Solving Common Well Pump Problems, Part 2

This blog… is also about wells. Here’s part 2 of our blogs about well pumps. In part one, we helped you figure out what’s going on when your well stops producing water. In this blog, we’re going to tackle two more of the most common well pump problems.

Here’s how to deal with weird water pressure fluctuations at your spigot and a running pump. When you’re done reading this blog, you’ll have everything you need to fix these problems.

Problem #2: Water pulses at the spigot

When water ‘pulses’ at the spigot, it usually means you have a waterlogged tank you’ll have to replace. You’ll probably want to figure out if have a bad tank before you spend money on a new one. Here’s how to do that.

Testing the air valve

First thing’s first: test for water at the air valve. Remove the air valve’s plastic cover on the top of the tank. Take a small screwdriver and depress the air valve. If water comes out, your tank is waterlogged. You’ve found the reason why your spigot pulses.

Check the pressure tank

If water doesn’t come out, you should check the pressure tank by shaking it. Just make sure you don’t shake it hard enough to break pipes or connections. Shaking the tank can tell you if there’s water inside it or if it’s empty. If it’s empty, it might be because the bladder has ruptured.

Check the pressure tank’s bladder

A typical pressure tank has a bladder (like a balloon) on the bottom half of the tank. The top portion of the bladder is filled with air, the bottom has 6 to 10 gallons of water. As the pump fills the tank, the air above the bladder is compressed. The building pressure in the bladder sends the water to you when you open a faucet. If the bladder fails, water seeps into the top half and the tank can’t force out water fast enough. If that happens, water will pulse at the spigot.

What to do about it

If your tank is waterlogged or you’re having problems with the tank’s bladder, you’ll need a new tank. When it comes time to purchase a new tank, consider buying a larger one, especially if you use a lot of water.

The larger the tank, the fewer times your well pump must start to fill it. If you have a small tank, you could have tank envy. Plus, you’ll need to fill your tank more often. That means the well pumps, controllers, and pressure switches will turn more often and wear down faster. Well pumps are more expensive than tanks, so longer pump life compensates for the cost of a larger tank.

Whatever you do, however, don’t buy a tank based on price alone. Cheap tanks cost far more in the long run, because they’ll wear out much faster.

Problem 3: Pump runs nonstop

Your first problem could be the pressure switch. To find out if you need to replace that and how to do it, read part one. Unfortunately, this problem could also be a sign of something more dangerous.

When a well pump turns on, you’ll hear clicking sounds as the pressure switch opens and closes. If you hear this clicking even when water isn’t flowing, it could mean you have a couple problems, including:

  • The water line from your well to your house could be broken. Check the area between the well and the house for spills or runoff.
  • There could be a bad connector leaving the well casing.
  • You could even have a broken water line inside the well casing.

Unfortunately, if you have any of these problems, then you’ll need to call in a professional.

Thanks again for reading this Early Bird Electric blog. We hope you learned a little about well pumps. If you have any questions about your well’s electrical functionality, or any other electrical questions, call us any time.