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Old 09-06-2015, 03:46 PM   #1
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Well water pressure issues


I was reading a post with a similar issue about well-water-fluctuating-water-pressure and have a couple of questions about my situation. We are on a well and had the well pump replaced about 10-12 years ago. Within the last few years we have noticed inconsistent water pressure throughout the house as well as outside, strong stream for a few minutes followed by a weak stream, strong, weak, etc. After reading up on this type of issue I drained all the water from our tank and checked the pressure which was less than 10 psi. I have a 40psi tank but we also have a 30/50 switch which leads to my first question. Should I replace the pressure switch so that I have a 40/60 switch with a 40psi tank? I pumped up the tank to 38 psi and tested but when the gauge hit 38psi all water flow stopped until the gauge went down to 30 at which point the pump kicked on and water flow started again. Since I knew the switch was 30/50 I figured the tank should be set at 28 psi to work properly with the switch so I let some air out and left it at 28psi. Now when I test, water flow is pretty steady until the gauge reads about 32psi, then it slows and stops for a few seconds around 30 until the pump kicks in. Needless to say the total loss of water is annoying when you are taking a shower but it only lasts a few seconds. My other question: Is it possible the tank is also faulty since I run out of water completely before the pump kicks in or is this just a mismatch of tank/pressure switch combo?

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Old 09-06-2015, 04:31 PM   #2
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it sounds like you may have a partial blockage in the tube leading to your pressures switch. If so, it could cause the pressure change to the switch to be delayed a bit. This could account for the pressure being below the set pressure on the gauge but the pump not kicking in. It can take a bit longer for the pressure to bleed past a partial blockage.



but to start with, use the gauge to determine what the pressure switch is set to. Most pressure switches I have worked with were adjustable so the range doesn't necessarily mean a lot. It just means that is the factory setting is 30-50


just to be sure; you are setting the air in the tank with the pump off and the system completely drained of pressure, right?

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Old 09-06-2015, 04:49 PM   #3
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but to start with, use the gauge to determine what the pressure switch is set to. Most pressure switches I have worked with were adjustable so the range doesn't necessarily mean a lot. It just means that is the factory setting is 30-50
Just checked the switch using the gauge, noticeable drop off in pressure just below 40psi and then none/switch kicked on just below 36psi, turned off at 53psi. BTW, when I first turned the water on to drain the tank the gauge was reading 80psi - is that normal?

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just to be sure; you are setting the air in the tank with the pump off and the system completely drained of pressure, right?
Yes, pump off and tank empty - air pressure is 28psi.

Last edited by cdubya; 09-06-2015 at 04:56 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 09-06-2015, 05:00 PM   #4
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when I first turned the water on to drain the tank the gauge was reading 80psi - is that normal?
if you have 80 psi of water pressure it is. Otherwise, no, it means something isn't quite right whether it be the gauge itself, the pressure switch stuck on the last time it pumped up or something else I cannot say but with a pressure switch with a 30-50 range, it should not reach 80 psi at all.
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Old 09-06-2015, 05:11 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by nap View Post
it sounds like you may have a partial blockage in the tube leading to your pressures switch. If so, it could cause the pressure change to the switch to be delayed a bit. This could account for the pressure being below the set pressure on the gauge but the pump not kicking in. It can take a bit longer for the pressure to bleed past a partial blockage.
I'd begin with what nap is saying.

The little orifice in the switch, being partially plugged, can also prevent the switch from seeing the actual water pressure and that may be why your gauge read 80 lbs. The pump continued to run.

IDK about yours but to check/clean or replace the switch or 1/4" pipe nipple, mine involves shutdown of electric power to that switch and system drained.
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Old 09-06-2015, 06:11 PM   #6
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IDK about yours but to check/clean or replace the switch or 1/4" pipe nipple, mine involves shutdown of electric power to that switch and system drained.
well, if you don't turn off the power expect the line to be "self flushing" as the switch is going to go to 0 psi and turn the pump on and run until he shuts it off all the while shooting water out of that little hole.


if you don't drain the pressure in the system you will have the same effect but it won't' last as long as as the pressure drops, it will slow in flow


so, in other words; turn off the power to the pump and drain the pressure from the system before removing the pressure switch.
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Old 09-07-2015, 01:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
it sounds like you may have a partial blockage in the tube leading to your pressures switch. If so, it could cause the pressure change to the switch to be delayed a bit. This could account for the pressure being below the set pressure on the gauge but the pump not kicking in. It can take a bit longer for the pressure to bleed past a partial blockage.
Thanks Nap, that was the problem. The nipple leading from the T connecting the gauge and pressure switch was completely clogged, I don't know how any water was getting through. The T itself had some blockage as well so I figured the gauge probably had some gunk in it too. Anyway, I replaced all three and the water flow is now more constant, no stopping, just a slight drop in pressure when the gauge gets down around 30psi before the pump kicks on. But I figured that is normal. Also, no random 80psi readings either.

Thanks to both of you for your assistance on this, you were a great help!

One more question: So, no issue with having a 30/50 pressure switch with a tank rated for 40psi? Just wondering, everything seems to be functioning normally at this point.

Last edited by cdubya; 09-07-2015 at 01:25 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 09-07-2015, 01:40 PM   #8
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I can't say I have heard of a tank rated at only 40 psi. Are you certain it is not a pre-charged tank set at 40 psi? Generally a pressure vessel is tested and rated at several times the designed working pressure so a rating of 40 psi seems extremely low for a captive air tank.



but thanks for the thanks. Glad it helped.
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Old 09-07-2015, 02:05 PM   #9
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I can't say I have heard of a tank rated at only 40 psi. Are you certain it is not a pre-charged tank set at 40 psi? Generally a pressure vessel is tested and rated at several times the designed working pressure so a rating of 40 psi seems extremely low for a captive air tank.
Yeah, my mistake, it was pre-charged at 40.

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