How To Replace A Well Pump Pressure Switch

Below is a video on How To Replace A Well Pump Pressure Switch

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Today we will be showing you how to replace a well pump pressure switch. The well pump switch is located close to where your well pipe line enters the house and right next to your well tank.


The reason we are replacing this one is that the contacts are burnt out causing this switch to not engage at all or to stick on and over pressurize the system causing the blow off valve or pressure relief valve to go off on the hot water heater. A couple of other reasons why we are changing the pressure switch out is because there is not connector holding the hard conduit into the pump pressure switch on either side. So the wire insulation can become damaged creating a short.


So the first thing we want to do is remove the pump switch cover and then we can take a picture with a cell phone as the wires will need to end up in the same spot. Next we can use a 110 volt test meter to test the wires to make sure that our breaker or power wires are on the outside terminals on the pump switch. When testing both wires you should get 220v – 240v. Once we have determined what wires are power wires we can go ahead a locate the breaker labeled well pump and turn it off. We can use the 110v test meter and retest the wires to ensure the power is off. We can also test each leg to ground to ensure that the power is totally off.


Once we have the power off we can grab a flat screwdriver in this case and undo the screws to be able to remove our wires. Once we have the wires removed off our terminals we can remove the wires from the pump switch box.


Once we have the wires removed from the pump switch box we can go ahead and drain the system down or let the pressure off it. In this case we don’t have a boiler drain or drain to connect a hose and run it outside to drain the system down. So in this case we are going to go upstairs run the faucets to remove all the water we can and all the pressure off the system then we’ll go ahead and crack the union lose right next to the well tank. Well use a shop vac to suck up the water as it drains out.


Once we have the system drained down we are going to cut in a ¾ tee and an adapter and add in the boiler drain to make it easier to drain it down next time just incase we need to replace the well tank itself or the pressure switch again. So when putting the adapter and the valve on its best to put the valve and the adapter together , tighten it and then glue it on so you can get the valve facing the way you want.


Alright now that we have finished installing the boiler drain and the system is drained we are now ready to remove the well pump pressure switch. You will need two pairs of channel lock pliers in this case we have one so we will be using a pair of vise grips to hold the stem under the pressure switch so that doesn’t turn. Well use the pair of channel lock pliers we do have to turn the nut right under the pressure switch to loosen it and then remove it by hand. There is a screen in the bottom of the pressure switch depending on who makes it that can become clogged if you have high iron in your water sometimes you can just clean the screen and reinstall it but if you went though the whole thing of getting it off you might as well just replace it.


Once we have the old pressure switch removed we can clean the old teflon tape off the threads. Once we have that off we can grab some new teflon tape and add some to the top of the nipple or stand pipe. Will also add some soft set thread sealant as well we are going to use gasolia. Once we have the tape and the thread sealant on we can un package our new well pump pressure switch.


Well start threading the new pump switch on by hand then we’ll give it a few turns with the pliers to get it facing the way we want it to. You will want to match the pump switch presetting, this switch we are replacing is a 40-60. That means the well pump kicks on a 40 psi and will shut off at 60 psi. If it were an older house it could be a 30-50. You can adjust the number but best to start with what closely matches what you have.


So now that we have the well pump switch on we can reinstall our wires back into the pump switch. Well start with the breaker ones first. We bought an adapter to go from the end of the conduct to our box. Once we have the wires and the adapter into the box we can go ahead and attach the wires. Well attach the ground wire to the ground screw. Next we can do the other two wires. These are coming from the breaker powering the switch so these need to go onto the outer two lugs or terminals of the pump switch.


Next we can reinstall the pump wires into the switch for this one we are going to add ultra tight empty conduit to help protect the wires from getting damaged and creating a sort. So we got the wire pushed through the empty conduit and we are using the straight adapter to attach it to the pump switch box. Once we have the wires in there we can attach the ground wire to the grounding screw and then the other two wires to the two inner terminals or lugs of the switch. Keep in mind which way your wire hook is facing as you want it to pull the wire in as we tighten it not push it out.


So now that we have all our wires hooked up well tell you quick how the pump switch can be adjusted. The taller screw if you were to tighten it 4 or 5 turns in would increase the range. Meaning this started as a 40-60 switch if you turned that 4-5 times it would increase that to 44 – 64 or so. The smaller screw will adjust just the high side cut off. So if you left the range adjustment screw alone it would turn on at 40 but if you turn the shorter screw 5 times it would make the high side cut off or when the pump turns off up to 65. These can be adjusted with a ⅜ nut driver with a hole stem or handle.


Now that we have the pump switch reinstalled and the wires going to it all hooked up we can now check the pressure within the well tank. Well locate the air fill valve and remove the cover. Next we can grab a trusted/ good tire pressure gauge and see how much pressure is in the well tank. This one has 32 currently in it which is low. The manufacture calls for 2 PSI below the low setting where the pump turns on. Which is 40 on this switch. So we want the pressure in the well tank to be 38 PSI. So well grab a air chuck and fill it to get it to 38 psi. Once we have the proper air pressure within the well tank we can reinstall the dust cover over the air inlet.


Once we have the well tank to the correct pressure we can now double check the drain valve to make sure its shut well also check the valve to isolate the house from the pump is shut. Well also check the union as we loosened it to drain the system down.


Once we know they are all off or closed we can turn the breaker or the service disconnect back on powering up the pump. Once the tank is pressurized we check for any leaks if there are none we can open the valve pressurizing the house. Once we have the house pressurized we can run the faucet or a hose to get all the air out and also to cycle the switch to see where the pump turns on and off. Since this is a 40-60 switch it should turn the pump on at 40 and off at 60 PSI. If it needs adjustment you can use that ⅜ nut driver and adjust it.

This one is right on turning the pump on at 40 PSI and OFF at 60 PSI so next well come back down and double check everything that we touched to ensure there are no leaks. Where we cut in the boiler drain, the valve to isolate the house, the union and where we attached the pump switch.



This one has no leaks so that’s it we have just shown you how to replace a well pump pressure switch








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