Low water pressure...pressure switch bad?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by jed1154, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. jed1154

    jed1154 New Member

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Texas
    The last two night my wife has complained that the pressure drops very very low while in the shower. I checked my gauge when it was low and the pressure was at 35 and even dropped to 30 before the well kicked on. It is a 40/60 switch. Not sure how old it is, maybe 10 years. It shuts off at 60psi with no problem. Does this sound like a pressure switch issue? Doesnt seem to do it all the time, but the last few nights when using the shower it certainly did. I verified by turning on a water hose and watching the pressure drop to 30-35 before it kicked on.
  2. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,583
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    You need to take the cover off the pressure switch and do that test again. If at 40 PSI the points in the switch do not make, or touch together, then the nipple to the pressure switch is probably clogged. If the switch points make at 40 PSI, but the pump doesn't start for some time after that, then the overload in your motor is tripping. Not doing it everytime makes me think it is the overload in your motor tripping. Which means you have already cycled your pump to death, and it is just waiting for the most inoppurtune time to completely quit.
  3. jed1154

    jed1154 New Member

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Texas
    I say it doesnt do it all the time, but im not actively watching my water pressure until we take showers. The contacts do not make until it gets well below 40 psi. Can I clean it or should I simply replace it?
  4. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,508
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    If the switch is 10 Years old you would be better off replacing it.

    While you have it off , You can clean the nipple to the pressure switch as Valveman suggested.

    Down here in Texas the Fire ants Screw the switches up.

    You can buy them on line for about $15.00.
  5. jed1154

    jed1154 New Member

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Texas
    There are a bunch of Square D 40/60 switches for water wells, and they all are a little different. Main difference is teh 'pressure differential'...whatever that is. No clue which I need.
  6. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,508
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  7. jed1154

    jed1154 New Member

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Texas
    OK, i know which one to get, but can you explain why they have several different kinds that are 40/60?

    On the square D website, there are 4 that fit my purpose.

    The differences are in the "Range on Decreasing Pressure" and "Differential" both in PSIG.

    What are these two parameters and why would I pick one over the other for my well?
  8. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,508
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Not sure the ones that you are looking at.

    If you take the cover Off there should be a sticker inside, Tells how to adjust, and should have the Model number.

    Some have the Low Pressure Cut off lever, But they are a PITA for the normal user.

    That link is for the most common ones used.

    You could adjust the old one , but if the pressure changed , It would be better to replace it.
    Or clean the nipple to the pressure switch as Valveman suggested.


    What is the Brand and model of your pump. ?


    I have yet to see one last over about 5 years Outdoors. Change Be Done, Wife Happy.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  9. jed1154

    jed1154 New Member

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Texas
    Id be lying if I told you what brand of pump and model I have. I did not have it drilled and it was a huge pain in the butt to dig up the driller report online. As such, Im pretty sure its model is not listed on there anyway. My well is in a well house with a concrete slab.....so there are no ants or weather related issues with it.
  10. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,508
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    The switch should have a Number in it, I would check that number.

    But the one on the link will work for 120 or 240 Volt.

    It is a double pole.

    As long as the water fitting fits, It should work.

    Last time I bought one it even came with the Brass fitting to fit most water connections.

    Just make sure to kill the Power when you change it.

    Or maybe Texas Wellman® services your area.

    He is the best, Around here.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  11. jed1154

    jed1154 New Member

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Texas
    I am comfortable replacing it myself. One questions...is it acceptable or safe to put a 'T" on that nipple so that I could put a pressure guage on just underneath the pressure switch? I have a guage now, but its on my tank and it faces the back of the well house wall, so I have to crawl over the well and around the softener to see it.
  12. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,508
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Yes, I would get a new meter. (Not move the Old)

    As long as the wire will reach.

    You should have seen the Meters on that link.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  13. jed1154

    jed1154 New Member

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Texas
    What do you mean 'have enough wire'?

    I am taking off the old pressure switch, putting a T on the old nipple. Off teh side of that T I am putting a NEW pressure gauge and then putting the new pressure switch on top again. I should have enough wire for that.

    Thanks for the help! Ill try to do this tonight. I bet the nipple is dirty. My well pumps a fair bit of sand, requiring me to have a spindown/vuflow filter and clean it out monthly. It may have finally succumbed to that.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  14. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,583
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    I think you are looking for a FSG-2M1, and yes you can tee a gauge in the same 1/4" line. If you want something easy to see, these digital switches light up and you don't need any other pressure gauge.

    [​IMG]
  15. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,185
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Ja, and a royal PITA for an abnormal person like me which was why I went with the EPS Cary shows in the picture.
  16. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,508
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    Many times the switch is connected using Conduit, make the switch a bit harder to move.

    I normally just get rid of OLD , 10 years is a long time for most stuff to work. (Wife not included)
    Repairing Anything 10 years or older , is a temporary fix. But it can be done.

    To keep the pump from cycling as often you might want to check this site.

    http://www.cyclestopvalves.com/index2.html

    I Don't use enough water to justify the need.


    I know one thing, If Momma is not Happy, No one is happy. The Girls like their showers. Men do too.

    I bet she is ready for you to get it fixed. (You may need a good shower after the reward she gives You..)

    Good Luck on Your project.
  17. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,508
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    That is exactly why I made a block of wood, with a hole drilled in it for that shaft.

    If you can hold that lever until the pump comes up to 20 PSI, You have a dent in your finger.
  18. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,185
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    It's not the dent in my finger, it is the nagging in my ear when I try to explain to the wife over the phone how to hold that little lever.

    I just slip a nut driver over the lever like a mini cheater pipe.
  19. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,508
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    I did exactly the same thing until I made the wood block. For my Wife of coarse.

    If you use ¾ " square wood , You can drill the Hole so that you don't have to hold the lever.

    Then when it comes up to pressure the wood just stays on the lever.

    It defeats the reason for the lever, If you leave in on there, But makes it easier for the wife to restart it.

    Works good. I painted my wood and marked it "Water Pump"
  20. jed1154

    jed1154 New Member

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Texas
    OK guys...Im confused now:

    This is what I got:

    http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/SQUARE-D-Pressure-Switch-2FH08

    My switch however that is on there is a '30/50' according to the label underneath. However, unless my pressure gauge is 10psi off, it most definately cuts off at 60psi and cuts on at 30-35....which used to be 40.

    I ASSUME the installer orders a ton of 30/50 and simply adjusts them out to avoid buying multiple kinds of switches.

    At any rate, will my new pressure switch work for my setup?
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