A private well provides a reliable supply of water for home use. More than 15 million households in the U.S. have private wells. Many more families are seriously considering installing private wells.

There are different types of well systems. While some systems pump water directly into the home through pipes, others have a storage tank that is used to store water. This water can be pumped when required.

Types of Well Pumps

One of the most important components of a well water system is its well pump. A well pump extracts water from the ground and then sends it into the pipes of the home.

These are the different types of well pumps to consider:

Submersible Pumps

Submersible pumps sit as deep as four to five feet above the bottom of a water well. They are cylindrical. A submersible pump utilizes a motor to draw water through the bottom of the unit.

Submersible pumps are usually used for wells that are several hundred feet deep. They are long-lasting and can function for 25 years before needing repairs.

The motor of a submersible pump is hermetically sealed. Unlike many other well pumps that pull water out, a submersible pump pushes the water out. 

Jet Pumps

There are two types of jet pumps – deep well pumps and shallow well pumps.

A shallow well pump sits above the ground. It utilizes an inept pipe to draw water out. The suction length of these pumps is usually less than 25 feet. The mechanical systems of shallow jet pumps are simpler than deep well jet pumps and require less maintenance.

Deep well pumps are more powerful than shallow well pumps. The jet pump of a deep well can have more than one impeller and diffuser. It also has a jet injector.

The setup is designed to increase the pump’s suction power, the speed of the water when it is moving, and discharge pressure.

These pumps utilize two pipes (installed within the well borehole). One pipe is used for suction purposes, whereas the other pipe provides water to operate the jet units installed in the well borehole.

A deep well can lift water from more than 50 feet below. It can be upgraded to lift water from more than 100 feet below.

Centrifugal Pumps

Centrifugal pumps are used for shallow wells (no more than 25 feet deep). It utilizes only one pipe which is inserted into the well borehole and the water column. Centrifugal pumps are compact, more affordable than submersible pumps, and easy to maintain.

Well Water Pump Maintenance Tips

  • Clean the Cooling Fans Regularly: To prevent overheating, periodically clean your pump’s motor cooling fans. Remove debris such as cobwebs and dry leaves.
  • Tighten/Replace Parts: Water dripping from your pump or any other part of the system is an indication that some parts are either loose or need replacement. If you are unable to get to the root of the problem, ask your mechanic to look into the matter.
  • Use Anti-corrosion Products: Over time, different parts of a well water system can corrode. To prevent this from happening, replace traditional parts with those that are made from corrosion-resistant materials.
  • Stay On Top of Maintenance: Have your pump inspected by a well water pump expert every 3-4 years. During a maintenance session, your technician will run several tests to diagnose problems. The professional will look for and nip issues in the bud.

Common Causes of Low Well Water Pressure 

Here are some common causes of a sudden, inexplicable decrease in water pressure in a home with a private well.

Clogged Sediment Filter

Most wells have a sediment filter that removes sediments. Over time, a sediment filter can clog. How quickly a sediment filter clogs depends primarily on the quality of the well water.

A good rule of thumb is to check and change your well’s sediment filter twice every year. Periodically changing your sediment filter is one of the most effective ways to maintain the right water pressure and keep your water clean.

Some well owners (especially those living in areas with poor water quality) may want to change their sediment filters more frequently (as often as three months).

Add a pressure gauge to your water filtration system. Monitor the pressure and change the filter when the pressure drops by 10 pounds per square inch.

Underinflated Air Bladder

If you have a bladder pressure tank, a drop in your home’s water pressure can indicate a problem with the pressure tank’s air bladder.

An air bladder works to increase pressure in the tank by exerting force against the water in the tank. An underinflated bladder cannot exert enough pressure against the tank water. This  results in a drop in water pressure in your home.

If this is the problem, ask your well repair expert to add air to the bladder.

Pump Pressure Switch Problems

One of the most common causes of low water pressure is a faulty pump pressure switch. Your well’s pump pressure switch is located near its pressure tank.

When the pressure in your tank drops below a predesignated level (USUALLY 40 PSI), your pump pressure switch sends a signal to the pump to increase the pressure.

Most pressure switches have an internal spring. In many cases, the pressure switch malfunctions when this spring weakens or fails. A weak spring can also cause the electronic components of the pressure switch to fail.

Depending on the condition of your pressure switch, your well maintenance expert will either readjust or replace it.Weeks Drilling & Pump Co. offers reliable water well service in Novato. Whether you plan to install a private water well on your property or want to have your pump inspected and maintained by an expert, we can help.