maintenance of well pump for good water flowWell pumps are integral parts of the water well system. This is mainly because they save on time and energy spent/used to draw water located several feet underground. This explains why over 15 million private wells in the USA are fitted with these pumps.

Even with that being said, just as the well pumps “take care of you,” so should you also take care of them. In essence, you must keep repairing and maintaining the pump for it to continue serving you and operate efficiently. Failure to do so may bring about devastating effects.

Below is a well-explained guide to help you out so that it does not have to get there.

Do Well Pumps Need Maintenance?

The simple answer is yes. Well pumps do need repairs and maintenance.

Periodic pump repair comes with three significant advantages;

  • It helps in estimating the time when you will need a new pump.
  • Reduces the possibility of running into inconveniences caused by the lack of water.
  • Increases the pump’s efficiency, thereby consuming less energy and reducing monthly bills.

 

What Are The Signs of a Well Pump Going Bad?

To avoid any inconveniences, always be on the lookout for the following signs of pump failure;

·         Noisy Pressure Tank

A pressure tank is a small compartment within a well water pump that houses a bladder full of air. A leaking bladder releases air bubbles into the water emitting unpleasant noises.

Also, a well-defined pressure tank problem pushes the motor into an on and off cycle. This will drastically reduce its life expectancy to less than three years. The on-and-off cycle may also signal a problem, particularly with wiring lines. Remember to check on both wires and the pressure tank during routine maintenance.

·         Fluctuation of Water Pressure

Many might argue thathigh or low water pressure fluctuation may not necessarily be a problem related to the pump, and that is somehow true. In many cases, it may indicate pipe leakages or a clog. You can correct the problem by locating and repairing the leak. Cleaning the pipe with special solvents to clear rust (clogs) accumulating inside the pipe might also help.

If all the pipes are in good condition, but the water pressure is still low, a deeper look into the pump should be considered. Pumps sometimes exhibit a series of problems that may directly affect water pressure.

Troubleshoot the pump by checking if the electric motors and valves are working well. This is because failing motors indicate that no pressure is being generated to push water out of the well.

On the other hand, valves direct water in one direction, stabilizing water pressure. If the valves are overworked or worn out, they tend to weaken, causing backflows. Backflows create turbulence inside the pipe, which reduces water pressure.

·         High Electric Bills

We have mentioned some issues that force the pump to work harder than it should. If the problems mentioned earlier persist, you would notice sudden changes in energy bills. That is why high electric bills are also considered an indication of faulty well pumps.

 

How Often Should Well Pumps be Checked?

Well pumps should be checked at least once a year. However, you may also vary the repair and maintenance intervals to after every two or three years. This depends largely on the type of pump, the condition of the well and costs.

Speaking of “the type of pump,” two key well pumps are commonly used, and they are the ones we will be focusing on a bit more. These pumps are;

  • Submersible Pumps
  • Above-ground Pumps

Submersible Pumps

It is recommended to do annual checkups on submersible pumps. This is because they are usually exposed to hostile conditions and are quick to wear out. During an annual check, run pressure tests, look for signs of rust and lose bolts. You can also try checking the status of the electric motor, valves and wires.

If any, remove and replace loose parts with new ones. This is likely to extend its service life.

Above Ground Pumps

In contrast, above-ground pumps are easy to monitor, access and repair. Just disconnect the pump from the power supply and inspect for damages and signs of wear and tear. This is usually done every 2 to 3 years.

It is wise to work with a technician during annual inspections. He/she will take a more detailed approach to uncover water pump problems. Above all, he will advise you on better ways of maintaining your pump.

When Should I Replace My Well Pump Pressure Switch?

A pressure switch is a small mechanical device that regulates fluid pressure. It works by cutting in-power to the motor off when the water pressure is low.

The device has several interconnected components which are activated by water pressure. If one of the components fails, the pressure switch will malfunction, and that is when you need to replace it.

Additionally, here are some signs that indicate you should replace the well pump pressure switch;

·         The Switch Won’t Turn On or Off

As stated earlier, the pressure switch is activated when water pressure hits a particular threshold/high. Suppose it fails to turn on or off; try checking if the pump is generating enough pressure or not. Proceed to the switch once you are sure that there is no other problem affecting water pressure.

·         Dirt on Pressure Sensors

Mineral deposits on pressure sensors cause it to malfunction. Clean the sensors and then test if the pressure valve is running ok.

What Causes Well Pump Failure?

Most water pumps fail due to negligence and unprofessional repair of issues/problems. Here are some other reasons to add to the list.

1.      Declining Water Table

At the peak of the dry period/season, the water level drops drastically, leaving the pump to pull in slurry. As a result, you may see mud or well water sputtering out on the other end. Some people may also complain about sudden changes in the taste of the water.

The inadequacy in water and pulling in of slurry often causes the pump to fail.

2.      Overworked Water Pump

It is important to buy a well pump that meets your home’s daily water needs. A frequently called on-and-off pump is said to be overworked. This then causes it to fail after a short while.

3.      Iron Contamination

Iron compounds have detrimental effects on water pumps. They tend to corrode and clog water pipes, screws and other metallic parts, resulting in complete system failure. This, of course, includes the pump.

Well experts advise that you take your well water for mineral content analysis. If there is an abnormal concentration of iron compounds, you should try repairing the pump frequently.

4.      Age of the Pump

Nothing is indeed meant to last forever; hence even your most precious pump will one day “die.” In such cases, the constant use of the pump causes it to wear and tear and eventually stop working.

How Long Does a Well Pump Last?

Under good maintenance practice, a well pump will last for 10 to 15 years, depending on the model.

NOTE: After eight years or so, the pump will require frequent repairs. At such times, you need to create a well maintenance schedule. Doing so ensures that the pump lasts a little bit longer.

Conclusion

To wrap up, a faulty pump drains your pockets and causes inconveniences. These things can be avoided by frequently maintaining your pump. The best way to do so is by involving water pump experts since they are better suited to handle such tasks.

If, in any case, you would like some assistance from well and well pump professionals, we are here to serve you. Please give us a call, and we will make sure our team of experts helps you maintain your well pump in the best way possible.  If you leave your well unkept it will eventually need well repair.  Call us today for all your well drilling needs.