For those who live in cities, suburbs, and even in most small towns, water enters their homes from a public water distribution system. This system creates the pressure that maintains your home’s internal water pressure. Barring some serious disaster or work on the system, it’s something you can count on. Of course, millions of people live in rural areas beyond public water distribution. Their water comes out of wells. They depend on the well pump for water and water pressure. That means they must know the telltale signs that they need a new well pump.
Not sure about the signs? Keep reading for five of the most important ones you should know.
1. No Water
Let’s say you go to take a shower. You turn the knob in the shower for water and nothing happens. You check the sink and get the same results.
If there is no water pressure in your home, it’s almost certainly a sign of some kind of problem with your well. Your first thought may very flash on the well pump for understandable reasons.
It’s an obvious culprit, but don’t jump onto that bandwagon too quickly. Just because the pump isn’t on right at that minute, it doesn’t mean the pump failed.
Before you call anyone for service, take a look at your breaker box. A local power surge can potentially trip any of your breakers. Is the breaker for the pump still in the on position?
If not, switch it back to the on position and see what happens. If the pump comes back on and the switch stays in the on position, the pump isn’t an issue for you.
What if the breaker trips again with no obvious reason? That’s a sign that you likely need a well pump repair or well pump replacement.
2. Dirty Water
Assuming your well is in proper working order, the water you get should run clean. It’s important to note that well water often contains minerals. These minerals can give water a metallic taste or sulfur smell.
While somewhat annoying for some homeowners, a metallic taste or sulfur smell is not a sign of dirty water. A water filtration system can typically resolve those issues.
A problem you should not ignore is when actual dirt or sediment appears in the water from your faucets. That typically means some kind of an issue with your pump.
You will sometimes see sediment if your pump sits too low in the well or the pump’s filter screen suffers some kind of damage. An oversized pump can sometimes pull dirt up from the bottom of your well.
In the case of pump misplacement or filter screen damage, you likely won’t need a new pump. A well specialist can adjust the placement or replace the screen. With an oversized pump, you will need a new pump to resolve the problem.
As a general rule, you should call a well pump replacement service for this work rather than try DIY solutions.
3. Air from Faucets
Sometimes, when you first turn on a faucet, you don’t get a steady stream of water. Instead, the faucet goes through a brief bit of spitting and spluttering before the water steadies. That spluttering is air leaving the pipes.
It’s a relatively minor problem as long as it resolves in a few seconds It’s a much bigger problem when you turn on the water and that spluttering never stops.
In those cases, it means that the pump isn’t pulling in water the from well. It’s getting air instead. It can mean that the pump needs an adjustment in placing or it could mean the pump will fail soon.
Since it could mean a full pump replacement, you need someone to take a look at it.
4. Big Decrease in Pressure
As long as your well remains in good order, your water pressure should remain very stable over time. Yet, some homeowners find that their water pressure drops substantially at some point.
Let’s say that you recently renovated to add a bathroom or installed an appliance that needs water. That pressure change can indicate that your pump lacks the size to handle the new demand.
What if you didn’t make any substantial changes in the recent past that would affect water demand. That pressure drop likely means your pump will go to well pump Valhalla in the near future.
Both problems typically mean a well pump replacement, but it’s more urgent if your home’s water demands didn’t change recently.
5. Electricity Bill Goes Up
In cases where your pump fails slowly over time, it becomes more and more inefficient. That means the pump must kick on more often to fill the storage tank. It also runs for longer and longer to keep up the pressure and water supply in the house.
All of those extra cycle on the pump and longer duration of use consumes more and more electricity over time. That means you’ll see a steady increase in your power costs over time.
Unfortunately, rising power costs alone don’t indicate a slow pump failure. Too many other things can cause increases in your electricity use.
What if you can’t put your finger on another cause and see other telltale signs, though? That combo of factors can serve as a solid signal that a well pump replacement is on the horizon.
Deciding if You Need a New Well Pump
The only sure sign that you need a new well pump is when the well pump fails utterly and nothing helps. Beyond that, it’s often a judgment call on your part.
Keep an eye out for the telltale signs above. If you see two or three of them together, consider calling a professional service to give your well pump a once over. They can generally tell you if the pump needs work or the problem is something else.
Blair & Norris specialize in well installation and repair services. If your well pump shows telltale signs of failure, contact Blair & Norris today.