Low water pressure issues with a well-based plumbing system can be tricky and are not always easy to pinpoint. For homes that are connected to a public water supply, water pressure is controlled by the municipal water system. For properties that have a private well, however, water pressure is determined by the settings on the well pump. Unfortunately, water wells are subject to environmental fluctuations which can cause drops in water pressure that are unpredictable. While some well-related water pressure drops tend to balance themselves out in time with little effort from the homeowner, others can require more hands-on action to be remedied.
Identifying the Cause of Well-Related Water Pressure Drops
Generally speaking, water pressure drops tend to be attributed to three causes:
- Increased water use: Using a large amount of water in a short amount of time can cause your water pressure to drop, such as when a fire hydrant is used. Likewise, long-term increases in everyday water consumption can cause your water pressure to steadily decline, such as adding a new bathroom to your home or installing an irrigation system.
- Drought: Long periods of dry weather without any sort of precipitation can starve your well of resources and reduce pressure. While most wells are designed to withstand a lengthy amount of time without rain before losing pressure, if your well is already running low on supply, a drought could potentially leave you without water in your home.
- Mechanical breakdowns: Like any other plumbing component, your well is a mechanical system which is vulnerable to deterioration and breakdowns. Sediment buildup in pipes, malfunctioning pressure regulators, and blockages can all potentially occur and cause a disruption of water flow to your home.
How Do You Restore Pressure?
Fortunately, there are several ways you can improve your well’s water pressure:
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- Install a constant pressure system: A constant pressure system is usually a speedy and cost-effective way to maintain water pressure. Constant pressure systems are designed to compensate for the heavy use of water by regulating the pressure of all water-using fixtures in your home consistently. This is accomplished by maintaining a set level in your pressure tank by continuing to draw supplementary water from your well.
- Adjust your pressure tank: The gauge on your pressure tank determines when your pump will draw more water from the well. Setting your pressure tank higher can allow your pump to draw water more freely and have more water available to you at the ready, while lower pressure thresholds can cause you to unintentionally outdraw your tank.
- Inspect your well: In some cases, water pressure issues may be attributed to the setup of the well itself, in which there is a low flow situation in which there is not enough water available to be drawn. To remedy this, you will need to either lower your pump or deepen your well. If you have already increased your water pressure at the regulator but are still getting poor water flow, chances are good that the problem is with your well itself.