Well Water And Well Pump Performance – It’s Up To You

When you rely on a private water well for your family’s clean water supply in Cross Plains WI or the Middleton WI area, making sure the well and well pump are in peak condition is up to you. Keeping your well water system performing as it should takes teamwork. It’s up to you to recognize the signs and a team of professional, license plumbers to provide solutions. The skilled professionals at Sauk Plains Plumbing and Pumps have years of experience installing, maintaining and repairing residential wells, water pumps and private well systems. As members of the Wisconsin Water Well Association (WWWA) and National Ground Water Association (NGWA) they keep abreast of the latest trends in technology and regulations.

Providing the right water pump for your well and maintaining it in prime condition is key to keeping clean, fresh water flowing throughout your house. As with any mechanical system, these pumps don’t last forever. The first step in a reliable maintenance plan is scheduling a regular well inspection. The two elements of your home’s water delivery system are each susceptible to aging and outside stress. Both the water and the well’s components need periodic review.

There are a lot of critical parts, above and below ground. Keeping the system safe and reliable is way more than you’re ready to take on by yourself, right? Consider all the things professionals monitor, maintain and repair:

  • Pumps of all sizes and configurations.
  • Pressure tanks – both above and below ground.
  • Building code inspections – for the well and all electrical components.
  • Underground lateral lines – repairs and replacements.
  • Chlorination.
  • Wellhead protection – wellhead caps and seals.
  •  Abandoning a well per Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources guidelines.

“Rockstar service! I had a well/pump controller unit fail after a storm. I placed call after hours and was able to talk with Steve on the phone. He was able to walk me through some "troubleshooting" before sending someone out. Eventually, I needed a new controller unit and they were able to come out within a few hours and fix the same day. Excellent, professional service. Highest recommendation.”

Mike F.

A Water Well Pump – The Heart Of Your System

When it comes time to select a water pump for a new installation or to replace a worn out one, you have two basic choices:  a traditional pump or a constant pressure pump.

Standard water pumps — traditional pumps are available is a variety of sizes and shapes. The designs have been tested and field-proven for decades. The engineering is simple – a pressure switch reacts when water pressure drops in the system’s pressure tank, switching on the pump. The pump comes on at full speed and quickly refills the pressure tank with fresh water. The majority of system pumps installed in recent years are standard designs.

Constant pressure pumps — relatively new designs, constant pressure models keep the pump spinning all the time. Pumps spin faster or slower depending upon the demand for water. When water pressure is needed, it spins fast. Maintaining pressure in the system reduces hard, full speed starts like those of a standard pump. Fewer hard starts mean longer life for the pump. Constant pressure units reduce energy use, too. That’s mostly thanks to the electronic controllers regulating speed and pressure. For wells with large pressure tanks, constant pressure makes sense. Investing in a system that delivers water quickly and saves energy is worth it, isn’t it? Features making these technologically-advanced pumps popular include:

  • Pumps take up less space than traditional models.
  • Electronic controls monitor operations and diagnose potential problems.
  • Pumps run quieter than most standard models.
  • Consistent, higher water pressure is an advantage.
  • Systems use less energy.

Within these categories are two breakdowns:

Jet pumps – for either shallow or deep installations (as deep as 100 feet). Installed above ground for easy maintenance and service.

Submersible pumps – always used in deep wells. Expected to last about 15 years – knowing the age of your pump is vital.

Common Threats To Wells And Well Pumps

People get regular checkups, your take your vehicle in for maintenance checks so why not schedule routine inspections for your water supply? Is there anything more important to you and your family than safe, clean drinking water?

A checkup twice a year is ideal, but at least once each year is OK. The older your system, the more often a checkup makes sense. And, additional checks are warranted after severe storms or natural events like floods. Additional threats to well water delivery systems come from:

  • Power outages or surges – even a brief loss of electrical power can trip circuit breakers and knock out your pump. Sudden spikes in energy from lighting strikes can damage the entire system. Check breakers after a storm and make sure you have the appropriate size to accommodate the size of your pump.
  • Low water table – the water in your well is deep underground, its level may not stay stable. It changes during the year. Extended drought leads to low water pressure. Sputtering faucets and slow water flow are sure signs.
  • Expanded demand – adding faucets or new appliances increases demand on the system. Each pump is designed for specific output. When your demand for water increases, make sure your pump can handle it.
  • Dirty water – chemicals and minerals getting into well water create sediment and residue. They wear on internal components and moving parts inside the pump.

Can You Predict A Well Pump Failure?

You don’t need to be a mystic to foresee a pump failure in your well’s future. You just need to be observant. There are warning signs. Here are a few to be alert to:

  • Air in the system – water comes out of taps in spurts with extra air bubbles.
  • Low water pressure – is the water streaming from taps less vigorous than usual? Slowing fading pressure is a sign the pump is failing.
  • Higher electric bills – if your well’s traditional pump is running more often than usual to keep water pressure up, the extra effort shows up on the electric bill. A hole in a pipe or fitting may be at fault, but in the end the system’s pump pays.
  • Short cycling – the lack of air in the system.  The pressure tank is water-logged. Well pumps normally run at least a minute when the system is active. If it runs less it’s a short cycle. Short runs may be accompanies by noise in the pipes and less pressure.

Well pumps are not silent. In good health they don’t make much noise, but as the age or when they’re wearing out they make different sounds. The usual sounds include clicking of the system switches, etc. If you hear any of these sounds, call in the Sauk Plains professionals:

  • Banging or “hammering” – usually when the system goes on/off. Technically it’s hydrostatic shock, air trapped when valves shut too quickly. A pressure change causes a shock wave to rattle the plumbing.
  • Clunking – usually obvious near the pressure tank when the pump comes on. Vibrations loosen connections.
  • Rattles and grinding – usually a sign of impeller damage inside the pump. May be caused by debris or a broken piece.
  • “Screaming” and “screeching” – bad bearings in the pump create a metal-on-metal grind that makes a terrible noise.

Replacing Water Well Components

When you see or hear any of these early warning signals you have two options:

Replace the pump and/or components as soon as you realize there’s a problem. This choice makes sure you don’t have an unexpected disruption in you water service. According to the veteran plumbers at Sauk Plains Plumbing and Pumps, this is the time to act.

Wait until the pump or component fails and nothing comes from the tap when you need it. Obviously this choice creates frustration for the household not to mention delays and potentially extra costs.

The old saying about prevention being better than the cure has never been more accurate, has it? Don’t be one of the homeowners that take its water well for granted – until they turn the tap and nothing happens.

Schedule a routine water test and well maintenance checkup. Don’t wait until it’s too late to prevent the worst outcome.

“We had an underground waterline leak and DJ with Sauk Plains Plumbing knew exactly what to do. He approached the problem with expert precision. Something that I would have expected to be a multi-day job was done from beginning to end in about 4 hours. And they did it in 90 degree heat and oppressively humid conditions. I am fortunate to have found Sauk Plains. True professionals from beginning to end.”

Joe Starr

We understand that water pumps and well parts don’t fail “on schedule.” Sometimes even after the best precautions things happen. That’s why we’re committed to making licensed, skilled plumbers available for emergency calls 24 hours a day. We’re here when you need us. 24/7.

For routine reviews or emergency repairs, call Sauk Plains Plumbing and Pumps for expert water well testing and reliable water delivery solutions for your home Cross Plains, Verona, Waunakee and Middleton WI area.