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Trident Plumbing

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Under Pressure: Well Water

Having a well means you have your very own private source of water.  It also means you have a few more pieces of equipment that need maintained to keep that water flowing out of the ground and into your home.  Here we are going to discuss the basic parts of a well system and how they work together to maintain reliable water pressure.

First, you have your well pump.  This could either be a submersible pump or a jet pump.  A submersible pump is attached to a flexible pipe and then lowered down into your well.  An older jet style pump is above ground and typically used for shallow wells.  A submersible pump pushes water up the pipe, while a jet pump pulls water up the pipe.

Now, this pump needs to know WHEN to pump water up to your house.  Otherwise, it would run all the time and wear out faster.  That is where the pressure switch and pressure tank come in.  Your pressure tank is designed to help maintain water pressure.  It works together with the pressure switch.  As you use your water the pressure begins to fall in your pressure tank.  Once it falls to a set point, the pressure switch tells the pump to begin pumping water.  When you stop using water the pressure begins to build up again in the pressure tank.  And then at a set point the pressure switch tells the pump that it can stop pumping.

There are two common types of pressure switches – including a 30/50 and a 40/60.  This means that for a 30/50 pressure switch, when the pressure falls to 30psi (pounds per square inch) it will tell the pump to start running, and when it rises to 50psi it tells the pump to stop.  Similarly for the 40/60 pressure switch, it will start pumping at 40psi and stop at 60psi.  Which pressure switch you choose depends on your home and personal preference.  For a single-story home, a 30/50 will usually work just fine and potentially put less stress on older plumbing.  For a larger home a 40/60 will provide more pressure to reach fixtures that are further away in the house.

When any of this equipment fails you will notice a significant drop in water pressure, or no water at all.  Give Trident Plumbing a call if you are ever in need of well system service, we are here to help!

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