How to tell if your well pump is bad

How to Tell if Your Well Pump is Bad – 10 Common Signs

In this comprehensive article, we are going to take you through How to tell if your well pump is bad, warning sign of a struggling pump and troubleshooting a well pump correctly, and in the end we will answer all the frequently ask question.

Having your own private well for water supply is a fantastic resource and do have multiple advantages over using the municipal water supply, like lower monthly costs on the water bill, reliable water supply, and is actually free. And in addition to that, a well can produce clean and healthy water with minimal servicing.

However, it is up to you to maintain and always repair your well pump to keep that dependable water supply running through your faucets.

Most well pump can operate for months and even years without maintenance. That’s why many well pump users don’t realize the need for routine maintenance until it’s too late.

First, Here’s a quick summary:)

How do I Know If My Well Pump is Bad

1.Cloudy or Muddy Water

This sign indicates a failing well pump that is unable to filter out siltmuddy water before pumping the water up the surface, once you see cloudy or muddy water starting to appear on your pumped water, this is a clear sign that the pump is wearing out at a very high rate because of friction of the sand and silt.

2. Low Water Pressure

The most common indicator of a struggling well water pump is when you start experiencing low water pressure in your faucets and showers due to iron bacteria clogging the nipple pipe leading to the pressure switch.

These iron bacteria affect the pressure switch negatively and incorrectly sense the pressure; you need to test your well water for iron bacteria.

If you find traces of iron in water, then your well pump and screen is likely clogged with high iron bacteria. To restore the well pump to a better condition, the pump and well should be cleaned to remove slime, iron bacteria and scales.

3.High Electric Bills

If your power usage for each month is creeping up and there’s no High Electric Billsother apparent reason, and your well pump is running day in day out, this usually happens when the well pump is malfunctioning, maybe the pressure switch needs replacement/adjustment or the water might be low in the well.

Another common cause is when the pump is blocked with silt, sand or iron bacteria, so the pump is forced to work much harder to draw water to fill up the pressure tank.

4.Poor Tasting Water

Well water can be contaminated by decaying organic waste, bacteria, sand, and silt.clean water

These usually create an off taste and even an  odor that is not pleasing but not dangerous to human and animal consumption.

Still corroded plumbing pipes can cause water to smell and taste rusty, the best is to test your drinking water with a Well Water test Kits

5.Noisy Spitting Faucets

When dealing with spitting faucets issues caused by air in the plumbing system, first, check for a leaking pressure tank bladder that always causes a sporadic air spurt in the water system.

Secondly, check for a malfunctioning well pump and thirdly inspect for cracks or breaks in the water pipes above the pump.

6.Your Pump is Running Constantly

If your well pump is running non-stop, this can be a sign that your well pump is struggling to draw water from your well to fill up the pressure tank.

7.Strange or rapid clicking noises coming from the tank

Water pressure tank contains a bladder that is full of air and sometimes the bladder leaks or lose air, due to this you may hear rapid clicking sounds emanating from the pressure nozzle near the pressure tank.

This air escaping from the bladder may affect the well pump to stop and start frequently.
So it is advisable to inform your plumbing expert to come to access the problem.

8.Well Tank

This Pressure well tank is mostly located in the basement, used to hold water that is being pumped from the well for consistent home usage.

If your holding tank is small and the demand from your family need is high, the well pump will be forced to run-constantly to keep the well tank filled all the time causing the well pump to burn out. So it’s advisable to install a larger tank always in order to protect your well pump.

9.No Water from Well or Dry Well

Drought season may cause well to run dry and affect pressure tank to run low on water thus sending a “call signal” to your well pump and cause your well pump to run on a dry well, causing the pump to burn out.

low water cutoff system is a must have, this will always sense when the water is running below the set levels and prevent the pump from overheating and burning out.


Nothing is meant to last forever, right! A top high-quality and correctly maintained well pump has an average lifespan of 16-23 years. After years and years of service, parts inside the pump will begin to wear down.

Best Well Water Test Kits Review Click Here

Signs of a Bad Well Pump

  •  Sudden change in water quality, the water is often coupled with silt, sediments, and sand.
  • High iron bacteria in the water or sulfate-reducing bacteria.
  • A sudden change in water quality such as odor, color or taste, always checks slime buildup in the pump and toilet.
  • Contamination from man-made sources like industrial chemical.
  • An increase in hardness, manganese, iron, and sulfate, always do a routine of water test.

How to correct well water warning signs:

  •  Have your well water analyzed after every six months to ensure it is safe to drink.
  • Try to identify the contamination and remove the source.
  • Routinely calculate the Langelier saturation index to know the waters corrosion threats.
  • Install a water treatment system to remove silt and sand in the well or before it reaches the pressure tank.
  • Install aeration and degassing system to remove excess gasses in water.
  • Inspect the piping system for any corrosion threats.

Well Pump Troubleshooting

You woke up one morning and realize your well pump has stopped working or pumping water to your pressure tank.

That should not mean you have to purchase a brand new pump or dig another new well.

Well pump system includes many components of which one can stop working and affect the pump from working properly or ground it entirely.

Below are some easy techniques that you can use to troubleshoot you well pump before calling an expert.


A power surge or increased power usage can trigger the power circuit and shut down the whole system completely.

So, before doing anything, you need to verify if the electrical circuit has tripped. Power shut down is a common problem in well pumps.

Locate where the circuit breaker is, switched it off and on again, sometimes it looks as if it is on when it isn’t.

Pressure Tank

Another common problem that you need to check keenly is the pressure tank functionality; less air pressure inside the tank can send an incorrect signal to the pressure button to switch on the pressure tank.

The right pressure inside the tank should always be two psi less than the required setting at which the pressure switch comes on.

Discolored Water

A well pump that has black or brown element and rusty sediments in the pumped water requires a system treatment to correct the problem.

Minerals like manganese can leave black marking/stains on your clothes and a brownish coating inside deep freezers and fridges. Iron bacteria are prone to grow inside your toilet tank and stains utensils.

Kindly note, faucet filters or under-counter are not able to remove these minerals; you can contact your local water specialist to fix this problem.

Well pump keeps turning on and off:

This a common condition called “waterlogged.” For a pressure system to operate correctly; there must be a certain amount of air in the pressure tank.

Well pump keeps turning on and offWhen you turn on the pump, the water in the tank compresses the air in the pressure tank as it begins to fill with water.

As the water volume increases in the tank, the air is compressed further building pressure inside the tank, so every time you open a faucet the pressure inside the tank forces water through the pipe system and out the faucet.

Over time the amount of air required inside the tank to operate appropriately will decrease, and water will be left inside the tank.

In this scenario, water cannot be compressed to build up pressure that tells the pump to shut off. So when you open a faucet the little amount of water left will reduce the pressure in the tank and the switch will signal the pump to start again.

As long as your tank contains less air and too much water inside the tank, the pump will continue the never-ending cycle of on and off every second.

This is a very hard task for the pump and can cause serious problems.
To correct the problem, you need to call the people who installed your water pump and explain what is currently happening.

How Long Does Well Pump Last

Why submersible pump trip:

Pump tripping is a common thing mostly on old well pumps, the probable reasons might be a worn out bearing that expose shaft when the motors start.

The current might be too high for the circuit breaker or an eroded seal caused by sand frictions allows water to penetrate through the motor housing and short circuit.

If your submersible pump is an inexpensive model, the best option is to replace it with a new pump than having someone to dismantle and fix it because it’s very difficult to seal properly when outside the factory.

Air bubbles in well water

It is a common occurrence to see air bubbles appear in a glass of water drawn from your kitchen faucet.

However, whenever you see a large number of bubbles similar to effervescence appear in your glass this can be from natural occurrence and mechanical reasons.

Although they pose no health risk, water testing is required to establish the reason.

Naturally Occurring Bubbles

Pressure and temperature are the two main factors of gasses that are released into your well water in the form of small bubbles.

This natural occurring of bubbles is due to pressure from the bedrock well which is high, and when the water is pumped up straight to the tank, the pressure reduces forming small bubbles in the process.
In most cases, these bubbles are nothing to worry about.

Mechanical Causes Of Air Bubbles

When the water level inside the well run down/low this will allow air bubbles to form in the well pump as it draws water.

One of the best ways in the short term to prevent this from happening is to reduce the volume of water used in the home.

Homeowners are advised to install a well drawdown cutoff system that will prevent over pumping and motor from overheating, cause well pump stopped working.

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How to Tell if Your Well Pump Is Bad
Article Name
How to Tell if Your Well Pump Is Bad
10 Common Signs on How to Tell if Your Well Pump is Going Bad: Cloudy or Muddy Water. Low Water Pressure. High Electric Bills. Poor Tasting Water. Noisy Spitting Faucets
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7 thoughts on “How to Tell if Your Well Pump is Bad – 10 Common Signs”

  1. I like how the article explains that if your water is starting to taste poor, your well water pump may be having problems. Recently, my husband and I have noticed that our water has been tasting really bad and we don’t like it at all. I believe my well water pump may be broken so we will look into getting a new one installed.

  2. My friends and I went out to my uncle’s cabin last weekend, and notice cloudy water coming out of the faucet. It’s good you mentioned that this is a sign of a worn pump. I must let my uncle know so he can call an expert to fix it.

  3. I never knew that the well could get clogged. As far as I know, I think I’m receiving low water pressure which could lead to the well pump needing to be serviced. I’ll try to remove the source of contamination of the well, and if it still doesn’t get fixed, I’ll contact a repair service company to fix it for me.

  4. I like how the article explains that if you notice that your well pump is constantly running, there may be a problem with the well pump trying to draw water from your well. Recently, I have noticed that my well pump hasn’t stopped running the past couple of days. I will make sure that we have someone come and fix our well pump to make it work properly again.

  5. I like that you said that the most common indicator of a struggling well water pump is when you start experiencing low water pressure. It’s been a while since I haven’t checked my well pump but I notice how my waterjet is low. Thank you for taking the time to explain this to us. I’m going to have somebody clean my well pump.

  6. It never occurred to me that poor tasting water could be a sign of a failing water well pump. The water from my well started tasting weird last week. I’m going to have to hire a repair service to come and see what is wrong with my well.

  7. This morning, I checked on my well pump and sure enough, the metal had been colored to a slightly rusted shade due to the longevity of my use for it. I will have to replace my well pump for certain due to how necessary it is for the members of my family and myself. Upon reflection, it is my negligence that requires I replace my well pump, due to the fact I had not replaced my well pump sooner in time, as I had been busy with other tasks that I deemed more important. I will not be as negligent in the future in order to ensure that my family has clean drinking water.

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