As melting snow and spring rains put more water into the ground, water wells in rural Wisconsin and related well pumps need their spring checkup. Identifying potential problems early is the first step to heading off serious concerns.
Begin with the basic, obvious observations. Check water fixtures in the house to see if there’s a crusting or mineral buildup. This can be the first sign of hard water. Also look at all the connections outside, checking for obvious leaks and corrosion.
The older your rural home in Middleton WI, the more likely you are to find signs that its well pump or well needs attention. As a rule of thumb, wells older than 30 years old are probably approaching the end of their lives.
Water Well Pumps Don’t Last Forever
A pump failure isn’t the end of the world – but it can be a major inconvenience! You can take steps to avoid the hassle. There are warning signs:
- Lower water pressure – Does it appear the water from your shower doesn’t have the force it used to?
- Noise – Are your hearing different or strange noises from your well pump? Bearings could be failing or another moving part is wearing out.
- Increases in electric bill – Are you noticing an unexplained increase in electricity use? Pumps that run constantly to keep water pressure in the system are primed for failure and increases in your electric bill may be a tipoff. There could be a leak in a water line, too.
- Too much air in the system – If your faucet gives foam instead of a pure water stream there’s air in the system and that’s a major clue your pump is failing.
- Too little air in the system – when water system pumps are short on air in their system it’s called “short cycling” and indicated the pressure tank is waterlogged. Well maintained pumps should run at least a minute, if not it is a short cycle. Unusual noises and pressure fluctuations are common at the same time. All indicate impending pump failure.
Pay Me Now Or Pay Me Later
When you notice any of these telltale signs, you have to choices:
- Pay now – Replace your well pump before a catastrophic failure that causes additional problems and frustrations.
- Pay later – Wait until the pump fails completely (usually at the most inopportune time you can imagine) and hope parts and service professionals are available ASAP.
Obviously, scheduling a repair or replacement for well pumps before a failure provides the most efficient and cost-effective solution.
Once you’ve determine the appropriate timing, you have another choice – what kind of pump to replace the old one with.
There are two pump options for most water wells:
- The Standard, Traditional pump
- A Constant Pressure pump
Standard Water Well Pumps
These traditional units come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They’ve been tested and proven reliable for decades. The system is simple – a pressure switch reacts to a loss in water pressure in a pressure tank and the pump is switched on. The pump comes on at top speed and refills the pressure tank with fresh water. The majority of the pumps in the systems near Middleton WI and the surrounding area are traditional designs. In this kind of system, the pump is idle until switched on and then operates with a burst. The “all or nothing” operation can stress and wear components, especially as they age.
Constant Pressure Water Well Pumps
As the name implies, a constant pressure design keeps the pump spinning all the time. It spins faster or slower depending upon demand. When water pressure is required, the pump spins faster. Reducing the hard, full-speed starts of traditional systems is designed to increase the life of these well pumps. Water wells with systems like this have shown to reduce energy use over time as well.
An electronic controller regulates the pump speed to maintain pressure. It is the key to the system and the component that makes these newer systems more expensive than traditional options. For small systems, they are more costly than the standard. But, for rural wells requiring large pressure tanks, this design is gaining favor.
When considering a constant pressure system, evaluate:
- Electronic controllers can self-diagnose running problems
- The system can save energy
- These systems have a longer service life than most traditional installations
- They take up less space than traditional well pumps
- They run quieter
- They provide more consistent, higher water pressure
Sauk Plains Plumbing and Pumps is always ready with a complete line of products for installation, maintenance and timely service – including a water quality review for water wells and an array of specialized water well pumps
Call Sauk Plains Plumbing at 608-798-2121 to protect your home and family’s water well with an annual inspection, service and repair. For answers to questions on water wells or water well pumps in Cross Plains, Verona, Waunakee and Middleton WI, call or email anytime.