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WATER PUMPS, TANKS, TESTS, WELLS, REPAIRS
WATER CONTAMINANT LEVELS
WATER HAMMER NOISE DIAGNOSE & CURE
WATER ODORS, CAUSE CURE
WATER PUMP REPAIR GUIDE
WATER PRESSURE LOSS DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WATER TANK REPAIR PROCEDURES
WATER TANK: USES, TROUBLESHOOTING
WATER TESTS, CONTAMINANTS, TREATMENT
WATER TREATMENT EQUIPMENT CHOICES
WELLS CISTERNS & SPRINGS
WELL FLOW RATE
WELL WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSIS
WELL YIELD IMPROVEMENT
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
Well pump definitions, types, & water pump life: this article describes the different types of water pumps or well pumps, and we list the factors affecting the Life Expectancy of Water Pumps and pump controls.
Readers of this document should also see WATER PUMP CAPACITIES TYPES RATES GPM and also see WATER TANK LIFE EXPECTANCY and WELL LIFE EXPECTANCY, but before assuming that a water problem is due to the pump or well itself, see Water pump and pressure tank repair diagnosis & cost a specific case which offers an example of diagnosis of loss of water pressure, loss of water, and analyzes the actual repair cost.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.
In this article we discuss how long you can expect a water pump to last and what factors affect its life. Specifics of different types of water pumps can be read in detail at these articles:
WATER PUMP CAPACITIES TYPES RATES GPM - comparing the pumping capacities of pump types & HP & models
How Long Does a Water Pump Last?
Factors Affecting the Expected Life of a Well Water Pump
Which Parts Wear Out on Water Pumps?
How Can We Maximize the Life Expectancy of a Well Water Pump?
See WATER PUMPS & TANKS for a discussion of common failures and repairs on water pumps and water tanks.
See WELL PUMP PRESSURE CONTROL ADJUSTMENT and its companion articles which include a discussion of the life expectancy and common modes of failure of water pump and tank pressure controls.
A kinetic water ram pump uses the force of running water in a stream combined with the principles of hydraulics to lift water as much as 50 meters from the pump location. The water ram was invented in 1780 by Frenchman Joseph Michael Montgolfier.
Since surface or stream water is unlikely to be sanitary in most locations, water ram pumps are used mostly in agriculture to move stream water to fields for irrigation.
A very different water ram, a "kinetic water ram" pump using compressed air to clear clogged building drains is available and is discussed at CLOGGED DRAIN DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR. That kinetic water ram is a drain clearing tool not a water pump.
Photo & Description of Piston Type Well Pumps
Well pump cavitation describes the entry of air or gases into the mechanical parts that are trying to move water through a water pump. The presence of air or other gases in the actual pump chambers or around the water pump impellers leads to overheating of these parts and mechanical damage to the pump moving parts. Cavitation can also cause the pump to have to work longer to satisfy the water demand and thus its electric motor to overheat, also reducing motor life.
Cavitation inside of a water pump can be caused by several problems including:
For details about well pipe tailpieces, tail pipes, or other low water cutoff devices that protect the well pump from damage when the well flow is too limited, please see our compete article at WELL PIPING TAIL PIECE. Excerpts are just below.
When the well pump's capacity is known to exceed the flow rate of the well, a tail pipe, tail piece, or low water cutoff control is installed to protect the pump from damage.
The well piping tailpiece (also shown in this sketch) permits the in-well water pump to continue to run by recirculating well water within the pump but by halting delivery of water or slowing delivery of water to the building.
Many sources, including the Penn State School of Forest Resources recommend installing a low water cutoff device to protect a well pump that has to operate in an inadequate or low-yield well.
A still different approach that may provide some water pump protection by reducing the well pump cycling rate is the installation of a Smart Tank that regulates water flow in the building.
Water flows naturally to the ground surface of an artesian well, pushed there by higher pressure groundwater deeper in the earth. "Artesian" refers to Artois, the region in France that gave this type of water source its name. The Latin form of Artois is Artesia.
The level of groundwater is not "flat" under the surface of the earth. Rather underground water tends to follow the contours of the ground surface.
When the underground water reservoir is actually higher than the well that taps into it, water is forced from the higher level to the surface of the artesian well.
At Sinkholes in Estonia-The Witches' Well we describe a non-artesian well that also pushes groundwater to the surface when a nearby underground river floods.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Questions & answers or comments about things that impact the life of a well pump or water pump.
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Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.
Water Supply & Drain Piping, Wells, Pumps, Water Supply Equipment