The pressure switch controlling my shallow well jet pump has a low pressure shutoff. For the past couple of months it has been tripping due to low pressure more frequently than I would expect - about every two weeks.

The odd thing is that this happens during periods when there is little or no usage. I am confident that my system is fairly tight. We recently had a 12 hour power outage and lost very little pressure over that time.

The pressure switch too is fairly new. Less than 2 years old.

Any thought about where I can begin trouble shooting this problem? Should I try opening the well so I can take a look at the foot valve?

  • This may sound silly but where do you live? In North America we are in the middle of winter but other areas are summer. The foot valve could be a problem if it is letting the water back flow. I have pulled foot valves and cleaned them not really finding anything and the problem went away so my guess in pulling it I dislodged a piece of ? Even shallow pumps need a little water to get going and if the foot is leaking back it will take longer to prime.
    – Ed Beal
    Feb 23, 2017 at 0:21
  • I would suspect an intake issue as well
    – Tyson
    Feb 23, 2017 at 2:43

1 Answer 1


I'd start with the easy basics - check the pre-charge pressure in the storage tank .vs. the set pressure on the well pump controller. I'm making the "generally good unless your well setup is very old-fashioned" assumption that you have a bladder or membrane type of tank.

Before checking it, observe the pressure gauge as you run water, and note at what pressure the pump starts running (cuts-in) and stops running (cuts-out.)

Turn off the pump and drain the system. Check the air pressure in the tank - it should be about 2-3 PSI less than the pressure where the pump starts. If it's not, adjust it, so that it is.

If the precharge is too close to the cut-in-pressure, you can run out of water before the pump starts building pressure, and that would cause a low-pressure cut-out, as the pressure will rapidly plummet once the tank is empty.

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