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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
This article describes the sequence of operating steps in a submersible well pump water system. The process of diagnosis and the costs of the repair are explained. Consumer advice on saving money on water supply repair costs includes a review of the parts and labor costs of a typical well pump and pressure tank replacement case. Carson Dunlop's sketch at page top shows the components of a submersible well pump water supply system.
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Also see our other diagnostic guides for water pumps, wells, motors, in table form:
See water PUMP, SUBMERSIBLE for a description of the function of each component of a submersible well pump system. Readers should also see IDENTIFY WELL PUMP TANK COMPONENTS. If your building has water pressure problems, see WELL WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSIS. Readers whose wells simply run out of water should also see How to Test Well Water Quantity and see How to Get More Water From a Well.
What happens when you turn on the water at a faucet in a building whose water is supplied by a submersible well pump?
The following steps describe normal operating of a building well pump and water supply system. Other cases in which the well pump controls are not working properly, there is a problem with the controls, pressure tank, pump, or well itself are discussed at WATER PRESSURE REPAIR GUIDE & COSTS and at WELL WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSIS. Our sketch (left) shows a cutaway view of a submersible well pump.
Take a look at our well casing photograph at left. See that small gray conduit rising at the left side of the well casing? The conduit carries electrical wires into the well. That's one way to recognize that a submersible pump is installed.
When a water pump is inside the well, it can be tricky to know when the pump is actually on or off, though usually we hear the pump relay clicking, and some relays have a light that indicates that the relay is telling the pump to run.
The pressure switch calls for pumping by switching a relay in the pump relay, that actually turns the pump on and off. So a secondary potential problem would be in the relay itself, but we would look at the pump pressure control switch first.
General Tips for Diagnosing Water Pressure Problems
This sketch, courtesy of Carson Dunlop, shows five factors that affect the water pressure and flow in a building. What the sketch has not included are water pressure, quantity, or flow problems that originate at the well, well pump, or water pressure tank. Here is our comprehensive guide to diagnosing bad water pressure.
If you have no water pressure at all, see No Water Pressure and see the other water pressure diagnostic articles listed just below.
If your water pressure is intermittent, starts and stops, or varies in pressure, see Water Pressure Intermittent and see the other water pressure diagnostic articles listed just below.
If there is some water pressure but the pressure and/or flow are poor? See the diagnostic articles listed just below.
Keep in mind that if water is running elsewhere in the building (another shower, sink, dishwasher, clothes washer, garden hose, etc) then the water pressure you will observe at your location will usually be reduced.
If you have good cold water pressure but not enough hot water pressure or hot water quantity, see HOT WATER IMPROVEMENTS
If you have good water pressure at some fixtures but not at others, you probably have a clog in building piping (such as due to mineral deposits, rust, or even excessive solder in new work), or mineral and debris clogged strainers at faucets and shower heads (check these first). Also see Water pipe clog diagnosis and Water pipe clog repair guide.
For our complete water pressure and pump, well, and piping problems diagnostic article list, see WATER PRESSURE REPAIR GUIDE & COSTS and WATER PRESSURE LOSS DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR. Separately we also provide a WATER PRESSURE PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS TABLE. The following articles pertain if you have a private well, pump, and tank system for your building or if your incoming community water supply pressure and flow are just too low to start with:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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Questions & answers or comments about how submersible well pumps work and the sequence of operating steps - help in diagnosing well pump troubles.
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Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.