Talking About Crawlspace Repairs

Identifying And Fixing Low Water Pressure In Your Well System

by Clinton Stone

When a home or business is on a well water system, one of the most common problems they can experience is low water pressure. Identifying the cause can be difficult, but thankfully your well drilling contractor can both determine and fix the issue. Here's what you need to know.

What Constitutes Low Water Pressure?

Whether in a well or a municipal system, water is under pressure. Too much pressure, and your water will come out too forcefully; not enough pressure, and your water will slow to a trickle. No one wants to take a shower with low water pressure, and your appliances, such as the dishwasher, may not function properly. The water in your home should be at 40-60 psi. You can test your home's water pressure by cutting the circuit to your well water pump and using an air pressure gauge to check the air fill valve. Anything less than 40 means you have a problem somewhere in the system. If you don't feel comfortable performing this test yourself, your well water contractor can do it for you.

What Are The Causes Of Low Water Pressure?

Low water pressure in wells have a few causes. Sometimes, it's not a matter of low water pressure at all; rather, the problem is one of low flow rate. This is correlated with the piping size in your home or business. Water pipes commonly range from one-half inch to one and one-half inch in diameter. If your home has smaller water pipes, when water is being used in multiple places in the home or business, not as much water is going to be able to flow through the pipes as it would if the pipes were larger in diameter. This is a low flow rate, which can occur even when the water pressure is fine.

Another cause of low water pressure that will also cause a low flow rate is the buildup of sediment in your pipes. In homes with hard water that is rich in minerals, crystals and sediment will accumulate in the pipes, gradually decreasing the interior diameter. If your home has smaller diameter pipes to begin with, such as one-half inch piping, mineral buildup is likely the culprit of your low water pressure problems. An aging or malfunctioning well pump is another common cause of low well water pressure. Broken or clogged well pipes are another possibility.

How Can Low Water Pressure Be Fixed?

The fix depends on the cause. Once your well water drilling contractor determines where the problem lies, they can fix it. It may be as simple as your pressure switch needs to be adjusted, you may need a new well pump or a well pump repair, or you may need to clean or replace pipes in the system. If the well is very old, you may need the well drilling contractor to drill an entirely new well.