At the heart of every residential well system lies an electrical pump. The pump bears the responsibility of drawing water up from your well and into the pressure tank located inside of your home. Ideally, the pump should only have to run long enough to fill the pressure tank. Only once the water level in the tank drops below a pre-set level will the pump turn on again.
Unfortunately, things don’t always work so smoothly in the real world. Many homeowners experience the frustrating problem of a pump that always seems to be running. High energy bills and expensive breakdowns are just two of the side-effects of this unwanted phenomenon.
Numerous different issues may cause a well pump to run continuously. The best way to get to the root of the problem is to hire an experienced plumber to make a diagnosis. In the meantime, it helps to have at least a rudimentary understanding of frequent causes. This article will increase your well pump troubleshooting skills by discussing two things that can cause your pump to run non-stop.
1. LOSS OF PRIME
In order to draw water up from your well, an above-ground well pump must first be primed. Priming involves filling the drop pipe with water. This water, in turn, allows the pump’s suction to be communicated to the water inside of your well. Otherwise, the pump simply won’t be able to generate the necessary amount of pressure to raise water.
A well pump may naturally lose its prime if left inactive for extended periods of time. Those who own vacation homes equipped with wells must often prime their system during their first visit each year. A pump can be primed via its priming plug, using either water stored in the pressure tank, or by making use of long hose and a neighboring water supply.
If you suspect that your pump has lost its prime, be sure to turn it off as quickly as possible. If you allow a dry pump to continue running, it will soon lead to overheating and other serious forms of damage. If you do not know the protocol for priming your pump, contact a plumber as soon as possible.
A well pump that repeatedly loses its prime likely has underlying problems. In many cases, the problem stems from a leak in the drop pipe. Other common causes include air leaks in either the impeller or the pump casing, faulty check valves inside of the well pump, or a damaged foot valve at the bottom of your well.
2. CLOGGED OR FAULTY PRESSURE SWITCH
All well water pressure tanks contain a crucial component known as the pressure switch. The pressure switch indirectly monitors the water level in your tank by registering the tank’s pressure. A pressure tank can maintain adequate pressure, even as the water level drops. Eventually, however, the water level will dip low enough that it will begin to affect the tank’s pressure.
When the pressure drops below a pre-set level, the pressure switch engages, relaying an electrical signal telling the well pump to turn on. Likewise, this switch tells the pump when it should stop running. Yet a clogged switch may not be able to register changes inside of the pressure tank.
As a result, the pump may never receive the signal to stop running. Often, this issue stems from physical debris lodged in the tubing that leads to the pressure switch. A well pump technician can often restore functionality by removing such debris. In other cases, the pressure switch may simply have become damaged or burned out.
Until a new pressure switch has been installed, your well pump may continue to run. Attend to this problem as quickly as possible to avoid more serious forms of damage.
For more information on keeping your well system in good working order, call us today: (317) 423-7289