Question? Just ask us!
Free Encyclopedia of Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, Repair
InspectAPedia ® Home
WATER PUMPS, TANKS, TESTS, WELLS, REPAIRS
WATER PUMP CAPACITIES TYPES RATES GPM
WATER PUMP CONTROLS & SWITCHES
CHECK VALVES, WATER SUPPLY
CHECK VALVES, HEATING SYSTEM
FOOT VALVES, WELL PIPING
RELIEF VALVE, WATER TANK
MAIN WATER SHUTOFF VALVE
WATER PUMP ELECTRICAL SWITCHES
WATER PUMP PRESSURE CONTROL SWITCH
WATER PUMP RELAY SWITCH
WATER PUMP PRESSURE CONTROL SWITCH
WATER PUMP PRIMING PROCEDURE
WATER PUMP DIAGNOSTIC TABLE
WATER PUMP REPAIR GUIDE
WATER PUMP SAFETY
WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING
WATER PUMP LIFE EXPECTANCY
WATER PUMP, ONE LINE JET
WATER PUMP, ONE LINE JET OPERATION
PUMP, TWO LINE JET
PUMP, TWO LINE JET OPERATION
PUMP, SUBMERSIBLE OPERATION
PUMPS, OTHER Kinetic Water Ram, Manual, Artesian
WATER PRESSURE BOOSTER PUMP
PUMP & TANK REPAIRS & COSTS
WATER PUMP WONT STOP RUNNING
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.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2014 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
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
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
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
I 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
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.
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
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
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?
Ray, Check these two key diagnostic approaches
your well may be running out of water but it makes sense first to go through the diagnostic steps suggested in those articles.
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
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
How to increase the water pump pressure control cut-in and cut-out pressure:
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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'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
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.
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
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 )
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.
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.
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
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
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.
Also take a look at PUMP NEVER STOPS
Thanks for the reply Dan,
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
how to switch off a motor pump if the cistern tank has no more water ? - Roselle 8/11/11
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.
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
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.
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.
(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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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
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
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
Everyone above and Martin, I'm not 100% sure of course, but I don't think it's an air problem.
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
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
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.
Here is a little info I gathered, from what I have read mine system seems like it has some poor adjustments:
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
Thomas I wonder if you carried the adjustment too far. Typically residential switches run 20/40 or 30/50 psi.
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
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.
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
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.
Should there be water in my water pressure tank? - Paul 10/3/11
Select one of these articles to get the right amount of water and air in your pressure tank:
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
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.
Question: 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
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
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
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!
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?
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.
Suggested citation for this web page
Green link shows where you are in this article series.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
No FAQs have been posted for this page. Try the search box below or CONTACT US by email if you cannot find the answer you need at InspectApedia.
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
HTML Comment Box is loading comments...
Technical Reviewers & References