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Well pump or water pump protection switch & control FAQs:

Questions & answers about switches & controls useful to protect a water pump from damage if the well runs out of water or if the pump is not turning off for any reason. FAQs about how to protect the well pump from damage due to pump short on-off cycling or protect the well pump and its circuit from electrical overloads or lightning damage?

This article series describes all of the devices to protect water pumps from damage from continuous running, short cycling, overloading, no well water, low yield wells, power surges, or lightning strikes.



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Water Pump Protection Switch Questions & Answers, FAQs

Cla-Val PC-1 Pump Control Panel with status indicator lights, Cla-Val Inc., www.cla-val.com

Questions & answers about water pump or pressure pump protection devices, posted originally at WATER PUMP PROTECTION SWITCH - topic home.

Question: our pump control trips off and we have to re-set it using the lever on the control

7/27/2014 Ben Seguin said:

Hello,
My water system consist of a submersible pump with pressure tanks. The pump is about 15 years old but the tank and control are just over 1 year old. The systems works fine most of the time except when we happen to create a large water demand - shower, dish washing and flushing the toilet at at once. IN that instance the control trip off and we loose all water pressure in the house. We then have to go to the control and reset the pump by using the small lever on the side of the control. Could use trouble shooting advice.
Thanks

This question and reply were originally posted at NO WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSTIC FAQs

The Cla-Val pump protection control shown at left is discussed at WATER PUMP PROTECTION SWITCH

[Click to enlarge any image]

Reply:

From what you describe most likely the control is working properly, protecting the pump from damage by shutting the system down when your well is running out of water - when the demand exceeds the well flow rate. When you wait a time for well to recover the pump is then OK. Some pump pressure control switches require manual reset.

More explanation is in the article above.

Question: new well pump burned up after 15 months

25 Feb 2015 JD said:
My well pump was replaced 15 months ago and burned out last week. The installer thought the problem was due to iron in the water clogging the check valves. Besides the check valve that comes in the pump there is a gate type check valve and an additional spring check valve above the pump. There is also a 6 GPM reducer in addition to the 3 check valves. Does this seem excessive?

This question was originally posted in the CHECK VALVES, WATER SUPPLY

Reply:

JD

If your installer can show you a clogged check valve s/he'd be on reasonable ground, as if a pump can't push water into the pressure tank to satisfy the pressure control switch it'd keep running and risk burnout.

A check valve installed backwards or one that is stuck shut can also burn up a pump.

Flow reducers have a different purpose: to slow the flow rate out of the well in an effort to avoid burning up a pump in a well that has a slow recovery or flow rate into the well bore. The presence of that device on your system makes me suspect that the root problem is poor well flow rate; if the pump gets ahead of the flow rate into the well bore it can indeed burn up unless it's protected.

InspectApedia has more advice about well pump protection devices in the article above.

Question: using the manual over-ride on pump switch

(Sept 14, 2014) Anonymous said:
My tank will only fill if I do it manually. I need to push the reset button on the outlet to fill and to turn it off. What is going on?

Reply:

Anon: don't keep manually running the pump as you may be over-riding a pump protection circuit. The risk is ruining the pump motor. I'd ask for help from your pump and well plumber.

Question: automatic shut off switch that will turn off the well water pump if a pipe breaks

(Mar 25, 2015) Anonymous said:
I am looking for an automatic shut off switch that will turn off the well water pump if a pipe breaks in the house and no one is there to turn it off. We have a mountain house that we visit about once a month and sometimes forget to turn off the water pump. This would be a back up safety switch that would need to be manually turned back on once tripped.

Reply:

Check out the Pumpstop product described at WATER PUMP PROTECTION SWITCH but keep in mind that a pump doesn't know if it is being called on to deliver water continuously because people are running water in the building or if the demand for water is from a broken water pipe.

Question: pressure switch cycles the pump on and off at end of pump cycle

(June 30, 2015) Laurent said:
My pressure switch goes on and off a few times when the pump start and stop. Its new pressure switch. Is the problem is in my water thank. Thank's

Reply:

I'd check first for a water-logged pressure tank and second for a debris clogged pressure sensor tube transmitting pressure to the switch. A pressure cut off setting that is close to the pump's maximum capacity can also cause this symptom. So you could also see if the problem stops by dropping the cut-out pressure a few psi.

Question:

(Aug 21, 2015) Siva Eppe said:
I would like to know whether there is any device which makes the 1HP AC Motor on when drinking water comes into the pipe line and Motor off when water goes out of the pipeline.

Reply:

Sorry I don't understand the question. But in case it helps, see WATER PUMP PRESSURE SENSITIVE

Question: relief valve opened when they were gone & water filled the basement.

(Oct 26, 2015) Thor said:
My sisters pressure relief valve opened when they were gone & water filled the basement. I suspect the switch did not shut down & the pressure surpassed 70psi opening the valve. Any ideas on a safeguard to prevent this from happening again.

Reply:

1. your sister needs an on-site diagnosis of what caused the relief valve to open - before we know the cause we can't make a proper repair or cure

2. as a basement can flood for other reasons such as a burst pipe or roof runoff mis-handling, a basement water alarm system might help your sister

Question:

(Jan 14, 2016) peter said:
I just installed a new shallow well 1.5 hp water pump. When I run it, it runs for about 30 seconds, then the internal breaker shuts the pump off?? Any suggestions?

Reply:

Peter,

Check for

Low voltage
Bad capacitor
Seized motor
Seized impeller

Watch out for death from electrical hazatds. Hire an electrician if you are not qualified to do these tests.

Question: device which protect water pump like submersible or well type from burning / short circuting

(Feb 7, 2016) shubham said:
Is there any device which protect water pump like submersible or well type from burning/short circuting.

Reply:

Sure,

the circuit breaker or fuse for the pump circuit

a thermal overload switch in some pump motors

a separate pump protection switch that protects against overheating or damage if well water runs low or if pump is short cycling

see the devices described at WATER PUMP PROTECTION SWITCH

Question: water pressure going into the tank varies by as much as 40-70 lbs when the pump shuts off

(Feb 24, 2016) JimB said:
We have a well with a submersible pump for a single family home. The water pressure going into the tank varies by as much as 40-70 lbs when the pump shuts off. Before this it had shut off at a steady 40 lbs. Why is it fluxuating so much now? Is it possible that the pressure control switch is going bad?

Reply:

If the pump is shutting off before the cutoff pressure the gauge or the pressure switch may be debris clogged.

Question: pump starts & stops on 20 second interval, driving me mad

(Apr 15, 2016) Soran said:
Hi. I have a submersible pump 100 m below ground. The water flow for arround 20 sec then it stop and start again with strong prsure. I have no problem with water inside the well. Any idea please it drives me mad

Reply:

Soran

That sounds like a control, switch, or wiring problem. Start by watching the pressure gauge and control switch as water flows and pressure drops, to see when the switch is or is not turning on the pump. The switch may be defective. Also check for a leak in well piping or building water piping. See WATER PUMP INTERMITTENT CYCLING

Question: How do I protect my pump from power fluctuations in Tampa Florida

2016/05/29 Steve said:
How do i protect my pump from power fluctuations

Reply:

Steve:

Great question. As my Tampa FL home inspector genius Mark Cramer says, ".... well, .... it depends".

I would start by finding out the range of voltage fluctuations that occurs in your area - your power company can tell you. Compare that with what the pump manufacturer says their pump can tolerate.

We need also to understand if your area experiences power surges or spikes (sudden big rises in voltage) - (just install a surge protector on your pump circuit) or power drops - below nominal voltage. Those are opposite problems and have different effects. But both can damage the equipment.

Power surges can be protected against with a point-of-use surge protector for a specific device as well as (and separately from) a surge protector installed at your electrical service entrance. The latter protects everything in your electrical system. Beware that some surge protectors that protect against a surge caused by electrical storms (lightning strikes) may be burned-up following a strike and will then need replacement.

To protect from low voltage (power drops) you can install an electrical power load controller. These devices can respond to a power drop in a fraction of a second. (Example: a UPC Universal Power Cell from Load Controls Inc.) Here is an excerpt from the installation instructions of one of those UPCs

The Universal Power Cell is a Motor Load Sensor that monitors power (HP or KW). It works on both fixed and variable frequency power and has two analog outputs. It also works on single phase, DC, and brushless DC. The Universal Power Cell has Three Balanced Hall Effect Sensors, each with a flux concentrator. Each phase passes through a window. A voltage sample for each phase is also taken. The Hall Effect Semiconductor does a vector multiplication of the current flow and voltage which also calculates the power factor. The output is proportional to power (HP or KW).

You can contact the manufacturer I just cited at
Load Controls Inc.
53 Technology Park Road
Sturbridge, MA 01566Toll-free: 888-600-3247
Phone: 508-347-2606
FAX: 508-347-2064
E-mail: Sales@LoadControls.com

If you have frequent voltage drops below what the pump motor safely tolerates and power **outage** you'd need a backup power supply or power conditioner system. At inspectApedia.com we discuss this problem in our articles on ELECTRICAL GENERATORS.

Question: manual reset pressure switch, it frequently trip

(Aug 8, 2015) Damion said:
Ever since my pl umber installed a manual reset pressure switch, it frequently trips which requires reset. Which direction should the larger nut be adjusted?

Reply:

Damion, the article WATER PUMP PROTECTION SWITCH explains how the pressure cut-out and cut-in settings are made on a typical pressure control switch.

But the manual reset is a different feature. That is installed to protect a pump from damage that occurs when the pump runs dry because the well water flow is not keeping up with the pump demand. Messing with the pressure control switch won't fix that. You need an expert to examine your well and piping checking for:

1. loss of pump prime
2. leaks in well piping
3. poor well flow rate

Question: pump stops if I run two faucets at once

(Aug 24, 2015) Anonymous said:
when my water pump is running and i open two taps at the same time my pump shuts off. Why does it do this?

Reply:

Possibly your pump has a pump protection switch that is shutting down the system. These switches are intended to protect a pump from damage caused by running "dry" if the water quantity drawn exceeds the well flow rate. It's possible that the switch, IF that is the problem, is a bit touchy.

When you open the second tap, does water flow stop completely at both taps or does it first diminish to a slow rate at one or both?

Is the pump really stopping or are you simply seeing much reduced water flow?

If the latter, I suspect clogged pipes.

On 2017-03-05 by (mod) re: Pump switch doesn't kick on at low water pressure

Ed
I would check first for a debris clogged pressure control switch.

On 2017-03-04 by Ed

Well pump squire S pump switch falls to kick on when water pressure is below 30 this doesn't happen all the time

On 2016-11-26 by (mod) re: can electrical motor overload cause a fire?

An electrical motor that is defective and causing an overload might be the underlying source of a fire IF in addition the overload protection circuit or device did not work as it should.

On 2016-11-26 by h.yaseen45845

Sir, can electrical motor cause fire to the power switch because of return power supply from the electrical motor 230V-240v single phase, and there is overload protection and ELCB;
1) pump size 1hp
2) isolator switch 32A.
3) 2.5mm wire.
supply given from distribution Board with all prediction MCB-ELCB.
pump supplied direct from D.B. with MCB 32A.

thanks.

On 2016-11-17 by Anonymous

What method sih time can be calculated for centrifugal pump?

On 2016-10-22 by (mod) re: signs of a failed pump pressure control switch

Sounds like a failed pump control switch, Justin.

On 2016-10-22 14:03:45.689385 by Justin gold

Comercial water pump, pumptrol pressure switch, and control box with auto and manual, it has always ran fine but all of a sudden nothing wants to work on auto, they work on manual, the pressure switch clicks on with auto but doesn't fire up the pump

On 2016-07-22 by (mod) re: water entry or leak detection product sources to shut off a well pump

Certainly there are water entry detectors; you'd need to run the pump through such a device. Some of these include controls that can take some action in event of a leak detection.

For example
Aqualeak Detection ltd.
at http://www.wayscale.com/water-leak-detection/products-overview

On 2016-07-21 by Doug

Does anyone make or sell a system that will shut a well pump down if water is detected in a basement (or any other room that is not supposed to be wet)?

On 2016-06-12 by (mod) re: finding a tankless water pressure booster pump

Search InspectAPedia for PRESSURE SENSITIVE WATER PUMP to see a type of pump and control that may do what you want.

On 2016-06-12 by Harish

I need a water pump to quickly extract water from low pressure mucipal supply lines to start automaticallywhenmucipal water is released and to get shutoff when water release is stopped preferably with self priming function

On 2016-05-30 by (mod) re: where to get controls or devices to protect pumps from electrical power surges

Steve:

Great question. As my Tampa FL home inspector genius Mark Cramer says, ".... well, .... it depends".

I would start by finding out the range of voltage fluctuations that occurs in your area - your power company can tell you. Compare that with what the pump manufacturer says their pump can tolerate.

We need also to understand if your area experiences power surges or spikes (sudden big rises in voltage) - (just install a surge protector on your pump circuit) or power drops - below nominal voltage. Those are opposite problems and have different effects. But both can damage the equipment.

Power surges can be protected against with a point-of-use surge protector for a specific device as well as (and separately from) a surge protector installed at your electrical service entrance. The latter protects everything in your electrical system. Beware that some surge protectors that protect against a surge caused by electrical storms (lightning strikes) may be burned-up following a strike and will then need replacement.

To protect from low voltage (power drops) you can install an electrical power load controller. These devices can respond to a power drop in a fraction of a second. (Example: a UPC Universal Power Cell from Load Controls Inc.) Here is an excerpt from the installation instructions of one of those UPCs
The Universal Power Cell is a Motor Load Sensor that monitors power (HP or KW). It works on both fixed and variable frequency power and has two analog outputs. It also works on single phase, DC, and brushless DC. The Universal Power Cell has Three Balanced Hall Effect Sensors, each with a flux concentrator. Each phase passes through a window. A voltage sample for each phase is also taken. The Hall Effect Semiconductor does a vector multiplication of the current flow and voltage which also calculates the power factor. The output is proportional to power (HP or KW).

If you have frequent voltage drops below what the pump motor safely tolerates and power **outage** you'd need a backup power supply or power conditioner system. At inspectApedia.com we discuss this problem in our articles on ELECTRICAL GENERATORS.

Load Controls Inc.
53 Technology Park Road
Sturbridge, MA 01566Toll-free: 888-600-3247
Phone: 508-347-2606
FAX: 508-347-2064
E-mail: Sales@LoadControls.com

On 2016-05-28 by Steve

How do i protect my pump from power fluctuations

...


Continue reading at WATER PUMP PROTECTION SWITCH or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

Or see WATER PUMP WONT STOP RUNNING

Or see WATER PUMP PRESSURE CONTROL REPAIR

Or see SNIFTER & DRAIN BACK VALVES for pump protection related to freezing well pipes

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