Removing Pressure Switch

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by Dan_Lake, Jul 8, 2020.

  1. Dan_Lake

    Dan_Lake New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2020
    Location:
    MI
    The well and system in the our home has undergone changes over the years, prior to and after we purchased the home. Here’s background and question below.

    1. Initially the 1/2 hp submersible pump was plumbed to the inside plumbing to a pressure tank and pressure switch and then directly to the house plumbing supply lines.

    2. At some point prior owners experienced slow recovery, and added a storage tank and booster pump with second pressure tank to draw water from storage and feed the house supply lines. The storage tank has a float switch wired to a pump controller (which in turn is wired to the pressure switch), and the system has a pump saver monitor in line as well. When this was done, the pressure tank and switch described in #1 were left in place for some reason, but as far as I can determine, the submersible was no longer being shut off, or on, via the pressure switch, only by the float switch or pump saver.

    3. Last winter we had the well hydro fracked, and now have 5-7 gpm and no slow recovery issue. Unfortunately iron (less than 3ppm) and sediment came along with the improved flow from the well, so I installed a spin down and 2 stage big blue whole house filter to address those issues. Because of lack of confidence in the future flow rate, we opted to leave the storage tank in place. Since the install of the filter, the pressure switch is now cutting off at 55 psi, I assume because of additional pressure in the system introduced by the filter.

    4. The pressure switch and pressure tank first in line from the well, described in #1, appear in contrast to diagrams in this forum, which show such a setup with a storage tank and well pump being controlled by the float switch only. That seems to be a far simpler approach with fewer points of failure or maintenance, and is desireable. I would like to remove the p tank and p switch but in order to do so the electrical connections on the pressure switch must be accomodated.

    I assume, and ask feedback, that to remove the unneeded pressure switch, I simply need to install a junction box which wires the a) wires from the submersible, b) wires from the chlorinator, and the c) wires from the pump controller (which connects to the float switch) together. Thereafter the float switch (or pump saver) would be the only devices capable of turning the submersible pump off.

    Any advice/feedback greatly appreciated.

    Dan
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    As a quick alternative, you could leave the pressure switch in place, and move the wires so that the wires that were on terminals 1 and 2 now go to just terminal 1. The wires that were on terminals 3 and 4 now go to just terminal 4.

    Or put in an electrical box to do splices with wire nuts as you proposed.

    You are still going to have an operational pressure switch and a pressure tank, but not two pressure switches.

    If the pipe between two pressure switches is big enough and short enough, both pressure tanks could be in parallel. You would set the air precharge on both to 2 psi below the cut-in pressure.

    One more thing on a different topic. If you got a backwashing iron filter, that might do 8 or more gpm backwash for maybe 10 minutes every so many days. There is the possibility of breaking that up into pieces. And if you needed 12 gpm of backwash, but the pump only does 7 gpm, you could actually time the backwash pieces to be sure that most of the time segments start with a full pressure tank. So there are options for dealing with the iron. However I think the option you chose is chlorinator, contact tank, carbon tank to remove chlorine plus oxidized iron, and then softener. That does not take as much backwashing as some other methods.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2020
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  4. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I think the storage tank you refer to in #2 is actually a non-pressurized cistern and your current water delivery system is somewhat similar to this layout but utilizes a non-submersible pump to supply pressure to the home's plumbing.
    [​IMG]
    One further difference with your system is, a pressure tank and pressure switch are plumbed between the well pump and the storage tank.

    When there are no valves or other restrictions from the well pump, water will enter the storage tank as fast as the pump will move water. With no flow restriction, the pressure from the well pump will not build-up to a sufficient amount to cause water to enter the pressure tank or cause the pressure switch to shut off the pump. In this situation, the pressure tank and pressure switch are redundant as neither will influence the operation of the well pump or the amount of water that will enter the storage tank.

    Because you have now installed a spin down and dual BB filters into the line feeding the storage tank, those filters are causing sufficient flow restriction to cause the pressure prior to the filters to rise enough that water is filling the pressure tank and causing the pressure switch to shut down the well pump. Once the pump is shut down, water will continue to slowly flow from the pressure tank through the filters until the pressure drops low enough to cause the pressure switch to activate the pump and the process is repeated again and again until the storage tank is eventually filled. Cycling is hard on the pump, pressure tank and switch, thereby reducing their lifespans.

    Since your well is now capable of providing sufficient gpm capacity, it seems there is little benefit to utilizing the additional storage tank, pump, pressure tank etc. Perhaps you may wish to again consider connecting the well pump feed directly to your home's plumbing system.

    If you feel there is a benefit to continue with the two systems, either the filters should be removed, or you may want to consider 2 Cycle Stop Valves, one for each pump system. With a CSV, the well pump > storage tank will then continue to operate as it had prior to installing the filters since the CSV will reduce the flow rate from the pump to equal the flow rate passing through the restrictive filters as long as 1 gpm or greater is flowing through the restriction.

    Without using a CSV and only proceeding to bypass the pressure switch as you intended, may result in too much pressure being placed on the filters. If the flow restriction is too high, the pump may overheat as water flow is required to cool a submersible pump.
     
  5. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Good advice from Reach and Bannerman. I think the drawing Bannerman posted is the way to go. And you can use the pressure switch on the well pump for a junction box as Reach says. But if you want to be able to pump directly to the house from either the well pump or the booster pump, you could control it like this.

    LOW YIELD WELL_and storage with two PK1A one pipe.jpg
     
  6. Dan_Lake

    Dan_Lake New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2020
    Location:
    MI

    Thank you Reach, apprecite the feedback and thoughts, more to consider, Thx again
     
  7. Dan_Lake

    Dan_Lake New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2020
    Location:
    MI

    Bannerman, thank you for the comprehensive and detailed reply, it completely explains what I have observed.

    My first inclination was to remove the cistern tank, (did remove one of two tanks) but the 10 yr history of very low recovery rates makes my DW reluctant. No option to remove the filters given we now have crystal clear water without iron and sediment, and the side benefit of greatly reduced cistern maintenance.

    I was also wondering about the risk of placing too much pressure on the filters in the “remove ptank/switch” scenario, thanks for raising. Question: given I know the psi limits for the filter, would I just need to assure pressure does not exceed the limits, as measured from the incoming line to the filters? Other than pressure gauges on both sides of the filters, if the ptank is removed, is it advisable to also measure pressure on the incoming line in the former location of the p-switch? Are there published guidelines in minimum flow through a given pump to avoid overheating, or other guidance available on that issue?

    I will look closely at the CSV info, definitely more than 1gpm passing into the cistern tank, budget being an important factor.

    Cant thank you enough,
    Dan
     
  8. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Perhaps there are other filters that would cause less restriction. A larger filter surface or a cartridge with fewer microns will cause less restriction. A further method is to install 2 or more identical filters plumbed in parallel so water flow will be shared equally through each filter.

    The pressure at the p-switch should be essentially the same as directly entering the filters. By removing the p-tank and p-switch, there will be nothing to limit the pressure from the well pump. The p-switch is shutting the pump off because the pressure before the-filters is reaching the upper limit set on the p-switch. We don't currently know how high the pressure could rise if the pump continues to run while essentially blocked as could occur if the filter cartridges are heavily loaded with debris. The p-tank and p-switch are currently acting as a safety device.

    That is a good method to determine the pressure differential across the filter cartridge(s). The pressure differential will increase as the cartridge becomes increasingly loaded with debris. If the p-switch & tank are removed, extreme pressure from the well pump along with essentially 0 pressure after the cartridge when heavily restricted, may cause the cartridge to physically fail.

    Restricting the output from the pump is exactly how a CSV functions. Valveman, CSV's creator and manufacturer, has established 1 gpm is more than sufficient for cooling almost all pumps. The CSV is designed for extreme pressure, thereby limiting the pressure placed on the filters to only the CSV's regulated adjustable output pressure setting.

    If the flow after the CSV is too restrictive so there is less than 1-gpm, then the CSV will fill the p-tank at 1-gpm until the pressure rises to 60 psi and the p-switch shuts off the pump. The filters would then be subjected to only 50 psi while allowing flow, and no more than 60 psi at the inlet while the filters are highly plugged-up.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2020
  9. Dan_Lake

    Dan_Lake New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2020
    Location:
    MI


    Thanks again Bannerman, appreciate the time and expertise greatly, Dan
     
  10. Dan_Lake

    Dan_Lake New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2020
    Location:
    MI
    Reach,
    You probaby saw this coming re: backwashing iron filter. The flow restriction leading to the desire to remove the pressure switch, has proven to be the whole house filter being overwhelmed by iron/rust and possibly some iron bacteria, after filtering perhaps only 1500 gallons, exhibited by high pressure loss through the filter and visible iron rust in both filter cartridges. It seems likely the iron test was quite innacurate and the amount of iron in the water exceeds the capacity of the filter (above 3 ppm).

    Most likely time for a backwashing iron filter, to be installed after existing treatment with chlorine, to help oxidize the iron.

    Question: in my end state configuration, I would need to control the submersible pump, which fills a 300 g. storage tank cistern in the house, with the float switch in cistern (booster pump and p tank after cistern feeds house plumbing), or the filter valve when in bachwashing mode. The float switch is wired to a submersible pump controller. What is the proper wiring, from the iron filter control valve to the submersible control box, to turn the well pump on for backflushing?

    This is a shot of the board in the control box below. (I will assume for now the correct terminals on the backflush valve will be identified by the TBD manufacturer). The float switch is wired to #1 and #4 (T1 and T2 are wires from the pump saver to the pump controller). I am unable to find correct documentation for the controller to answer this question, so apologize in advance for the perhaps overly broad question.

    5EB140B9-1618-4D55-B051-C6CF0BFB130A.jpeg

    Any advice or guidance would be greatly appreciated.
     
  11. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I don't recognize your box. I think it might just be a relay that lets the float switch not need to handle the pump current. The float switch controls the pump down the well.

    A pressure switch with pressure tank would control the pressure pump. The pressure pump could be outside of the tank, or could be a submersible in the tank. The submersible is quieter, and a 1/2 hp 10 gpm pump can provided a lot of water and pressure.

    https://terrylove.com/forums/index.php?threads/water-system-questions.82708/

    https://terrylove.com/forums/index.php?threads/how-to-wire-float-switch.82343/
     
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