Why is my well pump is running all the time?

A common phone call we receive from customers is a complaint that their well pump will not shut off or their electric bill has suddenly gone through the roof. When a well pump is running all the time and will not shut off the most common reason is that the well pump is not able to build enough pressure in the system to tell the pressure switch to turn the well pump off. When this happens there are typically two common causes.

The most common cause is a hole in the drop pipe down the well. The submersible pump delivers water from the bottom of the well to the pressure tank through the “drop pipe” that runs from the pump to the top of the well. In most older installations galvanized pipe was used for the drop pipe. As the galvanized pipe sits in the well it can develop what starts as a small pin hole leak and will continue to grow larger. As the well pump delivers water a portion is continually running back into the well preventing the well pump to build sufficient pressure to reach its cut off pressure. When this happens the pump will need to be removed from the well and in most cases we will replace the existing galvanized drop pipe with PVC “plastic” pipe. In addition to the new plastic pipe we will also install stainless steel couplings to join each section of pipe.

Another common cause could be a leak in the plumbing from the well to the home. In this case inspect the path of the existing underground plumbing and look for a wet spot or a spot where the grass or vegetation is noticeably larger and or greener then the surrounding landscapes.

While there are other causes for low pressure we hope this helps and if you do notice lower water pressure or higher electric bills we are always available to send out a technician and perform a full inspection to diagnose and correct the problem.

The image displays a typical installation and the drop pipe.

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