Informational Guide

How To Adjust Well Pressure Switch (Step-By-Step Guide)

The well pressure switch is vital, as it controls the pressure in your water system. We show you how to adjust well pressure switch settings.

by Josh Mitchell

Do you need to know how to adjust well pressure switch? The factory setting is usually 30/50, with 30 psi being the cut-on pressure. The best well pump models make it easy to switch pressure. 

For many people, this pressure setting is too low. The well pressure switch is very important, as it controls the pressure in your pump and water system. You’ll want to keep reading this guide if you need to know how to adjust well pressure switch settings.  

1. Prep Your Tools 

First, you’ll need to gather your tools. All you need is a good set of plumbers’ pliers. Before you do anything else- make sure to cut the power to the switch from the supply. Doing so keeps you safe and is essential. 

2. Record Measurements

Next, you’ll need to measure and record the space between the thread of the top nut and the stud you’re moving. This step is required, in case you make a mistake and need to know where you started. 

3. Adjust the Cut-In and Cut-Out Settings 

The large nut changes the cut-in, while the small one changes the range. You should adjust the cut-in and cut-out first. Let’s start with the cut-in. 

Rotate the smaller nut clockwise to raise the cut-in pressure and counter-clockwise to lower the cut-in pressure. The cut-out value moves as you change the settings, so the difference between the two is always 10 psi. This saves you some time since you won’t have to make as many changes. 

4. Monitor the System 

Finally, make sure that you keep an eye on your system after making the changes. You need to know that the correct changes were made. Also, you’ll only be able to see the new adjustment after the pump reaches its first cut-off. 

Your psi setting should be 30/50 or 40/60. Lower pressures are best for older homes and homes without water appliances above the first floor. If you have fixtures on multiple floors, you’ll need to use the higher setting. 

You can also make more adjustments if you feel the pressure is still off. Just make sure you monitor the system each time after! 

What Is a Pressure Switch in a Well?  

A pressure switch is the part in your pump that tells the well pump to start or stop pumping the water. Pressure switches control the pressure level in the tanks. You’ll want to adjust the settings to meet your home's water needs if you're currently not getting enough water. 

Pressure switches are made of several parts and use water pressure to run. The pressure moves a diaphragm in the system up and down, which lets the machine know when to close and open. When the pressure drops, the electrical circuit closes, allowing the pump to run.  

Types Of Pressure Switch Settings  

There are two types of pressure switch settings. Here is how they work: 

  • Cut-In
    This is when the pressure is lowering. The pressure will start to drop when it reaches the cut-in point. You can think of it as the “stop” setting since the machine will stop making pressure when you reach this psi level. It’s also called the Reset Point.
  • Cut-Out
    This is the opposite of cut-in pressure. The pressure will start rising when it reaches this point. You can think of this as the “start” setting since the pump starts up when the pressure reaches this psi level. It’s also referred to as the Trip Point.
How To Adjust Well Pressure Switch Properly

7 Common Well Pressure Switch Problems

There are many different problems that can arise with a well pressure switch. These are the problems you’ll run into the most often: 

1. Switch Won’t Turn On Or Off  

  • Sometimes, the switch gets stuck. This is likely a sign that your tank’s pressure is higher than the cut-in setting. You should run the water in your home and see if that lowers the pressure enough for the switch to turn on.  
  • If your switch won’t turn off, you’ll need to shut down the power to your home until we can come and make the repairs. If you let it run, you’re going to waste a lot of power. Start by checking for leaks and other issues. 

2. Switch Clicks On And Off Repeatedly

  • This means that your pump is cycling. You’ll need to replace the bladder in the water tank, in most cases. The constant cycling can also damage the switch contacts, so you’ll want to check those as well. 

3. Pressure Sensor Clogging  

  • If there’s a lot of minerals concentrated in your water, it’s easier for the pressure sensor to become clogged. You will simply need to clean the bottom of the switch and the small pipe connecting it to your water supply. However, sometimes it’s better to replace the entire switch. 

4. Damaged Diaphragm

  • Old diaphragms can wear out, causing them to misread the pressure levels in your tank. You’ll need to replace it- there are no fixes for this one. 

5. Failed Connection

  • A failed connection happens when the pipes aren’t the right size. This leads to leaks and causes the pressure switch to malfunction. You’ll want to ensure you are using the correct piping and check for leaks in your system. 

6. Bad Contacts  

  • Electrical contacts in the pressure switch also tend to wear out with age. They can rust and offer bad connections. If you notice this is the problem, make sure to cut the power before interacting with the part. 

7. Water Is Leaking From The Internal Mechanism  

  • If you notice leaking water, you’ll need to tighten the plumbing around the switch. Do this by turning the switch's fitting clockwise. Then, wait and check for leaks again. Again, if there's water, you likely need a new switch. 


Can I put a higher-pressure switch on my well pump?  

You can raise the pressure to the settings your model says it can handle. Some go up to 70/50- others can even get as high as 90 psi. Most of the time, you don’t need to go above 40/60. 

What do I do if my pressure switch is stuck open?  

Start by gently tapping to see if the switch closes. Sometimes, debris holds it open. You can also breathe into the tube connecting the switch to the system. You’ll need to be gentle, so you don't damage it further. 

Can you run a well pump without a pressure switch?  

The pressure switch is required for safety reasons. Without it, the pump can easily burn itself out. You’ll want it installed for convenience as well, so you don’t have to worry about the pressure. 


Overall, it’s easy to adjust your well pump pressure switch. You simply need to turn the nut in the direction you want to adjust the pressure. If it doesn’t seem right, you can always wait and try again. 

Josh enjoys researching, testing and diving into home improvement & DIY products. He has a passion for tools, learning new skills and fixing the everyday problems that arise around the house.