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Wells, Well Pumps and Pressure Tanks

Wells, Well Pumps and Pressure Tanks

One big difference between living in the city and suburbs andliving in the country is how the residents of each think about water.Urbanites and most suburbanites just turn on the tap and fill theirglass or their sink or their tub without giving the source of theirwater a second thought. Actually this can also be said of those wholive far beyond city limits. They too tend to take the flow of waterfor granted... until something goes wrong with the well pump. Andthere lies the difference.

While city homes are all connected to the same municipal watersource, homes in less populated areas each have their own well thatsits somewhere below ground outside the house. And in order to sourcethis water, there is a well pump. As long as the pump functionssmoothly, those in the house take the flow of water for granted. Butshould something go wrong,  the water stays in the well andnever makes it to the tap. Thankfully, this is not an everydayoccurrence since most well pumps can be expected to last 20-25 yearswithout having to be serviced. However their longevity can beshortened when contaminants like silt, sand, and algae get in thesystem.

How Well Pumps Work

After a well has been drilled, a water pump is installed along itscasing to lift water from below ground to the house. Submersiblewells are located beneath the level of the water to prevent it frombeing affected by water draw down or periods of drought. The size ofthe pump is determined by the size of the dwelling, the number ofplumbing fixtures, and how much water is used at times of peak usage.The typical well pump powered by a 1/2 hp motor can usually pump 10gallons a minute. A well pump is designed to turn on when the waterpressure within the water tank in the house falls to a certain level.The pump then lifts water until the tank's default pressure isreached. 

Pressurized Water Tanks

As water is pumped into the tank, it compresses the air withinuntil a preset level is reached - typically 40 to 60 pounds persquare inch (psi). When someone turns on a faucet, the pressure inthe tank forces the water out and through the pipes to the tap, alsoreleasing some of the pressure. When that pressure falls to a presettrigger pressure, usually 20 to 40 psi, it signals the well pump toturn on and refill the tank. This water tank is arguably just asimportant as the well pump and the well itself since it is whatmaintains the water pressure. Without it, the well pump would turn onand off constantly and such cycling would burn out its motor.

Should any part of this intricate system fail, emergency plumbingservice in Cleveland is needed. The problem could be the relay switchthe tank uses to signal the pump to turn on; it could be the reallysystem, or it could be the well pump itself has to ceased working.This last is the most dreaded since extensive digging is involved.But only a professional plumber can determine where the problem lies.

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