If you've owned a home, chances are you've experienced problems with water pressure. Whether it's a complete loss of flow pressure, or intermittent and inconsistent flow, water pressure trouble always seems to come at the most inconvenient time. Some homeowners water pressure problems may be persistent, such as constantly low water pressure, while others may experience an occasional but sudden lack of water pressure. While it's always best to have a professional water well contractor make repairs, it's good to know as much about your home's well water system as possible so that you can make the most informed decision possible when it comes to well pump repair.
Bad or No Well Water Pressure
Water wells are complicated machines, as are the pumps that pull the water from the well into your home. As with any complex mechanical system, a single problem can have more and more causes as the system increases in intricacy. (Anyone who has owned a car or a computer knows this truth well.) When it comes to low water pressure, the problem can range from problems with the pressure tank, worn pumps, clogged pipes and pumps, and even clogged filters and purification systems. The problem may be mechanical or electrical, or may be caused by the water your specific well is drawing from (for example, water with higher iron concentrations may contribute to clogged pipes which can affect water pressure). If the problems with your water pressure are a result of these or many other causes, a professional water well repair team should be able to diagnose and correct the problem, restoring your water pressure to its normal level. It should be noted that regular water well maintenance checks may catch many of these problems early, before they begin to have such noticeable and bothersome effects.
Another possible cause for diminishing or non-existent water pressure may have nothing to do with faulty or damaged equipment. Instead, it may be possible that the water reserves from which your well is drawing may in fact be running low. While this is not the most likely explanation, a professional well drilling and repair company will be able to determine if the water table is in fact running low and, if so, make adjustments to return the pressure to its normal level.
Intermittent Pump Cycling, or Short Cycling
Though some homeowners may imagine that the pump activates every time they turn on a tap -- and then closes each time they shut it off -- this is in fact not the case. Instead, the water well pump fills up a storage tank fitted with an air bladder. The pump fills the tank until it reaches a pre-set pressure, then shuts off. As you use water, the tank drains and the pressure decreases. Once the pressure reaches the low pre-set pressure, the pump turns on once again to refill the tank.
If everything is working as it should, a homeowner will notice the pump kicking on every so often, remaining active for a short period of time, then turning off until the next time it is needed. However, some pumps may begin to cycle intermittently, a process that is called "short cycling." Like low water pressure, short cycling can have many causes. If your water tank is leaking water, the tank may fill to its proper pressure, but because water is constantly flowing from the tank, the pressure drops rapidly and the pump turns on again a short time later. (You might also have other problems if you have a leaky water tank in your house!) Other causes may be a defective air bladder in the water tank, or damaged water pressure control switches, which measure the water pressure in the tank and tell the pump when to turn on and off.
Whatever the case may be, a professional water well repair team can diagnose the problem and come up with a plan to solve the short cycling problems.
Steve Buer is the owner of Buer Well Drilling, a well drilling company based in Caledonia, Michigan. A family owned business, Buer Well Drilling specializes in well drilling, well pump repair and many other services. Mr. Buer and his team provide water well service to Grand Rapids and its outlying areas. Visit www.buerwelldrilling.com for more information.