replace well water pump pressure switch with higher pressure


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Old 05-15-21, 08:01 AM
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replace well water pump pressure switch with higher pressure

I have a question about replacing my well water pump pressure switch with higher pressure. I currently have a Square D 40-60 switch and would like to replace it with 50-70 switch. My current instruction is add 14lb air once I completely empty the tank. Then I refill the tank with water. Do I need to add more air into the tank after I replace the switch? If so, how much air should I add?
 
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Old 05-15-21, 08:43 AM
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hi ididit –

The tank air pressure without water in the tank should be set to 2 psi below the switch cut-in pressure. So for a 40-60 switch the air pressure should be set to 38 psi, and for a 50-70 switch the air pressure should be set to 48 psi.

Where did you get the “add 14 psi” from? I don’t think that is correct.
 
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Old 05-15-21, 08:59 AM
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Hi, Zoesdad, thanks for your quick response. The previous owner left the note for me. The note is about how to empty the tank, add air and refill the tank. I followed it every time I empty the tank, about once every 6 month.

 

Last edited by ididit2003; 05-15-21 at 09:15 AM. Reason: attach picture
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Old 05-15-21, 09:17 AM
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ididit-

Maybe someone else here can figure that out, but I don’t see how that could be the right way to do it. I’m positive the idea is that the tank air pressure without water should be 2 psi below the switch cut-in pressure. I have never seen any variations to that procedure – and I have always used that procedure and things have worked properly.

I wonder if somehow the previous owner knew that the tank was leaking air somehow and that the rate was about 14 psi in 6 months. But that still doesn’t sound right to me.

I just thought of something!!! I’m assuming the tank is a diaphragm or bladder tank. Maybe if it is an older style compartment tank adding 14 lbs might make sense. I never had a tank like that. This video shows the different kinds of tanks. I think the procedure to add air to the compartment tanks is a little more complicated (I think!) because some have air admittance valves etc. (I think that’s the case).

If yours is a compartment tank maybe some of the other guys here could help. I have seen other posts where people explained how to maintain those.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPZw83Iypzg

(while posting just now saw you have a pic in post #3)
 
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Old 05-15-21, 11:09 AM
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hi ididit -

That does in fact look like one of the older steel tanks, called a "One Compartment" tank in the video.
 
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Old 05-15-21, 12:02 PM
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hi again ididit -

If you look at the video starting about 13min 30 sec he goes into the draining procedure for a plain steel tank. He also makes a comment that as the pressure range target goes up (i.e. 30-60, 40-60, 50-70 etc. ) that type tank becomes more inefficient. Just thought I’d mention that because it looks like that may have some relevance in your case because you are increasing to 50-70 – or maybe it won’t really matter.

Also I thought the way you reset those tanks are like he says in the video – you just let air inside with the right procedure and the pressure takes care of itself. So you wouldn’t worry about the 14 lbs or whatever. But I think there are in fact tanks with other types valves and a different procedure may be required – could be wrong.

Maybe one of the pros will add something.
 
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Old 05-15-21, 01:09 PM
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hi again ididit -

and just one more thing (lol)-

Just thought of something else.

When the pressure tank has the right amount of air and is working properly, your pump should not short cycle. That is, pump manufacturers recommend that when your pump comes on it should run for at least a minute (it's the start and stops that wear the pump). If your tank has too much water in it and the air pocket is thus too small, you could get short cycling. In other words, your pump could come on (because switch hit low pressure 40) and then shut off (because switch hits high pressure 60) with the difference is time being much less than a minute.

Maybe the previous owner found by trial and error that if he added 14 lbs air with the tank empty the system cycled between 40-60 in an appropriate manner.

If I were you I would check now to see how your cycle time is. You can just let some water run from a tap at a slow rate and watch when the pump comes ON and check the ON-OFF time. If it’s good that becomes your baseline.

If you change the switch to 50-70 and reset the tank pressure as the previous owner suggested, you could then re-check the cycle time. If it’s still good then the previous owner’s instructions would seem to be good.

Just a thought. I think it wouldn’t be hard to do and can’t hurt.


 
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Old 05-15-21, 01:09 PM
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I had a tank like that at my shop. They routinely need air added. I installed a tee fitting on the tank with a Schrader fitting and used a tank full of air to add more air to the tank. I never bothered to measure how much air I gave it. Just gave it like five seconds of air and it was good for several months.
 
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Old 05-15-21, 02:44 PM
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Thanks so much for your replies. I just attached 2 more pictures about the tank. I always wonder what kind of tank it is.




 
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Old 05-16-21, 01:46 AM
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Just a plain old galvanized steel tank. No lining.... no bladder. Basically not a maintenance free tank.
You have a Schrader fitting already installed. It's upside down below the gauge.
 
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Old 05-17-21, 06:21 PM
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Non bladder (single compartment) pressure tanks should be preset to the same starting pressure as bladder tanks, i.e. 38 psi for a 40/60 switch.

For a non-bladder tank you can unscientifically add a few seconds of air to the tank every few month or so without draining anything first. One drawback is that, if you add too much air, some air might puff out of a faucet at some random time without warning, possibly hard enough to knock a drinking glass out of your hand and it breaks on the tile bathroom floor.


 
 

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