New Jersey Well Pump Pressure sensor issues

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by TechGromit, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. TechGromit

    TechGromit Member

    I recently had issues with my Waterfurance open loop Geothermalsystem and the repair guy said the issue was my pump, not the system and he doesn't work on pumps. So I picked up a new water pressure switch and new meter gauge for the system . I turned off the power to the water pump, disconnected the wiring and removed the faulty water pressure switch. The stem pipe leading up to the sensor switch was completely clogged with sediment. I used a screw driver, was able to remove all the sediment until the water ran clear. I then reconnected everything and turned the power back on. A lever on the side of the pressure switch allows me to force the pump to go on. I turned it on until it reached 50 PSI and it switched off, when the pressure reached 30 PSI, where it was suppose to turn on, it didn't and the pressure gauge meter dropped to zero. After fooling around with it for awhile, i decided it must be more sediment in the lines I missed. I powered everything off, took the switch off and this time I removed the pipe stem and ensured it was completely cleaned out, I also removed several other fittings to ensure there was no more sediment, put everything back together, reconnected power, tested it again, same thing happened, just wasn't switching on when it reach 30 PSI pressure. Finally I turned the pressure adjustment screw a 1/2 of a turn and thankfully it started switching on at 30 PSI. I watched it several cycles til the geothermal compressor kicked it.

    I checked the system the next day, same issue the system compressor is in lockout cause the water isn't running. I adjusted the pressure switch screw some more, it kicked on at 32 PSI, watched it after i reset the geothermal system till the compressor kicked in, problem solved.

    Checked the system a day or 2 later, same issue, now the pressure is up to 35 PSI on, 55 PSI off. Reset, worked again, watched it for half an hour.

    I checked it again today, maybe 2 or 3 days since I last looked at it, same issue. I switched the pump on, reset the Geo system, it seemed to work fine again.

    OK, whats the frigging problem? Defective Home Depot pressure switch? Did sediment get into the switch causing intermittent failures? Is there an electronic version that more reliable? I can't be watching the damn thing or be checking it everyday, I need a reliable well pump. Any ideas?

    Also why does the pressure gauge read 30 PSI then 0? I would think the pressure would continue to drop till it reached zero, not just drop to zero when the pump doesn't turn on at 30 PSI.
  2. geoxne

    geoxne Active Member Forum Leader

    It appears your new pressure switch has a low pressure cut off that requires manual reset with the lever. Did you have that on your old switch? They can be problematic if not required for pump protection from loss of prime or dry run.

    Check the precharge in your pressure tank. The pressure should be checked only with the power off to pump and the tank drained. It should be set to 2psi less than cut in pressure of switch. If the tank won't hold set pressure your bladder has failed. If tank set pressure is higher than cut in pressure the tank will be empty of water before the pump turns on and drop to zero psi at the switch and gauge. This will also engage the low pressure shutoff safety (usually factory set at 10psi less than cut in pressure.

    The factory pressure switch settings are typically right on and I would discourage adjustments that may throw everything out of wack.
  3. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Pressure switches with manual levers are for air compressors, not water pumps. Get the correct switch and your troubles should go away, sans the sediment. Hope this helps.
  4. TechGromit

    TechGromit Member

    The tank read 35 PSI, the pump was set to switch on at a hair under 35 PSI. I took some air out of the tank, it's about 32 1/2 right now. I was using a tire pressure gauge, so it's possible it's not completely accurate. If I have any more issues with it, I'll get a more exact pressure gauge to measure and set the tank pressure.

    I didn't mess with the adjustments right away, it was out of desperation to get it to work before I touched anything. I had no idea the tank pressure was so far off, the original water pressure meter was busted, so I had not idea what the original settings were.

    This makes logical sense, after I removed pressure from the tank and I adjusted it a second time by draining the tank, the meter read around 20 PSI before it dropped to zero, it never did that before.

    I find that strange they were in the same section of the store as the other water pressure gauges. Perhaps in a perfect world they shouldn't have manual lever so fools like me don't mess with them, but I believe it's the correct part. If I continue to have issues after adjusting the tank pressure again, I'll replace it with the type you recommend, they are certainly inexpensive enough.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2017
  5. arkie6

    arkie6 Active Member Forum Leader

    We use pressure switches with the low pressure cut-off on well pumps to prevent burning up the pump if the well runs dry. These have a lever on them to hold in the ON position long enough for the well pump to build up pressure above the cut-off pressure. This is common practice in my area.
    urthbuoy likes this.

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