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WATER PUMPS, TANKS, TESTS, WELLS, REPAIRS
WATER CONTAMINANT LEVELS
WATER HAMMER NOISE DIAGNOSE & CURE
WATER ODORS, CAUSE CURE
WATER PUMP REPAIR GUIDE
WATER PRESSURE LOSS DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WATER TANK REPAIR PROCEDURES
WATER TANK: USES, TROUBLESHOOTING
WATER TESTS, CONTAMINANTS, TREATMENT
WATER TREATMENT EQUIPMENT CHOICES
WELLS CISTERNS & SPRINGS
WELL FLOW RATE
WELL WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSIS
WELL YIELD IMPROVEMENT
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
This article describes How to determine if you have made the correct water tank or pump repair to fix or bad lost water pressure. The process of diagnosis and the costs of the repair are explained. Consumer advice on saving money on well repair costs includes a review of the parts and labor costs of a typical well pump and pressure tank replacement case.
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Readers of this document should also see Water pressure tanks - how to diagnose the need for air, how to add air, stop water pump short cycling to avoid damage - water storage water pressure tank safety. The illustration at left is courtesy of Carson Dunlop, Inc. in Toronto.
IF the tank and pump replacement have completely fixed the symptom you were having, then the contractor seems to have made the correct repair. However given the sequence that you describe, we understand from your email that you'd suspect that there was nothing wrong with the pressure tank and that the problem, all along, was the well pump.
If the contractor were skilled and diagnosed that a bad tank was hastening the demise of or even causing the demise of the well pump, it would be poor practice to replace only the pump. Good plumbing practice (or good practice in any diagnostic and repair procedure) is to identify the underlying cause of a problem so that the correct repair can be made.
While a more sophisticated analysis (perhaps using an ammeter to look at current on the pump circuit, for example), might have detected at the outset that it was the pump that needed replacing, it is very common in all trades for a repair person to first replace, among the possible causes of a problem, the items which are less costly and most accessible - in this case, the water pressure tank. (Presuming your pump is a submersible down in the well.)
Look at the water pressure tank that was removed - it may be possible to open it and confirm for yourself that the bladder was shot.
A water pump that has been removed can be tested on a test bench; in some cases it is economical to bring a pump to an electric motor repair shop for analysis and repair.
Why don't people do this? There are not enough such shops around, and second, people don't want to wait a week with no water while their pump is being repaired.
How to check on the success and reliability - the "prognosis" of a an expensive well pump and water pressure tank repair job
First of all, there should be no leaks, anywhere, on the equipment which was repaired. If something was left wet, wipe it off and check for leaks. We don't pay my plumber if s/he leaves her/his work leaking. We call the boss.
Second, everything worked-on should be working normally to your eye and ear.
An expert plumber or well contractor can check the operation of your system by a combination of observation and electrical testing, such as measuring the amperage draw on the well pump circuit during pump operation. If these parameters are in normal range you should be ok insofar as the equipment is concerned. Your repair person should have made these checks. Ask him or her.
If you have been in the home for several years you should have an idea whether or not you've had a history of the well running out of water. You can understand more about your well and how the well itself is performing by noting its technical statistics such as well depth, water level, pump depth, static head, and well flow rate - topics we discuss at my website. If it is determined that you have a low-yield well, there are several solutions besides just drilling a new well - itself a shot in the dark.
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