It’s a Monday morning and you’re excited to take that hot shower before you have to head to work. Oh no!

What happened to the water?

Very inconveniently, your well pump pressure switch has ceased to function. You may not even have known it existed until you needed it most.

Over time, the pressure switch will begin to degrade. Such is the nature of mechanical components.

If you find that your water pressure is low, you could be dealing with a worn out well pump pressure switch. Here’s how to tell 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 now because you spent thirty minutes fighting with the shower. You’ll have to deal with it when you get home.

But how do you know for sure that your issue is the pressure switch? Here are some tell-tale 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 that 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. Go to the circuit breaker and switch off or remove the breakers that feed the well pump. Use a neon tester or VOM to be sure no power is going to your unit.

If you find that 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 in a counterclockwise motion. 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, the switch is bad.

Check the Contacts

Pull the contacts apart and dislodge the internal spring. If the switch doesn’t close and the water pressure remains low, the switch needs to be repaired.

If the switch does close, you can turn the power back on.

Cycle the Water Pump

Open a faucet close to the pump. Allow it to cycle completely.

When the pressure drops, the switch may fail to close. This would indicate that the internal spring is bad. 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 jar its electrical components. If you notice a spark and the pump powers on, you have a bad pressure switch.

No spark? It could be the 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 need to replace the switch.

As a temporary fix, 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

You may need to contact a professional to get a second opinion. If you cannot take time out of your busy schedule, it would be easier to hire someone to repair your well pump.

It’s always the most inconvenient times 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.

If it happens to you, you will know what to do. It is a relatively quick and easy fix, so you can soon get back to your hot morning showers.

If you have any further questions about your well and how to maintain it, visit our blog.


Are you searching online to “hire a well pump contractor near me?” Pump It Up Pump Services is a top well pump switch repair company in Phoenix, AZ.  If your well pump pressure switch isn’t functioning, give us a call at 623-582-5069 today and we’ll be happy to fix it for you!

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