Recurring Pressure Switch Failures

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by Black'n'White, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. Black'n'White

    Black'n'White New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2019
    Location:
    Butte County, CA
    My well system uses a Square D pressure switch to control a jet pump that feeds off a 2500 gallon tank and pressurizes a typical 50 gallon bladder type tank. Here'a a link to the pressure switch:

    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B000IJWSDA/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    This morning I once again awoke to no water pressure, and sure enough, the pressure switch was sticking again. This is the third one in nine years that started doing it, and each time I replace it I find no debris or deposits in the feed nipple or the switch itself. The contacts just seem to stick open, and if I flip the lever on the side of the switch a few times, the contacts will close a few more times then it'll stick open again. I've also had the contacts stick closed.

    I'd like to know if there is a common problem, and if there is a more reliable/durable brand of pressure switch that someone could recommend.

    Thanks in advance,

    Scot
     
  2. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Probably some crud building up under the diaphragm in the pressure switch. Take the diaphragm off the old one and see what is in there. Putting the pressure switch at the top of a nipple about 2' tall will sometimes keep the crud from getting in the switch.
     
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  4. guy48065

    guy48065 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2013
    Location:
    SE and north MI
    Did you really mean 2 FOOT tall nipple?

    I'm not a pro so my experience is only with my own work. I replaced a working 25 year old switch when I had to replace the tank just because I thought it the wise thing to do. I didn't want a sketchy switch off eBay so I bought a premium-priced Square D from a local plumbing supply.
    It's made in Mexico and the high cut-off can't be adjusted down from 69psi after just 3 years in service. I've bought a replacement Square D from Menards for 1/3 what I paid for the previous one. Still made in Mexico.

    I'm also interested in knowing if SD has abandoned quality.
     
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    That switch with a lever is a low pressure cutoff switch. It may have been working exactly the way it was designed. The switch has a cut-in and a cut out pressure, as a regular pressure switch has. But in addition, it has another cut out about 10 psi below the cut-in pressure. If that gets hit, the switch locks off until you hold the lever to restart the pump, and pressure rises back up enough.

    It is purchased as a cheaper way to try to cut off the pump if the well runs short of water. In that function it may or may not be adequate.

    For a jet pump, you want the air precharge set to about 4 or 5 psi below the cut-in pressure... maybe more. That is because a jet pump is slower to supply water at pressure than a submersible pump. The tank must supply water while the pump gets going, or else the pressure will drop momentarily. That momentary drop is what tripped your low pressure cutoff.

    Valveman was looking at the "sticking" description, and did mean 2 ft. He missed the reference to a lever initially.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
  6. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Yeah 2' tall nipple if crud is building up in the switch. Crud has a hard time getting up 2' to get in the switch. But Reach maybe right about the low pressure switch with the lever on the side. That switch will "stick open" if the pressure drops 10 PSI lower than the on setting. So is the pressure dropping below the on setting, or is the pressure switch sticking open from debris? Getting a switch without the lever maybe the only way to find out. But if it is sticking open because of low pressure, you may melt the pump down if it doesn't shut off when it runs out of water.
     
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