Pressure Switch Short Cycle

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by ericbar, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. ericbar

    ericbar New Member

    Messages:
    14
    I ran my well dry two weeks ago by overusing my pressure washer over the course of two days. I shut off my pump immediatedly to be sure I didn't burn up the submersible pump and was out of town for two weeks. Upon returning two weeks later the well water level was back to normal. The problem is that now I can't get the water tank pressure to build up properly when the pump is on. I have a 40 60 switch but it has clicked on and off at much lower and higher psi. I have tried adjusting the cut on and cut off but it hasn't worked. It would cut on at 44 psi and cut off at 46 psi before I began adjusting. I was able to get it to cut on at 40 psi and cut off at 53 psi, but now it is all over the place as I try adjusting it. it will dip down as low as 30 psi as I adjust. I am wondering what this could be. FYI, I checked the nozzle on top with a tire guage and it was 40 psi. Any guidance would be much appreciated.
  2. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,248
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    Make sure you are measuring the air pressure when the tank is drained of all water. Any other measurement will be wrong if you do not do this correctly.

    The first thing I would do is clean out the inlet pipe for the pressure switch. Since the switch is probably damaged by short cycling, I recommend replacing it. If you install a 40/60 switch the air pressure in the tank with no water in it should be adjusted to 38 psi before turning the system on.
  3. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,472
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    And a new pressure gauge is a cheap way to make sure what you are seeing is really what is happening.
  4. ericbar

    ericbar New Member

    Messages:
    14
    I replaced the pressure switch(30/50) and pressure gauge. I drained the tank to do this and also relieved all the pressure from the valve on top of the tank so that no air would come out and my tire gauge read zero. I then filled the tank with air up to 28 psi. The short cycling has stopped and it cuts on around 26 or so and cuts off around 46 according to the new pressure gauge. The only problem is that the pressure seems lower than it always used to be, but not as bad as when the other day before I changed the switch and gauge and filled the tank with air. I am able to turn on any faucet or shower by itself and get water that has just a little less pressure than normal, but when I have two on at the same time, the pressure drops right off. Also, when I put the washer on cold the washer literally drips out, but when I turn it to warm the pressure is good. When the washer and dishwasher are run at the same time though, the pressure is bad again.
    -Do I need to put more air in the tank?
    -Did I mess up by getting a 30/50 switch instead of a 40/60 switch like the original one I replaced?
    -Do I need to adjust the cut on/cut off bolt(the one that does both) on the switch?

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  5. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,472
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Tighten the large adjustment screw in the pressure switch to the right about 3 rounds and try it again. Also clean out the screen on the cold water line to the washing machine. What is the reading on the pressure gauge when you have two things running and you think the pressure is bad?
  6. ericbar

    ericbar New Member

    Messages:
    14
    I adjusted the screw and it clicked on and off at the right pressure, but the pressure coming out of the faucets was still low, especially when I ran two things at once. I proceded to remove my whole house water filter and the pressure returned to what it used to be before all of these problems occured, with the exception of the washing machine's cold water trickle(I am not sure how to clean that line out. I haven't done that before). I replaced the filter when all of this started, but instead of replacing it with one of the white ones you can get from Walmart like what I have always used, I used a black one that I have never used before. I also bought this one from walmart. I think it is a carbon one or something.
    -Could this filter have caused the pressure problem after I had replaced everything?
    and
    -How do I clean out that line to my washer?

    Thanks!
  7. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,472
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Yes that filter is your problem. The washer hose has a screen on the end that screws into the washer.
  8. ericbar

    ericbar New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Why is that filter causing the problem? Is this a common problem with whole house filters?
  9. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,472
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    See it all the time! Carbon is not made to filter solids. Stops up quickly. Even paper and wrapped cartridges stop up fairly quick.
  10. ericbar

    ericbar New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Thanks for your help. I am slowly learning my way in the plumbing world and I appreciate your advice!
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