How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jerry Your Own Question
Jerry, Plumber
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 3360
Experience:  over 20 years residential plumbing experience.
Type Your Plumbing Question Here...
Jerry is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

The pressure switch on my well pump/bladder tank was recently

This answer was rated:

The pressure switch on my well pump/bladder tank was recently replaced. The switch keeps turning off. Today I was in Lowe's and saw a pressure switch and a low pressure switch. I wonder if the wrong switch was put in. What is the difference. The one that is installed now has a lever on the side that says Auto..Start..Off. Just like the one at Lowe's that was a low pressure switch. I can't recall what the original switch looked like. I can only do one household task at a time (laundry, shower, dishwasher) or I run out of water. My well pump is 5 years old. Would a low pressure switch cause this problem?
Chat Conversation Started
Jerry : I can help.
It sounds like the low pressure switch is doing its job. If your well pump is not working properly or you are running low on water in the well ( causing the pressure to drop) the low pressure switch will automatically turn off the power to the pump. This prevent pump damage.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Could the wrong switch be installed? I really do not know if it is a low pressure or just a pressure switch. What is the differance? Does it matter? Could it be a bad switch? If I replace the switch, should it be a low pressure or just a pressure switch?
Ok a low pressure switch is designed for low water Wells. In other words if your well produces 3 gallons per min and your well pump is capable of pumping 10 gals per min. Then you will run out of water and the pump will continue to run.
So a low pressure switch would prevent pump damage.

Edited by Jerry on 9/12/2010 at 1:14 AM EST
Ok. Was this installed by a professional? Another expert here believes you may have installed an air compresser switch on this system. Is there a decimated 3 positions on the switch?
On the low pressure switch, the only way to get the pump to stay on is to manually hold the lever in the center position until the pump builds enough pressure to hold. Is this the type?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

How would I check this to know what type of switch to use. I'd rather start with the least expensive item first. I have a Red Jacket pump. 1/2 HP, 60 ph/hz, 6.0 amps. I ran water for 1 minute full throttle from the tube faucet and got 4 gallons in a minute. Would this cause a low pressure switch to kick off? If I replaced the present switch with a regular switch might I alleviate the problem of the present switch kicking off?

In regards XXXXX XXXXX questions. No there is no decimated 3 positions. Just auto at the 9' o clock position. Start @ 10 o'clock and then if you continue to the off position, it snaps to Off @11o'clock position.

Yes I do need to hold the switch until pressure builds up. But there are times when the pressure gets to about 30, I let go of the lever and the pressure will drop to 0.

A low pressure switch is always ok to use even if you don't have a low water well. First, why was the switch replaced? And second have you checked the static air pressure in the bladder tank?
Running 4 gpm only should not kick off the lpressure switch. Unless of course your well is not producing 4 gpm anymore. By changing to a standard switch You run the risk of burning up the well pump motor if in fact your well is drying up.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I can't recall why the switch was replaced. I'll stick with a LP switch. How would the static in the tank be checked. How difficult is that to do?
Easy to do. Just turn pump off. Make sure all water pressure is off system. There is an air shrader valve( bike tire style) on the tank. Just use a standard tire pressure guage and check bladder pressure. You should have approximately 40 psi. In tank. If not use bike pump to pressurize it.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
So, it has to have a place to check the pressure, right? Tank is in a tough area so I will check tomorrow. Now, would the switch kicking off cause the tank to loose the static air pressure and visa versa? How would it loose static AP if that is the cause of the switch kicking off?
Switch kicking on and off would not cause the bladder to lose pressure. Low bladder pressure usually causes pump to kick on and off often. The only thing that SHOULD make your LP switch to trip is lack of water. But I would definitely check the bladder pressure anyway. Hope this has been helpful.
Jerry, Plumber
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 3360
Experience: over 20 years residential plumbing experience.
Jerry and other Plumbing Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
< Previous | Next >
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland

Meet The Experts:

  • Marc



    Satisfied Customers:

    Plumbing heating & home maintenance contractor
< Last | Next >
  • Marc's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Plumbing heating & home maintenance contractor
  • Jerry's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    over 20 years residential plumbing experience.
  • Theplumber717's Avatar


    Plumber, Hvac Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    Lic Plumbing contractor, 28/yrs res,com,repair,Universal HVAC Tech
  • Mario's Avatar


    Master Plumber

    Satisfied Customers:

    Master Plumber, Fire Sprinkler, and Jobbing Spec.
  • Bud's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    22 Years Field Experience - 17 Years Business Ownership - Residential or Light Commercial
  • Phil's Avatar


    Mechanical Engineer.

    Satisfied Customers:

    Retired mech. contractor, shop owner, 51 yrs experience.
  • Rick Mather's Avatar

    Rick Mather

    Building Inspector

    Satisfied Customers:

    Assistant Building Official, HVAC Tech