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WATER PUMPS, TANKS, TESTS, WELLS, REPAIRS
WATER CONSERVATION MEASURES
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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 Page top illustration of a water pump, tank, controls & water well is used with permission of Carson Dunlop Associates.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2014 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
Article Series Contents
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.
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 should also see WATER PIPE CLOG DIAGNOSIS
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?
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
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.
If your water supply is from a city or municipal water system, see MUNICIPAL WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSIS.
Continue reading at WATER PUMP CAPACITIES TYPES RATES GPM or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
Suggested citation for this web page
Green link shows where you are in this article series.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: well pump piping hook-up troubles
(Apr 10, 2014) ashok said:
i have 2 water lines connected to an above ground water pump which is attached to a tank. last winter i could not get water and i checked the pump and found it had a crack at the impeller housing. I got a used pump and attached the lines to it. The pump works fine but is not pulling any water. also there is no place to pour water to prime the pump so i installed a T with a shut off nut. I did pour plenty of water in this T at times i get some pressure , maybe for a second and then nothing. I am wondering if i may have switched the pipes supply to discharge or vice versa. please advice
Ashok, you might have switched lines, or the same freezing that cracked the pump may have cracked a well line leading to leaks or loss of prime. Check out our alternative methods for how to prime the well pump by starting at
WATER PUMP PRIMING PROCEDURE
in the More Reading links above. Keep me posted.
Question: well runs out of water
(May 17, 2014) David said:
I used to be able to just wait overnight or so and restart the pump and everything was fine. Now, IF the pump starts up (which it won't right now)the flow is abt. 1/2 of what it used to be and trickles down to nothing. This is a Sta-right 1.5 hp motor/pump. Sounds like it's an electrical problem. Any ideas from you pros?
It sounds as if your well recovery rate has been slowing for some time. If a pump is run continuously without water it's likely to be damaged. So you may be facing a double problem: low flow rate in the well and a damaged pump.
Take a look at the diagnostics at
Question: flushing water noise coming fromwell pump
(May 25, 2014) Carol said:
When water is continually running such as sprinkler is on, the noise of water flushing coming out from my well water pump. Is it normal?
Not sure from just the info in your query. Perhaps the well is running out and the pump is sending up some air
Question: well pump trips the circuit breaker
(May 27, 2014) Anonymous said:
breaker trips after ten seconds
(Aug 25, 2014) ken said:
I have a dead short in the well that knocks out the breaker as soon as I pull the breaker
(Aug 27, 2014) joan said:
ive replaced my pressure switch several times and it still keeps shorting out and my water shuts off
Most likely the water Pump or its control or wiring is shorted or motor is failing and drawing high current.
Leave electrical power off on the tripping circuit and call a licensed electrician for diagnostic help and repair.
The short could be in the motor, the pump control switch, or in damaged wires anywhere between house and your well pump motor.
Joan if the pressure switch is shorting out I'd be looking for damaged or shorted electrical wiring or a shorted or seized pump motor
Watch out: you describe an unsafe condition: shut off the system until a proper diagnosis and repair can be made.
Question: lost all water pressure
(June 3, 2014) Karen Galvin said:
HELP! water just stopped. replaced control box, fuses are good. Where do I go from here? An electrician or well person? I live 25 miles East of Sterling, CO - not a lot of help out this way. I've been without water for almost a week.
Karen, this diagnostic article should get you going
Question: lost water pressure after a power outage
(June 5, 2014) Dan said:
Had a power outage, then ran out of water. Power came back on and full water pressure. 2 showers and a load of wash later, water stopped. Breakers not tripped.?
Look for well pump or piping losing prime or well pump / wiring damaged by lightning.
Question: sprinkler system runs out of water; irrigation well troubles
(June 7, 2014) Chuck said:
My sprinkler system is run off a water storage tank and a pump. Two days ago I turned the system on and everything was working. I came back an hour later to change the areas recieving water. The pump was running but no water was coming out the sprinklers. Today I cleaned the intake tube, which wasn't really dirty, turned the system on and all I get is a puddle that forms around the sprinkler heads. It seems to me the pump isn't generating enough pressure. Yet it sounds like it's working prefectly. Any ideas on what to try next?
(June 12, 2014) Jay said:
Had good water pressure then turned on one of the zones for sprinkler which had leak in line which is repaired but still no water at all not sure what to do next
(Aug 26, 2014) Link said:
I have a shallow irrigation well. The pump directly feeds an array of sprinkler heads. There is no water and no noise (normally you can hear the pump). How do I go about troubleshooting? Or is this something I'll need a pro for?
Assuming pump needs replaced, what's a reasonable cost? Thanks.
Commonly sprinkler systems run into a low well flow rate problem, especially in dry weather or when the water table is lower at your well. At that point the pump impeller may be damaged and even when water returns in the well the pump can't develop pressure.
Check also for a leak in the well piping.
Diagnostics for pumps that won't start are given in the More Reading links above
Perhaps our pump diagnostic table will work better for you
Question: well pump hums, well pump won't start
(July 17, 2014) John said:
Motor only hums when plugged in.
(Aug 13, 2014) raykan said:
Pump not starting unless you spin fan by hand
John, look for a seized pump motor or bearing or impeller or a bad motor start capacitor
Raykan: your pump probably needs a start capacitor replacement
Question: well pump won't shut off - water pump keeps running
(July 5, 2014) sue j said:
We hooked a hose up to our well pump in the basement and we have great pressure but the pump will not shut down it keeps on running until we shut it down we spend more time in the basement turning it on and shutting it off just so we can get water up to the house.we have to fill buckets to use the toilet and its getting frustrating.
(July 21, 2014) ron said:
The pump is not cutting off and the is getting hot some times
(Aug 1, 2014) Lauren said:
My well pump keeps running , My electric bill is through the roof!
In the More Reading links above please see the article titled
WATER PUMP WONT STOP RUNNING
where we suggest some diagnostic steps to find and fix the trouble you report. Keep me posted and let me know if that material is unclear
Turn off power, let the well recover for 3-6 hours, then try power on again.
Look also foe piping leaks or a switch cut out pressure set too high.
In the More Reading links just above you'll want to read the diagnostics in the article titled
WATER PUMP WONT STOP RUNNING
Question: pump runs but no water
(June 23, 2014) Anonymous said:
pump runs but won't pump water?
Anon if a pump motor runs but no water is delivered there are several different directions of possible expanation:
no water in the well
Loss of prime in the system
damaged pump impeller or parts
well piping leak or disconnected in the well
Question: jet pump pulling from 30 feet - pump stays on too long on well, OK on city water
(June 17, 2014) walt said:
I got a jet pump pulling water from a 30 feet well.The pump stays on for a long time and is pumping to a pressure tank but never reaches the right pressure to cut off the pump. when the pump is switched to the city water it immediately reaches the required pressure and switches off, It never does this when switched to hauling water from the well.what could be wrong for the pump not to reach its pressure when pumping from the well.
Walt your description suggests that there is a problem with the well flow rate (low flow into the well) or well piping (such as a leak out).
Question: slow pressure loss until no water at all
(June 9, 2014) charles said:
my well pump slowly lost pressure until no water worked at all. the relay in my control box would do nothing but "chatter". i replaced capaciter and i have 240 volts all the way to the control box. could the coil be bad?
Sounds like a low flow rate well - provided the pump was continuing to run.
Question: delivered water into well, today it's all gone
(july 17, 2014) adam said:
Had 1700 gallons of water delivered to tank yesterday as well seemed dry, today, all 1700 gallons is gone is it a leak or could it be something else?
Unfortunately, if the 1700 gallons was pumped down into your well, and was gone the next day, and presuming no one lewft water running at a rate sufficiently to run out so much water over night, indeed that was probably a total loss - you were back-feeding an exhausted aquifer.
If you have a large cistern or water storage tank and the 1700 gallons was pumped into such a container, either there's a leak in the container or in its piping system.
Question: well pump won't pump water
(July 31, 2014) Henri Picard said:
Small well pump connected to river. Pump will not pump, so I changed the pressure switch. It still will not pump. But if I by-pass the pressure switch, the pump works perfectly, but will not stop of course.
Your comment suggests that the pump and its wiring are OK, which leaves the pressure switch OR the ability of the switch to accurately sense system pressure. If you changed the switch and wired it correctly but it won't turn on the pump, and assuming you've checked for power, I suspect the switch is not sensing water pressure - e.g. if the mounting tube is clogged or the switch is not in the proper place.
... thanks for your response. Not certain what you mean by "the switch is not in the proper place". I have changed the switch twice before and it has never been a problem. When I first replaced this last pressure switch; the pump would give me water for about 5 minutes and then the water pressure would drop to zero. If I then did not use the pump for a few hours; I could then get water but again for only 5 minutes. I checked the air pressure in the tank and it is 20 pounds.
IF the switch worked in the location previously you're OK. Some installers might mount the pressure sensor too far from the pressure tank or on piping that can be turned off by control valves - interfering with its operation.
The latter part of your comment certainly suggests a very low flow well - recovering during the time you don't use it - in fact it sounds inadequate.
I add that
Some pressure control switches include a pump protection feature that will shut down the switch if the pump is drawing air. Some such switches have a manual re-set lever.
The fact that you've changed the switch twice suggests a systemic problem: switch burnups from short-cycling or dirt/debris clogging for example.
From Henri, the pressure switch has a small metal lever on it's side to turn the switch on and off. it makes it easier to prime the pump when I put it in the river in the spring.
From your comment; "Some pressure control switches include a pump protection feature that will shut down the switch if the pump is drawing air. Some such switches have a manual re-set lever."
I am not a mechanical type of person, but your comments made me think. I took off the small clear plastic hose that goes to the pressure switch; I took the fittings off and noticed rust. So I cleaned it up and the pump now works.
No Henri, you're quite right. If the pump were pumping air, that is not able to obtain water, it would misbehave regardless of the use of the pressure switch or direct-wiring to turn on the unit. If the pump provides water at good pressure when you omit the pressure control switch then we think the pump and wires to the pump are OK and we're back to the switch.
The small plastic hose that goes to the pump is how it senses water pressure. If your system is under pressure and you disconnect one end of the hose you ought to see water squirting out of the supply pipe. If you don't, either there's a valve closed or something is clogged.
Re Henri's last update - running pump but short cycling:
DO NOT try to fix that by changing the pressure switch cut-in/cut-out adjustment.
The problem is a short-cycling pump, caused by one of several possible problems (such as a waterlogged pressure tank or a piping leak) discussed in these two articles found in More Reading links above
WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING
(Aug 3, 2014) Henri Picard said:
Mr. Friedman, thank you so much for your comments. I am not mechanically minded and had no idea what to do to remedy my pump problem. But with your comments and direction I was able to read the articles you recommended, and after having read them many times, I was able to solve the short-cycle problem
Question: pump for river water, cloggd foot valve
(July 31, 2014) Anonymous said:
The pump is pumping water from the river. Yesterday I pulled up the foot valve and brushed it to clean it. When I changed the pressure switch I had to take off that small clear plastic hose that goes to the switch and I let it run. Does it help to mention that this pump is a small one half horse power and it is over 40 years old.
Indeed the same debris that clogs a foot valve can clog the small diameter tube through which water pressure is transmitted to the pump pressure control switch.
Question: issues with my well water
(Aug 9, 2014) Danny Robertson said:
Hello. I am having some issues with my well water. The well has been there since 1973 when my wife’s parents bought the property and built their house. They have never had water problems with the well other than a pump dying or a stuck toilet running them out of water. I know that it is about 28 feet. I have a deep well submersible pump. I don't know for sure what the brand or specs are for the pump itself. We have been experiencing low water pressure or running out of water. I just replaced my pressure tank and pressure switch this past Wednesday. My wife's parents live behind us so I counted the number of fixtures that we have and that they have including outside faucets. We each had 13 for a total of 26 fixtures.
I bought an 86 gallon pressure tank from Menard's and I also bought another Square D 30/50 pressure switch to replace the same model that was already installed. The water supply pipe coming into my house is 3/4 inch. I reduced the pressure tank from its 1 1/4 inch outlet down to 1 inch for the T connections. I increased the size from 3/4 inch at the valve of the incoming pipe to 1 inch to go to the T and then reduced from 1 inch back to 3/4 inch to my house supply. I have a water softener and a whole house water filter installed.
The water was fine once I got the new pressure tank and pressure switch installed and all of the pipe connections completed. There is a valve next to the pump that we can turn the water off to my in-laws house. Our well serviceman put it in late this spring / early this summer so we could troubleshoot water problems by turning the water off to my in-laws house. That valve was off because my in-laws were on vacation. My wife showered Thursday morning and so did I with no problems. She told me that her parents were back home and asked me to turn their water back on. I did and my father-in-law called me a little later and said that they did not have any water and asked me if I had put a check valve in. I said yes I did and it dawned on me before he told me that we can’t have the check valve there because it will not allow the lines to be pressurized before the check valve.
Last night I removed the check valve and checked their water and it was fine. My son was taking a shower last night and banged on the wall to ask me to fix the water because it had just shut off. I turned the pump off and saw that the pressure gauge was at 0 psi. I called the in-laws and asked if they were using water. They had started a load of laundry and then turned it off because of low or no water. My wife went downstairs and turned the pump back on and the water came back up a little bit – enough for my son to quickly finish his shower. I turned the in-laws water off at the valve by the pump for the night. This morning my wife showered with no problems and then I showered. I had good water pressure for most of my shower and then I heard like air bubbles in the line, the water pressure lessened, and then no water what so ever. Very frustrating!
I can rule out the pressure tank and pressure switch since they are new. I figure that it is either a leaking pipe in the ground, a pump that is bad or going bad, or our well is running out of water. I think that if the well was running out of water I wouldn’t just all of a sudden run out of water in the shower. The water pressure would just diminish to a trickle instead of stopping suddenly. I also think that if there was a leaking pipe there would be a spot of ground that was saturated. My power supply is two 15 amp screw in fuses with a lever to turn the electricity on and off.
There is also a metal box on the exterior wall that has the electrical wires going from it to the pump and from it to the pressure switch. I don’t know what this box is for. Can someone tell me?
Danny I am a bit overwhelmed by the message length and lost my way through it.
But if the bottom line question is what's that second box, your pump may be a submersible unit - in the well. Higher horsepower submersibles are often operated by a separate heavy duty relay that is itself switched by the pump pressure control switch.
In the More Reading article links just above
WATER PUMP RELAY SWITCH
Question: well pump wiring confusion
(Aug 10, 2014) dana said:
I'm getting 120 power on both wires to the well and from the house, I then went out and bought a well pump figuring that was the problem and it still does not work. What may the problem be?
If there is proper electrical voltage and a pump doesn't run when temporarily wired directly I suspect either a damaged pump or mis-wiring. If the pump is not wired directly but is being controlled through the pressure switch then the switch may not be turning on the pump.
Question: ran the well dry, now no water, what's wrong? new well runs out of water
(Aug 12, 2014) Barbara said:
I pumped my well dry by leaving a faucet on. I have primed it, turned the breaker back on and nothing happens? Any suggestions?
(Aug 14, 2014) Anonymous said:
We'll is new insuffient water flow. Only pumps between ten and fifteen min. Then water stops
(Aug 17, 2014) Patricia said:
We ve just drilled for a new well and got water at 140 feet. We have been running the pump for 1 hr each day for the past
I suspect that either your pump was damaged by running dry or a safety switch in the system requires manual re-set.
A "new" water well that runs out of water is marginal - has an inadequate flow rate. Ask your well driller for a consult about increasing well yield, drilling further, installing storage tanks or further diagnosis.
in more reading above see WATER PRESSURE LOSS DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
Particia, look for
Start by making sure the pump actually runs. Then check for debris or damaged pump impeller.
Question: well is running out of water
(Aug 12, 2014) Jeb Bassett said:
Our well seems to be running out of water. Sonar said the water was 186 ft down. We ran the hose, and it stopped shortly at 201 ft which is where I was told the pump was. So, in 15 feet, we ran out, and it recovered at less than 1GPM.
Regardless, my question is, if I lowered the pump another 95 feet, will I get a higher recovery rate because I now have 95 feet more surface area in the well column for the water to wick into or have I just increased my reservoir, with no effect on the recovery rate? Personally, I thought if I create more of a void in the well, more water will have a chance to enter and fill it.
Lowering the pump down into the aquifer can indeed give more water volume (95 ft. x about 1.5 gallons per foot) but if the well flow rate is poor or nil that's a band-aid repair since as you suggest that doesn't impact the recovery rate.
You might want to review our articles about increasing well yield
(Aug 13, 2014) Jeb Bassett said:
Thanks ... . If I understand you right, the water that is available below the pump or in the adjoining rock fissures will not cause my well column to fill up above its current level. Is that because the water only will not rise above the water table? Is the water table defined as the first level in a well where water begins to wick into the drilled hole?
you need to measure the actual bore depth, and it'd be smart to ask the contractor why the well is 100 feet up from teh well bottom - if that's the case.
Question: water tank not leaking but we have no water
(Aug 12, 2014) Anonymous said:
Tank will hold air but not pull water from below
The problem will thus more likely be in the well, pump, or piping. Start by determining if the pump is running at all.
Question: well water suddently got muddy and we lost water pressure
(Aug 18, 2014) dave said:
All of a sudden our well water became muddy for house water and irrigation. Plus, water pressure in kitchen became low at the same time.
Could be the well water level and flow rate have dropped - irrigation will surely stress a marginal flow rate well.
Could also be a leak or hole in the well casing
Or a leak in the well piping anywhere between house and bottom of the well
Or nearby drilling or blasting may have affected your aquifer and the rock fissures around your well
Question: pump not working after lightning strike
9/3/14 Anonymous said:
pressure switch is in gauged but pump dose not run. when i take a screw driver and pry it apart the light in the well house goes off, the as i release or let the points come back together the light comes back on. we had a lightening strike last night and i am sure that has something to do with the action. I wonder if it got the pump motor?
You want an electrician to check the wiring and pump motor - some of that can be done without pulling the pump. Meanwhile leave the system off.
Question: pump starts and stops at random times
9/6/14 Anonymous said:
My water stops in shower at sink or hose at random times and starts back after a min or 2. This has been going on for more then a year. The water may stop 2 times a day or twice a week just random
Please see the diagnosis procedure at WATER PUMP INTERMITTENT CYCLING
Question: pump switch not responding properly to change in water pressure
9/7/14 Mick said:
I've just relocated our household water pump (Davey XJ50). It is drawing water and delivering to the house and pressure is rising to about 35psi before cutting off, (normal, i believe). The pressure then drops back down to about 15psi without any taps on and the pump kicks in again at that point. It rises back up to 35, cuts off and drops to 15psi. I thought it might be air in the system, so i've turned on all taps until they ran smoothly, (no spurting), but issue continued. This cycle continues so pump is nearly running continuously. I have turned it off to diagnose. Any ideas?
Mick, look for a bad foot valve or a leak between pump and well pipe end.
Question: the home inspector burned up our well pump motor
9/9/2014 Patti Haines said:
We recently had our well inspected as part of a house sale. The company, which we were reluctant to used, ran the well at 15 gallons per minute in an attempt to run it dry. We objected saying, first of all, we're in a drought, and secondly, the well is used only for outside irrigation of our garden. They continued and, you guessed it, the pump burned up. Is this a normal way to check a well?
Well geez. What idiots. I figure if a pump was left running dry whoever did that owes you for a new well pump.
It is reasonable for a home inspector to operate equipment, including a well pump, and even reasonable to "waste" a significant volume of water in the course of determining whether or not the septic system is working. And in some cases one might run a pump and measure water volume to determine the true well flow rate though that's not usually something done by a home inspector as such as test, properly executed would run for 24 hours.
In my OPINION the inspector ought to have paid attention and if water flow stopped, s/he ought to have promptly shut off the pump. If that was done then that test would not cause a ruined well pump.
Keep in mind that as your well ran out of water, it's quite possible, even likely depending on how much water was run before it ran out (you should give me that data), that the pump has run dry previously - as is common on a well with a poor flow rate. If no pump protection switch or tailpiece in the well was installed, the equipment was not protected from damage. In that circumstance, a pump might have been nearly ruined to start with and one more aggressive test could have pushed it over the edge, disclosing an existing problem.
In sum, a lot depends on exactly what the inspector did. I would agree that if someone left a pump running dry for more than a minute or so there is good risk that it would be damaged.
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