Many homeowners enjoy the benefits of having a well water system instead of a municipal water supply. Well water is naturally filtered, not prone to widespread pipe leaks, and, of course, a free source for your drinking, cooking, and cleaning needs.
Wells also require very little maintenance. That being said, problems can still arise that can restrict or even cut off the flow of water into your home. In this article, we’ll cover what a well pump does and signs that it needs to be replaced.
How a well water system works
The pump is one of two major components of the well system. The pump’s job is to pull water from the underground source and deliver through a pipe to a pressure tank located in the home. The tank adds pressure and holds the water until a faucet is opened. Then the pressurized water is forced through the plumbing to its destination, whether that’s a sink, shower, or appliance.
Commons causes of well pump failure
If you’re dealing with a lack of water coming out of your faucet or low flow, you may have an issue with the well pump. Here are some possible causes.
- Loss of power – Without electricity, the pump can’t run. Check your electrical panel and make sure the circuit for your well pump isn’t in the “off” position. If this fixes the problem but the circuit repeatedly trips, call a plumbing or electrical professional ASAP.
- A damaged pipe – It’s possible that an underground pipe from your well system has cracked or is clogged. In this scenario, most of the water that the pump is moving is ending up in the soil rather than your home. You’ll most likely notice flooding or wet ground in the area of your property where the well system runs through.
- Low water table – In most cases, the well is dug deep enough to have access to ample underground water for your home. But during a dry spell or drought, the water table may go too low for your system. Often, this results in muddy or sputtering water coming out of the faucet.
- Malfunctioning pressure tank – Check the pressure gauge of the pressure tank. If the reading is above 20 pounds per square inch (PSI), then you have enough pressure and the issue likely isn’t with the pressure tank. This can help you narrow down on the source of the problem.
- Pump or pressure tank was improperly installed – It’s important that both components are the appropriate size for your home. Otherwise, the pump will work harder and wear out quicker.
- Water sediment damage – As the pump pulls up water from the well, it also brings along minerals, dirt, and other debris. This sediment can wear down or get stuck in the pump.
Identifying and fixing a problem with a well pump is no easy tasks. That’s why it’s best to bring in a professional who is an expert in how these systems work.