.

Reply:

Thanks John M - I will add "replace the thermal protection device" to our list of diagnostic suggestions when a pump motor won't run. Can you send along photos of the parts and pump? Use the CONTACT link found at page top, left, bottom.

Question: Pressure set too high: Reverse Osmose system installed, need more house pressure - RO works at 39 PSI

Great site! I installed an RO system to replace an old RO that failed because of pressure (new permeate pump booster). After I did this I wanted to increase house pressure, thought I'll boost the air tank from 30 psi to 50 psi, then I pulled the pressure line on the jet pump to clean. What a nightmare! water everywhere, crud from the sensor, got it all back together, turned it on a start-stop cylcling!

Turned out the water tank pressure was too high without adjusting the pressure switch. After all the helpful info here I just started dropping the tank pressure down to 39 and the problem was solved! Thanks guys, next I might try raising the cut in cut off. - Alan McKee 8/17/11

Reply:

Alan, glad our water pressure articles were helpful. Indeed the pressure tank air charge is not what determines house water pressure - that's controlled by the pressure control switch, as you observed.

Irregular pressure switch operation or pump on-off operation FAQs

Question: pump runs out of water, recovers in 5-10 minutes, gauge and switch kicks on/off at pressures different than our switch settings

My well is not quite a year old, we have always had plenty of water and pressure. we have been watering trees in yard, now for some reson our pup runs out of water. It recovers with in 5 to 10 min . The guage kicks on at 40 ps and should kick off at 60 or so. It kicks on fine but kicks out at 50 , is it the pressure switch? If I hold the switch down manually it pups and kicks out at 60 or 65 - Shaun Aden 8/4/11

Reply:

Shaun the pump might still be actually going off at 60 if the gauge is clogged with debris and reading inaccurately. Else if no one "adjusted" the switch and it's cutting off early it's time to replace it.

Question: changed water filter, various confusing symptoms

After changing a water filter for the first time, my tank emtied out b/c I had turned off the wrong valve and never turned back on. After a week the tank empties out and the pump started over pumping. This was noticeable but I was having another problem with a hole in another line so did not associate the second problem.

Eventually are was lost and I had to turn off the pump. The pump lost pressure prior to my turning off. The only water lost was from the pressure change, but, after steam had started to escape. Now, I need to restore the pressure Flotec 4022-10. I was told to tighten the bolt more but want to know if anything else and what to expect. - Sera D 8/18/11

Reply:

Sera D, I'm sorry but I don't understand your question. Buty it's possible that the same crud that was clogging your water filter has clogged the pressure control switch or its sensor tube.

About steam escaping I'm totally baffled. Water well pump and tank systems don't normally have anything to do with steam, which is produce by heat - unless your water supply is a hot water natural thermal spring such as is common in Iceland and in some other parts of the world.

Question: Pump Turns Off Randomly; pressure switch clicks clicks then finally turns on

We have a relatively new well at our hunting camp/farm, about the same time the pressure switch went bad and needed replaced, ever since it was replaced (almost 2 years now) the water will go off for no apparent reason, then someone has to go to the basement and flip the switch off (water can be heard flowing at this point) then flip it back on and the pump begins to run again. It is fine for several hours and again the same thing happens. Is the low pressure cut-on set too low? - Anon 12/6/11

It is a new switch doing this and the old switch had been suffering from the same problem. "click,click,click,click, then it finally sticks or maintains contact and the pump fills up the tank and stops. My tank is in my house (pier and beam) and about 40-50' from the well so meaning my water tank is probably 3' above the level of my well if that has anything that could be a problem. I think the switch is sensing pressure surges and shutting on and off sporadically. I know this will eventually wear on the contacts much less possibly do damage to the submersible motor. Anon 7/20/12

Reply:

Check for a clogged pressure sensor or tube feeding pressure to the switch

Question: new well and pressure switch 2 years ago, now water turns off for no reason;

We have a relatively new well at our hunting camp/farm, about the same time the pressure switch went bad and needed replaced, ever since it was replaced (almost 2 years now) the water will go off for no apparent reason, then someone has to go to the basement and flip the switch off (water can be heard flowing at this point) then flip it back on and the pump begins to run again. It is fine for several hours and again the same thing happens. Is the low pressure cut-on set too low? - Gene Doverspike 12/6/11

Reply:

Check for a debris clogged pressure sensor;

check for a thermal overload problem with the pump motor.

Check for a bad pump switch relay

Question: pressure seems to cut out entirely, usually right in the middle of a shower, then takes 1 to 2 mins to cut back in

My pressure seems to cut out entirely, usually right in the middle of a shower, then takes 1 to 2 mins to cut back in. I tried making the cut-in pressure higher, but it did nothing. My pressure also seems to go too high, around 70 psi. But nothing I do seems to help. Do I just need a new switch? - Jeran 5/20/12

Reply:

Jeran I'd start by checking for a pump switch that has a clogged sensor port or pipe - clogging can slow the pump switch's response to an actual pressure drop in the system

Question: how to turn off the well pump if the tank has no water?

how to switch off a motor pump if the cistern tank has no more water ? - Roselle 8/11/11

Reply:

Roselle every pump circuit should have a manual service switch installed for manual cutoff. If someone wired the pump directly with no local on-off switch that would be unusual but in that case you'd have to find and turn off the breaker or remove the fuse controlling the electrical circuit for the pump. If there is no electrical switch to turn off the pump, ask your electrician to install one at next electrical work.

If you are asking how to prevent the pump from running when there is no water available, ask your well or plumbing supplier about a tailpiece that prevents the pump from running or running dry when the water level falls too low in the well or cistern.

Question: pressure goes up higher than pressure control switch setting

After turning off the power to my well pump and pressure switch and bleed the water pressure down to 25 psi; I returned about 10 minutes later and the pressure had gone back to 80 PSI. This is a 30/50 psi switch. Why would the pressure go back without the power to the pump and switch being on? Thanks - Steve Holloway 8/19/11

Reply:

It's embarrassing to keep guessing at the same cause for so many problems, but if the pressure gauge is accurate and working properly I suspect the pressure switch is not getting a good indication of system water pressure - check for debris clogging.

Watch out: a water pump that exceeds the pressure control switch setting can be very dangerous. If pressures in the system exceed the pressure tank's operating pressure range the tank can burst, injuring anyone nearby. Excessive water pressure can also cause other building leaks or burst pipes, floods, and ultimately costly water or mold damage in a building. I would shut off the system, drain pressure to a safe level, and call a professional.

 

 

Question: pump used for lawn irrigation shuts down after a minute but I can force it to run.

I use my pump for irrigation for my lawn. Lately, The pump engages and provides enough pressure for the sprinkler heads to start. After about 1 minute, the pressure switch cuts out and turns the pump off. If I go to the switch and hold up the lever on the left side, the pump engages again and holds pressure 30-40 psi for the remainder of the cycle. Bad switch? Any help is appreciated, thanks. - Dean G 8/20/11

Additionally, no adjustments have been made since the system was installed 4 years ago. It has been working fine until recently.

Reply:

Check for an overheating water pump and check for a clogged pressure sensor

Question: irrigation system pump short cycling on and off

(Jan 24, 2014) Ron said:

Hi. After reading through all the info here, I am reasonably sure I could make whatever adjustment is necessary, assuming it is only an adjustment. I am just not sure of which adjustment to make. I do not know the size of my tank but it is 41" tall and 49" diameter. The well runs only my irrigation system and a couple outside spigots. It is short cycling, assuming the guage is correct, in cuts in at 65 and out at 85. It does this as soon as I turn on a spigot or the sprinklers come on and keeps doing it every 3-5 seconds. What I have done so far is: Check the cut in and cut out as mentioned above, made sure tank is not waterlogged(water level sounds as if it is about 1/3 or so up tank), checked the pressure in tank via valve on top at 37.5. When I checked the pressure in tank, I did not drain anything, just simply checked with tire guage when pump was idle and water not running. Any advice what to do next would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

Reply:

Hi Ron.

Take a look at the detailed instructions aty PUMP PRESSURE SWITCH STANDARD (PSI) SETTINGS

Basically you want the pressure tank (internal bladder type) pre-charge to be just a few psi below the cut-in pressure.

A pump that uses a cut-in and out of 68/85 psi is higher than we normally see in a residential application - one would worry about faucet drips and toilet leaks. Factory pressure settings are typically 20/40 or 30/50 psi. But for an irrigation system of unknown specs the pressures you cite may be fine.

The fact that your pump comes on immediately when you open a faucet and that it is short cycling - that is turning on and off rapidly means that the pressure tank is not doing its job. I'm guessing that if the tank is really not waterlogged then water entry into the tank may be blocked (e.g. by a collapsed tank bladder). I suppose it's also possible that there is large diameter water piping and an under-sized pressure tank.

Short cycling is a different problem. See WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING : How to Diagnose "Water Pump Short Cycling" & Restore Air in a Building Water Tank" to read how to troubleshoot and fix that problem.

(Jan 24, 2014) rd36mnm said:

Thanks. What if I bump up the tank pressure to 60? Is that too much for the tank?

Reply:

Normally not. Check the specs on your tank, and be sure you have the required pressure relief valve installed too. A burst water tank can injure or even kill someone.

Pressure Control Switch Cut-in Adjustment

Question: Square D pressure switch set 30-50, can I eliminate the low pressure cut-in?

I Have suare D switch 30-50 lb. with low pressure shut off. It causes me a lot of trouble when I fill large livestock tanks,can I modify the switch to eliminate the low pressure shut off feature or must i replace the switch. thanks - Mike Jones 8/22/11

Reply:

Mike,

I'm not sure what trouble you're having with the pressure control switch, and that those details might be diagnostic.

If the pump is short cycling that's usually a pressure tank problem not a switch problem.

If the switch is burning up while staying "on" you might need to go to a two-switch system in which the Square-D switch switches on a heavy duty relay that turns on and off the pump.

Comment: clarifying the differential nut adjustment range

7 March 2015 Andy said:
Near the top of this article, it says: 'Watch out! If you loosen this nut too much you can set the cut-off pressure below the cut-on pressure and the pump will turn on and run forever (or until it burns up.)'

This doesn't make sense. If you back the differential nut off 'too much', all that means is that the differential will be at its minimum which might cause short cycling. shortcycling is of course damaging too, but the pump can't fail to shut off if the main spring is set anywhere near the standard and all other things are normal. What am I not getting here?

Reply:

Thank you Andy, you're right and we're deleting the confusing text. We appreciate your careful eye and can use all the editing help we can get.

After adjusting nut #2, the smaller nut that in most of these controls adjusts the differential between cut-in and cut-out we kept this warning

Watch out: After adjusting nut#2 you may need to check the actual operating water pressures in your system and adjust nut#1 to be sure that you are not pushing the cut-out (upper pressure) so high that the water pump never turns off (dangerous).

As your comment points out, an additional caveat could be added: don't set the differential between cut-in and cut-out too close or the pump will short-cycle.

A different error would be to set the Nut #1, the larger adjustment, cut-out pressure too high. That's a common mistake that some folks make in trying to get the highest water pressure possible in their building. The result could indeed be a pump that never shuts off and that burns up.

 

Pressure Control Switch Differential Adjustment

Question: where is the differential adjustment nut

I do see the cut in big spring and nut, but i couldnt find the differential cut off nut, is this indicating that my pump is a very old one? - Old Pump 5/9/12

Reply:

Old Pump: sounds more as if you are describing a different type of pressure control switch that does not give all of the adjustments we describe - the switch may or may not be the same age as the pump itself.

Improper differential nut on pressure switch can cause short cycling of the water pump

In adjusting the pressure control switch differential nut#2, if you completely loosened the smaller nut #2 (differential adjustment) so that the pump differential between cut-in pressure and cut-out pressure is very small the water pump may short cycle on and off rapidly when water is being run in the building.

Re-adjust the pressure control switch.

See PRESSURE SWITCH NUT ADJUSTMENTS

Improper differential nut setting on pressure control switch might also cause water pump to fail to shut off

Question: pump runs forever if the cut-out pressure is raised above 38 & differential set too low

I have a Goulds 1/2 hp J5 deep well pump with a 20 gal pressure tank. I am operating with a differential of 14 psi (20/34 cut-in/out). Due to well limitations, the maximum pressure generated by the pump is 38 psi (pump runs forever if the cut-out pressure is raised above 38).

At this setting, the small nut is completely loosened.

I would like to operate at 24/34, but if I increase the cut-in pressure to 24 (large nut), then the cut-out pressure is also increased, and the pump runs forever (small nut still completely loose).

It seems that I am limited by the Goulds pressure control switch (which is attached to the pump and monitors the pressure by a plastic tube from the pump housing).

Any solution to this? It is a fairly new pump, so simply replacing the Goulds pressure conrol switch does not guarantee a solution, since the specs of the Goulds switch apparently do not allow one to operate with a cut-in/out differential of 10 psi. - Antony 9/14/12

Reply:

Anthony

You're right that the "range nut" (see article above) shifts the whole water pressure cut-in/cut-out range up or down, while the "differential nut" widens or narrows the cut-in to cut-out pressure gap. I SPECULATE that Goulds and other water pump pressure control manufacturers don't allow the range width to be less than 10 psi because you'd find that when running water in the building the pump would be cycling on and off too rapidly.

You'd be better off to set the range so that the cut-in is at 20 psi, and then you can set the cut-out up to 34 psi.

 

 

Question: water pump short cycles - turns on and off too rapidly - the pressure switch keeps clicking on and off

First of all, my apologies if this question has already been asked and answered, I'm new to the site. I believe I have a short cycling problem. This is a cottage application. The pump cuts in at 28 psi and charges to about 42 psi and then cuts out. When the pump cuts out the pressure on the gauge drops immediately to 30 psi. Then of course after a short water usage the pump cuts in and repeats the above.

The cycle used to be charge up to 42 psi, cut out and settle at 40 psi, draw down to 30 psi and then the pump would cut in. This problem started after I needed to replace a foot valve in the cistern. Do you think it's a pressure problem in my bladder tank? If so, how can I return it the original cycle described above. Thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide. - Dan Lowry 8/27/11

(Sept 1, 2014) william said:
my well pressure switch keeps clicking on and off rapidly

Reply:

Dan that sounds like short cycling to me. I've often seen that a pressure gauge reads higher when the pump is running and drops at pump shutoff. But when you add that running just a few gallons of water turns the pump back on, that suggests that the tank has lost its air charge. If your tank really has an internal bladder, that's not supposed to happen. So if you have indeed lost the air charge, the bladder may be torn or damaged.

See these well pump short cycling diagnosis & repair articles

WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING - home

William please see the short cycling well pump diagnostics at

WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING CAUSES

and let me know how you make out

Question: Pump pressure goes up to 70 psi then immediately falls to 40 psi, many times a minute

when I flush the toilet my well pump cycles on to 70 lbs then right off and drops to 40 lbs and back on to 70 lbs then drops down to 40lbs and back on to 70 lbs it does this 21 or 22 times in a matter of just a couple of minutes then it stays at 40 or 39 lbs. I think it's doing this the whole time the toilet is filling back up? What would cause this?? - Jim Gale 10/17/11

what can be wrong with my well i put a new pressurer swithch the blader tank is good not lossing air but pump cut on and off ever two min what do i have to do to fix the problem - Anon 3/1/12

The pump is new and the pressure tank is old and the pressure switch is new. I run the water the pump clicks on and off every 10 seconds. I can see condensation line above the half way line on the tank. Whats the problem? - Rep 6/5/12

My switch cycles constantly and finally (sticks and holds contact. Is this an air pressure problem in my water tank? - Martin 7/19/12

My well is for outdoor irrigation only and has a very small (maybe 3-5 gallon?) bladder tank and pressure switch set-up. When I turn on a hose the pump clicks on and then off immediately, just a few seconds then the water pressure from the hose dwindles down and then the pump kicks back on just for a second and right back off so I get a burst of water then the dwindling again & it just keeps going like that. Isn't the point of the pressure switch & bladder tank to make the pump stay on while water is running, keeping the pressure constant? What adjustment to the pressure switch should I make....increase or decrease the cut-on or cut-off point? - Jen 7/20/12

Reply:

Everyone above and Martin, I'm not 100% sure of course, but I don't think it's an air problem.

Short cycling of a water pump describes the pump turning on and off too often when water is running, but not a sticky or misbehaving pressure switch.

Burned switch contacts, a failing switch, a loose connection in the wiring, or a dirt-clogged sensor port on the pressure control switch base or in the tube that conducts water pressure to the switch are more likely at fault.

Martin when you swapped in the new switch, if you left a clogged tube on which the switch mounts or that feeds water pressure to the switch, even the sensor port on the new one could be blocked as well.

I'd also check voltage levels.

And that the pressure tank is not waterlogged.

Jen when the pump turns on and then immediately off it's as if there is no air in the pressure tank - so as water is not very compressible, the system reaches cutoff pressure immediately. If the irrigation system draws water fast enough, or if the pressure tank has an air charge, the symptom you describe should not occur.

Take a look at WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING. I think your water tank may be waterlogged

Question: is the pressure switch setting causing short cycling of the pump?

my airbladder tank pressure came pre set at 38psi but the pressure switch is 20/40 is this causing the switch to cycle on off on off? second question, there does not seem to be water in the tank,why? i get water from the spigot with pressure and the guage jumps right from 20 to 40 and back again. why? - Patty 9/17/12

Reply: pressure tank [starting pressure at installation] should be 2 psi below the cut in pressure of the pump

Patty,
The pressure in the pressure tank should always be 2 psi below the cut in pressure of the pump. First, check the gauge when the pump first kicks in before shutting down the pump. Then, turn off the pump. Shut the water supply off to the pump, drain the pressure tank by opening the faucet furthest from the pressure tank, then release all the air from the pressure tank.

Refill the tank with air to 18 psi if the pump is actually cutting in at 20 psi. When you turn the pump back on it will fill the pressure tank and will stop cycling unless you have a leak somewhere or dirty filters. - reply from WaterWorks 9/21/2012

 

Question: I'm having trouble getting the right settings on the pressure control switch

I have just replaced all parts between the well pump and the pipe going into the house, reason was I had a leak and a broken check valve so the system was sucking in air and letting the water reside back down into the well.

My issue now is, that I have a cut in at 38 PSI, and should have a 20 PSI delta, however the Presure Switch does not turn off until 66 PSI. I have adjusted the big nut to get the cut in down to 38, used to be higher, however I an not able to get the pump to turn off at 58 / 60 PSI. The little nut is released to the point where the spring is almost loose, any suggestions or do I have a "Old" faulty pressure switch and need to replace it?

I have put in new pressure tank and the pump runs approx 3 min from when it kicks in at 38 PSI, to it has put pressure on the systems to 66 PSI, however if we have 2 faucets open at the same time the system struggles to get to 66 PSI - Thomas 9/1/11

Here is a little info I gathered, from what I have read mine system seems like it has some poor adjustments:
I have a Square D 9013FSQ2 Pressure Switch I checked my cut-in which is 58lbs and cut-out at 69 lbs and i put a tire guage on my pressure tank and it read 70 lbs seems a little crazy. I have a submersible pump at a depth of 120'. I am going to replace the pressure switch since I feel that is my breaker popping problem.

But with these readings I have bad adjustments. it has been like this for almost 11 years now, just dont want future problems. Could someone help me with what all these settings should be and best way to adjust them. I like higher pressure for watering lawn etc. but dont want problems. - David 11/5/11

(Nov 4, 2014) frankjardin@gmail.com said:
What are the reneges of 30- 50 can you lower the hight side to 40 psi

Reply:

Thomas

I wonder if you carried the adjustment too far. Typically residential switches run 20/40 or 30/50 psi.

Check the labels and instructions that are on your switch to be double sure it works the same way as the models I've described above.

It isn't odd for a pump to run continuously when multiple faucets are open - it's a function of the pump's ability to deliver water (gpm, or pump horsepower) AND the well flow rate.

Yes, Frank.

On a typical pressure control switch rated for 30-50 you could lower the cut-out to 40 psi - you might also want to lower the cut-in down closer to 20 so as to minimize short cycling the pump

Question: water leak at the pressure control switch

think I have all that adjusted correctly but I have a small water leak at the pressure switch.... I'm assuming there is a gasket in there that needs to be changed? am I right? - Kerry 9.14/11

water is leaking up through the base of the pressure switch. what did I do wrong? - Jerry Jandreau 7/2/12

Reply:

Check the bottom of the switch for plumbing leaks. If there are no leaks at pipe connections I suspect the switch diaphragm is ruptured - replace the switch.

Question: should the pressure sensing tube to the switch contain water?

I am replacing the control switch on my pump. My question is does the small line (1/4") running from the pump to the switch have to be filled with water? will an air gap cause pressure reading problems? - John O 9/25/11

Reply:

John O I wondered the same thing - does the small diameter copper or plastic tubing connecting the pressure sensor base of the pressure control switch to the water pump (or pressure tank) need to be filled with water or not? It should not make any difference. The pressure switch senses pressure by water or air pressing in on a diaphraghm located on the switch bottom. The diaphraghm doesn't know if it's being pressed-on by air or water. If the water pressure in the tank is, say 30 psi, the air in the line will also be compressed to 30 psi.

Question: how much water should be in the pressure tank? Any?

Should there be water in my water pressure tank? - Paul 10/3/11

Reply:

Paul:

If your pressure tank is a type that uses an internal bladder, it may be nearly empty at the bottom of the pumping cycle - that is, at the point that your pump turns on.

If your water pressure tank is a bladdeless steel or fiberglass unit, then normally there will be some water in the tank bottom even at the end of the pumping cycle.

Select one of these articles to get the right amount of water and air in your pressure tank:

STEEL WATER TANKS, BLADDERLESS

WATER TANK AIR, HOW TO ADD

WATER TANK AIR INLET VALVE

WATER TANK AIR LOSS SIGNS

WATER TANK AIR VALVE REPAIRS

WATER TANK AIR VOLUME CONTROL REPAIR

WATER TANK BLADDERS

WATER TANK BLADDER PRESSURE ADJUST

 

 

 

Question: new pump and tank, but no water is being delivered and the gauge says pressure is not changing.

I have just fitted a new borehole pum and a new pressure vessel. The pump runs then cuts off at 3 bar on the pressure guage. There dosn't appear to be any water in the bladder at all.

The pressure vessel is at just over 2 bar. When I released pressure form the vessel the pressure at the switch dropped as well. Water does flow but there is no water in the tank. How do I set the system so the tank fills. - Nick 3/14/12

Reply:

If the pressure control switch does not respond to changes in water pressure, and assuming the switch and pump have power, check for a debris-clogged pressure control switch. The same problem may be plaguing the stuck pressure gauge

If the pump runs but you get no water then there is a different problem: no well water, well piping leak, etc.

See WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSIS, PRIVATE WELL

 

 

 

Question: Water Hammer Noises

Will the pressure pump damage the washing machine, water heater etc? in a one story house?

Is it true that Preasure pumps fitted in a house with one floor only spoils the washing machine,water heater etc and presure pumps should not be used for such one floored house. - K Sriram

14 Feb 2015 Doug said:
When checking or adding pressure to bladder style tank should the pressure be set a few pounds below the set on pressure (40-60) switch (38) or should it be set at the higher level around (58) ?

Seems to be a water hammer effect as pump shuts off at (58)

Doug

Reply:

K Sriram

I cannot undertand any reason why a well water pump would damage plumbing in a one story house in some way related to the house height. The pressure operating range - 20-40 psi or 30-50 psi is within the normal operating range of plumbing fixtures and appliances. In other words, No not in any way I can see. Maybe there is some condition someone knows about that we've never come across??

Watch out: other water pressure variations such as that caused by water hammer can indeed damage appliances, piping, controls, valves, etc. Details are at WATER HAMMER NOISE DIAGNOSE & CURE

Doug, in addition to looking into and addressing the water hammer noise, you want to see
WATER TANK BLADDER PRESSURE ADJUSTMENT

Low Water Pressure vs Pressure Control Switch Problems

Question: low water pressure after replacing a pressure control switch

Replaced the pressure control switch on a 30/50 unit as well as pressure gauge. Water pressure has been very low since. Turns on at 30 and shuts off at 50 so its working. Had no water pressure problem before replacing. Replaced once we found a leak that tied back to the pressure switch. Do I need to adjust pressure on/off or is it the pump? - Eric Det 10/9/12

Reply:

Eric, if the pump turns on at 30 and off at 50 psi, then your pump, control, and water pressure are normal. I suspect that we're mixing up water pressure - something you measure with a guage when no water is running - and water flow rate - how fast and hard does water come out of the tap.

Bad water flow rate (that people may indeed loosely call call "water pressure") can be caused by lots of different problems ranging from a poor well flow rate or clogged building piping to simply clogged strainers and shower heads.

Take a look at WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSIS for WELLS for a procedure that should get to the bottom of this problem.

Question: Low water pressure in just some areas

(Aug 16, 2014) Greg said:

I hope this hasn't been answered already... I looked and couldn't find the answer...

The pressure in the kitchen is good (usually), but in the two bathrooms it is very low. I want it to be higher. Currently it seems the pressure cuts out around 60. Can I just increase it to 70 to help this problem, realizing it won't fix the problem entirely, or will that risk possibly doing some kind of damage to something else?

Thank you for any help!

Reply:

Greg

When pressure is good in some locations and bad at others, the best approach is to find and remove the blockage in the supply piping. Pushing the pressure to 70 psi may reduce the complaint, it won't address the cause, and it slightly increases the risk of fixture leaks.

(Aug 17, 2014) Anonymous said:

Thank you for the reply/help! I'll try to figure out the blockage, although not sure I'm going to be successful there.

Question on Finding Pressure Switch Sources & Parts

(May 21, 2014) Lyndsee said:

Where can I find a contact switch thats attached to the side of a goulds pump?

Reply:

Lyndsee,

At WATER PUMP PRESSURE CONTROL we discuss identifying the brand and model of pressure control switch for your pump. They are available from plumbing suppliers.

 

 

Continue reading at PRESSURE SWITCH NUT ADJUSTMENTS or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.

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

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