Is Your Well Pressure Switch Letting You Down? Here’s What You Need to Know

If you rely on a well for your home’s water supply, then you know how important it is for your well pressure switch to be functioning properly. When the switch is working as it should, it detects changes in water pressure and signals the well pump to turn on or off as needed to maintain a consistent pressure level. However, when the well pressure switch is faulty and not turning on, you can experience a range of issues, from low water pressure to complete loss of water supply. In this article, we’ll explore some of the common causes of a well pressure switch not turning on and provide tips for troubleshooting and maintenance.

Causes of a Well Pressure Switch Not Turning On

There are two main categories of problems that can cause a well pressure switch to fail: electrical problems and mechanical problems. Here are some of the most common causes within each category:

Electrical Problems

  1. Blown Fuse – A blown fuse in the switch or in the well’s electrical system can prevent the switch from turning on.
  2. Tripped Circuit Breaker – Similarly, a tripped circuit breaker can cut off power to the switch and prevent it from functioning.
  3. Faulty Wiring – Issues with the wiring can also cause the switch to malfunction, such as loose connections, corroded wires, or damaged insulation.

Mechanical Problems

  1. Clogged Pipes – Blockages in the pipes leading to or from the pressure tank can cause the switch to detect incorrect pressure levels and fail to turn on.
  2. Malfunctioning Pressure Tank – A malfunctioning pressure tank can lead to incorrect pressure readings and cause the switch to fail.
  3. Broken Pump – Finally, a broken well pump can prevent the switch from receiving the signal to turn on and supply water.

Troubleshooting a Faulty Well Pressure Switch

If you suspect that your well pressure switch is not turning on, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot the issue. Here are some of the most important ones:

Checking the Electrical Components

  1. Check the Fuse – If the fuse is blown, replace it with a new one of the same rating.
  2. Check the Circuit Breaker – If the circuit breaker is tripped, reset it and see if the switch turns on.
  3. Check the Wiring – Inspect the wiring for any signs of damage or looseness, and tighten connections or replace damaged wires as needed.

Checking the Mechanical Components

  1. Check the Pipes – Look for any signs of blockages or obstructions in the pipes leading to or from the pressure tank. If necessary, clear out any debris or sediment buildup.
  2. Check the Pressure Tank – Use a pressure gauge to check the tank’s pressure levels, and make sure they match the recommended range for your system. If the tank is malfunctioning, it may need to be repaired or replaced.
  3. Check the Pump – Listen for any unusual sounds or vibrations coming from the pump, and inspect it for signs of damage or wear. If the pump is broken, it may need to be repaired or replaced.

Replacing the Well Pressure Switch

If you have determined that the well pressure switch is indeed faulty and needs to be replaced, you can follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the power – Make sure the power to the well pump is turned off before attempting any repairs.
  2. Remove the old switch – Disconnect the wiring from the old switch, and remove it from the pressure tank.
  3. Install the new switch – Install the new switch in the same location as the old one, and reconnect the wiring.
  4. Test the switch – Turn the power back on and test the new switch to make sure it is functioning properly.

Preventative Maintenance for Well Pressure Switches

To avoid experiencing issues with your well pressure switch in the future, it’s important to perform regular maintenance and inspections. Here are some tips for preventative maintenance:

Regular Maintenance Schedule

  1. Check the pressure tank’s pressure levels at least once a year and adjust as needed.
  2. Have a professional inspect and service the well pump and pressure tank every three to five years.
  3. Replace the pressure switch every five to seven years, even if it appears to be working correctly.

Signs of Impending Failure

  1. Low water pressure or loss of water supply.
  2. Rapid cycling of the well pump.
  3. Unusual noises or vibrations coming from the well system.

Professional Maintenance and Inspection

  1. Hire a professional to inspect and service your well system regularly.
  2. Schedule regular water testing to ensure the quality of your water.
  3. Consider installing a whole-house water filtration system to protect your well system and improve water quality.


A well pressure switch that is not turning on can be a frustrating and potentially serious issue for homeowners. By understanding the common causes of well pressure switch failure, as well as troubleshooting and preventative maintenance tips, you can avoid experiencing these issues and ensure that your well system is functioning properly. Remember to schedule regular maintenance and inspections, and don’t hesitate to call a professional if you need assistance with repairs or replacements. With these tips in mind, you can enjoy a reliable and consistent supply of water from your well for years to come.

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