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How a Private Well Works

  • A private well has three components:
  1. An electric pump that pumps the water from the underground source.
  2. A holding tank that has a rubber bladder full of air to give the water its pressure.
  3. A pressure switch that activates the pump when needed.  The pressure switch has a high setting (off) and a low setting (on).

When You Have No Pressure But the Pump Is Working

If you have no pressure or the pressure is exhausted quickly you most likely have a faulty holding tank. If you have a faulty holding tank your pump will short cycle coming on when you draw a small amount of water. The best solution in this case is to replace the holding tank.

The Pump Doesn’t Operate

Your pump won’t operate for one of two reasons. Either the pump is worn out or it is not getting any power.

  1. First check the circuit breaker to be sure it is turned on at the power panel.
  2. Check to see if the pump is receiving power with a voltage tester. While you are testing for power at the pump be sure to turn a faucet on to be sure that the water pressure is low enough for the switch to turn on. If you have power at the pump and it is not operating you probably have a worn out pump.
  3. Check to see if the pressure switch is receiving power. If there is no power before the pressure switch you most likely have a worn out fuse or an open breaker. If there is power before the pressure switch and no power after the pressure switch then the switch is open (off). The switch is designed to be open (off) when the pressure exceeds off/on settings. If the water pressure is low and the switch is open then you most likely have a faulty switch and it needs replacing.