Unfortunately, there are not many signs your well pump is going bad. You’ll most likely find out you need a replacement on a morning when you’ve woken up late, your kids can’t find their homework and you have a meeting with your boss at 8:00 a.m. In other words, you’ll most likely find out you need a replacement at one of the most inopportune times, when you try to start your morning shower and you find you have very low pressure or no water at all.

Well pumps run on electric motors, so when the motor fails, you’ll notice a difference in your water pressure.

Well Pump Trouble Shooting

Your home’s water system is made up of two important components: the well pump and the pressure tank. The well pump draws the water from the well near your home; the pressure tank provides storage for the water and regulates your homes’ water pressure. So, when you shower, wash the dishes or run the washing machine, that water comes from the pressure tank. Therefore, if you think your well pump is going bad, it may truly be your pressure tank that’s actually causing the problems.

Some of the most common indicators of faulty well pump and pressure tank include:

  • Fluctuations in water pressure throughout the home
  • Strange noises or rapid clicking sounds coming from the tank
  • Spitting faucets
  • Scalding shower water
  • High electric bills


Noisy Pressure Tank or Clicking Sound

Pressure tanks house a bladder full of air, similar to the inner tube in a bike tire, and the bladder can leak, or lose, air. When this happens, you may notice a constant or rapid clicking noise coming from the pressure switch located near the pressure tank. Air from the bladder that has escaped into the pressure tank causes the well pump to start and stop frequently, straining the motor. A failed pressure tank bladder can be very hard on the well pump’s electric motor over time, and can drastically reduce the pump’s life expectancy, so as soon as you hear a noise it’s important you call a plumbing expert to come check it out.

Spitting Faucets

A leaking pressure tank bladder may also cause sporadic air spurts in your water, or “spitting” faucets.

Scalding Shower Water

If you are showering and someone flushes a toilet, causing you to jump or scream from unexpected scalding hot water, that’s most likely an issue with your pressure tank as well.

This is because some homes are equipped with two or three handle tub and shower valves, which do not have pressure-balancing spools like most new, single handle valves. The drop in pressure from your malfunctioning pressure tank will allow more hot water than cold water through, creating surges of scalding hot water.

High Electric Bills

Just about all of the well pump and pressure tank problems described above can reduce the efficiency of your home’s water system and raise your electric bills. If you start to see that bill creeping up month over month, you might want to consider inspecting your well pump and pressure tank or calling a professional.

Avoid Jet and Submersible Well Pump Problems with Routine Maintenance

Kobella Plumbing Heating Cooling recommends an annual flushing of both your water heater and your pressure tank to improve their lifespan and avoid downtime in your home’s water system. Call today to learn more about our affordable annual maintenance plan.

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