Are you a resident of the Greater Phoenix, Arizona area who relies on a well for your water supply?
Living in the Phoenix area presents unique challenges in maintaining a well-operated water system.
In fact, the state’s recent analysis projected a water shortfall of 4.86 million acre-feet in the Phoenix area over the next 100 years.
The intense heat and high water demand make it crucial for all Arizona residents to pay attention to water resources.
For those people relying on well water, it’s also important to pay attention to your well, well pump, well switches, and all other elements related to managing your well water.
In this article, we will be exploring the maintenance of your well pump pressure switch.
Below are the indicators to help you determine if your well pump pressure switch is bad.
How to Tell If Your Well Pump Pressure Switch Is Bad
You’re running late for work because you spent thirty minutes fighting with the shower.
You’ll have to deal with it when you get home.
But how do you diagnose a bad well pressure switch? Here are some clear signs that your pressure switch is beginning to fail:
- Your water pressure is at or above the cut-out pressure, yet the pump doesn’t turn off.
- Your pump doesn’t turn on at the proper cut-in pressure.
- You have low water pressure even though the pump is running.
- Your pump runs, but it cycles on and off repeatedly.
Before you begin inspecting your well pump pressure switch, be sure to check the power to the well switch (which can be found near your pressure tank) and make sure it is on.
Once you know it hasn’t been switched off, check the circuit breaker to see if it has been tripped. Reset it if needed.
Now you can begin troubleshooting your pressure switch by following the steps below:
Turn the Power Off
You need to cut power to the well pump system because plumbing and electricity can be a dangerous combination if you accidentally come into contact with a live wire while touching a grounded plumbing pipe.
If the circuit is continuously tripping, it could be a problem with the well pump.
Access the Switch
The switch is connected to the plumbing pipe system.
Remove the plastic covering by unscrewing the top screw cap counterclockwise.
You may need to use plumbing pliers.
Check for Leaks
Next, you will check for any leaking water.
If you find water leaking, tighten the switch with your plumbing pliers.
If you find that water is leaking internally, that’s a sign that the switch is bad.
Check the Contacts
Over time, the contacts of the well pump may corrode and become separated.
To address this issue, gently separate the contacts and remove the internal spring.
This action should cause the switch to activate, leading to an increase in water pressure.
If this doesn’t happen, the well pump likely requires either repair or replacement.
Once the switch successfully closes, you can safely turn the power back on.
Cycle the Water Pump
Open a faucet close to the pump then allow it to cycle completely.
When the pressure drops, the switch may fail to close.
This would indicate that the internal spring is bad and the switch needs to be replaced.
Don’t touch the water while it’s energized.
If you see sparks, remove power.
Test for a Bad Connection
With the cover removed and the power on, use the handle of a screwdriver and bang it firmly against the tube under the switch.
This will cause movement in the electrical components.
If the pump turns on and you see sparks as a result of tapping the tube, there’s likely a problem with the pressure switch.
No spark? It could be the system’s controller.
If banging on the tube causes the well pump to kick on, it usually means the electrical contact surfaces (mating points) are burned or pitted, which will cause a bad connection.
See the step below for a temporary solution for contact surface problems.
Check the Mating Points
Pull the metal discs apart to check for burns and feel for pits.
If either are present, the contacts are bad.
You’ll need to replace the switch.
As a temporary solution, pull the metal discs apart (after double-checking that the power is off).
Using a nail file or emery board, clean off and smooth out the burnt or pitted areas.
This fix won’t last long, but it can buy you some time until you can replace the pressure switch or call in a well pump repair professional.
Replacing the Switch
If you cannot or don’t want to take time out of your busy schedule, you may find it easier to just hire someone to help repair your well pump.
It always seems to be the most inconvenient time when your water stops working.
Now that you know how to tell if your well pump pressure switch is bad, you can rest a little more easily.
Knowing how to troubleshoot the issue so you can soon get back to your hot morning showers.
If you have further questions about your well and how to maintain it, visit our blog.
Are you looking to hire a well pump contractor near me? Empire Pump (Commercial Well Pump Services) and Pump It Up Pump Services (Residential Well Pump Services) is a top well pump switch repair company in Phoenix, AZ., Give us a call at 623-582-5069 today, and we’ll be happy to fix your well pump pressure switch for you!