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WATER PUMPS, TANKS, TESTS, WELLS, REPAIRS
WATER CONSERVATION MEASURES
WATER CONTAMINANT LEVELS
WATER FILTERS, HOME USE
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 CHLORINATION & DISINFECTION
WELL FLOW RATE
WELL WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSIS
WELL YIELD IMPROVEMENT
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
This article describes typical costs for repairs to water pumps and well equipment to correct poor or lost well water pressure or to replace a damaged well pump.The basics process of diagnosis and the costs of the repair are explained. Consumer advice on saving money on well repair costs includes a review of the parts and labor costs of a typical well pump and pressure tank replacement case.
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The following is an actual case of a correspondent who lost water pressure and called a well and plumbing contractor who made several repairs. At the end of the repair water pressure and supply were restored but the owner had a bit of "sticker shock" when he saw the bill. He wrote to ask our opinion. Our reply, which follows the owner's note below, reviews the diagnosis, repair, and repair costs for this well pump and water tank replacement project.
We have a private well with the same components shown on your diagram (well pump, pressure tank, pressure switch etc..) We recently experienced loss of water pressure and actually a lack of any water flow at all from our faucets in our house. As we waited 30 min to 1 hr, the water would return and run normal for several hours, only to return to no water again. This went on for about 24 hours.
We contacted the well contractor shown on our well cap. He quickly determine the bladder in the pressure tank was ruptured by just shaking the water tank.
After installing a new $600 dollar tank, the well contractor waited for the water pump to come on. It didn't. Then the contractor sold us a new well pump.
The total bill: $2000 and some change.
1. Is this a fair price for repair of a water pressure tank or pump or both? Did the contractor make the right repair? Was we overcharged?
2. Can we check his prognosis by inspecting the replaced tank and pump?
The cost - sounds a bit steep if the pump was in the house but more plausible if the pump was a submersible in the well.
How can you check on the reasonableness of plumbing repair costs such as water tank and well pump replacement?
Most plumbers charge what seems to homeowners to be outrageous rates, but in fact plumbers, as a group, are more honorable than some presidents and certainly more so than some real estate agents.
Water pressure tank prices (online) run from about $80 (Sears® 42-gallon) to $150. to $750. (Well Mat™ or Well-X-Trol™) for the water pressure tank itself, not including installation cost.
Submersible well pump prices (online) run from about $200. to $300. (Flotec and Wayne) to $500 (Flint Walling/Star) to $870 (Grundfos® 30 GPM) In the building, a deep well 2-line jet pump is about $250. (Jacuzzi®) In the building, a shallow well jet pump prices run from a cost of about $150. to $200.
(Other special types of water pumps such as for groundwater can of course cost much more).
Some online advertisers promise low prices but won't publish them on the web. We never ever call nor deal with people who hide their prices as we assume that they're counting on high pressure sales tactics to close the deal and that later we will find we over-paid.
Look at the water pressure tank that was removed - it may be possible to open it and confirm for yourself that the bladder was shot.
A water pump that has been removed can be tested on a test bench; in some cases it is economical to bring a pump to an electric motor repair shop for analysis and repair.
Why don't people do this? There are not enough such shops around, and second, people don't want to wait a week with no water while their pump is being repaired.
The retail price for the parts alone depends on what you had installed but could run between $300. to $1400. This leaves your labor cost running between $1700 at the low parts-cost end to $600. at the high parts-cost end. If the pump was a submersible (in-well), the costs to pull well line and old pump and get the new one in place will be more than an in-building pump replacement.
In sum, depending on what types of equipment you had installed, the price might be right-on. Don't accuse your plumber of cheating you, but don't be afraid to ask for a more detailed explanation of the make-up of your bill.
How to check on the success and reliability - the "prognosis" of a an expensive well pump and water pressure tank repair job
First of all, there should be no leaks, anywhere, on the equipment which was repaired. If something was left wet, wipe it off and check for leaks. We don't pay my plumber if s/he leaves her/his work leaking. We call the boss.
Second, everything worked-on should be working normally to your eye and ear.
An expert plumber or well contractor can check the operation of your system by a combination of observation and electrical testing, such as measuring the amperage draw on the well pump circuit during pump operation. If these parameters are in normal range you should be ok insofar as the equipment is concerned. Your repair person should have made these checks. Ask him or her.
If you have been in the home for several years you should have an idea whether or not you've had a history of the well running out of water. You can understand more about your well and how the well itself is performing by noting its technical statistics such as well depth, water level, pump depth, static head, and well flow rate - topics we discuss at my website. If it is determined that you have a low-yield well, there are several solutions besides just drilling a new well - itself a shot in the dark.
Readers of this document should also see Water pressure tanks - how to diagnose the need for air, how to add air, stop water pump short cycling to avoid damage - water storage water pressure tank safety. The illustration at left is courtesy of Carson Dunlop, Inc. in Toronto.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the cost to repair or replace a water pressure tank or a well pump
Question: well service man says hire a well / pump installer not a plumber
First of all you should not hire a plumber to work on your well! You would not hire a well/pump installer to work on your hot water heater or your toilet. As far as cost you cannot compare some peice of junk at home depot or TSC, your not in the same park. - Well-Service-Man 1/13/2012
The comment from "well service man" is spot on, and the article well writtenand informative. Thanks - Oregon homeowner 8/9/12
Question: where to buy a rebuilt one or new well pump
Where can I find either a rebuilt one or a new well pump to buy? - Anonymous 8/29/12
Start with your local well equipment & plumbing supplier; Also, in some communities you may find a company that offers well pump or electric motor rebuilding, offering rebuilt equipment that has been checked out and, hopefully warranted. Some well pump and tank brands and manufacturer information are listed at WATER TANK REPLACEMENT as well as in the references section of this and other articles at InspectApedia.com.
Questions & answers or comments about the cost to repair or replacer a well pump, pressure tank, or other water supply equipment
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Technical Reviewers & References
If the building water supply stops and takes minutes to hours to recover, you may have problem with the well flow rate. But the problem of lost water supply and pressure could be more mechanical: a bad well pump. The well pump, in turn, could have been damaged or hastened to the end of its life by a bad water pressure tank which has caused well pump short-cycling. Short cycling of the pump motor can burn up the pump relay control.