How Do Water Well Pumps and Pressure Tanks Work?

Do you own a private water well? Knowing the basics of how your system functions can help ensure the well’s integrity.

Water Well Pumps and Pressure Tanks

Most systems provide trouble-free operation for many years but, if you experience a problem, you can be better prepared by knowing how to troubleshoot the primary components. Pumps and pressure tanks are two of the most important components of private wells.

Water Well Pumps

Once a private well is drilled and the casing is put in place, a pump is installed. Sizing of the pump is based on the home’s plumbing fixtures and peak water demands.

Above-ground jet pumps are used in some shallow systems, but most private wells today have submersible pumps.

A submersible pump turns on automatically when the pressure level falls below a certain level. The motor then pushes water from below the ground and directly into the home. Water continues to flow until the default system pressure level is restored.

Water Well Pressure Tanks

Well pumps only react to drops in pressure – they don’t actually control the pressure. As the name suggests, that’s the job of the pressure tank.

The pressure tank acts as a reservoir, holding water for household use. Compressed air bears down on the water stored in the tank and keeps it at a preset level. When a faucet is turned on in the house, the air pressure forces water to move out of the tank, up through the pipes and into the home.

A switch connected to the tank monitors the pressure level. A large drop indicates the need for more water in the pressure tank. When this occurs, the switch activates the pump, prompting it to refill the tank. Once full, the switch turns off the pump.

Learn More About Your Water Well System

Many homeowners don’t really know much about their well systems, especially if the system was already in place when they purchased their house.

If you aren’t familiar with your system, taking the time to learn more will help you prevent problems and encourage proper maintenance.

Check with the well contractor who drilled your private water well to get specific details about your components and installation. If you’re not sure who did the work – maybe it was completed years or decades ago – contact a local professional well service to schedule an inspection. Consultations are typically free and an experienced contractor can explain the components and operation of your private well.

At the same time, you can address any potential repair issues or water quality problems.

If your private well is located in Utah or Wyoming, contact the professionals at Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC. With over 30 years of experience, The Z Team has the skills and training to perform any needed testing and repair, and to answer all of your questions. To schedule a free water well consultation, contact our Salt Lake City office today.