If you’re having problems maintain or keeping water pressure after you turn on the water, or frankly you have no water at all, it may be your well pump. Here’s a good way to help identify if your well pump needs repair, replacement or if you have another issue.
Run through this checklist
Turn on another faucet.
Make sure that problem is truly a “whole house” problem before you overreact. Sometimes there’s a problem at a particular faucet or tap. Sometimes there’s no problem but the valve under the sink has been closed. If you’re only having the problem with a particular faucet, you may still want to call the plumber, but at least you don’t have a problem with your well or pump.
Try the hot AND the cold water.
If your cold water works but the hot water doesn’t, the problem is your hot water heater or the lines coming from it.
If you have no familiarity with your plumbing or electrical systems, this may be a good time to call a plumber. If you’re relatively handy around the house, keep going!
Is the circuit breaker tripped?
Go over to your circuit breaker box and look for the one switch that’s “off” (Everything else should be on) If the circuit for your pump is tripped, set the switch back to the “on” position. If your pump doesn’t start immediately, open a faucet and wait. If nothing is wrong with your pump you should hear it kick on after a minute or two. If the breaker trips again and you see the switch on the circuit snap back to the “off” position, you have a problem that’s going to require a call to the plumber. Something is wrong with the pump or the wires running to it.
Is everything “on” but the pump won’t run?
If everything is “on” and the pump never turns on, you have one of two problems: either the pump is completely burned out and dead, or there is something wrong with the power running to the pump. Are there any breaks in the wires running to the pump motor?
Is your pump running but you still have no water?
First look at your pressure gauge. The needle on it will almost certainly be slumped over to the left and not moving back up. The issue here is either with your well or the line running to the house.
What is the pressure reading on your gauge?
If your pressure is low, and the pump won’t kick on, the problem is with the pump, either with the pump motor or with the power running to it. If your pressure gauge is still holding high pressure (40lbs+) there is a blockage issue somewhere, probably with your filter (if you have one)
Is your well shallow?
Some homes, especially older homes, have shallow wells. If there has been a lack of rain for any significant period of time OR if you have been using a lot of water (like with a pressure washer) it’s possible that the water level in your well has dipped too low.
Is the water main on?
Check the main water shutoff valve for your house. It may be outside near the well pump, buried in a box in the ground. Or it may be near the pressure tank, which is probably in your basement. An additional cause is a problem with the pressure tank itself.
Is it the pressure tank?
The tanks sometimes fail when the pressure drops fast. Sometimes a collapsed bladder will prevent water from entering the tank. When there is a busted bladder in the tank plumbers refer to this scenario as being “water logged”. Also corrosion will form on the insides of the cross tee from the bottom the tank and along the nipple from the cross tee to the pressure switch. It’s likely the pressure tank will need repair or replacement.
If you haven’t yet identified the main cause of the issue, go ahead and call a local plumber. If you have identified the problem and need assistance repairing it, we’d be happy to help out!
We serve the towns of Joppa, Abingdon, Fallston, Belcamp, Forest Hill, Bel Air, Aberdeen, Baldwin, Hunt Valley, Kingsville, White Marsh, Towson, Fulton, Middle River, Perry Hall and more! Call us or request a quote online!