Which way do I turn the pressure switch?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by CrystalRose, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. CrystalRose

    CrystalRose New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Georgia
    I've read thread after thread and done TONS of other research about what's going on w/ my system. This is what's happening: after about 1.5 minutes of running water the pump kicks on, runs for approx. 10 seconds, cuts off, the water will run for approx. 1.5 mins, the pump kicks back on, etc. Even flushing a toilet will make the pump kick on. I think it's running too often. This has been happening at least the past 2 months, maybe 3. The pump is NOT short-cycling, there are no leaks in the system. I can use a tire gage to check the pressure in the pressure tank--48lbs. (I've turned the pump off and ran all the water out of the system and it still reads 48lbs.) There are no gages on my system to determine what the "cut-in" and "cut-out" pressures are, so I'm running blind here. Really, I'm thinking the switch needs to be adjusted, but I don't have a clue which way to turn it to keep my pump from kicking on so often. I feel like I have too much pressure in my system. The well used to supply my in-laws who live UP HILL so, I'm guessing they put this much pressure in the tank so they'd have....pressure, but it seems since they've drilled a new well, this problem w/ the pump cutting on and off so often, is occuring more often and I have more pressure than seems necessary. So, what I really want to know is which way to turn the pressure switch, clockwise or counter-clockwise, to keep the pump from kicking on so often. And any other advice will be greatly appreciated. This is THE BEST forum I've come across!
  2. Hube

    Hube New Member

    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Ontario
    The air pressure in the pressure tank (when empty of all water) should be 2 lbs below your pumps "cut-in " pressure.
    example; cut-in 40, tank pressure=38

    so just check what your pump cuts in at and adjust the air pressure in the tank accordingly.
  3. Rancher

    Rancher Guest

    You really need a pressure gauge to do this correctly.


    Pressure switches with adjustable differential (Types FSG, FYG and FRG)
    When setting the pressure switch, adjust the switching point on rising pressure first and then the switching point on falling pressure (PB).
    Switching point on falling pressure
    The switching point on falling pressure is set by adjusting screw-nut 1.
    Switching point on rising pressure
    The switching point on rising pressure (PB) is set by adjusting screw-nut 2.

    Nut 1 is the center nut and nut 2 is the shorter off center nut.

    Rancher
  4. CrystalRose

    CrystalRose New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Georgia
    So, I can just buy some type of gauge at the hardware and scew this onto the pressure tank valve? And the rising pressure will make the pump kick off and the falling pressure will make the pump kick on? I'm a woman; I do not think mechanically, so am I gonna screw this up? LOL!
  5. Mr_Pike

    Mr_Pike New Member

    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Pressure guages that have Garden Hose threads are readily available at most hardware stores. I am assuming of course that you have a drain in the area with a male hose thread. If you don't wish to plumb a pressure guage in permanantly, you could use one of these.

    Like Mentioned above. Bladder tank air pressure should be 2 lbs below the pressure at which your Pump kicks on.
  6. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Can you tell us the brand name and model # of the tank?

    bob...
  7. CrystalRose

    CrystalRose New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Georgia
    It's a PermaTank PAD20. And just to let everyone know, the pressure gauge I just bought at the hardware--one of those you can screw onto the spigot, like Mr.Pike recommended--is a POS, so there's no way I can do it that way unless I can find a better quality gauge! It helped to put teflon tape around the spigot, but the gauge has a "swivel connection," and water just spews from this "great feature!" I don't see how I can get an accurate reading this way.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2007
  8. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    That Perma tank is made by State. My experience with State tanks is not good. I would recommend checking it by shutting off the pump letting all the pressure out of the system and using a tire gauge to check air pressure in the tank. Then give it a little nudge to one side to see how heavy it feels.

    bob...
  9. Mr_Pike

    Mr_Pike New Member

    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Is there a rubber hose washer inside the threads for the pressure guage?

    I have found that mine falls out a lot.
  10. CrystalRose

    CrystalRose New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Georgia
    Yes, the washer was in the gauge, but it was a very crappy gauge and rubber was more like plastic than rubber. I'm sure I paid at least 4 times too much! But I made a trip to Home Depot and got, what looks like a lot better quality gauge, but I haven't tried it out, yet. The salesman assured me that it would hold the water to test the pressure accurately. (I explained the situation w/ the other one.) Anyway, wish me luck! I may go up to the pump tonight and try it out.
  11. CrystalRose

    CrystalRose New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Georgia
    Speedbump, thanks for the info about the tank! I tested the pressure in the tank both before and after and it measures the same--48lbs. After the first of the year, I'm looking at replacing the tank w/ a bigger model up under the house where there's more room. (The PAD20 is in the pumphouse.) My hope is to have more storage so the pump won't kick on so often (after I have this problem fixed). However, I'll need a tank that will lay on its side and I'm not sure these types of tanks will operate properly that way or not. What's your advice?
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2007
  12. wondering

    wondering New Member

    Messages:
    105
    The way I have done this before, when the guage was either not working or wrong, is to have the tank full then turn the power off to the pump. Now take a hose with a nozzle you can hold so you can stop and start the flow of water. Start running the water and as soon as you hear the pressure switch click, and you will,stop the water. Then take your tire guage and see what your tank pressure is. This is where your pump is starting each time. Say if it is at 40 then you should have 38 psi of air in the tank. Whatever it starts at you should reduce your air by 2 lbs. So if it is 40(for example) then finish draining the water from your tank, then let out the amount of air to bring it to 2lbs below cut on. Then start your pump and let it build up pressure and shut off. Then take your tire guage and see how much pressure is in the tank then. If it starts on 40 then it should be stopping at 60. Then if you have a difference between 40/60 you can then fine tune that by turning the adjustment screw(s) to get the setting closer to what it should be, this was outlined in earlier post on how to adjust. Then after adjusting run your water to make it kick on and shut off again and check then to see if you are closer to your target pressure. I hope you get your problem solved.
  13. CrystalRose

    CrystalRose New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Georgia
    But if the power to the pump is off, will the pressure switch still click? So, basically, there should be a 20lb....differential? And it can be any PSI as long as there is a 20lb difference? (It's understood that the lower the PSI, the less pressure.)
  14. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Yes it will still click the points closed. 20 lb difference or as much as 35 lb is acceptable in most cases.

    If you measured 48 lbs with all the water pressure off the tank with a tire gauge, you need to let it down to 28 lbs.

    bob...
  15. CrystalRose

    CrystalRose New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Georgia
    Here's the deal: w/ a tire gauge, the full pressure is 48lbs, the cut-in is 44-46lbs (kinda hard to read a tire gauge, but hopefully 2lbs won't be a huge difference). So I need to let the pressure down to 24-26, right? And then I perfect the 20lb. difference w/ the switches? So the amount of pressure in the tank is causing my pump to cut in so often?
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2007
  16. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    I'm not sure what you mean by "full pressure". We need to get on the same page.

    Do this: Turn off the pump. Open a faucet until the water stops running. Go out to your car and make sure your tire gauge works. Come back in, check the pressure in the tank while the pump is still off and no water will come out of the faucet. Write that pressure down. Turn the pump back on, wait until it shuts off at the high pressure. Check the tank with the tire gauge again (hopefully it goes high enough) and write that number down. Now open the faucet again and wait for the pump to come back on. When it does, turn it off electrically immediately and check the tanks pressure one last time. Write it down. Report back with those three numbers in the order which you gathered them (except the car tire pressure) and we can go from there.

    bob...
  17. CrystalRose

    CrystalRose New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Georgia
    I've been doing like you said in the previous post--letting the pressure in the tank down. IT WORKS! The pump is not cutting in so often. Here are the numbers: pump off, points click together at 32lbs; pump on, high pressure at 48lbs. I hope you can work w/ these numbers, as the pump house is about 30 yards from the breaker box, so I can't immediately throw the breaker. I'm thinking I should let the pressure out a little more to 28lbs like you stated earlier? Thanks so much for your help!
  18. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    You still haven't told me how much pressure is in the tank when the pump is off and the water has quit running from the faucet. That is when you check and make adjustments on the tanks pressure. It should be 30 lbs with your present pressure switch settings.

    bob...
  19. CrystalRose

    CrystalRose New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Georgia
    there is 30-32lbs of pressure in the tank while the pump is off and all the water is out of the tank. I feel I was making it a lot harder than it was; I fretted over if for 2 days. What I should've done at once was let some of the pressure out of the tank, just like you said. That was my problem the whole time! There was only a differential of 2-4lbs, so as soon as a toilet was flushed the pump would kick on. So, I let the pressure out to 28lbs and the high pressure, when the tank is full is 48 lbs. I'm sure the settings could be more fine-tuned. Thanks so much for helping me out w/ this. If you ever need a detailed description of how to change a diaper, scrub a toilet or load the dishwasher, let me know!
  20. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Thanks CrystalRose, I'll keep that in mind next time the Grandkid shows up. I may want you to come over and show me (several times);)

    Glad you got it working.

    bob...;)
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