Question? Just ask us!
Free Encyclopedia of Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, Repair
InspectAPedia ® Home
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
How to fix complete loss of water or water pressure/flow at a building: this article describes how to diagnose the total loss of water pressure and the need for water control, tank, piping, water supply main pipe & valve, or water well repairs. The process of diagnosis and the costs of the repair are explained. Consumer advice on saving money on well repair costs is given here and includes a review of the parts and labor costs of a typical well pump and pressure tank replacement case.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
Here we give basic diagnosis for cases where you lose water pressure and it does not recover. Water flow in the building simply stops dead. By contrast with these "no water at all" causes, if water pressure in the building gets very low or stops but later recovers, you have an intermittent or other water system problem and you should see How to Diagnose Loss of Water Pressure which later Returns or Recovers "on its own".
If the building water supply stops and takes minutes to hours to recover, you may have problem with the well flow rate. But the problem of lost water supply and pressure could be more mechanical: a bad well pump. The well pump, in turn, could have been damaged or hastened to the end of its life by a bad water pressure tank which has caused well pump short-cycling. Short cycling of the pump motor can burn up the pump relay control.
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
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.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fixing complete loss of water pressure at a building
Question: after fixing a plumbing leak water pressure was intermittent, now there is no pressure at all
My tank has a bladder. I had a leak and replaced the pipes with copper on the inside of my house . 2 Weeks ago after the leak was fixed I had an air bubble in the line where water would suddenly stop for a second and then come back on and then there was water underneath the water tank. Now I do get water but no pressure it is reading 20 lbs of pressure. I have no pressure plz help - Peggy
Peggy I'm not quite clear on your question nor the relation between your mentioning the bladder tank (water pressure tank with an internal bladder) and air bubble in the line, and water under the water tank. Here are some comments that might help sort this out:
Question: our well pump acted up and now quit completely
Hi, our water pump has been acting up recently. And today around 10 o' clock it completely stopped pumping any water into our house. But we don't know what the problem is. - Jimmy
Jimmy if our list of things to check first to figure out why you've got no water pressure are not clear, ask me as specific a question as you can and I'll try to help. If none of that information makes sense to you or doesn't help, it looks as if you want to call a plumber promptly. Try reviewing the water pressure loss diagnostic steps summarized in our WATER PRESSURE PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS TABLE. .
Question: water pressure stops completely, then returns six hours later
I have very low pressure in the house and all outside faucets. I checked the pressure gauge and it is at 0. I checked the top of the pressure tank and air came out. I can also hear water running through the pipes. Any ideas? - Adam
strangely enough pressure returned about 6 hours after we lost it. Now the gauge shows shows pressure at 50 and if I run water it slowly drops down to 30 before kicking back on. Seems to take about 5 minutes.
Reply: how to check and then improve well yield
Adam the behavior you describe is often what we see when a well flow rate has fallen to be very poor. It sounds as if the well yield has failed; it is possible to restore yield without drilling a new well if your plumber confirms that this is the problem.
Question: what happens if we set the well pump pressure control switch to a level higher than the pump can reach?
"A well pump pressure switch failure can also cause the water pump to fail to turn off - say if someone has adjusted that control to ask the pump for higher pressure than it can achieve." What should you do if someone has been adjusting the control & caused this problem? Is there a way to un-do what they have done? - Jess
Certainly, Jess. If the pump cannot reach the pressure setting the problem could be the limits of the pump capacity itself, or the well yield may have deteriorated. See WATER PUMP WONT STOP RUNNING.
Adjust the pump pressure control switch to drop the cut-off pressure down until it is at a pressure the pump can achieve (and thus will turn off). Then set the cut out just a few psi below that point to be safe. See PRESSURE CONTROL SWITCH ADJUSTMENT.
Question: we lost all water pressure after a power outage, even when electricity was restored
Hi,after a power outage that lasted the entire day, I now have no water at all. I'm new to all of this, so please bear with me. Although, thanks to your very informative site I'm learning. I have a single line jet pump and am not sure what the depth of the well is. I tried to reprime with no success, so had a well person check it out. He spent over an hour adding water, turning the pump on and off, gradually bringing the water and pressure back up to the top.
Right as he was ready to give up it worked, and water was flowing strong out of the faucet. It didn't last long though, and he said there must be a crack or hole in the piping of the well, which is letting air in. What I don't understand is I had water before the pwr outage with a supposed cracked or damaged pipe. So since he got the water back up to the top and flowing, why wouldn't it continue and keep the prime since it was before?
He advised that since the well is older (25 years) and the cost to find out what is wrong with it would be $1500 plus the cost of repair, that I would be better off having a new well dug, which is $3800.
Watch out: I would not go for drilling a new well before we have an accurate diagnosis of the problem. It would be maddening to pay thousands of dollars for a new well only to find that the original problem was a bad electrical connection in the original equipment.
Question: lost water pressure; why is the pump relay switch tripping off?
I cam home from work and the water tank appeared to be full. Much to our surprise water suddenly stopped flowing. I hit the reset on the pump relay and also hit the manual override on the pressure switch.
Question: intermittent loss of water pressure - pump goes off, then comes back on
OK, So I have been having some serious difficulties with my water.....A few days ago the water just went out....maybe a small trickle of water out of all faucets....a couple hours later, everything was fine, without me touching a thing. It lasted for about 10 mins, then went out again. The gauge reads right around 60 PSI non stop, hasn't dropped below 55 PSI that I have seen, but still, no pressure in the house our hose connection that is after the pressure adjustments, and before the tank. I replaced the control box and it worked for another 20 mins, then just died, and I can see the capacitor kickin out a dark goo. I have been all over the net trying to isolate the problem to save myself a few grand, but I keep seeing sooooo many different things people say could be wrong, and I just don't know where to start.....can anyone help?!?! - Larry
Larry, your well pump may be turning itself off due to overheating; some pumps, particularly submersible units, include an internal thermal overload switch. If the pump motor overheats the relay turns off the pump to avoid more costly damage. When the motor cools down the relay resets itself on its own .
If this is what's happening, you will want a diagnosis of the cause.
Question: After moving the water tank we can't get any water into our cabin
We moved our fresh water tank at the cabin from our driveway above the cabin to under the cabin. The pump has always been located under the cabin. Now the tank sits a few feet below pump level and we cannot get water to the cabin. The tank water level is slightly below the pump. - Pat
Pat, I don't have a clear picture of where all of your equipment, controls, and pressure sensing switch are located. But I agree that if a problem shows up after moving equipment, I'd start diagnosing the problem by a review of exactly what was changed. With so little information on your setup I have to suggest you start with a look at our water pressure problem diagnostics at WATER PRESSURE LOSS DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR or at the summary found at WATER PRESSURE PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS TABLE
Questions & answers or comments about troubleshooting total loss of water pressure in buildings.
Ask a Question or Enter Search Terms in the InspectApedia search box just below.
Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.