Inadequate water pressure is not only annoying, but it can cause delays in washing dishes or clothes. Owners of water wells can increase or decrease the pressure in their water well system by adjusting a pressure control switch.
Unlike a municipal water source, the pressure in a well system slightly increases and decreases with each pump cycle. As water is used, the pressure in the water tank drops. When the pressure reaches a set point, the pump switches on temporarily and refills the tank. The main purpose of the pressurized tank is to prolong the life of the pump by minimizing the number of pump cycles.
The pressure switch is usually located near the water tank. The typical pressure switch is housed in a rectangular box with a molded plastic cover. The pressure switch is operated by electrical current, so be certain to turn off the power supply before removing the switch cover. If you have any doubts about disconnecting the power, contact a professional well pump service to perform the adjustment.
The typical pressure switch contains a large, prominent adjustment nut surrounded by a metal spring. The set point at which the pump switches on, and the point at which it turns off, are both simultaneously adjusted by rotating the adjustment nut. The amount of adjustment needed is relatively small.
It only takes 3 1/2 clockwise turns of the adjustment screw to increase water pressure by 10 pounds per square inch. Turning the adjustment screw counterclockwise lowers the water pressure. You may only need a single turn of the adjustment nut to notice a difference in your water pressure. Any difference will become apparent after the main power is turned back on and your well pump goes through its next cycle.
A pressure gauge is typically located near the switch, so you can visually monitor the system pressure at all times. If the pressure is set too high, the pump may run continuously. High pressure may also cause leaks in your water system.
If your water pressure is not affected by turning the adjustment nut, the switch may be faulty. Your pressure switch is likely connected to the main water line by a short pipe, which could itself be clogged. Regardless of water pressure, the frequency of pump cycling should remain fairly consistent.
Rapid pump cycling may indicate a problem with the pressure tank. If the air within the pressure tank is not compressed adequately, the rest of the system cannot operate as designed. Contact a well pump contractor, such as Valley Drilling Corporation of VA, for more information about pressure tanks and pressure switches.