Signs A Well Pump Is Failing

When you live in a rural area you depend upon your well and well pump for clean, fresh water on demand. Routine pump maintenance and attention to its performance keep water flowing in Cross Plain, Middleton and throughout southern Wisconsin.

There are common warning signs when a pump’s performance is lagging. Keep your eyes and ears opened for the following:

  • A short cycle – when there isn’t enough air in the system the pressure tank gets water-logged. Your pump should run for about a minute. If it doesn’t run at least a minute it’s a short cycle. In addition, you’ll have pressure fluctuations. Listen for noise in the pipes, too.
  • Too much air – at the other extreme is too much air in the system. Water is foamy and bubbles. Too much air is a sure sign the well pump is failing.
  • Low pressure – when you notice water pressure is less than normal and the stream of water from faucets and show heads is reduced. Reduced pressure is a sign a pump is beginning to falter and will stop soon.
  • Higher electric bills – when a well pump runs almost constantly just to keep up the pressure it’s a bad sign. Not only is the pump overworked, it’s adding to your electricity bill.

NOTE: a pump working overtime means it has to keep running to maintain pressure. Lower pressure might mean a hole in your water line so check for leaks, too.

  • Abnormal noises – strange noises coming from the pump or the system are tell-tale warnings. A bearing could be wearing out or other moving parts are giving way. Don’t wait too long to have noises checked.

Routine Pump Maintenance To Avoid Problems

The signs that a pump is failing are common. Finding the cause behind them takes detective work. Here are causes of water system failures you’re likely to encounter in southern Wisconsin:

  • Power failure – when the power goes out the only water available is what’s in the system’s pressure tank. Even a quick, partial loss can trip a circuit breaker that cuts out your pump. Sudden power spikes from lightning strikes can damage a system.
  • A low water table – during a drought, available water in your well is reduced. An extended dry spell leads to poor water pressure and poor water quality. Sputtering water from the tap or discolored, murky water with a bad taste are other signs. Have the pump system checked by a professional.
  • Sediment in water – the chemical composition of water results in residue and sediment that wears on moving parts in your pump. These activities slowly wear on bearings, impellers and other parts. Hard water is a major contributor in this area.
  • Inappropriate pump size – if the pump is too small for the household demand it can’t perform well. Have you added faucets or appliances that use water since your pump was installed? Maybe it’s time to upgrade the well pump, too.

Install The Right Well Pump

There are two common types of pump installations in this area:  a jet pump and a submersible pump.

A jet pump is installed either shallow or deep and can pull water from as deep as 100 feet. Submersible pumps are always installed deep within the well to push water out from hundreds of feet below the surface.

Submersible pumps, when properly maintained, normally last for 15 years or longer. They are the most difficult to repair. Therefore knowing the age of your pump installation is a good first step in planning for maintenance.

Above ground jet pumps are easier to maintain and service. Normally for shallow wells, the have working life of about 10 years.

Invest In An Annual Pump Maintenance Inspection

Is a detailed, professional inspection of your water system a worthwhile investment? Does spending scheduled time and money now to avoid a major expense and disruption in your life later make sense? During an annual inspection you’ll get answers to your questions, insights into what your system can provide and the benefit of years of experience.

Rely upon the trained, licensed professionals at Sauk Plains Plumbing and Pumps for the latest products, repairs and skilled installation. Call Sauk Plains Plumbing, 608-798-2121, to schedule a pump maintenance inspection and to keep the well pump in your Middleton WI area home working.

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