The small air compressor that feeds the AerMax treatment tank does not run all the time. The installer must provide a way to turn it off and on.
A misconception about the system is that the compressor needs to be running while water is running through the treatment tank. It doesn't.Treatment takes places as the water falls through the pocket of compressed air in the top third of the treatment tank. The pump only needs to run enough to keep this pocket fresh. The actual run time needed varies according to contaminant levels and water usage.
For practical purposes, there are three ways to control the pump (and vent, on electrically vented “Maxi-Vent” units):
The most-frequently used control method requires no additional equipment. The installer simply brings an electrical receptical out of the well pump circuit so that when the well pump runs, the air pump is turned on. When the well pump stops, the air pump stops. This system is simple and it never fails. It also makes air turnover proportional to the amount of water used.
The disadvantages are that it runs the air pump a bit more than it needs to run and an electrician may be needed to do the wiring. This arrangement is not recommended where irrigation or long service runs to fill pools or ponds would run the pump excessivly and for no reason. If this method of control is used, it is best to purchase the 220-volt pump, since virtually all well pumps are now 220, though you can install the 110-volt pump on a 220 well with some creative wiring.
Flow switches are installed in the water line so that they turn on the current in an electrical receptical when water is running through the pipe. The pump (and vent, if applicable) is plugged into the flow switch. This method requires no special electrical wiring.
A flow switch is the least desirable way to control the pump. The disadvantage is that it turns the pump on and off frequently (a person brushing his teeth might turn the pump off and on several times for only a few seconds per run). Flow switches can also be problematic. If you use this method, you will be wise to avoid cheap flow switches.
The AerMax unit can be controlled by a simple household timer of the type commonly used to turn on lamps or control appliances.
This is the easiest installation and in many ways the most effective, since the run time of the pump can be controlled precisely. Typically, for standard residential systems, the pump can be turned on for a short daily run, though many installers run the pump as infrequently as three times a week with excellent results. Installation requires no additional plumbing or electrical work.
(whole house & well units)