Had something strange happen today.
I filled a little pool this afternoon, and later found I had no water at
all. The pressure gauge on the tank was at zero.
We're on a drilled well, depth unknown.
The first thing inside the house is a big blue pressure tank with what I
assume is a pressure-actuated valve on it. The wires coming off of this go
into an overload protection device that contains a large capacitor and a
I pulled the cover off the overload protection thing, and there are
troubleshooting instructions on the inside. I grabbed the meter and found
that while nothing was exactly in the ranges specified, they weren't far
out, either. Then I dropped the meter across the where the power came in,
and found that I had no power at all here. So, I closed that back up and
moved on to the switch.
I found that I had power (220V) between the two inputs, and nothing between
the two outputs. Looking a little closer, I found that (obviously) the
switch was open. It took me a minute of looking at it before I realized how
the thing was supposed to work, but it appears that even though the pressure
was at zero, the switch was still open.
Just to make sure nothing else was wrong, I grabbed a couple of pieces of
sufficiently beefy (12 AWG) wire, opened the breaker, shorted the contacts,
and reset the breaker. Poof! The pump kicked in and pressure almost
immediately came up to around 40psi.
Now that there's pressure in the line, the pressure switch behaves
differently - it sorta clunks open and clunks closed if I push it around.
(Using something suitably non-conductive...) When the pressure was zero, it
didn't clunk at all - it was easily movable from one side to the other.
So, on to the questions: (I understand electricity pretty well, but
plumbing is a mystery...)
1. What, exactly, happened?
2. Is this normal behavior for a pressure switch?
3. Is the pressure switch on it's last legs?
4. Is the pressure tank liable to be full of air now instead of water? Is
there any way to tell? Or does it matter at all?
5. If #4 is true and I need to do something about it, how do I do it?