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How You Can Replace the Pressure Control Switch on a Shallow Well Pump

The pressure control switch tells a shallow well pump when to turn on and when to shut off. If the switch goes bad, the pump will either lose pressure or it will cycle back on almost as soon as it shuts off. Replacing the pressure switch on a shallow well pump is something most homeowners can do by themselves with a couple of wrenches and a screwdriver. If the pressure control switch on your shallow pumps needs replacing, here is how you can do it.

Turn off Power

You need to unplug the pump before you start to avoid getting an electrical shock while you work. If the pump is hard-wired and there isn't a plug or switch, you should turn the pump off at the circuit breaker box.

Remove Switch Cover

The pressure switch is inside a rectangle-shaped box connected to the side of the pump or located along the waterline if the pump is underwater (the pressure control switch will normally be located by the water storage tank if the pump is under water). There is a small bolt on the top of the cover. Unscrew the bolt and lift the cover off of the pressure control switch.

Remove Wires to Switch

There are four wires running to the switch. Two of the wires supply the power to the switch and two of the wires go to the pump to activate it when the pressure drops and to stop it when the pressure increases. You want to put these wires onto the new switch exactly as they are on the broken switch. You should either mark the wires or take a picture of them with your smartphone before you remove the wires so you remember which wire goes where when you install the new switch. Remove the wires from the broken switch.

Remove Switch

A conduit lock washer is used to connect the switch to the side of the pump. The lock washer is located inside the switch box. Loosen the lock washer by pressing down on the ridges on the outside of the washer with a flathead screwdriver. You can unscrew the lock washer with your fingers once you loosen it. Take the switch off of the pump.

Remove Pressure Hose

There is a little hose that runs from the pump to the bottom of the switch. The pressure in the hose alerts the switch to the amount of water pressure in the system. You need to remove the hose from the bottom of the switch. You should use two wrenches to take off the hose. One wrench you'll use to hold the hose steady while you use the other wrench to turn the switch counterclockwise to unscrew it from the hose. The bottom of the switch is shaped like a nut that you'll use to loosen and tighten the switch with a wrench. Unscrew the switch from the hose and remove it.

Install New Switch

Place plumber's tape on the threads of the hose end and screw on the new switch with your hand. Tighten the switch onto the hose using the two wrench method so you don't twist and damage the hose. Reattach the switch to the side of the pump and put the wires back on new switch in the same way they were on the broken switch. Put the cap back on and restore the electric. You may have to pour some water in the priming hole to restore water flow, but the pump should start working normally again at this point.

If you have questions about replacing the pressure control switch or need other repairs done, talk to a pump repair company like Jamison  Well Drilling Inc.


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