A well pump uses a pressure switch to automatically turn the pump on and off when the pressure in the tank reaches different pressure levels. The switch uses a thin hose that runs from the pump to a diaphragm in the pressure switch to measure the pressure. If the hose gets clogged up with sediment, water won’t flow through the hose and the pressure switch will get stuck in either the on or off position. You need to clean out the sediment in the hose line to get the pump running normally again. This is something the average homeowner can do by themselves. If your water pressure switch system gets clogged with sediment, here is how you can clean it out.
Turn Off Pump
Turn off the pump and relieve the pressure in the system by opening a faucet or two. Wait until water stops coming out of the faucets before you start to work on the water pump.
The hose is connected to nipples on the pressure switch and a water pipe on the pump. If you don’t know where the pressure switch is, just follow the electrical cord used to power the pump. The cord is plugged directly into the housing for the pressure switch. Remove the hose from both nipples. In some cases, the hose may fit so tightly to the nipples that you may have to slice the hose with a utility knife where it connects to the nipples to loosen it enough.
Clean Out Hose
Take a long piece of wire narrow enough to fit inside the hose. Put the wire into the hose and jam it back and forth to remove any sediment that has built up in it. You also want to clean out both the nipples.
Clean Out Nipples
To clean out the nipple on the water pipe on the pump, take a small metal nail and push it through the nipple. Any debris in the nipple will drop into the main water line and will get flushed out of the system when you turn it back on.
To clean out the nipple on the water pressure switch, you will have to remove the diaphragm from the pressure switch first. There are usually six Phillips-head screws holding the diaphragm to the bottom of the switch. Remove the screws and take out the diaphragm. You need to peel back the diaphragm to expose the back side of the nipple. Push the nail through the inside of the nipple to remove the sediment.
Put the diaphragm and hose back together in the opposite way you took it apart. Plug the pump back in again and let the pressure build up. Wait to make sure the pump shuts off when the tank gets full and the pressure increases in the system. Turn on a faucet to make sure the pump kicks on when the water pressure gets too low. Contact a company like David Cannon Well Drilling for more information.