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Thread: jet pump pressure switch

  1. #1
    DIY Member Alexdc99's Avatar
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    Default jet pump pressure switch

    What's the prefferred method in cleaning the contact ont he switch. I have noticed in the last few days the switch turns on but the contacts don't make a good contact and then the pump won't turn on until I give it a little tap. I have had a switch break years back but this one is still together.

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member Mike Swearingen's Avatar
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    With the power OFF, you can use emory cloth or light sandpaper to clean the pressure switch contacts.
    However, if they're burnt or worn down too badly, you will be better off just installing a new one.
    Good luck!
    Mike

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    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    You can clean contacts with a little emery paper or sandpaper. HOWEVER, I don't recommend relying on that.

    Contacts are plated to provide good contact and you can't fix damaged contacts by cleaning them. They carry 5 to 8 times the rated current of the motor during startup and are often damaged by arcing if the bladder tank gets waterlogged, causing them to open under those very high starting loads.

    So, clean the contacts to get the system running. Then buy a new switch. You will eventually do that anyway and you will save yourself a lot of grief if you do it sooner rather than later.

  4. #4
    DIY Member Alexdc99's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info, I have a new switch on my backup water pump. I'll take it off and move it over to the installed pump and not bother taking my chances with the cleaning them. I'll also check to see if my bladder tank is water logged also.

    Thanks again.

    One other question, how can I tell what is the proper size of bladder tank I should have in the home. I think I have a 40gl or so blue well-x-trol tanks now(it's maybe 30+ inches tall), I think it is about 4 to 6 years old. I have 1 bathroom, kitchen sink and laundry and hot water tank. 1 outside tap as well. My jet pump is 1/2 horse.

    Is the only way to tell if the tank is water logged by seeing if water comes out of the air valve?

    thanks
    Last edited by Alexdc99; 02-20-2006 at 07:25 AM.

  5. #5

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    If water comes out of the valve, the tank is bad. You could also turn off the pump, open a nearby faucet and let the water drain out. If there's still alot of water in the tank when the faucet quits flowing, it's a pretty good sign the tank is bad.
    There's been alot of discussion about sizing pressure tanks from installers. Most manufacturers will recommend that you size the tank so that you have one gallon of drawdown for each gallon of pump capacity. IOW, if the pump has a capacity of 12 gpm, the tank should be big enough to provide 12 gallons of drawdown. Drawdown is the amount of water the tank will expel between pumping cycles. The whole idea is to give the pump the proper amount of runtime so that the motor windings can cool down during a run cycle.
    I personally try to follow the manufacturers recs on tank sizing. It's worked well for me.
    By the way, save yourself alot of money in the long run and buy a quality tank.
    Ron

  6. #6
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    The minimum bladder tanks size should be about 5 times the GPM rating of your pump. Bigger is better. Since the on/off volume of water in a properly set up tank is about 30% of the tank size, that will give you about 1.5 minutes of cycle.

    You may not be able to find the GPM rating of your pump. Check your pump cycle time as described below, after setting the air pressure, to see if you want to replace with a bigger tank.

    The tank size I am talking about is the real volume; not those silly labels like calling a 119 gallon tank a WX-350.

    You can check your tank as follows:
    1. Turn off the power to the pump.
    2. Open a cold water valve until you have no more water flow coming out of the system.
    3. Check the pressure at the air port (the Shrader valve) in the top of the tank using a good tire gauge. It should be 2 PSI LESS than the Start pressure of your switch. If it is less than that, add air until you have 2 PSI less than the Start pressure you want to operate at. If the pressure is to high (unlikely), bleed it down to the correct setting.

    You should check your tire gauge against the water pressure gauge on your system. When the pump is not running and water not running, check the air pressure in the tank. It should be the same as the pressure on your water tank gauge. If it is not the same, note the difference and use that when setting the tank pressure.

    A good rough check without all of that procedure is to run water until the pump starts and then turn off the water and measure the time to pump shutoff. If that time is short, you probably need to add more air per the procedure above. The actual time of a properly set up tank will depend on your pump capacity, tank capacity, and pressure switch settings.

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    DIY Member Alexdc99's Avatar
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    I did time the pump ON this morning and it only ran for 30 seconds before shutting of and the water ran for about a minute before the pump turned back on. This was the shower this morning.

    So be reading what you guys say I also do not have enough air in my bladder tank along with a failing pressure switch.

  8. #8
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    It could be the air pressure or that you should have a bigger tank...
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  9. #9
    DIY Member Alexdc99's Avatar
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    ok, I will check everything out tonight when I get home and report back my findings. It could very well be a small tank.

  10. #10
    DIY Member Alexdc99's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Alright, all done making my changes. A few problems I did notice,

    1. Pressure switch set to 30/50 but only running 20/40? This was installed at 30/50 just over two years ago but some how over time it's gone back to the factory setting. I can't explain this one, maybe the springs have weakened.

    2. Well-x-trol MX-202 that was set to 28psi at the same time as the oroginal pressure switch lost some pressure down to 22psi. Is it normal to loose some pressure over time? Is this too small for a house?

    3. I decided to buy a new pumptrol switch and leave my backup pump alone. I turn it on for the first time and then monitored the pressure as I ran the water, it drops to 30psi and turns on. All ok so far but the switch turns off at 44psi. Guess they screwed this setting up at the factory. So I turned the small screw a couple of turns and tested and got that all good. Now it turn on at 30 and off at 50. Every seen a new switch needing an adjustment or should this have good right from the store?

    What a night but it's all good now, thanks for the help.

  11. #11
    DIY Senior Member Mike Swearingen's Avatar
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    With the pump off and the water pressure drained off, check the WEll-X pressure tank again with a tire gauge.
    It should be two psi below your cut-on pressure, or 28 psi.
    If it isn't, air it up to that with a bicycle pump, or portable air tank or compressor.
    Good Luck!
    Mike

  12. #12
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    The Well-X-Trol WX-202 (They may have changed MX and WX prefixes) is a 20 gallon tank which will have a drawdown of about 6 gallons at 30 to 50 psi. It is recommended for pumps in the range of 5 to 7 GPM. http://www.aquascience.net/tanks.htm#wellmate

    If you ever need to replace it, you may want to get a larger tank to cut down the number of starts and increase the cycle time of your pump.

  13. #13
    DIY Member Alexdc99's Avatar
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    It does say WX and not MX, it typed in the wrong name. Even with everything running right the pump runs for only 30 seconds. I think in the coming months I will go to a 40 gallon tank to extend my run times.

    Thanks

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pumpman
    By the way, save yourself alot of money in the long run and buy a quality tank.
    Ron
    Ron,

    Can you please let me know what you think a quality tank is?


    I was looking at purchasing a Well-X-Trol WX-202 or 203.

    Would this be considered a quality tank?

    Thanks,

    Scott

  15. #15
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    The two top tanks out there are Well-X-Trol and Flexcon. The Flexcon's are known by Challenger, H2Pro and Well Rite (not to be confused with Well Mate)

    I think you will find your gauge is what's off, not the switch. They usually come from the factory with very close settings. But turning the off pressure up a little won't hurt. It can help by extending the run time more and keeping it from cycling while using small amounts of water.

    With a little 1/2hp jet pump, I would set the pressures so the pump can't cycle with more than 1 gpm being used. Cycling is bad for the motor, and is more important than the runtime. The 202 should be fine with your pump if the switch is set accordingly.

    bob...

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