7 Signs Your Well Pump is Failing
Quality water well pumps are durable and long-lasting, but like all mechanical things they do have a defined lifespan.
Jet pumps last about 10 years and submersible pumps last about 20 years on average. In both categories, you can find pumps that last significantly longer and others that fall short of the mark. Factors such as extremely hard water or frequent chlorination for decontamination can radically reduce any pump’s useful life.
Because no well pump will last forever, eventually you’ll have to replace it. Here are seven common signs yours might be failing:
- Air in the system. If there’s air in your system, the water coming from faucets will sputter, falter, spray out or vary in flow or pressure. A little air in the system probably isn’t a big issue, but if this is occurring more frequently, it could be a sign your pump is failing.
- Dirty water. Murky water can be caused by many things. Among others, it occurs if the water level drops too low or the pump is placed at the wrong depth, but if dirt has gotten into the pump it can damage the components and cause pump failure.
- High electric bills. If the pump is running almost continuously or cycling on and off more frequently, the pump is struggling to maintain water pressure. Sometimes the first clue of impending pump failure surfaces when your electric bills start to rise in response to the increased electricity usage.
- Low water pressure. The first symptom of low pressure is often just a slight reduction in water flow or force. A variety of plumbing issues can cause low pressure, including the pressure tank or pump. Since the tank and pump work in concert, a damaged, leaking or malfunctioning pressure tank puts extra strain on the pump and can lead to failure.
- Pipe noises. When your piping system begins to vibrate, groan or make other atypical sounds, it may indicate a pump problem. Sometimes the issue is as simple as a loose mount or component that needs to be tightened, but it can also indicate a pump that’s straining to maintain water pressure, a damaged impeller or a failing motor bearing.
- Pump noises. If your pump begins growling, grinding, groaning or sounds significantly louder when it’s operating, it’s a sign of trouble so get professional help.
- Short cycles. Your pump is short-cycling if it runs for less than a minute then shuts off. This puts undue strain on the pump and can quickly lead to motor burnout.
Many of these issues can also indicate other problems, so it’s smart to contact your pump installer or well driller and have the pump and well system checked.