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Thread: Pressure Switch Setting

  1. #1

    Default Pressure Switch Setting

    Hi, I have a quick question.
    I just replaced my bladder and it has stopped my pump from kicking on and off every few seconds.
    My question has to do with the pressure switch setting. I also replaced that as the old one was quite corroded and had dead frogs and lizards and stuff in it. But, I digress. I believe that the old pressure switch was set to 20/40. When I talk to my water treatment guy, who doesn't claim to be a well man but works around them a lot, tells me he's never heard of anyone using 20/40 and suggested I set it to 40/60. It came set at 30/50 so I left it there and when I installed my new bladder I set the pressure in it to 28lbs.
    The real question is wether or not setting the pressure up the 10lbs can have a negative impact on my pump? It seems like it takes it a little while, 20-30 seconds to get it up to 50 after the water is shut off. It's an above ground jet pump if that's significant in any way. Just wanna make sure I'm not going to ruin my pump is all.
    Thank you.
    Wayne

  2. #2
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    It's not a good idea to put more than 30 pounds in a bladder tank than the bladder tank pre charge. That said, hold the plate on the pressure switch down until it won't make any more pressure. If it's say, 65 lbs. you should be good to set your switch at 40/60. But before doing this pump the tank up to around 40 psi. to be safe.

    bob...

  3. #3

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    Hi Bob.
    I don't understand the 30lbs more than the bladder tank pre-charge statement.
    My bladder came precharged at 40 and I took 12 out to get it to 28 and I'm running my pressure switch, now, at 30/50.
    My real question is about the impact on the pump. Is it ok to leave it there, at 30/50 that is, as long as it seems to be working ok?
    It's been working ok at 20/40 for the last 8 years. I just wanted to make sure that upping that to 30/50 wouldn't have a negative impact on my pump. From what I've been reading the pump running a little isn't bad for it but cycling on and off is awful, the worst.
    Thanks. You're a great help. I appreciate your input.

  4. #4
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    If you have been using 20/40 for all these years and it is enough pressure, and you are now using 30/50, there is no reason to increase it to 40/60. You will use more electricity, and the pump wear will require you to buy a new pump sooner.

    It will also result in more frequent pumping, greater water use, and longer pump runs because the pump capacity is reduced at higher pressure.

    Sixty psi on a shallow well jet is possible but you will have more problems because any little anomaly, such as lower water table in the dry season or a very small air leak on the suction side, will give you problems.

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    The reason I said to up the pressure in the tank before trying to see how high the pump would go, was to protect the bladder from getting stretched. If the pump can make more pressure, you want to know what the max is. Then set the high side at least 5 lbs lower.

    I'm not one that believes that pumps wear out. They just get plugged up with mineral, but the high pressure won't hurt a thing. If your worried about the reduced drawdown by raising the pressure, just raise the high side 10 pounds and leave the low side alone. That will give more drawdown and help keep the pump from cycling.

    bob...

  6. #6
    vaplumber
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedbump
    I'm not one that believes that pumps wear out. They just get plugged up with mineral, but the high pressure won't hurt a thing. If your worried about the reduced drawdown by raising the pressure, just raise the high side 10 pounds and leave the low side alone. That will give more drawdown and help keep the pump from cycling.

    bob...
    Hi Bob. Under ideal circumstances a pump should never wear out, but it is almost a dream to find ideal circumstances. I have pulled pumps that seemed to work well yet the customer was complaining about low water flow, or a slight pause in flow just as the pump would start. I have examined the pumps internally, and have found plastic impellers worn down to 2/3rds their size by sand and grit, thrust bearings shot, and pump to motor shafts worn from the pump shaft riding up upon start up and droping down under load. I am not trying to be a wise guy here. Please do not take this that way. Just passing on some info to look upon when you face a future diagnosis. For pressure here locally we use 30/50 on a deep well and 20/40 on shallow wells or cisterns. Even though 30/50 will use slightly more electric, it stresses the pump less than extra cycles would when pushing the water head up all of that pipe. Most pressure tanks are rated to 150 psi, and the bladder is repeatedly tested at full stretch with proper pressure. If you maintain the air cushion at 2 psi below pump cut on pressure, then there should be no problems.

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    I was referring to jet pumps not submersibles. Subs do wear out especially when they are pumping sand. All pumps wear out when pumping sand especially the ones with the stainless steel impellers. They go before most plastics. I have seen the eyes totally gone after pumping grit. I don't take them apart anymore because it isn't necessary.

    As for the pressure, I crank it up. It makes the customer happy and it doesn't hurt anything I am aware of except the bladder if the precharge isn't set right. We usually try to set pumps with a 30 lb. differential. This gives a little better drawdown if done with bladder tanks that don't mind the extra water in their bladders. Then there is the constant pressure valve. This issue has been debated a lot and no one is bending on their opinion. Mine is however, that CSV's are a darned good idea and should have been around a long time ago.

    Tell me why you think the extra 10 to 20 pounds is detrimental to a pump or the plumbing. I am curious.

    bob...

  8. #8
    vaplumber
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    Originally Posted by speedbump
    I was referring to jet pumps not submersibles. Subs do wear out especially when they are pumping sand. All pumps wear out when pumping sand especially the ones with the stainless steel impellers. They go before most plastics. I have seen the eyes totally gone after pumping grit. I don't take them apart anymore because it isn't necessary.

    >>Bob I am sorry. I should have read the original post with more care. The stress from shorter cycles I mentioned was all related to sub pumps.

    As for the pressure, I crank it up. It makes the customer happy and it doesn't hurt anything I am aware of except the bladder if the precharge isn't set right. We usually try to set pumps with a 30 lb. differential. This gives a little better drawdown if done with bladder tanks that don't mind the extra water in their bladders.

    >>You are correct. The 30 lbs gives you a larger drawdown. I apologize once again. My mind was really out to lunch this time! There is really no rule to the pressures that we use here, for instance when I stated that we use 20/40 on shallow wells and 30/50 on deep wells. The intent with the 30/50 is exactly the same, it just gives the pump a little more run time, and a small amount more water per cycle.

    Then there is the constant pressure valve. This issue has been debated a lot and no one is bending on their opinion. Mine is however, that CSV's are a darned good idea and should have been around a long time ago.

    >> I agree completely with this. The csv keeps the drop line and pump under constant pressure and allows the pump to start under the load that it was built to run under. This stops all linear movement inside the pump head and will make the thrust bearings and the shaft couplings last much longer. It will also allow the pump to produce more or less flow while still running under it's designed load.

    Tell me why you think the extra 10 to 20 pounds is detrimental to a pump or the plumbing. I am curious.

    >>It is not. I say again my mind has been on lunch break! I read the post about 30lb differential between bladder pressure and cutout pressure, and stupidly connected that he was running a 30lb differential between bladder pressure and cutin pressure. Sorry I misunderstood. I now see that you meant to pump the bladder up to protect it while checking pressure of the pump. One more apology due for this. It has just been one of those days.
    Last edited by vaplumber; 05-28-2006 at 02:11 PM.

  9. #9

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    We normally set up shallow well jet pump systems to run 30/50. I also think that using 30/50 versus 20/40 doesn't put undue strain on the pump.
    However, drawdown on a diaphragm tank (or standard tank, for that matter) is higher at 20/40 than it is at 30/50, at least that's what the manufacturers specs. say.
    Ron

  10. #10
    vaplumber
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    Gentlemen you all give great advice and I have found very little that I can disagree with. You ask how I arrive at the pressure system settings that I use? It comes from a goulds siminar that I attended many years ago. I apply this info to all pumps, sub or jet. Goulds suggests for up to 1 horsepower sub pump to run 1 minute per cycle, and up to 2 hp to run for 2 minutes per cycle...no more, no less. Above this pump hp rating requires custom design, development, and research. I have experimented with pressure tank sizes, pipe sizes, and pressure switch settings for many years to come up with my system, and have found these settings to work very well to meet the requirements, and follow them on jet pumps as well, even though goulds says that jet pumps are not sensitive to run times. On another side note, when I install a sub pump in high use or abusive situations, I have a local machine shop that I work with. I dis-assemble the pumphead, and take the thru shaft from the pumping head, as well as the motor to this shop. I have the coupler drilled, and a grade 10 aircraft quality roll pin installed through the joint. This allows the franklin motor thrust bearings to take on some of the load that would normally all be placed on the pump head thrust bearing. I have never had an issue with either goulds, or franklin with this modification when it comes to warranty. Abikerboy mentioned in a past post that his pump serves 3 households, and was installed in 1993. I did not install this pump, but did suggest this modification to the pump man, which was done. In oct 2002, I installed a flow meter as asked for due to a multi-property refinance, and with this being a shared well for all 3 properties. This flow meter was in place for 30 days, and was read every morning at 7:00. Average use was 1400 gallons a day! I also installed a minimum flow restrictor, and a pressure guage for the final test, which showed that the pump could still produce above 110 psi, and a flow test proved that this 10 gpm pump was actually producing a little over 12 gpm, all of which indicated to me that all impeller stages were functioning and in great shape. If you pull any pump around 5 years of age or older, even though the pump works great, and will for many more years, you will find at least 2 impeller stages, and maybe more, that are damaged. You will find thrust bearing wear, and shaft wear. By the way, a csv will really prevent this wear! A pressure and flow check on a 5 year old pump will show it just ever so slightly below its rated capacity, and a maximum pressure below 100 psi. Abikerboys 10EJ10422 was put in service with the modification in Jan 1993, so experience does prove itself! I have even used the roll pin modification to repair pumps with shaft damage, and I do still rebuild pump heads. I am the only one in this area who does, and I am overloaded with calls from well drillers and pump servicers alike! I can pull a pump, repair a stripped motor/pump, install a new stack, and reinstall the pump for about half of what a replacement plus installation costs, and I offer a 2 year warranty on my repairs! I have never had to pay out on one of my repairs, and many are still in use with 20 years of background behind them! I repaired one pump in 2002, which was installed in 1969! You can do some slight modifications, and replace the old iron/steel impeller/bowl units with the new nitrile plastic units! I have a certification in pump repair from goulds, and if you speak with jimmy allen there, he will substanciate my repair history as valid and accepted. All for info only. Great job here guys!
    Last edited by vaplumber; 05-29-2006 at 01:22 AM.

  11. #11
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by filadajunk
    Hi, I have a quick question.
    I just replaced my bladder and it has stopped my pump from kicking on and off every few seconds.
    My question has to do with the pressure switch setting. I also replaced that as the old one was quite corroded and had dead frogs and lizards and stuff in it. But, I digress. I believe that the old pressure switch was set to 20/40. When I talk to my water treatment guy, who doesn't claim to be a well man but works around them a lot, tells me he's never heard of anyone using 20/40 and suggested I set it to 40/60. It came set at 30/50 so I left it there and when I installed my new bladder I set the pressure in it to 28lbs.
    The real question is wether or not setting the pressure up the 10lbs can have a negative impact on my pump? It seems like it takes it a little while, 20-30 seconds to get it up to 50 after the water is shut off. It's an above ground jet pump if that's significant in any way. Just wanna make sure I'm not going to ruin my pump is all.
    Thank you.
    Wayne
    Many or most types of newer water treatment equipment requires a minimum of 40 psi for correct operation but on average will work just fine with 30/50 psi. Newer refrigerators have the same requirement.

    If you have a softener, 20 psi isn't all that good for resin life. If you have any type of filter other than a carbon filter, and it backwashes or regenerates, you're substantially shortening the life of the mineral with less than 30 psi while your water quality will suffer also while the pressure loss across the unit can be substantially higher. The problem is insufficient backwashing; and with a softener, probable brine draw and/or not getting the brine into the resin bed in the appropriate time frame.

    Higher pressure settings on a pump really isn't going to harm them as long as the pressure tank is large enough to provide the proper off time between pump starts for submersible pumps. All pump motors are rated for continuous operation. IMO, water treatment equipment should be more important and thereby should be operated properly rather than worrying unnecessarily about 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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    Don't feel bad Vaplumber, I miss read posts all the time. Then have to go back and re-read them to see what I misconstrued. I think we are all on the same page however. And there is nothing better for giving advice to DIYers than experience. It sounds like you have had your share of that. It should be noted that all things are not equal. What works in your part of town may be totally different than mine depending on types of wells, water equipment etc.

    All we can do is give the best advice we can for the knowledge we have aquired over the years. That's why you don't hear me talking too much about plumbing. I have done a limited amount of it for myself, but as far as knowing what is the proper thing to do, forget it. I'll leave that to the pros in that field.

    bob...

  13. #13

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    For me, all I know is that appreciate all of the assistance and input that I have gotten from everyone on this forum.
    I couldn't, and wouldn't, attempt to do it myself without checking with the good folks on this forum first. I don't have enough knowledge to do a lot of things myself but with folks like ya'll out there I'm a lot more likely to try. Heck, I've tried to do things myself and wound up having to call in the pros half-way through when I realized I was in over my head. We live and we learn. (we live anyhow)
    Thank you all again.
    Wayne

  14. #14
    vaplumber
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    Quote Originally Posted by filadajunk
    For me, all I know is that appreciate all of the assistance and input that I have gotten from everyone on this forum.
    I couldn't, and wouldn't, attempt to do it myself without checking with the good folks on this forum first. I don't have enough knowledge to do a lot of things myself but with folks like ya'll out there I'm a lot more likely to try. Heck, I've tried to do things myself and wound up having to call in the pros half-way through when I realized I was in over my head. We live and we learn. (we live anyhow)
    Thank you all again.
    Wayne
    This is a great place with very educated people. You have picked the right place. Some times we all say things, even towards each other which mean no harm, and which we do not mean. Even the most experienced of us can learn from each other! We are all here to help!

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    Heck, I've tried to do things myself and wound up having to call in the pros half-way through when I realized I was in over my head. We live and we learn. (we live anyhow)
    I think it was the plumber that said: "I love it when a homeowner turns a $50.00 job into a $350.00 job"

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