Check the circuit breaker for the well pump to determine if adequate power is available to run the pump.
Check pressure gauge at tank to see if there’s pressure at the tank.
Check to see if there’s water at the boiler drain (faucet) at tank. If you have water here, you may have a restriction in the plumbing distribution system (e.g. water filtration equipment).
Most modern well pumps are located in the well and when replacement is necessary, a mobile crane is used, if possible. Access to the well with a truck-mounted crane facilitates the replacement of the pump when necessary.
The average life span of a submersible pump is considered to be 10-15 years.
Low pressure / loss of water can be caused by anything from water-saver faucets to a mechanical problem with the pumping system to a well going dry. It is uncommon/unlikely that your well is actually going dry. The cause of water loss or pressure loss in most cases is a mechanical or electrical problem. In general, ground water supplies in this area are plentiful.
Try to determine that the leak is, in fact, at the tank, and not from another source such as other plumbing fixtures or a leaky basement wall. If the tank is leaking, it should be replaced as soon as possible. If the leak is severe, the pump can be shut off electrically, and the tank drained to minimize consequential damage from the leakage. (The tank will need to be replaced immediately in order to regain water.)
Some styles of pressure tanks need periodic air charges to prevent “waterlogging”. Other types of tanks have a permanent air charge, and some tanks are air charged from the well. It is sometimes difficult for a homeowner to know which type of tank they have. A qualified pump installer can usually determine this by a description over the phone.
The most common cause of a pump running too often WHEN YOU’RE USING WATER, is a waterlogged pressure tank. If your pump short cycles WHEN YOU’RE NOT USING WATER, you likely have a leak, either in the plumbing in the house, or a leak outside, down the well, or underground.
Since the early 1990’s, the Wisconsin DNR has required a vermin proof seal to be on all new wells. When properly installed, these seals prevent insects from entering your well. They are a very good idea and highly recommended.
Since the mid 1950’s, the majority of well pump installations involve a traditional, submersible pump in the well with a relatively large pressure tank in the basement. This type of system cycles between a low pressure (40 psi) and a high pressure (60 psi). As the water pressure drops with use, the system utilizes the pressure tank to meet demand until the pump senses that the system has reached its start up pressure. This cycling process is repeated frequently throughout the day as water is used.
During the 1990’s, variable speed motor technology began to be adapted for use with well pumps. The result was constant pressure systems, which utilized varying motor speed to provide water instead of tank reservoir. This technology has evolved greatly over the years and constant pressure systems are becoming more common. The main advantage is they provide a more constant, “city-water-like” pressure to the home. They are desirable for large homes and/or homes that have inground sprinkler systems and multiple high-flow fixtures.
The Wisconsin DNR recommends that private wells be tested annually for coliform bacteria to ensure continued safe drinking water. Your water should also be tested if you notice a change in the taste or odor. Numerous other contaminants can be tested for, however, coliform bacteria is the most common.
Depending on the degree of contamination, there are various levels of chlorinations that can be done to attempt to eliminate the bacteria. These procedures range from simply introducing chlorine tablets in the well, recirculating, a “mass” chlorination, or a combination of heavily chlorinating along with recirculating and running the pump over the top.
Guthrie & Frey, Inc. recommends that if an owner is to chlorinate their own well that they recognize that chlorine is a highly corrosive substance which, if improperly introduced into the well, can cause serious and costly damage to the well system, as well as being a potentially dangerous procedure. We recommend that homeowners have the well professionally chlorinated the first time in order to become familiar with the proper procedure.