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Old 04-12-2011, 01:27 PM   #1
dexterb
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Default Well pump shuts off

I live in rural Sunman Indiana and I just had a new .5 hp submersible well pump installed last year. The well is about 25 ft. deep. Water pressure is powerful at basement level, where the pressure tank is. If I open any basement faucet fully, water runs strong and then I lose water pressure as the pump shuts off. I have to lift the prime lever on the switch to restart the pump. Then it works fine again.

It's as if once the pressure gets below 30psi the pump doesn't kick on fast enough to refill the pressure tank. Thus the shut off.

Any ideas to troubleshoot and/or fix?



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Old 04-12-2011, 02:44 PM   #2
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It sounds like you have a Square D M-4 Pressure Switch. It has a low pressure cut off lever. If your pressure setting in 30/50 and your pump allows the pressure to fall below around 20 psi, it will re open the points and shut off the pump. It's a safety feature that can be a pain in the neck sometimes. Any 1/2hp submersible in a well as shallow as yours should be able to kick on at 30 psi and immediately start climbing no matter how many faucets you have running. If it doesn't the most likely problem might be that the well can't keep up with the pump and the water level drops to the pumps intake and the pressure then starts going down and the switch does what it's designed to do.

That would also be a good reason for that switch to be on your system in the first place.

If you have a screened will and it's rather old, the screen could be plugging up and starving the pump for water.



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Old 04-13-2011, 02:52 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. Yes, that's the correct switch. And my dilemma continues because I can physically open the well lid and see the water is a solid 15 feet above the pump, so I'm assuming there is plenty of water to be pumped. Do I have the switch improperly adjusted perhaps?

And what is a "screened" well? BTW this pump was installed a year ago. Could sediment stirred up clog the pump?

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Old 04-13-2011, 03:17 AM   #4
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Do I have the switch improperly adjusted perhaps?

I'm going to say that "yes" you do.
From your question it self, tells me that you have tried to adjust it.

Try a new switch or take the old switch to the hardware store and match up the adjustment screws on the old one with a new one of the same psi setting.
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Old 04-13-2011, 02:45 PM   #5
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Yes I did adjust the switch, evidently improperly. This switch is also only one year old. How would adjusting it one way or the other cause the sudden pressure loss? I thought adjusting it "up" would simply raise the operating range from it's 30/50 to about 40/60. Am I safe to assume that a new switch from Lowe's will be at the proper setting right out of the box?

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Old 04-14-2011, 03:48 PM   #6
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30/60 is no problem in most cases, and I don't see how that could have any effect on your low pressure causing the switch to act like it's supposed to. For some reason the pump isn't keeping up with demand which lets the pressure to drop low enough to activate the low pressure shut off feature.

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Old 04-14-2011, 11:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dexterb View Post
Yes I did adjust the switch, evidently improperly. This switch is also only one year old. How would adjusting it one way or the other cause the sudden pressure loss? I thought adjusting it "up" would simply raise the operating range from it's 30/50 to about 40/60. Am I safe to assume that a new switch from Lowe's will be at the proper setting right out of the box?

If you adjusted it a year ago and it has been working like that, then "speedbump' is right. Your well could be running out of water.
Adjusting it up would have no affect on the amount of water you used, or not enough too make a difference.
If you adjusted it and then started having this problem, I would look at a new 30/ 50 switch and try to match it.

Does your switch have two adjusting screws or just one?
If it has two only adjust the tall one down. It will raise the cut on and the cut off at the same time.
The other will adjust the the cut in pressure only. A 20 psi difference between on and off is where it should be.
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Old 04-28-2011, 05:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waterwelldude View Post
If you adjusted it a year ago and it has been working like that, then "speedbump' is right. Your well could be running out of water.
Adjusting it up would have no affect on the amount of water you used, or not enough too make a difference.
If you adjusted it and then started having this problem, I would look at a new 30/ 50 switch and try to match it.

Does your switch have two adjusting screws or just one?
If it has two only adjust the tall one down. It will raise the cut on and the cut off at the same time.
The other will adjust the the cut in pressure only. A 20 psi difference between on and off is where it should be.
I will check on adj screws. Seems like I remember there was only one, but I'll let you know. Replacing the switch with a new one is possible.

Would the pressure in the pressure tank have any bearing on this issue?

I guarantee the well is not out of water, as I can reach into the well and touch the water surface...we've had tons of rain. And the pump is about 20-25 ft down in the well. FWIW, other faucets in the house can run continuously with no noticeable fluctuation in pressure, but if someone is taking a shower and I open a fast-moving faucet like the basement or another tub - kaboom, it shuts off and I have to trigger the switch again.
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Old 04-28-2011, 05:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
FWIW, other faucets in the house can run continuously with no noticeable fluctuation in pressure, but if someone is taking a shower and I open a fast-moving faucet like the basement or another tub - kaboom, it shuts off and I have to trigger the switch again.
That's what the switch does. When the pressure gets to a certain point below the cut in pressure, it shuts the pump down again. That's how it works. It happens because you use more water and that causes a drop in pressure.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:28 AM   #10
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Thanks waterwelldude; 16628! I think that my problem is fixed after reading your advice.








Quote:
Originally Posted by waterwelldude View Post
If you adjusted it a year ago and it has been working like that, then "speedbump' is right. Your well could be running out of water.
Adjusting it up would have no affect on the amount of water you used, or not enough too make a difference.
If you adjusted it and then started having this problem, I would look at a new 30/ 50 switch and try to match it.

Does your switch have two adjusting screws or just one?
If it has two only adjust the tall one down. It will raise the cut on and the cut off at the same time.
The other will adjust the the cut in pressure only. A 20 psi difference between on and off is where it should be.


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