Symptoms of a Bad Pressure Switch on Your Well: What to Look For

As the proud proprietor of a well, it behooves you to gain a comprehensive understanding of the intricate workings of your well system and be cognizant of red flags indicating a malfunction. The pressure switch, an essential constituent of the well system, serves to modulate water pressure and activate or deactivate the well pump as per requirements. Alas, in the event of a faulty pressure switch, how does one proceed? This article strives to explore the multifarious symptoms of a bad pressure switch and enumerate remedial measures.

What is a pressure switch?

Pressure SwitchLet us commence by delineating the nitty-gritty of what a pressure switch entails and its operational mechanics. A pressure switch functions as a contraption that scrutinizes the water pressure in your well system and dispatches signals to the well pump to either turn on or off depending on the situation at hand.

In the event of water pressure plummeting below a designated threshold, the pressure switch triggers the well pump to commence the influx of water into the system. Once the pressure reaches a certain level, the pressure switch promptly halts the well pump’s operation.

Symptoms of a Bad Pressure Switch

So, how can you tell if your well’s pressure switch is malfunctioning? Some of the most typical warning indicators include:

No water or very low flow rates

A faulty pressure switch could be to blame for a decrease in water pressure or a complete lack of water supply. If your well’s pressure switch is faulty, you won’t have access to any water.

Well Pump Short Cycling

Short cycling describes the fast on-and-off behavior of a well pump. A faulty pressure switch could be to blame, as it would send the pump conflicting signals.

The well pump is always on.

Nevertheless, a faulty pressure switch could also explain why your well pump is always on. When the well pump keeps running because the pressure switch didn’t shut it off when it should have, the switch eventually burns out.

Water pressure that changes abruptly

A faulty pressure switch could be to blame for the water pressure fluctuations you’re experiencing if it’s giving conflicting signals to the well pump.

Pressure Switch, Burned or Melted

The continual electrical current passing through a faulty pressure switch might cause it to burn out or melt. The pressure switch should be replaced if you see any signs of burns or melted plastic.

What Might Lead to a Faulty Pressure Switch?

A well pressure switch could malfunction for a number of reasons. Age and wear and tear are common contributors. The switch may stop working due to worn or corroded electrical connections that have built up over time. The pressure switch can malfunction due to electrical difficulties, including frayed or broken cables. The pressure switch may also malfunction if there are issues with the pressure tank, such as a burst bladder or a tank filled with water.

Several of the most typical explanations are:

  • Normal aging processes
  • incorrect wiring or assembly
  • Voltage spikes or lightning storms
  • Conditions of excessive heat or dampness

Finding the Cause of a Faulty Well Pressure Switch

Should you happen upon any of the aforementioned symptoms, it is imperative to promptly diagnose the issue to preclude any further impairment to your health system. To this end, here is a comprehensive guide on how to diagnose a bad pressure switch on your well in a step-by-step fashion:

  1. Initiate the process by turning off the power to the pump and draining the pressure tank.
  2. Subsequently, extract the pressure switch cover and utilize a multimeter to test the electrical contacts.
  3. Should the contacts appear to be corroded or worn, it would be judicious to replace the pressure switch with a new one.
  4. Concurrently, scrutinize the pressure tank to ensure that there are no underlying issues, such as a ruptured bladder or a waterlogged tank.

Fixing a Bad Pressure Switch on a Well

If you happen to possess proficiency in the domain of electrical and plumbing work, you may endeavor to replace the pressure switch independently. Conversely, if you feel apprehensive about executing such work, it would be prudent to solicit the assistance of a professional. An adept well technician can effectively diagnose the issue and replace the pressure switch in a safe and efficient manner.

Preventing Pressure Switch Problems on a Well

Frequent maintenance of your well pressure switch can prevent the onset of typical problems. Below are some pointers on how to maintain your well pressure switch:

  • Regularly scrutinize the pressure switch and clean the contacts as needed.
  • Periodically test the pressure switch with a multimeter to ensure its proper functioning.
  • Check the pressure tank intermittently and confirm its optimal charging.
  • Arrange for professional servicing of your well system every few years to forestall problems and extend the longevity of your well system.

A Pressure Switch’s Test and Replacement Procedure

Test your pressure switch with a multimeter first if you think it might be defective. This will enable you to check whether the switch is operating properly and provide the well pump with the appropriate signals. If the switch is defective, you’ll have to get a new one. It’s quite easy to replace a pressure switch, but it’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions.


How do I know if I need to replace my pressure switch?

In the event that you are currently encountering any of the aforementioned symptoms, it is highly probable that you are in dire need of replacing your pressure switch. In order to confirm this, you may opt to meticulously scrutinize the pressure switch for any visible indications of damage or wear and tear, or alternatively, seek the sagacious advice of a competent and qualified well technician.

Can I replace my pressure switch myself?

Whilst it may be plausible for you to undertake the replacement of the pressure switch unaided, it is always prudent to seek out the astute guidance of an experienced well technician. These professionals possess a wealth of proficiency and acumen, which is crucial in ensuring that the replacement process is carried out prudently and adroitly.

How often do pressure switches need to be replaced?

The lifespan of a pressure switch can vary considerably, depending on a plethora of factors, such as the quality of the switch itself, as well as the frequency and intensity of usage. Nevertheless, as a general rule, most pressure switches should be replaced approximately every 5-7 years, on average.

What can I do to prevent my pressure switch from going bad?

Conducting regular maintenance and inspection on your well system can play a pivotal role in preventing the occurrence of pressure switch related issues. This entails assiduously monitoring the pressure tank for any leaks, as well as being fastidious in regards to keeping track of the water pressure levels.

Moreover, it is imperative that your system is periodically assessed by a professional well technician, in order to ensure that it is functioning optimally. Furthermore, it is imperative to avoid overusing your pump or allowing it to run dry, as this can place a gratuitous amount of stress and strain on the pressure switch and other integral components of your system.


The manifestation of a defective pressure switch on your well system can precipitate an array of predicaments, ranging from inadequate water pressure to a well pump that has been burned out. Should you observe any of the symptoms specified above, it is crucial to take prompt action to avert any additional harm to your health system.

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