Standard settings for a well pump pressure control switch:
This article describes how to adjust building water pressure by setting the water pump cut-in and cut-out pressure on the well water pump pressure control switch.
We also point to our article on how to adjust building municipal or community water pressure at a building.Contact Us by email if you are having trouble finding the information you need.
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Most residential water systems using a water pressure tank and water pump use one of these two pressure operating ranges:
You can't just set the pump pressure as high as you want to. Here's what can go wrong with excessive pump pressure control settings:
We have a well and have been experiencing intermittent low water pressure.
I checked the pump and it cuts in at 25 PSI and cuts off at 65 PSI. But the diagram on the inside of the pump switch cover indicates that it should be cutting in at 40 PSI and out at 60 PSI. It has a maximum PSI of 80.
How do I get the well pump to cut in at 40 PSI instead of 25 PSI? I believe this would give us adequate water pressure at all times.
According to the information on your website adjusting the mainspring will change both the cut in and cut off pressures and adjusting the differential will adjust only the cut off pressure. Apparently, there is no way to adjust only the cut in pressure? Thanks for your help. - L.W.
A competent onsite inspection by an expert usually finds additional clues that help accurately diagnose a water pressure or pump problem.
And your cause of inadequate water pressure might be due to more than just the static pressure capability of the pump. For example, the pump's maximum flow rate in gpm could be inadequate, or you could have a partly closed water valve or clogged water pipe. Put another way, many homes that operate between 30 and 50 psi have very good water pressure and flow rate at the fixtures. So if you don't there may be another problem besides the pressure switch settings.
That said, here are some things to consider:
Most pump pressure controls are tricky to adjust in the way you mentioned, but you should be able to set the cut-in to a higher number and then adjust the cut-in - cut-out pressure differential to keep the cut-out pressure from being too high. That will cause your well pump to turn sooner when you start running water (and will cycle it more often, a factor in pump wear).
At PUMP PRESSURE CONTROL ADJUSTMENT we explain that the smaller nut on the pump control switch adjusts the differential or gap between cut in and cut out and the larger nut raises the cut-in pressure (as well as cut off).
In other words you can set the cut in pressure higher and then narrow the differential so that the cut-off pressure is not dangerously high or above what the pump can reach.
Watch out: don't run the water pressure control with too narrow a differential between the cut-in and cut-out or the pump may just sit there short-cycling until you burn up the motor. If your pump is staying on for less than 30 seconds (I prefer longer), you may be heading for trouble.
Watch out: setting the cut-out water pressure too high can cause the pump to never turn off or at high pressures you may find leaks at fixtures. And high water pressure that exceeds the rated water tank pressure can burst the tank - a very dangerous event. Also make sure your pressure tank has a relief valve installed.
The fact that your low water pressure is intermittent might in fact point to a problem with the well flow rate itself. (WELL YIELD DEFINITION)
Once the well pump turns on and presuming you are running water continuously, especially if more than one fixture is running, you may see that your pump runs continuously until you turn the water off. If this is the case, it's not the starting water pressure setting that is at fault, it's the pump or piping or well that is limiting the water flow rate.
If I'm right that means that the water flow rate through the system, from well through pump and pipes, elbows, valves, etc. is just not enough, and further diagnosis is in order.
Our photo of copper supply piping (above left) was sent by reader Tom.C. who was tracking down a clog in the supply piping that meant poor water pressure from the point of the fitting you see above onwards through the plumbing fixtures served by that pipe.
Looks like I will call a plumber. I adjusted the mainspring to raise the cut-in/cut-out range but there was no change.
The water pump switch was faulty and had to be replaced. Also the line going into the water tank was clogged and had to be rodded out. Working fine now.
The homeowner attempted to adjust the pressure control switch for the water pump. When he turned the adjusting nut the water pump behavior and water pressure did not change. That observation led to calling a plumber who replaced the pressure control switch - which solved the water pressure problem.
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My pump pressure starts at 55 psi. I turn my irrigation on and the pressure starts to drop till about 30 psi. Then the well pump kicks in and the pressure starts to go up and a few minutes later it starts to go down until 10 psi. The pump is still running. When the pump kicks in, it sounds nice and smooth and when the pressure start to drop to 10 psi, it sounds pretty bad. But when I turn the irrigation off the pump sound goes from bad to good until pressure start to build up. Is the pump cavitating or one of my valve is going bad? - Phil.
The horrible noise you describe is often caused by air cavitation in a water pump that has either lost its prime or is attempting to pull water from a well whose water supply has been exhausted.
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
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.
I have very low water pressure, so a neighbor turned it up for me. I couldn't even get Dawn to suds up in my sink! But now the pump runs until it gets hot & throws the breaker switch. Sometimes it keeps clicking on & off.
What can I do to get good pressure, but not burn the pump up? I don't quite get this cut-in & cut-out thing. - Gwen 5/7/11
Watch out: do not try setting up the pressure on the pump pressure control switch in this case. Since your pump is tripping the circuit breaker there is a problem to find and fix first: such as a failing pump motor, wiring error, or other unsafe condition.
The pressure control switch sets the water pressure at which your pump turns on and off. Typically these switches are set to turn on at 20 and off at 40 psi or on at 30 and off at 50 psi.
If your neighbor set the pump cut-out pressure too high, your water pump may simply be unable to ever reach the "Cut off" pressure - so the pump will run until it overheats and shuts off by an internal thermal overload switch. Usually these switches reset automatically when the pump cools down.
But running the pump this way is
- DANGEROUS - too much pressure could burst a water pressure tank or other plumbing parts, even injuring someone
- and it can ruin your well pump by burning out the motor
You need help from someone with a bit more expertise, perhaps a real plumber who knows how to adjust the pump pressure control correctly.
my pump runs 30 to 55 psi and when irragation kicks on drops and to 30 then runs up to 40 and pump runs continious and I had to replace pressure switch old one melted - Joe Faino 5/19/11
Joe Faino: regarding "I had to replace pressure switch old one melted" - it sounds as if when your irrigation system is running the pump runs continuously because you are drawing out water at a rate that keeps the pump running all the time that the irrigation system is running. But it's common for a pump to run continuously under those conditions. If the pressure control switch melted, most likely there is a different problem, perhaps burned contacts or a voltage or even an installation or wiring issue.
If your well pump is a submersible unit (it is in the well) and a higher amperage motor is used, it could be that the current draw exceeds the rating of the pump pressure control switch. This is a common problem where higher horsepower well pumps are used. If that is the case, your plumber or well installer might want to change the wiring and controls for your well pump to use the pressure control switch to in turn switch a separate, high-capacity well pump relay switch that in turn sends power to the pump. The pressure control switch turns on the pump relay switch and the pump relay switch turns on and off the pump itself.
More about the separate well pump relay switch are found in the article whose link you will see at the "More Reading" links at the bottom of this article , titled WATER PUMP RELAY SWITCH
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:
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
Charlie: if you have no water pressure at all I think you may best take a look at the diagnostic guide in the article linked-to at the "More Reading" links at the bottom of this article and titled WATER PUMP PROBLEM DIAGNOSTIC TABLE
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 )
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 tank pressure was to 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
Check for a debris-clogged stuck pressure gauge. The same problem may be plaguing the pressure control switch.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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??
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.
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
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.
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
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
thank for the information. we dont have the money to hire some one to do this it is the well itself so how do i do it ourselves - Mike 7/29/12
Try reviewing the article above where the details of the water pump pressure control switch adjustment are described; if your switch does not match the one described then you just need to know the switch brand and model in order to go to the manufacturer to obtain the exact adjustment instructions.
Watch out: messing with a pump pressure control switch exposes live electrical connections - you can be killed if you touch live wires. Another catastrophe to avoid is setting the pressure too high, causing leaks or worse, a burst water tank that could injure anyone nearby.
I have 3/4 HP pump with its own pressure switch. The output of the pump will feed the Xtrol 120gal bladder tank (straight tee without gauge and valve). The second and last bladder 40gal tank has a standard tee with pressure switch (30-50psi), valve, gauge and pressure relief. Both are pre-set at 28 psi. These two tanks have different draw capacities. Primed the pump properly; turned on the pump and its gauge read 40-42 psi.
The reading at the second tank is 30 psi. pump never stopped until automatic shut-off kicked in due to heat (ran straight more than 5 mins.) When it stopped, its gauge read 40 psi, the gauge on the last tank read 30 psi. I have water at the toilet. It filled the toilet tanks about 5-6 flushes and then the pressure at the second tank read 20 psi and then the pump kicks in.
I was able to tilt both tanks easily. Note that the pressure switch at the 2nd tank is not connected to the pump but to the power supply only. Do I need a pressure switch at the tank at all since there's one at the pump or vice-versa?
No leaks as far as I know between the well exit pipes to the 2nd tank.
Any help is very much appreciated. - Antoine 10/1/2012
Antoine, without a sketch I don't have a clear understanding of your installation. It sounds as if you may be installing pressure tanks in series, or in parallel, maybe feeding different building areas - I just don't know.
But in general, if a pressure control switch is set higher than a pump can achieve, the pump will never shut off. We offer diagnostics for this problem at WATER PUMP WONT STOP RUNNING.
Also take a close look at exactly where your pressure control switch is located - it needs to be near the tank whose pressure it is to sense.
Finally, check that the pressure control switch sensor port has not become debris clogged - that will prevent proper pressure sensing. The fix is to replace the 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
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
I installed a new 35 gallon bladder tank and seems I have no water going into the tank, 40/60 switch, tank pressure is set at 38 psi. water pressure drops and a blast of cool water comes ouy before pump kicks on ? - James Miller 11/9/12
I'm baffled by this interesting question. Blast of cool water comes out of where? It sounds as if you have a piping or installation problem or a tank with a bladder that is stuck in the collapsed position.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
May 10, 2014) H20 said:
my Pump humms and i have to manually spin the spindle to get it running ,it only does it now and again, my pump cuts on and off alright but would improper adjustment on the square D 20-40 make it do this?
If your pump motor uses a start capacitor, that's what needs replacing to get the pump going, though it may be that even that won't salvage a motor with an open start winding.
(May 19, 2014) H20 said:
i think i finally got this right .. is it okay if my 20-40 square D made in china (lol) pressure Switch cut's on at 32 psi and off at 51 psi ? is this acceptable?
(May 19, 2014) (mod) said:
H2 those are typical on / off figures. Keep in mind that neither the pressure gauge you're reading nor the pressure switch is designed to be lab-grade precise. If you set the cut-in to 30 and see 32 psi, for example, I'd leave it alone. \
(May 19, 2014) H20 said:
Dan i got the PSI to cut on at 30psi exactly and cuts off at 50psi precise my problem now is the Starite1/2 hp water pump keeps running and isn't shutting off when someone takes a shower is this normal? i thought the Pump is suppose to rest now and again :
IF the water flow rate in the home exceeds the pump capacity rate (or perhaps the well flow rate) then the pump will run continuously when water is in use for a longer period.
You can improve but not eliminate this condition by installing a larger capacity water pressure/storage tank if necessary.
But when the pump *keeps running* "forever" when water is shut off that tells me that
- the pressure cut-off point is set higher than the pump is capable of reaching
- the water flow rate of the well is very slow and the pump isn't finding enough water
- there could be a leak in well piping.
(July 11, 2014) Tina said:
I've read all the posts here, understand that the recommended setting for air pressure in the pressure tank is 2 psi below the cut-in setting on the pressure switch. What if our tank setting is lower than the recommended 2 psi below? Ours is currently 34 psi; cut-in set at 40.
We've started having problems with the automatic safety shutoff on the pressure switch turning off the pump until it's re-primed by hand with the lever on the switch. Seems to be related to activation of the backwash filter system, which demands 8 gal/min in the first cycle. Have tested for water system leaks & tank waterlogging, which seem fine.
The suggestion from the guy who put in the filter system was to change to a pressure switch without the automatic shutoff.
I'd like to understand the relationship between the tank pressure & the pressure switch cut-in. Also, any suggestions on the pump shut-off problem (happens intermittently, not every time) would be appreciated.
Setting the pre-charge pressure in the water tank to more than 2 psi below the cut-in pressure won't hurt anything but you are probably reducing the draw-down water volume, making the pump run more often than needed.
When a pressure switch is not reliably turning the pump on and off when it should I figure it may be debris-clogged and I swap in a new one.
The automatic shutoff is a nice safety feature that can help avoid damaging the pump or burning up the switch. Swapping to a switch that doesn't have the feature unfortunately is just avoiding finding and fixing the trouble.
The tank pressure is the same as the water pressure in the plumbing system. A pressure control switch is connected to the water piping, usually near the pressure tank, via a small tube or mounting tube for the switch itself. Water pressure in that tube presses a diaphraghm inside the pressure switch that operates its on-off relays.
(July 11, 2014) Tina said:
Thanks for your response. I forgot to mention that we've already replaced the pressure switch, no debris in the tube either. I agree that the automatic shutoff is a valuable feature, & it makes me crazy that the new switch didn't fix our problem.
I didn't understand why our 34 psi tank setting would reduce the draw-down water volume; it seems like less pressure would allow a larger volume of water in the tank.
If I interpret your explanation of the pressure control switch correctly, then the cut-in command (to turn on) is sent by that switch to the pump, independent of the air pressure charge set for the tank. Is that true?
Thanks for your help.
Tina I need to think a bit.
Keep in mind that the switch just sees pressure - it doesn't know if it's air pressure or water pressure pressing on its membrane.
The air acts as a spring to push water out of the tank until the pressure drops to the cut in point. Without the air, water not being Rey compressible the pump will short cycle on and off rapidly ipuntil it retires with a pumpache
You may be right.
I figure optimum is 2 psi below the cut in pressure. That's close to the cut in pressure but below it so we won't send air out through the system and ...
A too high Pre charge (say 44 just to avoid a chattering control) which would push out all of the water but still remain above the switch cut in pressure, thus keeping the pump from ever coming on.
I'm claiming that the optimum charge thus gives the greatest drawdown volume.
Btw, if the cutout is too close to the pump's maximum capability you may see cut out trouble and thus see the switch shut down.
If we drop the Pre charge below that the "air spring" in the tank is weakened.
The pump is still going to cut in at 40 as you set it. But with a weaker air charge les water was pushed out (in gallons per minute) during the draw down cycle.
(July 24, 2014) Raymond said:
I have a well with a water tank. My problem is that the ware system cut off frquently. I will check and restart the system water presure shows good reading, then about it cutsoff after serveral small water uses. I thought the well was low on water, Idon't usefor0towodays and get the same results. Im thinking it might be the regulator. Pleaseletme knowyour thoughts.
If your PRESURE regulator includes a pump protection feature it could be shutting Dan the pump for a legitimate reason such as a problem in the well, or it could be the switch. I'd try swapping in a new switch as that's quick, I expensive, and diagnostic. Keep us posted.
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