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Thread: Which way do I turn the pressure switch?

  1. #1

    Unhappy Which way do I turn the pressure switch?

    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. #2
    DIY Senior Member Hube's Avatar
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    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. #3
    Rancher
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    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. #4

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    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. #5
    DIY Senior Member Mr_Pike's Avatar
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    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. #6
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    Can you tell us the brand name and model # of the tank?

    bob...

  7. #7

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    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 by CrystalRose; 07-17-2007 at 12:17 PM.

  8. #8
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    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. #9
    DIY Senior Member Mr_Pike's Avatar
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    Is there a rubber hose washer inside the threads for the pressure guage?

    I have found that mine falls out a lot.

  10. #10

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    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. #11

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    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 by CrystalRose; 07-17-2007 at 05:37 PM.

  12. #12

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    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. #13

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    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. #14
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    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.)
    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. #15

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    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 by CrystalRose; 07-18-2007 at 07:14 AM.

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