water pressure

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by carole in ky, Oct 9, 2004.

  1. carole in ky

    carole in ky Member

    Messages:
    21
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2004
    Location:
    kentucky
    I have a cistern. There is a 1/2 hp pump that is located under the house. The pressure tank was faulty and I just replaced it. There is a pressure switch attached to the pump. It says that it is a 20-40 lb switch. My question is: How do I know what the pressure is set at? We have only lived here a year and not sure that they didn't set it up to more.

    The new pressure tank instructions say that the pressure inside the tank should be 18 lbs for a 20-40 lb pressure switch should be 18 lbs. It doesn't seem like the water pressure inside the house is as high as it was.
     
  2. Yankee1

    Yankee1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    188
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas
    The pump turns on at 20psi and off at 40psi
     

  3. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    8,266
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    MN
    The pump goes on at 20, off at 40. There may be some nuts under the cover that allow someone to adjust these a little bit. You can buy 20/40, 30/50, 40/60 pressure switches for under $20, and they do wear out, might want to just replace yours if you don't trust it.

    --->Paul
     
  4. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    Messages:
    10,854
    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Location:
    Zone 7
    I find it hard to believe but Lowe's charges more for a 30/50 pressure switch than they do for a 20/40. They are the same device, just set differently!
     
  5. mysticokra

    mysticokra Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    329
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2003
    Location:
    Estillfork, Alabama
    So do they sell a 40/60? 30/50 is just too light for me.
     
  6. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    7,154
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    There should be a pressure gauge with a dial showing the pressure in the system. That way you can tell what's going on with your switch. The switches I have had had a little rectangle box cover. under the cover was a little finger nut that could be screwed up to reduce the pressure or tightened to raise it.
     
  7. gilberte

    gilberte Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,598
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2004
    Location:
    Maine


    Assuming you have found the gauge, watch it while someone turns on a faucet. The indicated pressure should drop until it reaches 20 p.s.i. At that point you should hear a click which is the switch closing to activate the water pump which will run until the indicated pressure reads about 40 p.s.i. You will then hear another click which is the pressure switch opening, shutting off the pump. If the on-off points aren't close to what they should be they can be adjusted, read the instructions that came with the tank. Be careful about too much pressure as it may damage your plumbing!

    Also, there is an air bladder inside the tank which contains a preset amount of air. There should be a stem somewhere on the tank (probably at the top if this is an upright) which looks like the stem on your car tire where you check and add air. Put a tire pressure gauge on this, it should read about 18 p.s.i. Hope this helps.
     
  8. carole in ky

    carole in ky Member

    Messages:
    21
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2004
    Location:
    kentucky
    Thanks to everyone for your answers. There is no pressure guage on the system. I am not sure what the pressure is set at right now. My pressure switch is one that can be adjusted. I guess that my question was answered that I should probably install a pressure guage. I was trying to avoid that as I am plumbing challenged.

    Why would you have a pressure switch at, say, 30-50 or 40-60? What is the advantage of this and shouldn't it be sized to your tank. The instructions with the tank aren't all inclusive, they just assume that you know what you are doing?

    Thanks to all.