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Thread: I think pressure switch is not receiving pressure from pump.

  1. #1
    Scientist jeremytl's Avatar
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    Default I think pressure switch is not receiving pressure from pump.

    I have a 60' well, jet pump and welltroll tank. Over time, well pump began running for longer and longer time periods. Someone at the local hardware store suggested I needed a new pressure switch. I bought a low pressure switch with the auto/start/off switch and installed it correctly. It ran constantly and never shut off. I went back and bought another switch, thinking the first one was bad. This time I bought another 30/50 switch but w/o the auto/start/off switch on the side. I installed it and the pump still runs constantly. I currently operate the pump with the indoor circuit breaker until I can figure out the problem. I think the switch is not getting pressure through the 1/4" copper line coming from the pump. I have since cleaned out this 10" long 1/4" and re-installed it but to no avail. Is it possible that there is something clogged in the pump itself? Oh yeah, when the pump is running, pressure seems to build b/c the gauge near the pump climbs until i switch off the breaker and stop the switch. Any ideas out there? Thanks a bunch.

  2. #2
    Rancher
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremytl
    I think the switch is not getting pressure through the 1/4" copper line coming from the pump. I have since cleaned out this 10" long 1/4" and re-installed it but to no avail.
    I think you are on the right track, the switch needs to see the pressure to operate, go buy a pressure guage with 1/4" threads and install it where the the tube comes out of the pump.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremytl
    Is it possible that there is something clogged in the pump itself? Oh yeah, when the pump is running, pressure seems to build b/c the gauge near the pump climbs until i switch off the breaker and stop the switch.
    Actually the switch should be mounted near the tank, not on a tube off of the pump... Do you have a picture of your setup?

    Rancher

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    Scientist jeremytl's Avatar
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    Rancher, I will take photos of the set-up under my house this evening. I can post the photos tomorrow (no internet at home).

    As far as this statement: "Actually the switch should be mounted near the tank, not on a tube off of the pump..." The pressure switch I replaced was mounted on the Gould pump. I think the photos I take will help you understand better. Thanks for your quick response and I hope to hear from you again tomorrow when I post photos! Just for the heck of it, I will disconnect and re-connect the pressure line so I can say I cleaned it thoroughly.

  4. #4

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    Do you have a pressure gauge on the system? If so, what does it read when the pump runs?
    It sounds more like the jet is plugged up, keeping the pump from reaching cutout pressure.
    Ron

  5. #5
    Scientist jeremytl's Avatar
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    Default photos of setup (pressure switch problem)

    I took photos. Here is what I did last night: I checked the pressure in the wellxtrol tank with a tire gauge. It read 52 psi. I knew it needed to be 28 so i let some air out to 28 and started the pump (by switching on the breaker in the house). The gauge near the pump (see pic) showed that it was gaining pressure quickly and it didn't shut off at the 50 psi mark. I shut it off at about 70 psi. I then checked the pressure in the wellxtrol tank and it had gone up to about 36 psi. I let the water drain by running the tap in the kitchen sink. and Switched the pump on again. The gauge rose but not as quickly and the pressure in the tank rose too. They seemed to equilibrate and then I am back to where I've been the last few weeks. The tank is about 50 psi and it takes at least five minutes of running the pump to build up about 60 psi on the gauge and i switch the pump off. Is my pump pumping air as well as water or does my tank leak? Also, I still can't figure out why the pressure switch isn't working. Hmmmmm...
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    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremytl
    I took photos. Here is what I did last night: I checked the pressure in the wellxtrol tank with a tire gauge. It read 52 psi. I knew it needed to be 28 so i let some air out to 28 and started the pump (by switching on the breaker in the house). The gauge near the pump (see pic) showed that it was gaining pressure quickly and it didn't shut off at the 50 psi mark. I shut it off at about 70 psi. I then checked the pressure in the wellxtrol tank and it had gone up to about 36 psi. I let the water drain by running the tap in the kitchen sink. and Switched the pump on again. The gauge rose but not as quickly and the pressure in the tank rose too. They seemed to equilibrate and then I am back to where I've been the last few weeks. The tank is about 50 psi and it takes at least five minutes of running the pump to build up about 60 psi on the gauge and i switch the pump off. Is my pump pumping air as well as water or does my tank leak? Also, I still can't figure out why the pressure switch isn't working. Hmmmmm...
    When you are checking the air pressure to set the precharge pressure at 2 psi below the switch START setting, the tank should be EMPTY of water and the pump power should be off.

    When there is water in the tank, the pressure that you measure at the top of the tank with a tire gauge should be the same as the pressure measured by the water pressure gauge and the pressure switch. If they are not the same at that time, then: (1) one of the gauges is wrong, or (2) the air pressure in the tank is greater than the water pressure and is expelling all water from the tank.

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    You have something wrong because I seriously doubt that Goulds pump will make 70 psi. unless it's a deep well application and someone installed a jet for a smaller pump.

    That gate valve you have leaving the pump should not be there.

    bob...

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    Scientist jeremytl's Avatar
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    is it possible that my pump is pumping water AND air into my tank? i ask this because the pressure in the tank seems to build as the pump runs. i started out thinking that the pump was clogged and wasn't feeding pressure to the pressure switch to shut it off. Now I think I have a problem with the tank too.

    Speedbump: Whats wrong with the gate valve being there? So I should just remove it?

  9. #9
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Cleaning the tubing to the switch is good but you also have to clean the fittings the tubing connects to the wet end of the pump and the switch with and then the holes the fittings go into or the switch won't see actual real time pressure changes and will lag.

    So take the tubing off the fittings and then the fittings out of their holes and make sure everything is open.

    Make sure the pressure tank is empty of water and then set the captive air pressure to 1-2 psi less than the turn the pump on setting. I.E. 30/50 gets 29-28 psi of air with no water in the tank.

    The pressure in the tank should increase when the pump runs. Gate valves are not good for a valve that is not used frequently, they like to break when you use them after years of no use. Your valve is on the outlet of the pump and ok since the switch is on the pump, just leave it fully open unless you throttle the pump with it. If you do, when the pump is running, a guage on the tank will read a bit different than the one on the pump.

    Do you have one or two lines to/from the well.
    Last edited by Gary Slusser; 01-18-2007 at 11:29 AM.
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    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

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    The reason I mentioned the valve at the discharge of the pump is; if someone closes off this valve, the pressure switch will chatter like Chatty Cathy until someone opens it up again. There will be nowhere for the water to go. Water won't compress, so the switch will be hammered and the motor will be hammered as well.

    I can't tell if this is a deep well or shallow well jet pump because I can't see the pipe/s going to the well. If it's only one pipe then a valve of no kind is needed. If it's two pipes, it's a deep well hook up and a backpressure valve may be needed. A gate valve is a poor mans backpressure control and will not stay at the initial pressure setting. A spring loaded valve is needed.

    bob...

  11. #11
    Scientist jeremytl's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I appreciate it all. There are two pipes going from the pump to the wellhead. The well is only 60 feet deep though.
    I have kept the gate valve open. This weekend I will clean the fittings that go to the pump/line/ pressure switch. I didn't clean them before, I just cleaned the 1/4 " copper line. I will also drain the tank and make sure the pressure is 28-29 psi before starting the pump. I'll report results Monday. Thanks again for helping.

  12. #12
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    You have a deep well/two line jet pump with j-body in the well. Hopefully you remember you will have to prime the pump after cleaning the fittings and the holes they go into.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  13. #13
    Scientist jeremytl's Avatar
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    Well, I fixed this entire problem Saturday thanks to all of your help. The primary problem was the fittings that were clogged. The pressure switch wasn't getting anything to read to tell it when to shut off. I had to remove fittings and clean it all out with screwdriver. And then I had to pump the tank up to 29 psi with a tire hand pump which was a real chore to say the least. But it all works fine now. The only thing is, I just read Gary's note about priming the pump. I never did this, didn't know I needed to. However, it all appears to work fine. Can someone explain the pump priming process and why i should have done this? Cheers to all.

  14. #14
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Glad to hear you fixed the problem. I admire your physical ability to pump up a pressure tank with a hand pump!! I did it once and then bought a portable air tank and then a portable air compressor.

    Usualy on the outlet of a jet pump there is a tee with a plug or pressure guage in it. You remove 'it' and pour water in which runs down the line or lines to the well filling it/them. You lucked out somehow, maybe you closed a valve between the pump and pressure tank and when you opened it, it primed the pump for you. If not I don't know how you got water without priming the pump.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

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    I admire your physical ability to pump up a pressure tank with a hand pump!!
    I agree. I did that once under a house in a crawl space when I was young and stupit. Once I had it aired up with the tire pump, instead of buying a portable air compressor, I rented an Iron Lung to get my air back.

    bob...

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