Expert Tips: A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Maintain Your Electric Well Pump

Expert Tips: A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Maintain Your Electric Well Pump

Solution for Accessing Groundwater: Maintaining Your Electric Well Pump

In this article, I will guide you through the essential steps to maintain your electric well pump, ensuring its longevity and optimal performance.

Regular maintenance for pump is critical to preventing unexpected breakdowns and costly repairs.

By following this maintenance routine, you can extend the lifespan of your good pump and avoid unnecessary water-healthy maintenance.

How Long Do Well Pumps Last?

Well, pumps can have a lifespan of several years, but regular healthy water maintenance is necessary to ensure their longevity.

By incorporating a healthy water maintenance routine into your schedule, you can prolong the life of your pump and prevent premature failure.

Specifics of Water Well Maintenance

Regular check-ups and inspections are crucial to catch any potential issues early on.

Inspect the pump and its components for signs of wear or damage. Look for leaks, loose connections, or unusual noises.

I’d appreciate it if you could address these problems quickly and can save you from costly repairs down the line.

Another essential aspect of healthy water maintenance is regular cleaning and testing.

Over time, sediment and mineral deposits can accumulate in the pump and its components, affecting efficiency and performance.

Clean the water well pump system regularly to remove any buildup. Additionally, test the water regularly for quality and purity. This will ensure that the water supplied by your well pump is safe for consumption and household use.


Maintaining your electric well pump is essential for its longevity and optimal performance.

Incorporating a regular water well maintenance routine into your schedule will help prevent breakdowns and expensive repairs.

By following these steps, you can extend the lifespan of your well pump and enjoy a consistent and reliable water supply for your home.

How Do Well Pumps Work?

A well pump is a device used to extract water from a well.

Different suitable pumps, such as jet, submersible, and centrifugal, create a vacuum in a small tube (the suction pipe) and generally work on the same principle.

Submersible Well Pumps:

  1. Submersion: Submersible well pumps are placed inside the well, submerged in water. They are usually located several feet below the water level to ensure continuous operation.
  2. Pressure Differences: These pumps work by exploiting the pressure differences. When the pump is activated, a motor inside the pump spins an impeller, which increases the pressure, forcing the water to move up through the pump and into the plumbing system.
  3. Check Valve: Once the water is drawn into the pump, it passes through a check valve, preventing it from flowing back and creating a vacuum in a small tube (the suction pipe) that enters the well.
  4. Delivery: The pressurized water is then delivered through pipes to the surface and into the building for use.

Jet Well Pumps:

  1. Suction: Jet pumps are typically installed above ground and use suction to draw water from the well.
  2. Dual Pipes: They work by creating a vacuum in a small tube (known as the suction pipe) which draws water from the well. This water is often combined with pressurized air and forced up a larger pipe (known as the discharge pipe) to the surface.
  3. Pressure Tank: A pressure tank is often used to store the pressurized water for immediate use.

In summary, well pumping work by creating pressure differentials or suction to draw water from the well and deliver it to the plumbing system of a building.

The specific mechanics vary based on the type of well pump used, but the overall goal is to extract water for consumption and other uses efficiently.

The Importance of Regular Maintenance for Electric Well Pumps

Regularly maintaining electric well pumps is crucial for several reasons, benefiting both the pump’s longevity and the user’s experience. Here’s an overview of the key points:

1. Ensures Consistent Water Supply

Regular maintenance checks ensure that the well pump operates efficiently, preventing unexpected failures that could interrupt your water supply.

This is particularly important in areas where the well is the primary water source for household, agricultural, or commercial use.

2. Prevents Costly Repairs

By conducting regular maintenance, potential issues can be identified and resolved before they escalate into major problems.

This proactive approach can significantly reduce the costs associated with repairs.

For instance, replacing worn-out parts before they fail can prevent damage to other pump system components.

3. Extends Pump Lifespan

Well pumps are significant investments, and regular maintenance can extend their operational lifespan.

Maintenance can include checking the pump and its components, such as the motor, bearings, and electrical connections, for signs of wear and tear.

Keeping these components in good working condition helps ensure the pump operates efficiently for as long as possible.

4. Improves Efficiency and Energy Use

A well-maintained pump operates more efficiently than one that needs to be addressed.

Efficiency in this context means the pump can deliver the required water using the least energy possible.

This not only conserves energy but also reduces electricity costs for the user.

5. Ensures Water Quality

Regular maintenance also involves inspecting the well and its surroundings to ensure no contaminants enter the water supply.

This includes checking for signs of corrosion, leaks, or breaches in the well casing, which could compromise water quality.

6. Compliance with Regulations

In some jurisdictions, there are regulations governing well maintenance and water quality.

Regular maintenance ensures compliance with these regulations, helping to avoid legal issues and ensuring the safety of the water supply.

Maintenance Tasks Include:

  • Inspecting electrical components for signs of wear or damage.
  • Testing the pump’s performance to ensure it meets the required specifications.
  • Checking the water level in the well to ensure it is not depleting.
  • Inspecting the well casing and cap for integrity to prevent contamination.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting the well periodically to maintain water quality.

In summary, regular maintenance of well water pump system is essential for ensuring a reliable water supply, extending the pump’s lifespan, improving efficiency, maintaining water quality, and avoiding costly repairs and potential legal issues.

It represents a proactive approach to managing water resources effectively and economically.

Signs That Your Electric Well Pump Needs Maintenance

If you’re unfamiliar with suitable pumps, it’s important to know the signs that indicate your electric well pump might need maintenance.

Recognizing these signs early can prevent more severe issues down the line.

Here are critical indicators to look out for:

1. Decrease in Water Pressure

If you notice a significant reduction in water pressure when using faucets, showers, or appliances, it could be a sign that your well pump is struggling to maintain its output.

This could be due to various issues, including clogged filters, worn components, or problems with the pressure tank.

2. Strange Noises or Vibrations

Unusual noises or vibrations from the pump or the pressure tank might indicate mechanical issues.

These could stem from a failing motor, loose components, or even issues with the pump impellers.

3. High Electric Bills

An unexpected increase in your electric bills could indicate that your well pump is working harder than usual to maintain water pressure, possibly due to inefficiencies or a malfunction within the system.

4. Air “Spitting” from Faucets

If air is coming out of your faucets along with water, or if you experience “spitting,” it might be a sign of a problem with your healthy pump system, such as a damaged check valve, issues with the pressure tank, or a drop in the water table.

5. Frequent Cycling

If the pump turns on and off more frequently than usual, known as “short cycling,” it could indicate a problem with the pressure tank or the pump itself.

This frequent cycling stresses the pump and can lead to premature failure.

6. Cloudy or Dirty Water

Any change in water clarity, such as cloudiness or sediment, can indicate a problem with the healthy pump system.

This could be a sign of a failing pump drawing in sediment from the bottom of the well or a breach in the well casing, allowing surface contaminants to enter.

7. No Water

The most obvious sign that there’s a problem with your good pump is when you turn on the faucet and no water comes out.

This could be due to various issues, including electrical failures, a malfunctioning pump, or problems with the well itself.

How to Look Out for These Signs:

  • Regular Checks: Make it a habit to check water pressure and clarity regularly.
  • Listen: Pay attention to any unusual sounds from your pump system.
  • Monitor Bills: Monitor your electricity bills for any unexplained increases.
  • Maintenance Schedule: Establish a regular maintenance schedule with a professional who can spot and address issues that may not be immediately obvious to you.

By being vigilant and responding promptly to these signs, you can ensure that your electric well pump remains in good working condition, safeguarding your water supply and avoiding costly repairs.

How to repair a well pump? Read on.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Maintain Your Electric Well Pump

Well water pump maintenance is essential for ensuring a reliable water supply and prolonging the life of your pump.

While homeowners can do some steps, others might require professional assistance, especially if you need to be more comfortable with electrical systems or plumbing.

Here’s an essential step-by-step guide to help you maintain your electric well pump:

Step 1: Regular Inspection

  • How to Do It: Visually inspect your healthy pump system, including the pump itself, the pressure tank, and any visible piping and wiring, for signs of wear, leaks, or corrosion. Listen for unusual noises and observe the system’s operation to ensure it cycles on and off correctly.
  • Why It’s Important: Regular inspections can help identify issues early before they become significant problems, ensuring the longevity of your pump and the quality of your water supply.

Step 2: Check the Pressure Tank

  • How to Do It: Check the pressure in the tank using a tire pressure gauge. The pressure should be two psi below the pump’s cut-in pressure (for example, if your pump’s cut-in pressure is 30 psi, the tank pressure should be 28 psi).
  • Why It’s Important: Proper tank pressure is crucial for minimizing the pump’s cycling, which can lead to wear and tear if the pump starts and stops too frequently.

Step 3: Clean the Area Around the Well

  • How to Do It: Keep the area around the wellhead clear of debris, vegetation, and potential contaminants. Ensure that the healthy cap is secure and intact.
  • Why It’s Important: This prevents contaminants from entering the well and protects the electrical components from damage due to moisture or pests.

Step 4: Test Water Quality

  • How to Do It: Annually test your water for bacteria, nitrates, and other local contaminants of concern. This can often be done through local health departments or by hiring a professional.
  • Why It’s Important: Regular water testing ensures the safety of your drinking water and can also indicate if there are issues with the well or pump system that need to be addressed.

Step 5: Service the Pump and Electrical Components

  • How to Do It: A professional should generally do this step. It involves checking the pump motor, electrical connections, and other mechanical parts for wear and proper operation.
  • Why It’s Important: Ensuring that these components are in good working order is essential for efficient pump operation and preventing electrical hazards.

Step 6: Check and Clean Screens and Filters

  • How to Do It: If your system has screens or filters, clean or replace them. This might require shutting off the pump and draining the system.
  • Why It’s Important: Clean filters are crucial for maintaining water flow and quality and protecting the pump from sediment and debris.

Step 7: Schedule Professional Maintenance

  • How to Do It: Even if you’re diligent about maintenance, it’s wise to have a professional check your well pump system every few years. They can perform a thorough inspection, including checking the well’s static and recovery levels, and make any necessary repairs.
  • Why It’s Important: Professionals can identify and fix issues that might not be obvious to homeowners, ensuring that your system operates efficiently and effectively.

Safety Note:

Always prioritize safety when performing maintenance tasks. If you need help completing a step safely, or if the task requires specialized knowledge or tools, it’s best to contact a professional.

By following these steps, you can help ensure that your electric well pump operates reliably, providing your home with a consistent and safe water supply.

Regular water well pump maintenance not only prolongs the life of your pump but also protects your investment and can save you money on repairs in the long run.

Tips for Maintaining an Old Electric Well Pump

Maintaining an old electric well pump requires regular checks and preventive measures to ensure its longevity and efficiency.

Here are practical tips designed for homeowners, especially those not profoundly familiar with well pump systems, to help care for an old electric well pump:

1. Monitor Performance Regularly

  • Tip: Pay attention to the water pressure, the time the pump cycles on and off, and any unusual noises or vibrations.
  • Reason: Changes in performance can indicate wear or the need for maintenance, allowing you to address issues before they become significant problems.

2. Inspect and Clean the Well Cap

  • Tip: Ensure the healthy cap is intact, secure, and free of debris or corrosion.
  • Reason: This prevents contaminants from entering the well and protects the electrical components from moisture and pests.

3. Check Electrical Connections

  • Tip: Regularly inspect the electrical connections for signs of wear or corrosion. Ensure that the power supply to the pump is stable and meets the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Reason: Secure and corrosion-free electrical connections are crucial for safety and the efficient operation of the pump. Always turn off the power before inspecting electrical components, and consider hiring a professional for repairs.

4. Listen for Unusual Noises

  • Tip: Strange sounds from the pump or the system can indicate mechanical issues.
  • Reason: Catching and addressing mechanical problems early can prevent more severe damage and prolong the pump’s life.

5. Maintain Surrounding Area

  • Tip: Keep the area around the wellhead clear of plants and debris. Ensure proper drainage away from the well to prevent standing water.
  • Reason: This minimizes the risk of contamination and physical damage to the healthy components.

6. Regularly Test Water Quality

  • Tip: Test your healthy water annually for bacteria, nitrates, and any other local contaminants of concern.
  • Reason: Consistent water quality testing helps ensure the safety of your drinking water and can also indicate if there are problems with the well or pump system.

7. Schedule Professional Inspections

  • Tip: Have a professional inspect and service the pump and healthy system every few years, even if no problems are evident.
  • Reason: Professionals can identify and fix issues that might not be obvious, ensuring that your system operates efficiently and effectively.

8. Protect Against Power Surges

  • Tip: A surge protector shields the pump’s electrical components from surges.
  • Reason: Power surges can damage the pump’s electrical system, leading to costly repairs or the need for a replacement.

9. Keep a Maintenance Log

  • Tip: Record all maintenance activities, repairs, water tests, and any observed changes in performance.
  • Reason: A detailed log can help track the pump’s condition over time, making it easier to identify potential issues and ensure timely maintenance.

10. Be Proactive with Repairs

  • Tip: Address repairs promptly, even if they seem minor. Replace worn parts as necessary.
  • Reason: Proactive maintenance and timely repairs can prevent minor issues from escalating into major problems, saving you time and money in the long run.

By following these tips, you can effectively maintain an old electric well pump, ensuring it continues to provide reliable service.

Remember, while many well water maintenance tasks are straightforward, don’t hesitate to seek professional help for inspections, repairs, or when dealing with electrical components for safety reasons.

How Long Does a Well Pump Last Usually? What Is the Pump Maintenance Cycle?

The average life of a well pump can vary significantly based on the type of pump, its usage, the quality of installation, and how well it is maintained.

Generally, there are two main types of well pumps—submersible pumps and jet pumps:

  • Submersible Pumps: These are installed deep inside the well and push water to the surface. Submersible pumps typically last between 8 to 15 years, but with proper maintenance, some can last up to 20 years or more.
  • Jet Pumps: Located above ground, jet pumps draw water up from the well using suction. These pumps usually have a shorter lifespan than submersible pumps, often lasting between 4 to 20 years, depending on the model and conditions of use.

Pump Maintenance Cycle

Regular maintenance is crucial for maximizing the lifespan of your well pump. Here’s a basic maintenance cycle to consider:

Annual Maintenance

  • Water Quality Test: Perform an annual test for bacteria, nitrates, and any chemicals of concern in your area to ensure the water is safe for consumption.
  • Visual Inspection: Check the healthy cover or cap to ensure it’s secure and intact, and inspect the area around the well for signs of contamination or pooling water.
  • System Check: Have a professional check the pump system, including the pressure tank and electrical components, to ensure everything functions correctly.

Every 3 to 5 Years

  • Professional Inspection: Even if no problems are apparent, it’s wise to have a comprehensive system inspection performed by a professional. This includes checking the pump, pressure tank, electrical connections, and well for potential issues.
  • Component Replacement: Based on the professional’s advice, replace parts showing signs of wear to prevent future failures. This might include parts like the pressure switch, pressure gauge, or the pump itself if it’s nearing the end of its expected lifespan.

As Needed

  • Sediment Removal: If your water shows signs of sediment or discoloration, cleaning the well and pump system may be necessary to remove sediment buildup.
  • Address Noises and Performance Issues: If you notice a decrease in water pressure, strange noises, or the pump cycling on and off more frequently than usual, it’s time for a maintenance check to diagnose and fix the issue.

Extending Your Pump’s Lifespan

  • Surge Protection: Use a surge protector to protect the pump’s electrical components from damage caused by power surges.
  • Avoid Dry Running: Ensure your pump is not running dry, which can cause significant damage. Some pumps have dry-run protection features.
  • Regular Cleaning: Keep the healthy area and the pump components clean to prevent clogging and corrosion.

By adhering to this maintenance cycle and responding promptly to any signs of trouble, you can significantly extend the life of your electric well pump and ensure a consistent and safe water supply.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting for Electric Well Pumps

Despite regular maintenance, electric well pumps can encounter issues. Here are some common problems and troubleshooting steps you can take:

  1. No Water Flow: If your electric well pump is not producing water, check the power supply, circuit breakers, and pressure switch. Could you ensure that the pump receives adequate power and that the switch functions correctly?
  2. Intermittent Water Flow: Intermittent water flow can be caused by clogged filters, a faulty pressure switch, or a malfunctioning pump. Clean or replace the filters and check the pressure switch for proper operation.
  3. Water Leaks: Leaks can occur in various parts of the healthy pump system, including pipes, fittings, or the pump itself. Please look over the system for any signs of leaks and repair them quickly to prevent further damage.
There might come a time when you have to look for a well pump replacement.

When to Repair or Replace Your Electric Well Pump

Knowing when to repair or replace your electric well pump is essential to avoid unnecessary expenses and ensure the efficiency of your water supply.

Consider the following factors when making this decision:

  1. Age of the Pump: Electric well pumps have a lifespan of approximately 15 to 20 years. If your pump is nearing the end of its expected lifespan and requires frequent repairs, replacing it may be more cost-effective.
  2. Cost of Repairs: Evaluate the cost of repairs compared to the cost of a new pump. If repair costs exceed a significant portion of the pump’s value, investing in a replacement may be more economical.
  3. Efficiency and Performance: If your electric well pump is no longer providing sufficient water pressure or is consuming excessive energy, consider upgrading to a more efficient model.

Hiring Professional Well Pump Repair Services

Hiring professional pump repair services can seem daunting if you must familiarize yourself with the process. Here’s a structured approach to help you find and hire a reputable service provider:

1. Research and Gather Recommendations

  • Start by Asking Around: Talk to neighbors, friends, or family members who have wells and have used repair services in the past. Personal recommendations can be invaluable.
  • Online Research: Use online platforms, such as Google, Yelp, or specialized trade sites, to find healthy pump repair services in your area. Look for companies with good reviews and ratings.

2. Check Credentials and Experience

  • Licensing: Ensure the service provider works in your state. Licensing requirements can vary, but this indicates they have met specific industry standards.
  • Insurance: Verify that the company is insured. This protects you from liability in case of accidents or damage to your property during the repair.
  • Experience with Your Pump Type: Make sure they have experience with the specific type of well pump you have, whether it’s a submersible pump, a jet pump, or another type.

3. Get Multiple Quotes

  • Request Estimates: Contact several companies to get quotes. Be prepared to describe the problem as best you can, and if possible, provide the make and model of your well pump.
  • Compare Quotes: Look at the price and what is included in the quote. Cheaper is not always better, especially if it means skimping on parts or services.

4. Ask the Right Questions

  • Warranty and Guarantees: Ask about the warranty on parts and labor. A reputable service provider should stand behind their work.
  • Timeline: Inquire about how long the repair will take and when they can start. Without water, you’ll need someone who can act quickly.
  • References: Request references from recent jobs, especially if there are no online reviews or if you have any doubts.

5. Review the Contract Carefully

Before agreeing to any repair work, make sure you receive a detailed contract that includes:

  • The scope of the repair work.
  • An itemized list of parts and labor costs.
  • The expected start and completion dates.
  • Warranty information.

6. Communication and Professionalism

  • Professional Interaction: The company should be easy to communicate with, responsive to your questions, and professional in their interactions with you.
  • Transparency: A reputable company will be transparent about the repair process, explaining what needs to be done and why.

7. After-Service Support

  • Follow-Up: Good service providers should offer follow-up after the repair to ensure the pump is working correctly and you’re satisfied with the service.
  • Maintenance Tips: They should also be able to provide maintenance tips to help prevent future issues.

Final Thoughts

Selecting a healthy pump repair service carefully can save you time, money, and stress in the long run.

Feel free to ask questions and make your expectations apparent.

A professional service provider will understand the importance of your well pump and work efficiently to ensure it’s in good working order.


In conclusion, regular maintenance is crucial for maintaining electric well pumps’ longevity and optimal performance.

By incorporating a healthy water maintenance routine into your schedule, you can prevent unexpected breakdowns and costly repairs and extend the lifespan of your well pump.

Additionally, understanding how well pumps work and their mechanics can help you identify and address potential issues early on.

Ensuring consistent water supply, preventing costly repairs, extending pump lifespan, and improving efficiency and energy use are some key benefits of regular maintenance for electric well pumps.