How to Tell if Your Well Pump is Bad

In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with the necessary knowledge to identify whether your well pump is faulty or damaged. Moreover, we will demonstrate how to assess the warning signs of a malfunctioning pump accurately.

Owning a private well for daily water supply is an exceptional resource that provides several benefits over municipal water supply. These advantages include uninterrupted water supply, no monthly charges, and no dependence on external sources.

However, to continue enjoying these benefits, regular maintenance and repair of the well pump are crucial. This ensures that a reliable water supply continues to flow through your household plumbing.

While most well pumps can operate without maintenance for extended periods, it is crucial to note the significance of regular checkups to prevent major issues from occurring.

Our guide will help you understand the warning signs of a failing pump, thereby enabling you to take the necessary steps to maintain an uninterrupted water supply.

9 Warning Signs That My Well Pump Is Failing

  • Cloudy or Muddy Water
  • Low Water Pressure
  • High Electric Bills
  • Poor Tasting Water
  • Noisy Spitting Faucets
  • Your Pump is running Constantly
  • Strange clicking sounds from the pressure tank
  • Well Pressure Tank
  • No Water from Well or Dry Well
  • Well Pump Age

1. Cloudy or Muddy Water

This distinguishing feature serves as an indicator of a defective well pump, which cannot effectively separate silt particles from the water prior to its extraction to the surface.

The appearance of turbid or muddy water during the pumping process is a definite sign of the pump’s accelerated deterioration, which results from the abrasive interaction between sand and silt.

2. Low Water Pressure

Iron bacteria or the accumulation of ferric iron is a prevalent factor leading to low water pressure. This can have a detrimental impact on the pressure switch, causing the pressure to drop.

As a result, it is crucial to test for iron bacteria in well water. If the water contains traces of iron, the well pump shaft and screen are susceptible to clogging with minute sand particles and high iron bacteria.

To restore the functionality of the well and submersible pump, it is necessary to conduct a thorough cleaning process that eliminates iron germs, scales, and grime. Only then can they be utilized effectively.

3. High Electric Bills

well pump pressure switch problems

In the event of an unexplained increase in monthly electricity consumption coupled with daily operation of the well pump, it is highly probable that the pump is experiencing some form of malfunction.

This may necessitate adjustment or replacement of the pressure switch. Additionally, the water level in the well may be insufficient, thus requiring the pump to work harder to draw water up.

Another potential cause could be obstruction of the pump due to sand, silt, or iron bacteria, which would also result in increased workload for the well pump in order to draw water into the pressure tank.

4. Poor Tasting Water

Groundwater sourced from wells can be contaminated by bacteria, decaying organic matter, sand, and silt, leading to unpleasant odors and flavors in the water.

Although such contamination is not harmful to humans or animals, it can still be off-putting. Additionally, corroded plumbing pipes can contribute to water with a rusty taste and smell.

To determine the exact cause of water contamination, using a well water test kit is the most reliable diagnostic tool available.

Read:- 5 Well Water Test Kit of 2022

5. Noisy Spitting Faucets

The occurrence of spitting faucets can be attributed to the presence of air in the plumbing system. To address this issue, there are two possible courses of action.

The first step is to inspect the pressure tank bladder on the side or top of the tank for leaks. This is often the root cause of sporadic air spurts in the water system.

The second step is to investigate the possibility of a faulty well pump. Examine the water pipes situated above the pump for any signs of fractures or breaks.

This will help determine if the well pump is responsible for the air entering the plumbing system. By carefully following these steps, one can effectively diagnose and address the underlying cause of spitting faucets.

6. Your Pump is running Constantly

In the event that your water pump operates persistently without replenishing your water reservoir, it may suggest that it is undergoing excessive strain in extracting water from the well to replenish the pressure vessel.

7. Rapid/Strange clicking sounds coming from the pressure tank

At times, the bladder within the water tank may become loose, leading to air leakage. This, in turn, may result in the rapid clicking of the pressure nozzle near the pressure water tank.

As a consequence of the compressed air release from the bladder, the well pump may undergo an endless start-stop cycle. It is recommended to seek the assistance of plumbing experts to evaluate the situation.

8. Well Pressure Tank

A common fixture found within a household’s basement is the well tank, utilized for the storage of water drawn from a nearby well, thereby ensuring a consistent supply for household use.

However, if the holding tank capacity proves inadequate in meeting the daily water requirements of the family, the well pump is forced to work without cessation to maintain the tank at full capacity, increasing the risk of overheating.

As a result, installing a larger tank to safeguard the well pump is recommended.

9. No Water from Well or Dry Well

During periods of drought, a well can run dry, leading to depletion of the water in the pressure tank. As a result, the well pump may be triggered by a “call signal”, causing it to burn out due to a dry well.

To prevent such scenarios, a low-water cut-off mechanism can be employed as a safety measure. This device is designed to shut off the pump automatically when the water level falls below the predetermined levels, thereby preventing overheating and burning out of the pump.

10. Well Pump Age

A well pump of superior quality and maintenance can last for an average duration of 16-23 years. However, over time, the internal constituents of the well pump undergo wear and tear, which makes a replacement of the well pump inevitable.


A defective well pump has the potential to severely disrupt your daily routine. Indications of a failing pump include discolored water, challenges in drawing water from taps, a noisy pump, and an elevated electricity bill.

Given that a home-use pump should operate with minimal inconvenience and its maintenance should not be excessively costly, any inefficiencies in its performance should be addressed promptly.

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The following are the most common signs that your well pump is malfunctioning:

  • When water quality is suddenly and drastically changed, such as when there is an accumulation of silt, sediments, and sand, it is often thought to be a sign of contaminated water.
  • Hematophagous iron bacteria or sulfate-reducing bacteria are found in the water.
  •  Abrupt water quality change, such as the presence of a foul odor, brownish coloring, or unusual flavor and slime accumulation in the pump and toilet.
  • Contamination from man-made sources like industrial chemicals.
  • An increase in hardness, manganese, iron, and sulfate, always do a routine of water test.

How to Resolve Well Water Warning Signs:

  • It is a good idea to get your well water checked every six months to verify it is still drinkable.
  • Another method to discover whether or not there is contamination is to figure out the source.
  • Langelier saturation index should be used routinely to determine water corrosion risks.
  • To prevent the well water from becoming polluted, have a water treatment system installed before it gets to the pressure tank.
  • Aeration and degassing may help to raise the gas concentrations if the water is undersaturated.
  • Look through the pipes to see if there are any hidden corrosion dangers.

How to Solve Well Pump Issues

You may find your well pump is not functioning one morning, and you can’t get water to your pressure tank.

Just because a new pump or well is required, it does not imply you have to buy a new one or dig a new one.

The equipment for a well-pump system should include many components, any one of which may cease functioning and influence the overall operation of the pump.

Here are some simple troubleshooting well pump problems tips that you may try before you seek out professional help for a well pump issue.


In certain cases, an increase in electrical current or voltage will cause the power circuit to shut down the whole system.

So, to verify if the electrical circuit has tripped, it is essential to first check whether anything is wrong. The shut off of power in a well pump is a very frequent issue.

The circuit breaker is located somewhere, so go to that spot and turn it on and off; sometimes it seems to be on when it isn’t.

Pressure Tank

Also something you should look at is the tank functioning; low air pressure inside the tank will cause the pressure button to think that the tank is full, which will activate the tank.

At the necessary setting at which the pressure switch turns on, two psi of additional pressure is required in the tank.

Discolored Water

A dark or brown pump with rusty sediments and sediments in the water results in an indication that treatment is required.

This kind of mineral stains clothing and makes them black. This type of mineral stains clothes and makes them black. Also, minerals such as manganese leave black stains and make them seem old. Bacteria may get into your toilet tank and then develop within, which results in stains on your kitchenware.

To avoid any confusion, please be aware that water filters, under-counter filters, and whole-house filters are unable to remove certain minerals; you should speak with your local water treatment expert.

The well pump is constantly going on and off:

well pump pressure switch troubleshooting

This is a very frequent disease that is referred to as “waterlogged.” A pressure system is only as effective as the quantity of air it contains.

The pump fills the water tank with water by simply compressing the air in the tank pressure.

Every time you open a faucet, the tank’s increasing water flow volume compresses the air, further increasing the pressure within the tank, thus water flows out of the faucet.

The tank will remain full of water as the air need decreases over time.

When there is no method to compress water into a reservoir to shut off the water pump, no amount of water will make it through. Therefore, as soon as you open a faucet, the pressure in the tank will be reduced, and the pump will turn on.

The pump keeps going with the never-ending cycle of on and off every second so long as your tank has less air and more water in it.

Problems with the pump will occur if this is done.
In order to solve the issue, contact the persons who installed your water pump and tell them what the problem is.

Why submersible pump trip:

Usually pump tripping is a problem with older well pumps because worn-out bearings cause the shaft to become exposed.

Due to an eroding seal or excessive current, water is able to reach the motor housing and cause a short circuit.

Replacing your submersible pump with a new pump is ideal if your current pump is inexpensive. This is because it’s nearly impossible to seal it properly when done outside the manufacturer.

Air bubbles in well water

Because you’ve gotten your drinking water from your kitchen faucet, you’re likely to notice little air bubbles emerge in it.

Also, when you notice a lot of bubbles develop in your glass that seem similar to effervescence, it is quite normal and may be due to mechanical causes.

It is important to discover the source of the water contamination, although this doesn’t provide any danger.

Naturally Occurring Bubbles

The primary variables in gas bubble formation in well water are pressure and temperature.

Pressure from the bedrock well drives this natural process of bubbles developing, which is why the pressure drops when the water is pumped directly to the tank.
Generally speaking, these bubbles are harmless.

Mechanical Causes Of Air Bubbles

When the water level in the well becomes low, air bubbles will develop in the well pump, causing it to suck in air from the well. In the near run, the best approach to avoid this problem is to use less water in the house.

If your water well is at risk of drawing down the water table, it is recommended that you build a cutoff system to avoid overpumping and overheating of the pump, and make your water pump cease functioning.

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