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Do you have problems with your well?

Want to try a few things to get the water back now?

Here are some things you can try to fix it yourself.

1. Do you have no water, or just low pressure? If you have water, but just low pressure, then skip to number 12. If you have no water move to step 2.

2. Determine if you have a storage tank system or a standard system. A storage tank is a large water tank where the water is not under pressure. Usually these are very large from 1,000 gallons up to 10,000 gallons or more. Here is a picture of some typical storage tanks. If you have a storage tank system, then move on to step 6. If you don’t have a big holding tank move on to step 3.

3. Now let’s determine if you have a constant pressure system or a standard pressure system? Look at the electrical controls around your well equipment. Do you see an electrical box that looks like one of these? If you see an item from the first box, then you likely have a standard pressure system. If you see a box from the second group, then you probably have a constant pressure system. For constant pressure, skip to Step 5. For standard pressure, go to step 4.

Standard pressure electrical controls

 

Constant pressure electrical controls

 

4. Here are some things you can do to try to get the water back on to your standard pressure water system that does not have a storage tank.

  • Check the water pressure at the well. Close the valve after the pressure tank so that you isolate the water system. See if you have water pressure with the valve closed. If you do have water pressure with the valve closed, but not when it is open, then you likely have a leak in the distribution system. If you have good water pressure at the well even with the main valve open, then you may have a closed valve or a clogged filter somewhere down the line.
  • Check the pressure switch. The pressure switch is what turns your pump on and off. First, turn off the breaker to the well. Then loosen the nut on top of the switch and lift the lid straight off. Check the points to make sure they are clean. Ants and other insects like to get in there and stop the switch from making contact. You can use sandpaper or a fingernail file to clean the points. If you notice that the points are open, then you may have a special switch that requires a manual restart. Turn the handle that sticks out the side towards the sky. This will force the points closed while you hold it in place. Let the pump run for 15 to 20 seconds until the pressure has built up enough for the points to stay closed on their own.
  • Push the reset button(s) on the bottom of the control box to reset any overload faults.
  • Turn the breaker off and then back on to make sure that the breaker is not tripped.
  • Check the pumpsaver for any fault conditions. Do you have a pumpsaver that looks like either one of these? Note that it may be mounted inside another electrical box. If so, here is what you can do. Do you see the two lights on the front of the pumpsaver labeled “Run Light” and “Cal Light”? See the chart below to read the lights. Note that you can reset the fault by turning the breaker off and then back on. Click on the picture below for the manual.

5. If you have a standard pumping system that is constant pressure, here is what you can do.

  • First, look at the main controller to see if you can read any fault conditions. Most constant pressure controllers (also called variable frequency drives) have some sort of fault condition light or code. Typically, there is a sticker on the controller that will tell you what the fault condition is. If you have a fault, you can reset it by turning the breaker off. In this case, you will need to leave the breaker off until all lights on the front of the controller have gone out. This usually takes around 60 seconds. Then, you can turn the breaker back on. When you do, watch the fault lights to see if it runs normally or faults back out.
  • Check the water pressure at the well. Close the valve after the pressure tank so that you isolate the water system. See if you have water pressure with the valve closed. If you do have water pressure with the valve closed, but not when it is open, then you likely have a leak in the distribution system. If you have good water pressure at the well even with the main valve open, then you may have a closed valve or a clogged filter somewhere down the line.
  • Turn the breaker off and then back on to make sure that the breaker is not tripped.

6. If you have a storage tank system, the first thing you need to do is to determine how much water is in the tank. If the tank is near full, then the problem is likely with the booster pump or the controls for it. Go to step 7 for help with booster pump controls. If the tank is below half full, then the problem is likely with the well that is filling the tank. Go to step 10 for help getting the tank filled back up.

7. If your tank is full and your booster pump won’t run, then you need to determine if your booster pump is a standard pressure or a constant pressure booster. Do you have a pressure switch that looks like this? It will be mounted on or near the booster pump. If you do, then the booster pump is probably a standard pressure pump. If not, look around for an electrical controller that looks like one of these. If you do have one, then you likely have a constant pressure booster pump.

Constant pressure controllers

8. If you have a standard pressure booster, here are some things you can check.

  • Check the pressure switch. The pressure switch is what turns your pump on and off. First, turn off the breaker to the well. Then loosen the nut on top of the switch and lift the lid straight off. Check the points to make sure they are clean. Ants and other insects like to get in there and stop the switch from making contact. You can use sandpaper or a fingernail file to clean the points. If you notice that the points are open, then you may have a special switch that requires a manual restart. Turn the handle that sticks out the side towards the sky. This will force the points closed while you hold it in place. Let the pump run for 15 to 20 seconds until the pressure has built up enough for the points to stay closed on their own.
  • Check the valves to make sure they are all open.
  • Check the float switches in your storage tank to make sure they are not stuck. Turn them up and then down to make sure you hear the switch working inside. If you see a crack in the housing of the switch, you may have water inside that has ruined the switch.

9. If you have a constant pressure booster, here are some things you can check.

  • First, look at the main controller to see if you can read any fault conditions. Most constant pressure controllers (also called variable frequency drives) have some sort of fault condition light or code. Typically, there is a sticker on the controller that will tell you what the fault condition is. If you have a fault, you can reset it by turning the breaker off. In this case, you will need to leave the breaker off until all lights on the front of the controller have gone out. This usually takes around 60 seconds. Then, you can turn the breaker back on. When you do, watch the fault lights to see if it runs normally or faults back out.
  • Check the water pressure at the well. Close the valve after the pressure tank so that you isolate the water system. See if you have water pressure with the valve closed. If you do have water pressure with the valve closed, but not when it is open, then you likely have a leak in the distribution system. If you have good water pressure at the well even with the main valve open, then you may have a closed valve or a clogged filter somewhere down the line.
  • Turn the breaker off and then back on to make sure that the breaker is not tripped.

10. If your storage tank is low, there are two things you can do to get the water back on. If you have a switch mounted on the side of the controller, flip that switch from “normal” to “reserve”. This is a unique system that we have built that will hold some water in reserve in case the pump that fills the tank fails. If this fixes your problem, then you need to do a few things.

  • Conserve water until you get the well fixed. Turn off any irrigation and conserve water.
  • Contact us to let us know that you are “on reserve”. We will send a tech out to diagnose as soon as we can to get the well fixed.
  • When the well is fixed and the tank fills back up, make sure you flip that switch back to normal.
  • If the reserve switch fails to activate the pump (or you don’t have one) proceed to Step 11.

11. In this step, we will try to get the well to start filling the tank.

  • Push the reset button(s) on the bottom of the control box to reset any overload faults.
  • Turn the breakers off and back on to reset any tripped breakers.
  • Check the float switches in your storage tank to make sure they are not stuck. Turn them up and then down to make sure you hear the switch working inside. If you see a crack in the housing of the switch, you may have water inside that has ruined the switch.
  • Check the pressure switch. Most of our storage tank systems do not use a pressure switch on the well pump but a few do. First, turn off the breaker to the well. Then loosen the nut on top of the switch and lift the lid straight off. Check the points to make sure they are clean. Ants and other insects like to get in there and stop the switch from making contact. You can use sandpaper or a fingernail file to clean the points. If you notice that the points are open, then you may have a special switch that requires a manual restart. Turn the handle that sticks out the side towards the sky. This will force the points closed while you hold it in place. Let the pump run for 15 to 20 seconds until the pressure has built up enough for the points to stay closed on their own.

  • Check the pumpsaver for any fault conditions. Do you have a pumpsaver that looks like either one of these? Note that it may be mounted inside another electrical box. If so, here is what you can do. Do you see the two lights on the front of the pumpsaver labeled “Run Light” and “Cal Light”? See the chart below to read the lights. Note that you can reset the fault by turning the breaker off and then back on. Click on the picture below for the manual.
  • If you can’t get the well to refill the tank, call a local bulk water delivery company to bring you a load of water. When the water level rises in the tank, the float switches will automatically turn the booster pump on.

12. If you have some water flow, but have low pressure, here are some things you can try.

  • Check the water pressure at the well. Close the valve after the pressure tank so that you isolate the water system. See if you have water pressure with the valve closed. If you do have water pressure with the valve closed, but not when it is open, then you likely have a leak in the distribution system. If you have good water pressure at the well even with the main valve open, then you may have a closed valve or a clogged filter somewhere down the line.
  • If you have a storage tank system and the tank is up-hill from the house, then you may have water flowing from the gravity pressure. Refer to step 6 to get your booster pump running.

Note: if all of these efforts have failed, there is one more thing you can do to get some water back on to your house. Don’t give up. You can do this!

Walk over to your neighbor’s house. This usually works best if you have cookies in hand. Ask your neighbor if you can connect to his/her water system. Run a water hose from his faucet to your faucet. Make sure that at your house you hook up to a faucet that does not have a backflow preventer on the faucet like this one.

Usually, the best place to connect is to the faucet that is by your pressure tank. That way you get any water treatment still treating your water. In order to connect the male ends of the two water hoses, you will need a “double female” connector like the one shown. You can buy this at any hardware store. If you don’t have time to go to the store, you have the solution in your laundry room. The hose that delivers water to your clothes washing machine has a female end on both ends and will work just fine. This hose may not give you full pressure, but you can live with that for a day or two until I can fix your well.