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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
Diagnose & fix water pump problems: no pressure, low pressure, noises, or just about any other well pump trouble diagnosis & repair.
This article series describes how to diagnose and repair all types of well water pump problems and includes questions and answers from and to homeowners who lost well water pressure. We outline how to diagnose and fix bad water pressure (and link to articles in greater depth). We describe tracing a water pressure problem to the pump pressure control switch or to a bad water pressure tank (and what to do about it).
And we list common water quantity (run out of water) or flow (pressure) problems and solutions. If you don't see information you want, ask us for it using the COMMENTS BOX found at the end of this article. Page top illustration of a water pump, tank, controls & water well is used with permission of Carson Dunlop Associates.
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For a jumpstart on diagnosing water pressure problems see our WATER PRESSURE PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS TABLE
[Click to enlarge any image]
Also see the topic home page: WATER PRESSURE LOSS DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR and see WATER PUMPS, TANKS, TESTS, WELLS, REPAIRS for in depth guides to diagnosing and fixing bad water pressure or total loss of water pressure where a water pump and water tank are involved.
In this article and in more depth in arrticles linked-to, the basics 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.
If your water supply is from a city or municipal water system, see MUNICIPAL WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSIS.
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.
Questions & Answers about pump, water tank, well piping, & well repairs
The following is an actual case of a correspondent who lost water pressure and called a well and plumbing contractor who made several repairs. At the end of the repair water pressure and supply were restored but the owner had a bit of "sticker shock" when he saw the bill. He wrote to ask our opinion. Our reply, which follows the owner's note below, reviews the diagnosis, repair, and repair costs for this well pump and water tank replacement project.
-- This question is answered in detail at WELL PUMP / TANK REPAIR ADEQUACY
Diagnostic Questions & Answers About Well Water Pump and Tank Pressure, Flow, or Water Supply Equipment & Piping Repair or Replacement
Categories of Well Water Pressure & Equipment Questions & Answers
We have sorted reader questions and their answers about how to diagnose problems with private water supply systems into the following rough categories:
A Guide to Building Water Pressure by Adjusting or Repairing the Water Pump Pressure Control Switch or the Water Pressure Tank
Question: how do I set the well pump pressure control switch on and off or cut-in/cut-out pressures?
I am not sure how to adjust the well pump pressure control switch - what are those two adjustment nuts and which way do I turn them to change the water pressure settings?
How to Adjust Water Pump Pressure: The detailed, step by step procedure for inspecting and adjusting the water pressure control switch is discussed in detail at WATER PUMP PRESSURE CONTROL ADJUSTMENT.
Question: please explain the cause of and cure for pressure switch clogging
We had an issue with water pressure ( water would stop flowing for 20 sec at a time) in a house we are renting. The owner called the local well drilling co. They replaced the pressure switch which was clogged with iron. Is this a wear and tear issue or a water quality issue or something else. - Sue460@ptd.net 9/7/2012
Sue, thanks for the important question - it gives us a chance to clarify the problem with debris clogging at well pump pressure control switches and pressure gauges.
Question: water flow stops for 5 seconds at the start of the pump "on" cycle
When pressure in the tank drops to a set point, well kicks on and supply to the house is via well...or so that is my understanding. In the past, when this occurred you would notice a very brief fluctuation in the flow of water at any given outlet, I. e for about a second you could tell something had changed but water was always flowing. Over time this has changed gradually... To the point that now water stops flowing for a good 5 seconds, but then continues just fine. It's not a huge deal...but clearly something needs maintenance or repair. would prefer to do this now. - David Hicks 5/20/12
David, there may be a different problem in the case you describe, but I'd start by replacing the pressure control switch. If the pressure sensor port on the switch is debris or rust clogged, an early symptom is a delay in the switch's ability to respond to a drop in water pressure.
If the water tank is not waterlogged then try replacing the pressure switch and any pipe or tubing supplying water to its bottom sensor port.
Question: Will excessive water use change the pump's operating pressure?
Just a question to educate myself with the operation of a residential well pump/tank system:
I had thought originally that it was cutting out at 60 psi after it was installed. Now, I was also wondering if excessive water usage for a period of time (ex: watering plants, or the grass) would contribute to what I'm seeing, or if I have an other issue to look at. The pump is about 10 years old, and we do have hard water (dissolved rust, manganese) with a whole house filter installed after the well tank. Thanks for any help with this. - Tony 7/10/12
Typical cut-in and cut-out are 20/40 or 30/50 psi for a pump pressure control switch. Tony if you set the pressure too high the risk is that the pump never turns off and burns up the pump motor, or at high pressures, say over 70 psi, faucets are likely to leak.
Hard water clogs pipes and can clog valves or other controls, but I'm not sure how it would change the pump on/off pressure. If you're in doubt about the switch itself I'd just replace it - it's not a costly part.
For article access speed we've moved this discussion to a new article at LOW WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSTIC FAQs
We moved these FAQs to NO WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSTIC FAQs - please go there to diagnose complete loss of building water supply.
Also take a look at WATER PRESSURE PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS TABLE for a list of no-water diagnostics
Problems with well pumps, well pumps that run too often (short cycling), well pumps that won't stop running, noisy well pump, well pumps won't start
For loading speed we've moved this discussion to Well pump diagnostic FAQs at WATER PUMP DIAGNOSTIC FAQs to help sort out the direction of well pump problem investigation and repair
Please see WELL PIPING REPAIRS - we moved this discussion to speed up page loading.
Well Tank Problems, Trouble With Water Pressure Following Water Pressure Tank Replacement or Relocation, etc.
For web page speed improvements we moved this section to a separate article Please see WATER TANK DIAGNOSTIC FAQs for a discussion of problems with the water pressure tank or well water tank that might actually explain problems blamed on the well pump.
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