What type of well pump do I have?Before your local Hebron CT plumber gets into the troubleshooting tips, we need to find out what type of pump you have. There are two main types: submersible or jet pumps.
You have a submersible well pump if your well is either hand dug or drilled and your water source is lower than the the house. A submersible well pump uses its existing pressure to force water out of the surface to provide water for your home. It saves you time because it is self-primed. You will see a pipe, called a casing, sticking up out of the ground in your yard. It will have a gray or blue cap on it. This is where your well is, and inside that pipe is your pump, water pipe, and electrical components.
You have a jet pump if it's in your basement, crawlspace or shed outside. These pumps are used for shallow wells. If the water is within 25 feet of the ground surface, it's considered a shallow well. Jet pumps are becoming less common.
How do I know if it's bad?The most obvious sign is that you have no water. However, you may want to check the pressure switch on your well tank first. Sometimes, that can fail and cause you not to have water. A bad pressure switch can also burn our your well pump, so it's important to check that first to avoid a more expensive repair. Turn off the breaker before you troubleshoot, to avoid injury.
Other signs your well pump is badAge – A GOOD [read: high-quality and professionally installed well pump] has an average lifespan of 15-20 years. After that, parts begin to wear down, as the natural result of water conditions.
Water Quality – If your water quality is poor, a well pump can prematurely fail. Minerals and bacteria can clog up the pump and cause it to burn out. To avoid this, have your well liner checked out. This protects your well system from corrosion.
Lightning Strike – A lightning strike doesn't kill your well pump right away. It can take days for it to go bad. It may need to be pulled up by a machine to diagnose it.
Dry Well – A drought can cause your well to run dry. A running toilet or faucet can do the same. It will cause the well pump to ‘call’ for water and run. This can cause the pump to burn out. Consider installing a “low water cutoff switch.” It will sense when the water is low, and prevent the well pump from burning out and failing.
Well Tank – This is also called a "holding tank" or "water tank." It's usually in your basement or a crawlspace. It's to hold the water that the well pump has pumped into your home. If your well tank is too small for the demands of your family’s needs, it can cause the pump to run too much to keep it filled. If the pump runs too much, it can burn out prematurely. Installing a larger well tank can protect your well pump.
Low Water Pressure - Maybe your water hasn't run completely out. But if you've had several days of wimpy showers and sputtering faucets, it's a sign that something is wrong with your well water system.
What's next?There are a few things you can do before you call your plumber:
Pressure switch - Like we mentioned before, check your pressure switch. Sometimes, they literally burn out and you'll be able to tell. [Be sure to turn off the breaker before attempting any repairs.]
Electrical breaker - Try to reset your well pump breaker. If it won't reset, 9 times out of 10, it means the equipment has failed. Leave the breaker in the "off" position until the plumber arrives.
Well tank pressure - Check the pressure on your well tank. How old is it? Is there rust or water coming out of the seams? A failing holding tank means there's no pressure to deliver water to your home. Again, turn the breaker off to the well system until a plumber can get there, to protect your well pump from failing.
Well depth - It's helpful to know what the depth of your well is, as well as its location.
Call your plumber - A professional Hebron CT plumber will be able to quickly troubleshoot your well pump and get water flowing again.