Corroded leaky galvanized steel well piping (C) D FriedmanWell Pipe Leak Repair FAQs-2
Q&A on finding & fixing leaks in well piping

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Questions & Answers to Help Diagnose Well Pipe Leaks:

Questions & Answers on how to diagnose and fix leaks in well piping. These FAQs describe answer common questions about diagnosing and fixing leaky well piping.

This article series describes diagnosing and repairing leaks that can occur in building water piping between a private well and the building water equipment.

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Well Piping Leak Diagnosis FAQs

Old wells, lots of things to fix (C) Daniel Friedman

These questions & answers about finding & fixing leaks in well piping were posted originally at WELL PIPING LEAK DIAGNOSIS - be sure to see the diagnostic suggestions in that article.

On 2017-08-26 by (mod) - track down an air leak in well piping or at the pump


I suspect there's an air leak somwhere in the well piping from above the lowest water level that occurs in the well and the pump outlet port. That could be along the well line, more-likely at a piping connection, or possibly in the pump casing itself as air leaks can develop around the impeller.

Start by tightening all of the piping connections; where you're using plastic well piping and nylon or plastic pipe connectors and elbows, I would try adding a second hose clamp and tightening both clamps securely.

If you have a clear-plastic water filter installed you will often see air bubbles entering the filter while the pump is running. When you've found and tightened the right connector you'll know because the bubbles will stop.

PS: IF the problem were a one-time air-overcharge in the pressure tank, normally that would cure itself once the excess air has passed through the piping system. But an improper air volume control can also push excess air into the system.

Be SURE to read: AIR DISCHARGE at FAUCETS, FIXTURES at where you'll find our more-complete sequence of diagostic and repair suggestions for air at the faucets.

On 2017-08-25 by Jeff k

I've recently had my shallow well jet pump and foot valve replaced and am now occasionally getting some air discharge from faucets - only in the morning and after the first pump cycle of the day.

During the day when the pump is used regularly, normal usage, there is no noticeable air discharge. I've confirmed that the foot valve isn't drawing down too low and pulling air. Thoughts on what could be causing this?

On 2017-08-13 by William

I live In Florida and there is water around the well pipe Befor it goes into ground I found it after digging down 2 feet

On 2017-08-03 by Joy

We have a 400 foot well and it continues to blow holes in the water line above the submersible pump. What could be causing it to burst the line?

On 2017-05-16 by (mod) - fix a leak at the well pump itself


If by "pipe" you mean water is coming out of the well casing top, then either your well is an artesian well and needs an internal seal or well spool below the casing top, or there is a leaky well pipe spurting water against the casing top as the pump runs.

Tom: My guess is the same as for Sandra.

On 2017-05-1 by sandra dorsey

We don't have well water leaking from pipes or ground. What we do have, is, its coming from the pump itself.

IM not a plumber, but, I think my problem is we just need either a new gasket, or a new pump. THE leak is not a bad one, but, after about 30 mins. of use, the amount of well water on garage floor, is about the size of a small puddle.

On 2017-05-05 by Tom

Our well is leaking water out the top of pipe. Has now stopped. Well People coming tomorrow to dig down to change connections. If the water we go ahead with the dig?

On 2017-03-25 by (mod) - signs of frozen well pipe

That sounds right about the freeze: line won't be ice blocked; but there could be a burst or leaky pipe - that might leak your hot water out.

On 2017-03-25 by Michelle

I guess i would have to start this at the inlet/outlet of the cistern. And if the water i put down there disappears and doesn't recirculate back out then i have a leak not a freeze?

On 2017-03-25 by (mod) - thaw frozen well pipes

For pipes buried outdoors the trick of hooking up welders or using blow-dries certainly won't be of use.

But some plumbers use a system of a tub of water being heated over a propane burner, a small pony pump, and tubing of sufficient diameter to push hot water into the suspect pipe. The tube is advanced until it hits a blockage of ice - the hot water melts through. The hot water is recirculated from the tub by the pump.

On 2017-03-25 by Michelle

Yeah i have been told i have to wait till the snow is gone and everything dries out to see if the water emerges somewhere when i run the pump for awhile. Small town. It seems with all the technology today that someone could figure it out without waiting till the snows gone, but that doesn't seem to be the case here. That is why i am trying to figure it out myself. Gonna be awhile.Thank you for your advice.

On 2017-03-25 by (mod) - air comes out of faucets


Please use the search box just above to search InspectApedia for AIR DISCHARGE at FAUCETS to see information on the diagnosis, causes, and cures of the problem you describe. Let me know, after that, if questions remain.

On 2017-03-25 by Rickey Roark

Have extensive air in the water lines. Pressure is holding at 50 psi. in tank. After running water for a while air stops. Do not run the water for a while and air returns , mostly on the cold water side.

On 2017-03-25 by (mod) - no water, ground is frozen


This is a difficult problem to solve, indeed when the ground is frozen, snow covered, and we're not sure if a line is frozen or not. Give your local plumbers a call to find someone who's familiar with un-freezing frozen pipes and equipment. There are several methods that can be employed, often working from one or both ends of the piping using a warm water recycling pump or other methods to be sure the line is clear

On 2017-03-25 by Michelle

I have 600' of galvanized pipe 6' underground that runs uphill from my well to a 1700 g buried cistern. There are 3 frost free hydrants inline. I have a submersible pump that pumps water to fill my cistern. The pumps shuts off by means of a float switch when the tank is full. Then i am on gravity feed till it is empty.

The problem i am having is that the water is not getting to my cistern and i don't know if it is a freeze, a break or the pitless adapter, because there is snow on the ground and can't see if there are wet spots because everything is wet. I haven't had water since mid Jan and need to figure this out. Please help! Thank you!

On 2017-02-05 by (mod) - water drips from top of well inside the house

I can't say, Mike. If the well casing is cold and the air around it is humid the dripping could be condensation. Dry the area off and check for leaks. Leaks are not "normal" and should be repaired.

If you have an artesian well, an in-casing well spool or seal may have failed.

On 2017-02-05 by Mike Lavallee

We are experiencing water dripping from the top of our well inside the house.Is this normal?

On 2017-01-23 by Andrew

I noticed that water keeps discharging into my basement. It keeps pouring in through the hole in the wall where the power line goes down into the well. Should this be happening? Does not seem safe.

On 2017-01-18 by Jo

I was taking a shower when it was brought to my attention. ..while showering the well pump is bubbling and leaking.also had the waste line had froze...are the lines connected wrong? Or just 2 separate issues?

On 2017-01-05 by (mod) - water delivered into a dug well simply disappears - wasted water, wasted money


I am really really sorry to read, once again, a comment from someone who was bamboozled by a water delivery company. That's my opinion anyway.

Think of it like this: we have a hole in the ground into which, we hope, GROUND WATER FLOWS INTO THE HOLE FROM the surrounding rock, soil, aquifer: whatever is the underground water source, to be then collected and used: a spring, a dug well, or a drilled well.

When weather and site conditions are so dry that water is no longer lowing from the ground into that hole, what do you think happens if we then back up a truck and pour water into the dry hole?

The answer is that that WATER POURED INTO THE DRY HOLE FROM AN EXTERNAL SOURCE FLOWS BACK OUT of the hole INTO THE DRY AQUIFER soil, or whatever surrounds the dry hole.

If you want to have a reserve of water for dry periods, a reserve that can be filled from an external source (roof drainage or a water truck for example) then you need to construct a water tight cistern.

On 2017-01-05 by joyce

my home and two others are served by a spring and shallow well on our property. It has been a very dry spring summer and fall. We have never had a problem with water abundance or pressure issues. Now we are out of water. We put 3000 gallons in and within 24 hours it had seeped out.

We turned our pumps off to see what the water table would do. It increased but ever so slightly. How do we know if it is Mother Nature or if there is something else draining the source - which we don't think there is as we all checked our toilets, etc - or if it is a potentially damaged pipe issue?

On 2017-01-05 by (mod) - well pump is bubbling and leaking


Unless the problem you describe has followed work on your building's well or plumbing system, it's unlikely that the pipes are improperly-connected. If that were the case the problem would have always been present.

More likely there is a leak in well piping or lack of water in the well.

On 2017-01-18 04:34:55.055344 by Jo

I was taking a shower when it was brought to my attention. While showering the well pump is bubbling and leaking.also had the waste line had froze...are the lines connected wrong? Or just 2 separate issues?

On 2016-12-20 00:28:52.761931 by (mod) - losing prime often means the well piping foot valve is bad

Typically, Trish, that's a bad foot valve or check valve.

On 2016-12-18 by Trish

I have water all day long as long as I use it. then over night i lose my prime. I have reinspected the pipe going down into the well and it is all extremely tight. that's not it.

Everything above ground seems to not be showing any leaks. I don't want to prime everyday just to get water. I'm at my wits end here. Everything is new and well inspected. what else can I do?

On 2016-12-04 by Amanda

My father inlaw just fixed a leak at an outside spiket and immediately after my pressure is horrible. Cant even get a decent bath drawn for my kiddos. Please help. What could have happened?

On 2016-09-30 by (mod) - water is trickling out of wire conduit at top of well casing


Watch out: What you describe sounds unsafe, risking electrocution (death) hazards if water has as it appears, begun to leak into the interior of an electrical conduit. Chances are a wiring seal or conduit seal has failed. I'd prefer to shut off the system and call for repair by an experienced pump installer.

On 2016-09-29 23:53:19.081466 by Steve

We have a submersible pump water is trickling out of wire conduit at top of well casing not sure what the problem is

On 2016-09-21 01:29:39.309240 by (mod) - How can I cut that plastic pipe without water spraying all over the place?

How can I cut that plastic pipe without water spraying all over the place? Do I shut off power to the pump?

If you cannot find a shutoff for your outside spigot line then you are left with shutting off ALL water into the building right at the pump.
Turn off the pump too just to be safe.
Then open the spigot to drain off water pressure and you should be good to go with the repair.

Keep me posted, Chuck. Send along photos (page bottom CONTACT link) if you get in trouble. With plumbing that is.

On 2016-09-20 by Chuck

Question: My manufactured home is serviced by a shallow well pump, which is working fine. My problem is that I need to replace the outside water spigot that my hose attaches to. I do have access to the medium grey plastic pipe under the house that attaches to that spigot. How can I cut that plastic pipe without water spraying all over the place?

Do I shut off power to the pump? And, if I do, will water still spray out of the open end of the plastic pipe once it is cut? And, most important, will the pump come back on line? I have purchased a Shark Bite ball valve, and Shark Bite coupling along with some Pex plastic pipe that will fasten to my new freeze proof sillcock spigot.

Any suggestions. Working under my house in the crawl space is both cramped and dark. I don't want to be drenched with water while sitting near my electric light and extension cord. Please advise. Thank you!

On 2016-09-16 by (mod) - leaks where plastic lines come out of the well casing


The answer depends on how your well cap and piping are designed. Some well caps pass piping through the cap and seal around it with compressible rubber busings;

Others attach well pipe risers to a fitting that itself passes through the cap. If you like, use the page top/bottom CONTACT link to send me some sharp photos for comment.

On 2016-09-16 by Dennis

so i have a well. the 2 plastic lines coming out are fine but they have metal fittings and one is now leaking. i only have 4 inches of lines coming out of the casing. so what im asking is that if its possible can i pull those lines out enough to cut the metal fittings(and the plastic pipe), install new plastic fittings and lose that 4 or so inches of pipe at the very bottom of the well.

or should i just remove the metal fittings as carefully as i can, reinstall new plastic ones and then hope they make a seal?

its an old well, which i know has not been serviced since ive owned the house (14 years) and from the look of it when i got the house i doubt it was serviced any time close to when i got it.

On 2015-10-17 by Peter

Thanks Tim, Replaced with another pressure switch and sticking issue lessen. Problem was it was "on" for way too long and overheated.
The problem I think is I have a leak somewhere in the pipe between well (pitless) and house. I have a check valve inside house and system pressure is steady.

By would frequently run out of water because pump would run continuously just to fill a 20 gallon tank.

My deduction is that it's not a leak inside well because water would just return to well and not run dry. Going to dig tomorrow but this is the only thing I can think of for causing a dry well or abnormal amount of time to fill a tank. I've replaced just about everything else. Any thoughts...some said well casing??

On 2015-10-05 y Richard Harding

I have a shallow well pump that loses it's prime overnight. I suspect an intake air leak. How do I find it?

On 2015-08-28 by Tim - pressure switch contacts are sticking (not shutting off...light tap attaining desired shut-off.)

Your description indicates that the pressure switch contacts are sticking (not shutting off...light tap attaining desired shut-off.) It is possible to replace the contacts, but not sure where you would find them. When I did so, I had an extra switch or two saved to pull them from. Also, be sure that your pressure tank isn't waterlogged (ruptured diaphragm).

Noteworthy characteristic is frequent short cycling of the pump. This causes unnecessary wear on the pressure switch contacts as well as the pump.

You can add air to the pressure tank to attain normal operation, but it will be a task that never ends. So, if it's aged like the rest of the system was, it may warrant replacing.

On 2015-08-22 by Peter

Replaced a burned out submersible well pump. Then all the hardware inside house due to rust. Only thing kept was pressure tank.
Then discovered it was not holding pressure caused by leaking pitless adapter. Installed two check valves where water line enters home.

Now holding pressure. New problem now has pressure controller randomly not shutting off. Pressure guage shows pressure but pump keeps running until ultimately well runs dry then thermally kicks off (probably why original pump died). This happens only when after a recharge/reneration cycle with softner or charcoal system but not during normal water usage.

When it sticks, one light tap on controller would shut it off instantly. It is literally right at the point of cut-out (kicks in fine). Where is all this water going when there is no water leaks or usage inside home

. If leaking pass pitless, well should not run dry. I don't believe leak beyond pitless because no sign of pubble/ground saturation. If it's a gross leak, then I should not be building any pressure inside house. Stumped?

Question: community well seems to cause running water noise just at our house

We have a community well that operates 40 homes. For some reason our house is the only house affected by this running waterr noise than a small click at the end.

This continues back up every 45 seconds. This has happened 4 other times and everytime they fixed something at the well (example bursted pipes, made adjustments) the noise has gone away.

It is happeneing again and they said nothing was wrong and a few days later some electrical thing got fried at the well and we had no water.

They made some quick fix im sure and we have water again but still have the sound in our house. Seems to me they did not actuallu fix the problem. Would you agree? We have also had a plumber out here twice and they can not find a single leak. PLEASE HELP! This noise is driving me crazy and Im almost positive it has to do with that love well! Why are we the only house that is always affected?? - Dawn 9/10/11


Dawn I'm a bit confused by your info but will still suggest:

Track down just where the clicking originates, perhaps a pump control relay switch or a check valve.

If it's related to pump cycling on and off, every 45 seconds is a bit rapid and would suggest a waterlogged water pressure tank.

Try turning off water to your home at the main valve. If cycling continues the problem is outside your home. If it stops I suspect you have a water supply leaker a running toilet


Thanks for answering me back. I do not have access to the community well so I can not check that. Im almost 100% positive there is nothing wrong with our house because everytime the "water noise" starts in our house a week or two weeks later something goes wrong with the community well and once the problem is fixed at the well house the "water noise" goes away.

The only thing we can think of as to why we hear the noise and the other 39 people that get their water from the same well cant hear it is because our home is right next to the drainage easement??? We have had a plumber here twice and both times they can not find anything wrong leak wise.

He did say our water meter is going back and forth which is strange but its not consistent with having a leak anywhere. He recommended that a water meter with a backflow device would help to stop the water from cycling through the meter in the reverse direction. Were baffled as to why we can tell something is wrong with the well and no other home can. Does this make any more sense to you? I really dont know how else to explain it.

Question: I see water on the ground around our well casing and cap - is this a well casing leak?

Just this past week I noticed that the ground around my well casing and cap is saturated for the first time ever. Water is even puddling up around it. Is this a sign of a leak in the casing? - Tim B 10/9/11



Unless your well is an artesian one (or has been so flooded by local rains and rising groundwater that it has reached the well casing top) a saturated spot that is just around the casing suggests a leak in the well piping between the well and the building. I'd do some careful digging around the casing to see what you can find.

Question: well pump takes a long time to reach shut-off pressure; pump won't prime

when my pressure switch calls for water it take a very long time to get back up to the shut of pressure. if you have a valve open the well pump does not seem to be able to keep up. is me pump bad? - Mike 4/17/12

Pump will not prime,casing and pump is full with water ,but won't build pressure - Frank 6/11/12


Mike, it could be a damaged pump impeller, bad motor, low voltage, a leak in the well piping, or a well with a poor recovery rate combined with an in-well tailpiece that limits the pump output so that it doesnt exceed the well inflow rate. Or something else I haven't thought of.

Question: copper well line split and kept leaking; Can I use black pipe from HomeDepot?

I have a two line jet pump and a 35 foot shallow well. I had a suspected bad check valve when attempting to fix that I found the copper lines to the venturi had split and was constantly leaking. I managed to fix that with black plastic pipe that came in 100 foot lengths. however the copper tubing that runs though the well casing to the pump in the basement is in need of replacement now as well

. I have dug up the lawn between the house and the well and want advise on the best pipe to use so I do not have to change again. My lines are at 56 inches below the ground so I hope it is under the frost line for CT.

Can I use some more of the same black pipe they sold me at the Home depot? Or please advise the best choice so I do not need to redo again in a short time - Jim 7/7/12


Jim why not black abs plastic well piping? It's quite durable and if properly mounted and secured against movement (and thus leaks from abrasion) is often good for decades.


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