Homeowners who use private wells are responsible for maintaining them. Sometimes nitrate, nitrite, and other harmful compounds present in sewage animal waste and chemical fertilizers get into well water, contaminating it.

High levels of nitrate in well water can result from improper well location, construction, and human and animal waste disposal. If you ignore problems with your private well, not only will your water be contaminated, but you may face legal liabilities (if contaminants from your well contribute to contamination to the groundwater).

Here are some signs you have a problem with your private well.

 Sputtering Faucets 

Do you experience a blast of air with short bursts of water before water starts running every time you turn on your kitchen sink? This could mean there is air in your plumbing system. If this happens regularly, there is a possibility your water table has dropped below a point that is at or below the well pump.

Other common reasons why wells pump air include a damaged well pump drop pipe and a failing valve. Whatever the problem, your well contractor will get to its root cause and eliminate it.

 Skyrocketing Energy Bills 

Are you noticing an inexplicable rise in your utility bills? Your well pump may be to blame. It is one of the most common signs of a failing well pump. When a well pump develops a problem, it has to work harder and longer, and it will cycle on and off as it tries to maintain water pressure.

Sometimes, well pumps become blocked with sand, iron bacteria, or silt and work much harder than usual.

High electricity bills may also indicate a bad check valve. A failing check valve will allow water from the pressure tank to stream back down into the well. When pressure reduces, the pressure switch turns the pump on again. The on and off-cycle will result in the pump running continuously (sometimes even 24 hours a day).

Low Water Pressure 

If you are experiencing water pressure issues, consult your well contractor. Some common causes of low water pressure include a failing well pump, leaking/failing pressure tank, partially closed/bad gate valve, and stuck check valve.

Sometimes iron bacteria clog up the pipe nipple. When this happens, the pressure switch is unable to sense the pressure accurately.

If your well water has iron bacteria, your contractor will clean your well with a special solution designed to remove slime, scale, and iron bacteria.

Make sure water pressure at your home is between 30 and 50 PSI. Whenever you adjust the pressure switch, make sure the pressure inside the tank is adjusted too.

 Weird Sounds

Weird sounds such as groaning and moaning sounds coming from your pipes could indicate a potential problem with your private well. Loud humming, grinding, or growling noises coming from your well pump could mean that there is some trouble with it. Have your contractor inspect your well system as soon as possible.

 Change in Water Quality 

If you notice a sudden and inexplicable change in your water quality, it makes sense to have your well checked by a professional.

A change in smell, taste, or color of your water could indicate the presence of many things. Though many things found in your water may not pose a health hazard, they will affect your water’s aesthetics.

If your water has a metallic taste, your water could be high in iron and manganese. If your water smells like sulfur or rotten eggs, hydrogen sulfide from decaying matter could have got into your water.

A large amount of sand and sediment in your water could mean that surface water has leaked into your well. Murky water is a sign of a potential well pump problem. It could mean the water table has dropped too low. Before things take a turn for the worse, hire a pump service. 

Pressure Switch and Pump Continuously Cycle On and Off 

A leak in your home could cause your pump to run continuously. If this is not the problem, check your well water casing, screen, and liner for corrosion. A corroded casing can cause holes to form, which allow the water of undesirable quality to enter the well.

Check your reverse osmosis system, iron filters, toilet flush valves, and other backwashing filter systems. Move swiftly to address problems. Sometimes the pressure tank loses its captive pressure. When this happens, the pump runs practically 24 hours a day.

To check your pressure tank’s captive pressure:

  1. Turn off the power to your well pump.
  2. Run water until there is no water pressure left.
  3. Check the Shrader valve on top of the pressure valve.

The pressure should be two PSI less than the cut-in pressure.

 Your Well is Pumping Large Amounts of Sand or Sediment

If your water well is pumping sand, your well could be silting in or filling with sand and silt. When you turn on your pump, the water level could drop low. If the pump gets too close to the bottom of the well, sand and sediment will get sucked in.

Sometimes a damaged well screen can cause the problem. Sand can cause premature wear, damaging your well screen. Use a sand and sediment trapper to remove sand from your water.

Are you looking for pump service in Santa Rosa? Look no further than Weeks Drilling & Pump Co. We will come up with a maintenance plan to fit your specific needs. To schedule an inspection, call 707-823-3184.