Well water has plenty of advantages, but it can occasionally lead to stressful situations. Long periods of drought can lead to dry wells, and it's disheartening when nothing happens after you turn on a faucet. Of course, pump failures can be worrying as well, especially since the cost to replace a well pump can be significant.
If your well water isn't working, or you've been experiencing occasional water failures, then it can be helpful to learn the difference between well failures and pump failures. Below you will find three questions that you should ask any time your home's well water doesn't seem to be working as it should.
1. Have You Been Experiencing Low Water Pressure?
Low water pressure can be an early warning sign of a failing pump, although it can have a variety of other causes as well. In most homes with well water, a pressure tank and switch are responsible for determining the household plumbing pressure. When the tank level drops below a set point, your well pump turns on. When the tank fills enough, it turns off.
If you've been experiencing a continual loss of water pressure in your home, then there may be an issue with your well pump's tank or pressure switch. If not, then the pump itself may be failing. Note that dry wells rarely cause a continuous loss of water pressure. When the water level in the well falls too low, it typically causes sputtering or water pressure that drops and suddenly returns.
2. Is There Sediment in Your Water?
Sediment in well water is usually an indication of a problem with the well itself. Well pump installers place the actual pump level at least ten feet above the bottom of the well. This placement ensures that the pump cannot pick up a significant amount of dirt or debris from the bottom of the casing. Your well system also includes a filter screen that helps to catch anything that does get sucked up.
When sediment does show up, it usually means that the screen is degrading or the pump is too close to the bottom. You'll need a professional to evaluate the condition of your well, but you may be able to solve the problem by raising the pump. If your water levels don't allow you to move your pump higher, you may need to take more drastic action to save your well.
3. Are Your Utility Bills Increasing?
A sudden spike in your electricity bill can be a good indication that your pump is struggling. If this increase in costs coincides with other symptoms, such as low water pressure, then it's a good sign that your pump is on its way out. While increasing utility costs are not a surefire indication of pump failure, they are a good clue that you are experiencing an equipment failure and not a problem with a dry well.
To learn more about well pumps, visit a company like Action Well & Pump Repair.