Protect your well pump

by | Jul 20, 2021

Over the last 10-15 years you have probably heard that your well needs a Pumpsaver or a Pumptec. If you don’t have one, then you need one and here is why.

Your well pump is expensive. Very expensive. Trust me, you want these pumps to last as long as possible. The average cost to replace a well pump in the Drippin’ area is around $3,000 to $4000. And it can even be more than that depending upon the size of the pump and any other conditions. So, lets find a way to make that expensive pump last a long time.

There are many things that can happen to your well pump that we can’t control. You need to make sure you cover the things you can control. They are:

Dry run. This is where the pump sucks air. I know you think your pump never sucks air. But, it can happen without your knowledge. And if it happens often, it will damage your pump. You think that your pump is sitting under 100’ of water. How can this happen? Let me show you.

Droughts can cause the water level to drop in the area.

The screen on the casing can clog and drop the water level in your well.

A water line could break on your property and the pump could run all night long.

The screen on the pump could clog up. It is completely under water, but you get the same result.

A neighboring well could pull the water level down in your area.

Dead head. This is where the pump builds the maximum pressure and keeps running with no water flowing out. This causes the water to get hot and it starts melting any pvc around the pump. This results in melting the casing or the production pipe. Sometimes, this means you have to drill a new well. 

The most common causes of dead head are:

Frozen water lines at the well head. If the discharge pipe is frozen and the well pump runs, it will dead head your pump. Your pump can handle this for a few minutes. But soon its causing damage.

Stuck relief valve. The relief valve is supposed to open and let out the pressure if you get in a dead head situation. But, if the valve is stuck (or frozen), it won’t work.

Low voltage. If the power supplied to your well pump gets low, then you are starving your pump motor. This will cause the motor windings to overheat and this will eventually lead to a failure. 

Rapid Cycling. This is where the pump starts and stops often. The heat that is generated in the starting of the pump is not dissipated in time and the motor windings overheat. The most common cause of this is a water-logged pressure tank.

Power Spikes. Anytime, there is a spike in the power, that travels down the line to your appliances. The most commonly damaged item is the well pump because it is grounded so well.

Twenty years ago, the conventional thought was that you need to install a Pumpsaver when you have a weak well. Now we know that all pumps need a Pumpsaver. You can’t protect the pump all the time from all of these issues without one. These issues pop up with out warning. You won’t know about the issue until the damage is already done. 

There are two main brands. Pumpsaver and Pumptec. I like the Pumpsaver brand better, but both are fine for what you need. Get one and get it installed on your pump. It will protect against all of these issues except the power spikes. For that, get a surge protector. You have one on your TV and costs a fraction of what a well pump costs.