Why Shouldn't You Panic When Your Well Pump Stops Working?

Your family relies on a safe, steady supply of water for everything from cooking to bathing. Interruptions to your home's water supply can be frustrating and even a little bit frightening. If your home uses a well for its water, then you're also likely thinking about the potential costs of replacing costly components in your well system.

While a dead well is never a great thing to deal with, it doesn't have to be a cause for immediate panic. Keep reading to learn about three common and fixable problems that may stop your pump from functioning correctly.

1. Electrical Issues

All pumps require electricity to function. If you have a submersible pump, a conduit runs from your home and deep into your well to carry electricity to the motor. When your pump isn't turning on at all, you should always start by checking its switch and breaker. Confirm that both are on before you call in a professional or proceed to do any more troubleshooting.

Note that old pumps may occasionally trip their breakers. This situation usually indicates a worn and failing motor, but your pump may still be usable for a while. On the other hand, don't use a pump that's continuously tripping its breaker. If this is happening, contact a professional to determine the underlying cause of the problem.

2. Faulty Pressure Switches

Your pump needs electricity to run, but it also requires a signal to tell it that it should turn on. Just like your thermostat is responsible for signaling your furnace to provide heating, the pressure switch signals your well pump to start running. Pressure switches have low and high settings that tell the pump to turn on or off, and a faulty pressure switch can cause your pump to run continuously or not to run at all.

The "screwdriver test" is a common way to check a pressure switch. Carefully remove the cover and avoid touching the electrical contacts. Bang a screwdriver handle against the pipe below the switch and look for a spark. If the pump eventually starts running, you have a pressure switch problem. Fortunately, most technicians can replace a faulty pressure switch in no time at all.

3. Low Well Conditions

Residential wells can sometimes become low due to temporary conditions, such as droughts. In these cases, your pump may seem to be the culprit when the problem is a reduced water table. If this happens frequently, you'll need a pump specialist to help you resolve the issue. For example, one option is installing additional piping at the top of the well to lower the pump and access the deeper water table.

While lowering your pump is likely to be cheaper and easier than replacing it, you'll still want to consult with a well pump expert to handle this job. A professional will thoroughly diagnose your problem so that you can get your water running again in the most cost-effective way possible.

Reach out to a well pump services company for more information.