Symptoms of an Unwell Well
Your well is critical to your home. It provides water for cooking, bathing, drinking, and cleaning. But like all things, sometimes your well can become unwell. Here are a few signs that your well might be feeling a little under the weather:
This may seem a bit on the nose, but if you don’t have water in your house, that’s a clear sign something is wrong with your well. First step is to check your circuit breaker. If it’s tripped and you switch it back on and get water flowing from your taps again, all is well! (See what we did there?)
If not, it’s time to check the well. No water might mean the water line in the well is below the depth of the pump. Installing additional pipe might help, as well as reducing water usage for a few days in order to replenish the well.
If your water is sputtering, it’s a sign there’s air in the system, which means either your pump is malfunctioning, or the water pipe has a crack in it.
Cloudy or Muddy Water
If you pour a glass to drink and notice it’s a little less clear than usual, that’s a sign your pump is either pulling from shallow waters, or that it’s not filtering properly.
Poor Tasting or Odd Smelling Water
This isn’t an automatic red flag--harmless bacteria, silt, and sand can sometimes be the culprit. It may make your water taste a little funny, but it isn’t dangerous. However, sometimes funky-tasting or smelly water can be a sign of corroded pipes or harmful contamination. A water quality test performed by a state-certified lab will let you know if the water is still safe.
Poor Water Pressure
If your water pressure just isn’t what it used to be, it’s probably an issue with your well. Low water levels, pressure tank issues, or an inefficient pump can all cause poor water pressure.
There are a few non-water related signs that something’s off, too.
High Utility Bill
If you see a sudden jump in your electric bill, it may be your well pump. Old pumps have to work harder, using more energy and thus sending your bill skyrocketing. This can also be caused by the check valve. When the check valve goes bad, water from your pressure tank flows back down the well. This reduces the pressure, and tells the tank that it needs to switch on the pump and pressurize the tank. When this happens over and over and over again, it means the pump is running all day long. Again, more energy wasted means a much higher bill.
If your pipes or well pump are causing a ruckus, then there’s potentially a problem with your well. Humming, grinding, groaning, and moaning are all your water system’s ways of complaining that it doesn't feel well.
A common theme in most of these well ailments? You’ll need help diagnosing and fixing! Just like you go to a doctor when you’re feeling sick to get the right diagnosis and medicines, your well needs a professional to check the symptoms, find the problem, and decide on the best fix.
SERCAP provides both financial assistance and technical assistance for qualifying private well owners in our regions. Read more about our services, and be sure to keep an eye on your well!