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Well Pump Pressure Switch Adjustment Guide

Scott Winfield
Written by Scott Winfield
Last Updated on

A well pump pressure switch is a switch you can use to adjust the pressure on your well pump. Every now and then, you might need to increase or decrease the well pump pressure to improve how water is delivered to different areas of your home or to maintain the tank.

This article will guide you through everything you need to know about your pump’s pressure switch, including how to adjust it.

Well Pump Pressure Switch Adjustment Guide

How to Adjust Well Pump Pressure Switch

Fortunately, adjusting your well pump pressure switch isn’t a complicated process. It’s something you can easily regulate in just a few simple steps:

  1. Turn off the power to your well pump. Since you’ll be working with electrical components, you want to eliminate the risk of an electric shock.
  2. Remove the switch’s cover to reveal its inner workings. You’ll see a small and a large spring, each with a nut on top.
  3. Turn the nut on top of the larger spring counterclockwise to lower the cut-on and cut-off pressures. If you need to raise both pressures, you can turn it clockwise. A general rule of thumb is that 1 rotation will adjust your pressure by 2-3psi.
  4. If you’re adjusting your cut-on pressure, you’ll also need to change the air charge in your pressure tank, which should be 2psi lower than the cut-on PSI.

If you follow these steps carefully, you should be able to adjust your well pressure easily. However, if the pressure still isn’t ideal or it seems like the problem might be getting worse, it’s probably time to call a professional.

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How Do You Adjust a Square D Pressure Switch?

It’s unlikely that you’ll need to adjust the smaller spring, which is your square D, or differential. The only instance where you’d need to do this is if you’re changing your cut-off pressure.

However, unless you’re directed to do so by a professional or know your way around a pump, you shouldn’t touch the differential at all. That being said, if you really need to make an adjustment, you can follow these steps:

  1. Cut off power to your well pump to avoid any risk of electric shock.
  2. Remove the cover of the switch and double-check the factory presets that should be listed on the inside of the cover. Alternatively, you can check the instruction manual.
  3. Locate the smaller of the two springs, or square D.
  4. Carefully twist the square D nut counterclockwise to lower the cut-off pressure or clockwise to increase the cut-off pressure.

Again, you should be careful when doing this because an improper adjustment might cause your pump to run continuously. This is a surefire way to shorten your pump’s lifespan.

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What Should My Well Pressure Switch Be Set At?

The easiest way to find out what your well pressure switch should be set at is by removing the switch’s cover and taking a look at the back. There, you’ll find the manufacturer presets, which will tell you what your settings should be. If they’re in an unreadable state, you’ll need to call the manufacturer’s customer support line.

Typically, you’ll base your pressure settings on your preferences and the size of your home. Variations in these settings will affect your water pressure and the efficiency of your other fixtures.

In general, you want lower water pressure if you have a single-story home.The standard setting for lower pressure is 30psi for the cut-on and 50psi for the cut-off pressure.

If you have a larger home or fixtures on multiple floors, you’ll want a higher pressure setting. The standard for higher pressure is 40psi for the cut-on and 60psi for the cut-off pressure.

This will ensure your toilets flush and your faucets and showers run as they should.

Other things to consider when determining how much pressure you want are:

  • The age of your plumbing
  • How many people live in your home
  • How many fixtures are in your home

How Do I Reset My Well Pressure Switch?

Resetting your well pressure switch is a fairly easy task that shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes. It’s simpler than adjusting the pressure switch and doesn’t require you to remove any components. Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Go around your house and shut off any appliances that might use water. This includes refrigerators with ice makers that run automatically.
  2. Locate your pressure switch. It’ll probably be a small gray box attached to the pipe connected to your tank.
  3. Find the small lever on the side of the gray box. This is your reset lever. It has three positions: Auto, Start, and Off.
  4. Move the reset lever up to the Start position, or about 30 degrees clockwise if you can’t see the markings. At this point, you’ll start to hear water move from the well into the tank.
  5. Keep an eye on the pressure gauge and hold the reset lever in the same position until the gauge reads 40psi (or 30psi if you’re going for a lower pressure).
  6. Once it hits 40psi, let the switch go back to the Auto position. The pump will continue to run until it reaches its cut-off pressure, which will be either 50 or 60, depending on what you set your cut-on pressure to.
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Difference Between a 30 50 and 40 60 Pressure Switch

There are two standard presets for well pressure switches: 30/50 and 40/60psi. The first number of these presets (30 or 40) is the pressure level that will cause your well system to turn on, and the second (50 or 60) is the pressure level that will trigger your system to cut off.

The settings directly affect how much water pressure you’ll get in your house.

Both 30/50 and 40/60 switches are suitable for basic residential wells, including jet, submersible, and reciprocating pumps. That said, 30/50 switches are better suited for smaller residences, while 40/60 switches are equipped to serve larger homes.

Additionally, 30/50 switches tend to be better for older plumbing systems than 40/60 switches. This is because older plumbing systems don’t stand up to high water pressure as well as modern plumbing, so lower psi is preferable to avoid damaging the pipes.

Most switches are adjustable. So, if you buy a 30/50 switch, you should be able to adjust it to 40/60 if necessary. However, you’ll need to check the maximum pressure the pump can withstand first. If it can only tolerate 50 pounds of pressure, you won’t be able to set your switch to 40/60.

How do I know my well pressure switch is bad?

There are several telltale signs that will indicate your pressure switch is bad. The most common indicators that your switch is bad include:

  • The pump continues to run despite reaching the cut-off pressure.
  • The pump doesn’t turn on when it should.
  • Your toilets won’t flush, or your water won’t run.
  • Your water pressure is low.
  • Your pump cycles on and off even when you’re not using any fixtures.
Well pressure switch

In such cases, before you get to work resetting your pressure switch, be aware that, although these are common signs of a failing pressure switch, they could indicate many other problems. For example, if you tap the tube under your pressure switch with a screwdriver’s handle and you see a spark, the issue is your switch. If you don’t see a spark, it could be an issue with your controller or a bad connection in the tube.

And remember, before you start poking inside your switch to find the problem, always turn off the power to the switch first.


You may want to change the water pressure of your well pump, whether for maintenance reasons or because you need more or less water. It’s an easy procedure that can be handled in the four steps we established above.

But things might get complicated when you need to adjust the differential as well or when you suspect that there’s another problem with your system. We’ve provided you with step-by-step instructions on what you should do in these cases, too.

That being said, if you’re unsure about your skills with electricity and plumbing, it’s always better to call for professional assistance.

Related Article: Pressure Tank Maintenance: Step-by-Step Guide

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Scott Winfield
Scott Winfield
My name is Scott Winfield and researching and writing about water filters and other strategies to purify water has become my full time passion in recent years. I'm glad that you found our site and you can look forward to authoritative and well researched content here to help you get the best in water.
  1. Hi Scott
    I have a new home with excellent water pressure coming into the house-75psi. I told the contractor that I wanted world class water pressure in my shower. I bought a Brizo mixer which has an 18 gpm maximum and use a Speakman shower head with no restriction. The end result is unacceptable. My gpm is 6 gpm. We use Navion water heaters. Any idea as to what is going on? Thanks

    1. Hi Barclay, there are many variables that are impossible to pinpoint remotely such as what may be going on with your plumbing or how the lines have been arranged. But, some questions I would have for you are — what gpm rating does your Speakman showerhead have, which model is it? I’m assuming nothing else is running in the house when you’re testing the showerhead water pressure? Does the pressure vary between cold and hot water?

  2. My water pump has failed, causing the pressure on my good pump to fluctuate. I like how the article mentions the necessity to increase or reduce pressure to enhance how water is distributed to different regions of your home. I’ll get an expert to help me fix the water pump so that it functions correctly.

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