How to Adjust a Shallow Well Pump Pressure Switch?

A shallow well pump pressure switch is designed to monitor and regulate the switching on-and-off of your pump. The activation of the pump is triggered by the rise and fall of the pressure inside the tank.

However, sometimes due to a drop in the water pressure, you may need to adjust the pressure switch. Here’s how you can accomplish it-

How to Adjust a Shallow Well Pump Pressure Switch

  • Drain the water from the storage tank
  • Note the prior settings
  • Remove switch cover
  • Make adjustments using a hex-head screwdriver
  • Re-attach the cover
  • Gauge the pressure setting

These are the necessary steps that are involved in changing the range settings. In this article, we will discuss the above procedure in-depth and also look at other important facts.

Adjusting the Shallow Well Pump Pressure Switch

Step 1 – Shut down the power supply

Before you begin, disconnect the power supply of your jet pump. You can do this by turning off the circuit breaker, or you can switch off the shut-off switch.

The circuit breaker is usually marked as “well,” and you can find the shut-off switch on the outer walls of the jet pump itself. The wires of these two are directly connected to the housing of the pressure switch.

Step 2 – Empty the tank

You will find the pressure switch on the side of the pump. To remove the switch cover, you can use a screwdriver with a 1/4″ hex-head. Before you proceed any further, you need to reduce the water pressure inside the storage tank. The presence of water in the tank can give you false pressure readings.

Open one of your home faucets and let the water flow out. Let this continue until the tank is empty.

Step 3 – Record the previous cut-in and cut-off points

After draining the water, switch on the power supply. You can locate the adjustment screw behind the terminals of the wire. It is a short screw.

Mark the distance of the exposed thread of the screw from the tip of the nut to the stud. By doing this, you will have a record of the previous settings as a reference.

Step 4 – Adjust the switch settings

By using a 3/8″ hex-head screwdriver or socket, you can adjust the switch to a higher (cut-out) or a lower (cut-in) setting. To increase the upper end of the pressure setting, turn the screw in a clockwise direction.

And, to decrease the lower end of the pressure setting, turn the screw in the opposite direction, that is, in a counter-clockwise manner. By turning the nut every time, you can either raise or drop the pressure by 2-3 PSI.

For instance, your jet pump is set at cut-in by a cut-off range of 30/50 PSI. So, if you want to raise it to 40/60 PSI, you need to twist the nut by 4 to 5 turns to get the desired setting.

Step 5 – Replace the cover

After you make the adjustments, replace the cover of the pressure switch by using the ¼” hex-head screwdriver. The pump will turn on as soon as it reaches the lower end of the pressure setting and will shut off as soon as it reaches the upper end.

Monitoring the system

It is quite important to keep an eye on the system and make sure that it is functioning properly. Bear in mind that the new cut-in and cut-out setting will kick in only after the pressure goes up to the shut-off setting.

  1. Turn on the faucet again to drain the water out. As water continues to empty the tank, the pressure inside will eventually fall below the adjusted cut-in setting. This will initiate the pump to turn on, and you can turn off the faucet.
  2. As the water keeps falling into the tank, the pressure inside will continue to rise until the tank is completely filled. Monitor the entire process with the help of a pressure gauge.
  3. While you are gauging the pressure, you can make a note of the precise cut-in and cut-out points. Repeat the process a few more times and tally the numbers.

If you find any discrepancies, then you can re-adjust the setting and run a few trials again. And continue to monitor them until you get a satisfactory result.

Why Do You Need to Adjust the Range Setting?

The following are a few reasons why you may need to change the setting of your pump’s range.

  • If your home happens to be located at a higher elevation than the well pump then, the water pressure drops by the time it reaches your home.
  • In some cases, there may be a difference in the water pressure of your first floor with that of the second floor. The second floor may receive water with considerably reduced pressure.

Increasing the range of your pressure pump can solve the above problems.

What Can Cause Your Pressure Switch to Trip?

There are a few factors that can affect your pressure switch and can cause it to trip.

  • Every tank has a pre-charge configuration set into it. If you happen to adjust your cut-in point very close to the pre-charge range then, it can cause your switch to trip.
  • Make sure that there is a difference of about 5 PSI between the cut-in and the pre-charge. For example, if your cut-in is set at 40 PSI, then ensure that the pre-charge is around 35 PSI.
  • Sometimes the switches can be off by a few psi. So, for example, if you purchase a switch, which is of 30-50 PSI, it could turn out to be of 28-48 PSI.
  • Also, the pressure around the tank can, at times, increase its pre-charge.

A Few Pointers

Here are a couple of points that you need to bear in mind:

  • A Majority of the bladder tanks are fashioned to indicate the pressure 2 PSI below the preset cut-in point when the tank is empty. So, when you are changing the lower end (cut-in) of the pressure settings, adjust it in such a way that takes the 2 PSI difference into account.
  • Every pressure switches provide you with a differential range within which you can set your maximum and minimum points. This may vary depending on the model of the tank. Nevertheless, you cannot change the setting beyond this range.

Final Words

As you can see, adjusting a pressure switch is a very simple and easy task. Also, for this, you don’t need many tools. In fact, all you need is a pair of screwdrivers, and then you can set in the new cut-in and cut-off points.

However, the constant march of technical terms can seem a little intimidating. Don’t worry- once you get down to business all the hieroglyphic-like terms will start making sense. So, instead of hiding behind the curtain of uncertainty, step up and check to get the most out of your shallow well pump.

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