Helpful tips for common water well problems.

   I have no water.

You turned on a faucet and nothing came out?

What To Do:
Find the breaker for your well. Possibly labeled “pump” or “well”, flip the breaker switch off and on. If there is still no water to the home, then go to your well/pump house location and listen for anything running. If you hear the pump running and no water is still available within the home, turn the breaker switch to the off position to protect your pump from continuously running and contact our office for service. If you are still experiencing no water please call our office (530)253-3601.

Answers to the following questions will help with your diagnosis:
  1. Were there any differences in pressure and/or flow rate prior to the “no water” situation?
  2. id you notice a fluctuation in pressure, like normal to low in the shower and/or a sprinkler that fluctuated from normal to low then back to normal?
  3. Did you check all faucets/hydrants around the property to assure they are turned off?
  4. Have you noticed any wet/excessively green spots and/or puddles outside?
If you are able to hear or you know the pump is continually running in the well but no water is flowing out the faucets, etc., there is possibly a leak in the drop pipe within the well, between the well and the pressure tank, or elsewhere. Refer to the “leak” information below and click the link to “leaks”.

If winter temperatures have set in during your “no water” situation, please refer to the “Frozen System” section below which may be the cause of your loss of water.

   I had water this morning and now I have none. (Frozen System)

Did you have water first thing in the morning and then it stopped?
     For example, maybe you took a shower, made coffee and then had no water?

If the temperature outside has been below freezing, it is possible that it has caused frozen plumbing somewhere within the system. It is common with a freeze up to have water first thing in the morning and then nothing. Water available first thing in the morning is generally from the storage reserve within the pressure tank. Once the water has been depleted from the tank, the freeze prevents the pressure switch from signaling the pump to turn on and fill the pressure tank.

Verify that the heat source (heater, light bulb, heat tape, and/or other heat source) at the pressure tank location has been and remains in operation. If not, follow instructions below.

What to do:
First determine how long you suspect the heat source has failed and place an alternate form of heat at your pressure tank and/or well head immediately. If it hasn’t been very long a simple hair dryer/heater directed at the smallest fitting (brass nipple located just beneath the pressure switch which is generally placed very near the pressure gage installed in the plumbing coming out of the pressure tank) (picture of pressure switch & nipple here). It can take a while to free up, especially if the freeze has had an opportunity to freeze further than the nipple at the pressure switch. Water freezes at 32 degrees, any plumbing and accessories must be maintained above of this temperature to prevent damage. Call Steve’s Pumps and Well Drilling for service and with any further concerns.

Frozen Pump System

   I think I have a water leak.

Can you hear water running, or you know your pump is running and you have really low pressure within the home?
     Has your electrical bill increased drastically and you don’t know why?

Possibly a leak in your system.

What to do:
If the leak is severe and/or you’ve noticed your continually running, we suggest that you turn the breaker to the pump OFF until our technician arrives. This will protect from further damage to the system before Steve’s Pumps and Well Drilling arrives.

Questions to consider:
  1. Have you located a leak?
  2. Where is the leak occurring?
  3. How long has the leak existed?
  4. What is the severity of the leak?
  5. If the leak is at the well head, is the well casing above ground or buried?

   My water quality is poor.

Do you have brown/orange staining in your toilets, sinks, and/or white laundry?
     Do you notice a white crusty buildup on your faucets, shower heads, and/or spots on the dishes?
     Does your water smell like rotten eggs?
     Do you notice a blue/green stain in your tub or sinks?

If any one of the above is true, various types of minerals and/or pH issues most likely exist.

What to do:
Call Steve’s Pumps and Well Drilling for a free (depending on location) on site water analysis, inspection, and estimate. Most water quality issues are addressed with water treatment equipment recommended based on the actual minerals, etc. present within the water. Steve’s Pumps and Well Drilling provides in house mineral testing and also utilizes a State Certified Laboratory as needed.

Questions to consider:
  1. Have you ever had a water quality analysis performed (iron, hardness, tannin, pH level, manganese, iron bacteria, etc.)? If so, a copy of the report will assist in determining a water treatment recommendation.
  2. Do you have any existing filter equipment? What type, model name, etc.?
  3. If so, when was it installed? When was it last serviced?
  4. How long have the problems existed?

   There is sand in my water.

Does your faucet, washing machine screens, and/or sprinkler heads continually plug up?
     Do you notice sand/sediment build up within the toilet tank, bottom of glasses, and/or in the bathtub?

It is possible that the well has started producing sand; or if you have had recent plumbing revisions the sand may have been introduced during this time and simply needs to be flushed out.

What to do:
If you have a hydrant at the well head, run the hydrant into a bucket and determine if sediment is flowing from the well directly. If so, bring Steve’s Pumps & Well Drilling a sand/sediment sample. Quite often the back toilet tank is also a good reservoir to gather these types of sand samples. We may also recommend that a technician inspect the situation on site to determine if the integrity of the well head and/or well itself may potentially be the cause. Should it be determined that the well is producing sand, well rehabilitation or well cleaning may be recommended.

Questions to consider:
  1. How old is your well?
  2. Do you have a copy of your well completion report (well log)? If not, we will assist in attempting to obtain one from DWR.
  3. Does your well casing come above ground or is it buried?
  4. How long has the problem existed?
  5. Does the problem fluctuate with the seasons?