As a well owner, you will absolutely need to know about the ins and outs of the well in your property. When you are knowledgeable about how your well works, its parts and functions, and how to do some minor fixing, it will make your life more convenient.
Although there are many benefits that come with having a well installed such as cleaner and safer water, owning one is sometimes not a walk in the park. There may be cases where your well will not be able to release the water that your household needs, or there are also cases when the water it releases is murky and cloudy. When you have a general idea of the issues that are possible to happen with your well, it will be easier to try to do it yourself for the minor problems and calling your contractor for the more serious ones.
What is a low pressure cutout switch?
If you want to know your well, it is best to start with its parts. A well has multiple parts that have a specific purpose. One of these parts is called a “pressure switch.”
Pressure switches are the switch that functions to signal the well pump to begin or halt the pumping process.
A well pump, as its name suggests, is the one that pumps the water into the water system of the well. The water will in turn travel until it reaches the designated faucets that are being used by a residential, commercial, or industrial property where the well is located. When well pumps are often compared to a heart, pressure switches can also be likened to a human brain. This is because pressure switches are responsible for sending signals so that the well pump will know when to start or start pumping again.
A low pressure cutout switch turns off the well pump in cases where the water pressure in the lines drops too low. This would depend on the pressure setting of your well, which is often measured using psi or pounds per square inch.
How does a low pressure switch work?
When the water pressure in your well has already gone too low, the purpose of the low pressure switch is to let the pump get more water in. Compared to a high pressure switch that detects if the water pressure is too high, low pressure switches monitor how low the pressure is and will then automatically open at a certain set point.
Many well pumps are typically set in a specific set point of 20-40, 30-50, or 40-60 psi. The lower number will indicate that the pressure is already at its minimum, while the highest number is the maximum pressure that is needed for the well to pump water into its system.
A low pressure switch would work this way: For example, if your well’s pressure switch is set to 40-60 psi and is currently at 39 or 38 pounds per square inch, the low pressure switch would then send a signal to the pump to let more water in, which make your well’s water pressure in the normal amount. Without a low pressure switch, the well’s water pressure will not be regulated and will cause the water to not be transported into your piping system. When this happens, you will not be able to get water from your faucets.
Can a low pressure cutout switch fail?
Although most of the parts of your well are expected to last for many years, there is always a possibility that your well’s parts would need to be maintained and repaired earlier due to various reasons. Most pressure cutout switches in well pumps can often last for around 10 to 20 years, depending on its make and how it is maintained.
Most common issues with pressure switches
Here are the most common issues that you might encounter. Some may be due to the pressure switch or are due to a problem with another part and mechanism of your well.
- Your pressure switch might be loose
There are many reasons why a pressure switch might be loose, although this is what mainly happens as time passes. If a loose mechanism is the cause, this can often be fixed by tightening the plumbing connection or may eventually need to be replaced.
- Your pressure switch might be corroded
Rust and corrosion can be very damaging to a pressure switch. When it is apparent that the switch is already rusty, it would be best to fit in a new one. This will also relieve the stress of your well pump, making it last longer and work more efficiently.
- Your pressure switch might be clogged
Clogging is bound to happen, especially in places that are high in sediment and mineral content. If this is the case, the sensor in your pressure switch will be blocked. When the debris is still minimal, you can have it cleaned to remove the blockage.
- Your pressure switch might not be signaling properly
For this problem, it can be caused by various culprits, such as a damaged diaphragm – which makes the switch not able to give an accurate reading of the well’s water pressure. It can also be due to a defective electrical contact. These issues can be usually fixed by replacing the switch.
Can you fix a pressure switch on your own?
You can certainly fix a pressure switch using on your own, however, it is important to know that there are some risks in doing so, such as possible electrocution and contamination of your water well if done incorrectly. To avoid this, it would be best to get the help of a trusted contractor in your area.