Well Pumps - What You Should Know

Port St Lucie: Struggling with well water? Get the PSL Water Guy lowdown on pumps! Learn well types, and maintenance, & find your home’s perfect fit. Call us!

As a homeowner relying on a private well in Port St Lucie, to ensure a reliable water supply for your family, consider well pumps- what you should know. This is where understanding your well pump system is important. As one of the key components that draw water from underground and into your home plumbing, the pump works tirelessly around the clock. However, many people are unaware of how these pumps function and their maintenance needs.This guide from PSL Water Guy will help you gain valuable insights into good pumps. We’ll explain:

  • The basic components of a pump system and how it works
  • Types of pumps available for residential use
  • Installation and routine care every homeowner should perform
  • Common signs that indicate a pump needs repair
  • Tips for winterizing your pump
  • When it’s time to replace an old pump

By learning about your pump, you can take steps to keep it performing optimally. This ensures you won’t be left high and dry if issues arise. We’ll also answer frequently asked questions to clear common misconceptions. So whether you need new installation or maintenance, this guide has you covered.

Types of Well Pumps

When it comes to pumping water from your well, you have two primary options – submersible or above-ground pumps. So which type is best for your needs? Let’s break them down.

Submersible Pumps: As the name suggests, these pumps are fully submerged in the water inside the well casing. The placement of submersible well pumps has some key advantages. Since the motor is underwater, it remains cool – this means a longer lifespan compared to above-ground models. Installation is also simpler as all you need is an electric cable lowered down. 

Maintenance is less frequent since there’s no exposed motor above ground. However, should repairs be needed, it requires more work. The entire pump has to be pulled up from the well, taken apart, fixed or replaced, and reinstalled. Still, for many homeowners, the low maintenance outweighs this downside. 

Above-Ground Pumps: As the name suggests, these have the motor located above the ground with just the impeller placed underwater. This split placement allows for easier access if the motor needs service. You don’t have to pull the entire unit from the well.

However, the exposed motor above ground stays warmer compared to a submerged design. This reduces its lifespan over time. Also, installation requires a bit more effort since the motor needs protection from weather in an enclosure.

Some pros are the ability to see if the pump is working and simple winterizing by just disconnecting the power and draining pipes above the frost line.

So in summary – submersible pumps are lower maintenance but not as accessible for repairs. Above-ground pumps are easier to work on but require more installation effort and have shorter lifespans.

There are several other well pumps to consider, such as jet pumps (like a single drop jet pump or shallow jet pump), centrifugal pumps, and more. Consider your needs, well depth and design, and budget to choose the best match for reliable water. Our team at PSL Water Guy can advise you further based on your property.

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Installing and Maintaining Your Pump System

Now that you’ve selected your pump type, it’s time to discuss installation and care. Proper setup is crucial for long-term operation. Our partner technicians can handle the installation professionally. But as the homeowner, there are also maintenance tasks you’ll want to be familiar with. 

Let’s start with setup. For submersible pumps, our team will lower the unit safely down the well casing to the appropriate depth. The wiring is then run up and connected securely to the pressure tank enclosure. Above-ground pumps involve mounting the motor above the well and dropping just the impeller down.

Regardless of type, all joints and connections must be leak-proof. Air pockets can cause issues over time. We perform water tests to ensure smooth flow before wrapping up. Permitting may also be required depending on your area’s regulations.

Now onto routine maintenance. Every 6 months, disconnect the power at the breaker and inspect the well cap and casing for cracks or gaps that may allow contaminants to seep in. Tighten fittings if needed. Also, check the pressure tank’s air charge with a gauge – air pressure that is too high or too low can damage the pump. 

Drain a few gallons of water from an outside spigot each month during use to clear sediment. You want fresh, clean water running through the system. Inspect the well screen and sanitize it if algae growth is spotted. This ensures optimal water intake from the aquifer below.

Come winter, it’s time to winterize your pump if you’ll be away. Turn off power and bleed pipes through an outside spigot to fully drain the system. This prevents damage from freezing. In spring, refill and recharge before turning the power back on.

With proper care, your pump should run strong for many years. But if issues do crop up, a qualified pro can diagnose quickly. 

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Dealing with Power Outages

As Florida homeowners, we’re all too familiar with the threat of storms knocking out electricity. And when the power goes down, so does your well pump – leaving you high and dry! 

Luckily there are some things you can do to prepare for these inevitable outages and ensure access to water when you need it most. First and foremost, keep emergency supplies on hand like bottled water and buckets you can use to manually haul water from the well. 

You’ll also want a backup power source to run your pump temporarily. A gas or diesel-powered generator is a common option that can be wheeled outside and connected to power your home’s circuits. Just be sure to maintain fresh fuel and test it regularly so it starts up reliably when storms hit. 

For smaller outages, a battery backup may suffice. We offer 12-volt deep-cycle batteries designed for intermittent pump use. They are installed easily in your pressure tank enclosure and can run pumps for up to 24 hours on a single charge.

As with generators, check battery water levels every few months and recharge as needed to keep them in top shape. Both options beat hauling buckets indefinitely!

Beyond backup power, another preparation is to winterize your pump ahead of hurricane season just in case you lose power for an extended period. Draining pipes prevents damage from freezing that could require costly repairs.

And of course, stay tuned to weather alerts so you’re not caught off guard when storms roll through. Heed any evacuation orders to keep your family safe above all else.

With the right precautions, you’ll rest easy knowing your water supply is covered until the lights come back on. Call us anytime if you need assistance testing or setting up your backup power source before bad weather hits. Staying prepared is key!

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When to Replace Your Pump

Over time, even the most reliable pump will show signs of wear and eventually need replacing. But how do you know when that time has come? As the saying goes, don’t try to get one more year out of something that’s already given you its all.

Most pumps last around 10-15 years with proper care and maintenance. But well water conditions also play a role – harder water can cause more mineral buildup that shortens lifespan. Beyond the usual time frame, here are some tell-tale signs it’s time for an upgrade:

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  • Increased noise from the motor – A noisier pump is working harder and may be on its last legs.
  • Declining pressure – Over the years, pressure will naturally decrease some but a sharp drop-off means reduced output.
  • Longer recovery time – After turning on a faucet, does it take noticeably longer for flow to increase?
  • Pump running more frequently – A healthy pump should cycle on and off less than an aging model.
  • Leaks developing – Check for wet spots near the motor or casing that indicate seals are failing.
  • High electric bills – An inefficient old pump costs more to operate each month.

If two or more of these issues crop up, it’s usually replacement time. Don’t ignore the signs, as a failed pump means no water until repaired.

Our team can inspect your system, check pump performance, and recommend whether repair makes sense or whether a new unit will serve you better long-term. Installation goes quickly, and you’ll immediately notice the difference with reinvigorated water flow.

Investing in a pump replacement every 10-15 years is much more affordable than emergency repairs from letting a pump die completely. So when in doubt, give us a call to evaluate your situation!

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1.  What are the signs that indicate my well pump needs repair? 

  • Noisy or struggling motor
  • Declining water pressure
  • The pump running more often than usual
  • Longer recovery time after turning on faucets
  • Wet spots near the motor/casing indicate leaks
  1. What is the average lifespan of a well pump?

Most pumps last 10-15 years with regular maintenance. Harder water can shorten that time frame. But don’t wait for complete failure – replace every 10-15 years to avoid expensive repairs or loss of water.

  1. What maintenance should be done regularly to keep my well pump functioning properly?   

Inspect the well cap/casing every 6 months. Check the pressure tank air charge too. Drain a few gallons from outside spigots monthly. Inspect and sanitize the well screen if algae is spotted. Keeping up with small tasks pays off in pump dependability!

  1. What are some backup power options to keep my well running during power outages?

Generators and battery backups are great options. Generators provide more power but need fuel. Deep cycle batteries are perfect for shorter outages and are installed right in your pressure tank enclosure. Both beat hauling water indefinitely!

  1. Should I go with a submersible or above-ground well pump for my home needs?

Both have pros like maintenance needs, installation effort, and lifespan. Consider your design, budget, and which features matter most to pick the best match for reliable water. We’re happy to advise you on the right choice.

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Whether you’re dealing with low water pressure, noisy pumps, or other well water issues, having a good understanding of your pump system is crucial. By taking the time to learn about the different options and finding the perfect fit for your home, you can ensure that your family always has access to reliable, high-quality water. Don’t hesitate to contact the PSL Water Guy for any further questions or assistance. Your well water worries will be a thing of the past!

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Josh
My name is Josh and I am the owner of PSL Water Guy. I got into water treatment a few years back when I realized I wanted better water for my home and my family. What started as a simple upgrade to my home became a passion for providing better water throughout Saint Lucie County. While Saint Lucie does a great job of treating and disinfecting local city water, legal limits of chemicals do remain in the water. Additionally, well water users struggle with iron and sulfur rich water. Whether city or well water, a home, or a business, PSL Water Guy has worked hard throughout the years to perfect water treatment options and is ready to bring you the best water possible!