Routine Maintenance

While your well system is mostly maintenance-free, there are a few things that you can do yearly which can help keep your system running smoothly.

Checking and Air Charging your Pressure Tank

Checking the pressure in your pressure tank should be done at least once per year. Even though your tank should never loose pressure, this simple check will make sure everything is functioning properly.

*Please Note: If your tank IS low on air you will need some kind of air compressor to recharge the tank

1. Locate the nearest faucet to the pressure tank. Open this faucet and allow water to drain. As the water drains, watch the pressure gauge and take note of the pressure at which the pump kicks on. This is known as the cut-in pressure and your pressure tank should be charged 2 - 5 PSI less than this amount.

2. Turn the pump off at the breaker. Open a faucet and drain the tank until water stops flowing. If you can't drain the tank completely, the tank may be waterlogged. If this is the case, the tank can still be recharged but will eventually need to be replaced.

3. Use a tire pressure gauge on the valve stem at the top of the tank. (If water squirts out of this stem, your tank is waterlogged and will need to be replaced soon.) If the pressure reads 2 - 5 PSI less than the pressure you observed in the first step, you're done. Close all faucets and flip the breaker to the pump back on. It may take a few minutes for the tank to fill back up and you might get some air through the faucets for the first minute or so.

4. If the pressure is over 5 PSI less than the pressure you observed in the first step, you will need to air charge your pressure tank. With the breaker to the pump still off and the tank completely drained, connect an air compressor to the valve stem and bring the pressure in the tank up until it is 2 - 5 PSI less than the pressure you observed in the first step.

At this point you should be able to resume normal water usage. If you've determined through the above steps that your pressure tank is indeed waterlogged, the rubber bladder in the tank is no longer separating the air from the water and you will have frequent problems with waterlogging. Because waterlogging can cause damage to your pump, your pressure tank should be replaced as soon as possible.

Checking your Pressure Switch

While checking your pressure tank, you should also check the pressure switch for signs of wear. Your pressure switch is simply an electromechanical switch which is activated and deactivated by water pressure. Because it clicks on and off several times per day it will eventually wear to the point where it needs to be replaced.

1. Turn off the breaker that controls your pump. If you're not sure which breaker controls the pump, you can turn off the main breaker for the house. It is important that the power be turned off before checking the switch as the voltage in the switch can injure or even kill - especially if you're standing on a wet floor.

2. With the power turned off, remove the plastic cover from the pressure switch by loosening the nut at the top.

3. Examine the contacts on the switch arm. They should be a shiny or dull copper color. If you can't see the copper or they look burnt, the switch may need to be replaced.

4. Examine the switch arm. You should be able to move it freely back and forth.

5. Check for any signs of leaking around the bottom of the switch. If there are indications of leakage, make sure the pressure tank is completely drained then unscrew the pressure switch from the 1/4" pipe nipple it is connected to. Then remove the pipe nipple from the tank tee. Clean and re-tape both threaded ends of the pipe nipple and reattach the nipple to the switch and the tank tee.