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WATER PUMPS, TANKS, TESTS, WELLS, REPAIRS
WATER CONSERVATION MEASURES
WATER CONTAMINANT LEVELS
WATER FILTERS, HOME USE
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 CHLORINATION & DISINFECTION
WELL FLOW RATE
WELL WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSIS
WELL YIELD IMPROVEMENT
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
No water pressure at all: complete loss of water supply at a building, diagnostic FAQs: this article provides answers to frequently-asked questions about how to diagnose problems with the complete or periodic-complete loss of building water pressure & flow.
These lost water pressure questions & answers help sort out the causes of water pressure problems and help determine if the problem appears to be at the water pump, pump controls, pump wiring, or the actual water source such as a private well or water storage tank.
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Question: Lost Water Pressure following an Electrical Power Loss - lightning strike?
After a power loss that lasted half a day [my neighbor] ran out of water. When power I was restored the water pressure was only about that of pouring water and would the volume of water rapidly dropped.
I reached down to her water tank and could easily tell it was empty. I connected a water hose to her outdoor spigot, unplugged the pump and allowed the water to fill her tank. The tank only filled about a quarter full. I opened a faucet to try to allow air to leave the system the tank did not fill any further.
The water pressure was at normal flow after I
disconnected the hose. The pressure gauge showed a drop from 60 to 40,
She has what appears to be a submersible well a hundred feet from the
well house. A pipe about 8-10 inches in diameter with a cap bolted
on, there is wiring on one side of the pipe.
In the well house (below grade) she has a blue tank about 18-24 inches
I have a few ideas from looking at your website but don't want to screw anything up so I decided I should email and see what you think.
We were puzzled too. Sometimes a power loss leads to total pressure loss
that leads to disclosing a pre-existing defect like crud inside of a
pump impeller, a failing foot valve (loses prime in the well), or a
failing pressure control. Also some power outages include an
Remember that a water pressure tank is never "full" - as it needs to contain an air charge.
First be sure you have an accurate picture of what was happening before the power outage. Then start by reviewing the normal pump sequence operation and comparing it with what's happening at this home.
Follow up from the reader explained that only 120V was being delivered to a 240V submersible pump because one fuse of a pair had blown. -- This question is answered and explained more fully at WATER PRESSURE LOSS DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
Thanks to reader EK Woodard for these details.
Question: Water pressure loss after electrical power outage - lightning strike & lost well water
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 re prime 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 power 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.
Reply: check for bad foot valve and replace it; refer to details of well pump priming procedure, check valves, foot valves
Indeed, Valora, a lightning hit can burn up electrical wiring, controls, pumps, and can even damage plumbing pipes. But your description sounds as if there was a loss of prime and difficulty re-priming the pump. If the water system has a bad foot valve (located on the bottom of well piping) and power stays off for some time, you are more likely to lose well prime. The proper repair is to pull the well piping and replace the foot valve.
The reason this problem shows up after a power loss is that even though the foot valve may have been leaking for some time, as long as you had electrical power, when the foot valve leaked the dropping pressure at the water tank caused the pump to turn on by itself, restoring water, pressure in the water tank, and prime before so much water was lost that the pump couldn't recover by itself. But when power was lost for hours, so much water drained back into the well that the well could not re-prime itself when it started again. See WELL PUMP PRIMING PROCEDURE and also WELL PIPING CHECK VALVES and WELL PIPING FOOT VALVES
Question: lost water pressure after well took a lightning strike, now find sand in the water
we had a lightning strike last night and lost power to the pump. Replaced the pressure switch which was damaged and now the well is pumping a lot of sand in with the water??? - Barb 5/17/12
Barb that's a tough one - how might a lightning strike generate sand pickup in well water?
Presuming we're talking about an in-well submersible pump, I figure if the pump itself or its wiring had taken a hit - which often happens with lightning strikes around wells, either the pump would stop entirely, or if it's getting low voltage or wiring is partly grounded it may be pumping, but more slowly or weakly than normal.
Nearby blasting can also change the properties of a water well
In the well that served our lab in New York we had excellent water quantity and quality from the time the well was installed in the 1920's until the 1980's when a road crew decided to move the highway. Local blasting near our well appeared to amend the underground rock cracks and crevices such that our well water suddenly contained debris from the day of blasting onwards to the present.
Question: water pressure lost and pump turned off, won't come on after we left pump turned off for a few days
Gone from home for a few days turned pump on at fuse box ran 2 minutes then shut off will not come on - Dave
Reply: Sequence of steps to check if the well pump is not turning on.
Dave: re "gone from home for a few days turned pump on at fuse box ran 2 minutes then shut off will not come on"
Watch out: for electrocution hazards when checking electrical wiring and devices. If you lack training and equipment have those checks made by a professional.
Watch out: often when a pump is turned OFF for a few days we discover a pre-existing problem that had been covered-up, namely a bad foot valve or check valve that allows water to slowly leak out of the pressure tank and back into the well.
Question: We lost all water pressure in the middle of a shower. We turned up the pressure switch. Do we need a new well pump?
I have a well, and this morning was taking a shower when we lost all water pressure in the middle of the shower. There was no water running in the rest of the house, so no pressure was being taken from the shower.. this had never happened. In the past, when you ran water, flushed the toilet or took a shower at the same time the water pressure went down.
Reply: when water pressure is lost do not just turn up the pump pressure switch. First diagnose the problem.
Amy, with no other information but that in your message it sounds as if there may be trouble with the well itself (running out of water), the well pump, or the pump controls.
Watch out: Don't just turn up the pump pressure control switch settings if your system has lost water pressure. Turning up pressure at the pressure control switch will not fix having run out of water and it can make the problem worse. For example, if you set the cut-off pressure higher than the pump can achieve then the pump motor may just keep running on until it burns up.
It is more important to first figure out why you lost water pressure. When the cause is diagnosed we'll know the proper repair needed.
Question: Water pressure switch set to 50/70 cut-in/cut-out for house and irrigation system. Now water pressure drops down to 10 psi. What's wrong?
I have an issue with my well. I have my pressure switch set to cut in at 50psi and cut out at 70psi. Its been this way for years. I run my house and an irrigation system and in the past never had a problem. The last I knew my well recovery was more than 16gpm. I have a lot of iron an have two filtration systems, one for the domestic water in the house and one for the irrigation system.
This year I'm having a problem maintaining pressure when the irrigation system is running. In the past the well maintained a constant 50 to 60 psi flow. Now it drops to as little as 10psi. I thought I had a pump and or yield problem. I bypassed all my filters and ran a facet wide open, approx 7gal/min for an hour and a half. Everything performed normally.
The pump kicked in at 50 psi and off at 70 psi. It pumped faster than the depletion rate. Now the puzzling part. I turned on my irrigation system and about 20 minutes in the pressure dropped below 30psi and would not build back up unless I turned the system off. At the time that I checked the water was metering under .5gal/minute. I'm perplexed. I would assume if the issue was pump or yield related I would have had a problem when I bypassed all the filters. Does anyone have a logical explanation for this. Thank you. - Tony
Reply: Check the water pressure switch mounting pipe nipple or switch pressure sensor port for debris clogging, or replace those parts
Tony from what you've said I wonder if your pressure sensor switch or its mounting tube are clogged with iron deposits? If the pressure control switch cannot accurately and quickly sense changes in pressure at its mounting point the pump behaviour may become erratic or even stop entirely. Try replacing the switch and cleaning or replacing its mounting tubing, and while you're at it look into those openings for evidence of clogging and let me know what you see (or send along a photo).
Question: Leaks found in well piping, now the pump is not working properly. What may be wrong?
My pump is 20+ years old, however it's been working fine. I recently replaced the pressure switch and it began working again. Tis past Saturday I discovered a hole in one pipe and I replaced the galvanised pipe and PVC. Again it worked fine. The next day the pump will not start and the zone solenoid was warm for the zone that was to be on. I'm at a loss. - Bernie
Reply: Leaks in well piping lose pressure & can let air and dirt into the system, clogging the controls or damaging the pump
Bernie: hole in the pipe ... was this a buried pipe? I wonder if dirt can have entered the system and plugged the pressure control switch. Try changing the switch and also checking its mounting tube for blockage.
Question: we have no water coming out of faucets - what do we check first?
water does not work how do i test pressure switch - Doug
Doug: under the article series titled WATER PUMP REPAIR GUIDE see these articles on installing, diagnosing, and repairing the pump pressure control switch:
Question: no water at all from our deep submersible pump well, Is there any way to tell if the pump is bad with out having to pull it completely out?
I have a private well 365' deep submersible pump approximately 9 yrs old. woke up this morning and have no water at all i replaced the pressure switch a few months ago.
There seems to be power going into the switch. Is there any way to tell if the pump is bad with out having to pull it completely out? - Joe 6/27/12
Joe, check the current draw using a clamp on ammeter to see what the pump is doing. That can detect a motor that is seizing. If the pump impeller is broken or damaged, the motor may run without being loaded - no unusual current draw; If it draws zip you've got an open wire; if there is no resistance between the wires they're shorted -
Watch out: to avoid death by electrocution or shorting and burning something up, some of these tests must be done with power off.
Question: the well suddenly went dry and I got an electric shock
I have an odd one for you.
Watch out: apparently Brent you're dealing with an electrical shock hazard and possible death by electrocution.
Brent, certainly improper electrical grounding, improper lightning protection installation, shorts and shocks can kill you as well as damaging your equipment, including a pump relay, motor, even the well casing itself.
If a lightning hit knocked out your well pump controls, wiring, pump motor, or even split the well casing, any of those problems would mean that you've lost water completely at your building. A shorted well pump wire could have a similar effect. See WATER PUMP WIRING DAMAGE
Question: lost water pressure, storage tank empty, reset pump and it came back on
Just replaced old water pump and pressure tank (& pipes) with new pump (no more pressure tank)and also new circuit box and breakers.
Follow up- spoke with plumber- he thinks it is likely the deep pump circuit box-'pumptech'
Gary, I'd start by replacing the questionable control switch. You might also check the current draw of the pump to see if you can detect a bad pump motor or a wiring short.
Watch out: there are death by electrocution hazards when messing with electrical wiring.
Question: we are on a well and no water comes out at the taps
My water is not coming out of the taps i am on a well , - Theresa
Theresa, take a look at WATER PRESSURE PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS TABLE for a list of no-water diagnostics
Question: no water in the house but water at an outside spigot
(Apr 3, 2014) michelle said:
when we woke up this am we had no water anywhere in our house or at our well pump. my husband just cleaned the contacts at the pressure tank and now we have water in the house but still no water coming out of well spicket. Any suggestions on why this would occur?
Michelle. If there is water in the building, then it's clear that not having water at an outdoor spigot is not likely to be due to the earlier no-water condition. Check for a shutoff valve that's remained closed; another possibility, seems less likely to me, is a debris clog in the piping.
Also look for a clogged water filter.
Follow the water piping. I'll bet you will see that the outside hose spigot is taken off of a water supply line ahead of other water treatment equpment such as a filter, water softener, or water conditioner.
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