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Jerry, Plumber
Category: Plumbing
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Experience:  over 20 years residential plumbing experience.
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The pressure switch on my well pump/bladder tank was recently

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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?
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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.
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