I just bought a house and my water pressure isn't the greatest. When I looked at it, the pressure switch is for 30 50. When checking the cut-in and cut-out, it was at 35 55. Can it be set higher like that or should I change it back to 30 50?
You can raise the pressure switch-points by adjusting the pressure switch. It's not uncommon to run at 60/40, and 70/50 is also possible.
The limiting factors are:
- Your pressure switch (though as Ed says, most go to 90 or so)
- The fixtures in your house. Toilet valves in particular can start to leak at higher pressures, and the next big one would be connections made using compression fittings and smaller tubing like fridges, ice makers and humidifiers.
- Your well pump. It may not be powerful enough to actually reach the cut-off pressure, or it may take an excessively long time.
You can also increase the size of your pressure tank. This will make the pressure drops and surges smoother and last longer as it takes longer for the pressure to drop to the cut-in pressure, but it'll also take longer to fill it up. The pump will run less frequently but for longer.
There's also a number of variable speed pumps on the market, and those will actually maintain a certain pressure fairly reliably. This is most noticeable while using water continuously such as in the shower or using a hose outside. One of the other benefits is these only need a fairly small pressure tank.
This obviously requires replacing your pump (and it's more expensive than the equivalent standard pump) so it's probably not a good option unless you needed/wanted to replacing the pump anyway.
By changing it down to 50 your pressure will be lower. Most of the switch's I have worked with are preset by increasing the spring pressure many can be raised to 90. When increasing the adjustment if it gets hard to turn stop or the switch may be damaged. Added for clarity The switch sets the pressure in fact it is an electronic regulator. If the water pressure is not sufficient most switches can be adjusted to increase the pressure thus increasing the flow from the pressure tank. Many switches come adjusted from the factory with set points listed on the switch. If the switch is adjustable increasing the tension will increase the pressure by allowing the pump to run longer until the desired pressure is reached. If there are 2 adjustments 1 is for the span between the pump turning off when at pressure and when it turns back on.
In the simplest example of a typical residential submerged-pump well water system THAT IS PRESSURIZED, AND NOT SIMPLY GRAVITY FED, there is a water pressure tank that is directly supplied with water from the well pump. The water tank provides back pressure in the form of compressed air, most commonly separated from the water by a elastic membrane. As more water enters the tank, the AIR PRESSURE in the tank increases. And that AIR PRESSURE provides the force needed to propel water out when a valve is opened.
In such a system there needs to be a control to turn the pump on and off, in order to stop the pump when a predetermined water pressure in the tank is reached, (otherwise whatever was the weakest point in the pressurized system would eventually fail). The control stops and starts the pump. Period. There is no intermediate range between on and off. The pump runs at full speed or not at all.
Therefore, either a simple manual on/off electric switch is needed to stop the pump (and someone needs to be there to turn the switch on and off to control the pump) OR there needs to be an automatic device to accomplish the same task.
When the selected pressure is reached, either the person in charge of the switch or the switch itself interrupts the flow of electricity to the pump and the pump stops.
Seeing as there is NOT an endless supply of individuals willing to stand guardian over our individual water systems, the automatic pressure-sensing device is nearly universally used.
In a residential setting, a well pump itself is a SINGLE SPEED/SINGLE OUTPUT RATE DEVICE, one most commonly selected for its price and its pumping VOLUME (gal/minute). There is a selection of pumps with different gal/min ratings available to suit different household's water use needs. A water pressure tank and a water heater are both selected for the projected water use of the household. Typically both would be larger in households with more people or more fixtures, than in those with fewer.
A pump is (hopefully) always selected with the water well's INPUT flow rate considered. It would not be a good idea to have a pump that can pump 50 gallons a minute when the well's inflow rate is only 2 gallons per minute, or the risk of running the pump dry would be too great.