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  1. #1

    a well... got one? pressure switch?

    i got a well.
    wife was watering the garden...
    water quit running..
    spitting air out the hose.
    --
    i tinkered with it.. to no avail.
    after a hefty labor fee-- to the well man.
    i now know what a pressure switch is.
    i now know that i need to get a spare (or two)
    --
    you got a spare pressure switch for your well?
    having a well is a good thing. having one that won't work is a bad thing.
    rr

  2. #2
    2015 Silver Site supporter Rmplstlskn's Avatar
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    Good point... I don't have one for my well.

    In dire need, one could manually operate well while watching the pressure guage, but that would require close watch...
    -=> Rmplstlskn <=-

  3. #3
    RR- your posts since you got your place have reminded me SO much of our first few years "on the land." Brings back a lot of good memories, thank you.

    WATCH the well repair guy, hang out with him, stay close but don't hover. Don't act like your looking to learn so as to cut him out of a job, but ask about what he's doing, act interested. Sometimes an older guy that's been in business for a while will "open up" after a while and explain a lot of stuff to you.

    You probably paid $75. or more for the well to be fixed. It's likely a $15. or less cost part. If you watched him, you know how to replace it next go around.

    If the pump is 110, and it's a two leg pressure switch with just ONE set of leads connected, often times when the one set of contacts burns out, you can move the wires over to the second set of contacts. If we are talking about the same parts.

    IME, the most commonly replaced parts have been- the "snifter valve"- costs $2. or less, the running and starting capacitors (maybe $12-15. each), the pressure switch $15. tops, pressure gauge ($5. tops), maybe fuses for the disconnect.

    So you head to the local electrical place next Monday and take the info off the controller box of the well. Tell them you want starting and running caps, pressure switch, gauge and fuses. Put them along with a set of needle nose pliers, a small flashlight with the last battery turned around (so it doesn't drain the batts), some teflon tape, wrench, channel locks and a volt meter and pack them all in a .50 cal ammo can. Mark it "well parts." Thank me later

    Often times you can see the problem right off the bat, other times you'll have to start at the disconnect, check the power before, power after (further down the line), all the way down a component at a time to the pressure switch. The capacitors when they fail MAY be black, blown all the way apart (lightning close) but they may not. The pressure switch contacts MAY be black and look worn away, may not also.

    If nothing else, just having these parts on hand is helpful. Watch and learn every time your well guy comes out and eventually you won't need him any more.

    Soon you won't be dropping $75. but just $10. for the parts and the experience you will be getting is CRUCIAL IMO.

    Good luck!

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  4. #4
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    Yep, yep, even I learned about capacitors! Got the extra one sitting on the shelf right handy. But everything about my well - pump, 400' of wire and all control boxes are barely a year old having been replaced last spring after a lightening strike! That was fun, not. Fried all my telephones, my modem and my router also. and it hit waaay out in the back pasture, no where near the well.
    Last edited by goatlady; 04-14-2012 at 12:09 AM.

  5. #5
    thanks guys, m'am,
    i think we should rearrange this thread and let lowdowns post go first!
    and title it
    "what you need for your well"
    but, i admit... i figured a couple of folks would report in and we'd have us a good
    well fixer upper thread..
    thanks.
    the RR family will be adding more spare parts!

  6. #6
    My well pumps to cisterns so at least I know I have what's in there. Still, every time I turn it on I hold my breath a bit until the water starts flowing.

    I've been lucky so far. Had to replace the control box after some idiot (me) smashed the one on there with a bobcat bucket.

  7. #7
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    Don't forget extra correct size pipe and connectors and "glue" for the times a pipe (s) freezes and splits! I found a neat PVC pipe cutter that rachets like pruning shears so even my weak small hands can make a clean cut for repairs.

  8. #8
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    When getting a pressure switch make sure it has a low pressure cut off on it. Not all do and I know quite a few people who burned up pumps because the pump ran dry and the switch doesn't know this so it keeps the pump running burning up the pump. It may not be too critical for an in the ground submersible unless your well runs dry temporarily which could happen. When the construction boom was going on around here the water table dropped so far that hundreds of people had their pumps burn up and need to be replaced. Most of our area's wells are 180 to 220 feet deep but the pumps were all hung around 85 feet down. That is how mine was. I had it lowered to 140 feet.

    Also having a cut off on our switch going from our holding tank to the house saved our pump a few times when it lost it's prime. The switch cuts off and the pump won't run until it has water to build up the pressure.
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  9. #9
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    Another often-overlooked piece on older (pre-bladder tank) systems is an automatic air volume control valve. Their purpose is to admit a small amount of air during each pump cycle. Unfortunately many do not operate as designed resulting in either too much air (spews air from faucets) or too little air (pump cycles too often) in the storage tank. They also tend to start leaking water...or working as a basement fountain.

    Given their erratic nature, I have chosen to manually charge the tank - roughly twice a year - to maintain a proper air charge in the tank. Less to break, and since I have multiple pressure tanks, I'm not sure an automatic AVC would work correctly in this configuration.
    This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave. ~Elmer Davis

  10. #10
    2015 Silver Site supporter Rmplstlskn's Avatar
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    Some water systems are simple as for replacement parts, as most of it is submersed (well pump). All I have is a pressure switch as the rest is in the well casing (well pump). Then it gets to the filter system which gets more complicated, but with mine (Kinetico), still is low on the spare parts, as it is all self-contained in the head and one would need a replacement head (not sold seperately from filter body), but it is a simple, durable device, so you run the oods with it, hoping it keeps going when things go bad...

    Worst case, you just have unfiltered water, which in my case, is not that bad quality-wise...

    My goal is to make or buy a hand pump for the well casing... Also keep a spare well pump head...
    -=> Rmplstlskn <=-

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