Guide to Troubleshooting Well Pump Issues

In rural areas, wells are often the primary source of water for many residents. When problems arise with a well, it can leave homeowners baffled and desperate to resolve the issue.

So, what are some common reasons that wells stop putting out water? What causes the PSI to drop? How can you resolve common problems such as back-ups and clogging?

This guide explains common issues that well users experience and what needs to be done to correct the issue through well pump troubleshooting.

No Water in the House

This is the main complaint from well users. Lack of water inhibits basic activities such as showering and washing the dishes. In best-case scenarios, it could simply mean that the breaker to the well pump has flipped.

However, it could signify that the water level in the well has depleted due to overuse or dry seasons. In this case, reducing water usage and waiting for a rainy day could eventually cause the water level to replenish.

If this doesn’t lead to water coming out of the spigots again, then you need to contact a plumber to lower a submersible pump deeper into the well. In extreme situations, you may need to have another well drilled.

Water Sputtering from Faucets

This is usually caused by air entering your well system either from your pump malfunctioning or a crack in one of the lines. A plumber would need to pull out your pump and examine the lines to diagnose and correct the issue.

Water Discoloration

While some country folks attempt to treat this issue by pouring bleach and salt into the well to temporarily produce clearer water, this signifies a deeper issue with the well. If the well system isn’t properly filtering out dirt and debris, your water could appear cloudy or muddy.

Make sure your foot valve contains screening which will act as a filter for your well system and prevent clogging in your lines caused by the debris. Other reasons for discoloration include sinking water tables and a pump that’s beginning to fail.

Higher Power Bills

If your utility bill begins to skyrocket and you can’t figure out why it could mean that your pump is running constantly and failing to shut off when it reaches a certain level of pressure. This can usually be resolved by having the pressure switch adjusted or replaced. However, it could also mean that the pump is malfunctioning or the water level in your well is low.

Water that Smells or Tastes Bad

Although this may be due to old, corroded piping, the source of the poor smell and taste is most likely due to the water itself. Well water can become contaminated by bacteria, debris, and organic waste. If your water doesn’t smell or taste right, stop drinking it, and send a sample to a state lab for testing.

Back-ups and Clogging

Many people who use wells also use septic systems which may require occasional pumping. Since this maintenance task can be expensive, you can prevent this issue from using products containing a combination of bacteria and enzymes that will clean out the accumulated slush in your lines and reduce backups and clogging.

Contacting a Plumber for Assistance

While some issues can be resolved with DIY techniques, it’s advisable to contact a local plumber to handle issues with a well pump. If you need plumbing help, you may want to reach out to San Diego Plumbing & Pipelining for assistance.

With proper maintenance and professional guidance, you can keep your well running smoothly and continue to have your own private source of water.

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