One problem almost all of the well water owners face is the low pressure from well water. Fixing low water pressure varies depending on what’s causing the problem.
In this article, we will discuss how you can increase well water pressure and the reasons behind slow pressure.
Well Water Pressure Basic Terminology
It is important to understand the basic terminology so you know what you are dealing with.
- The normal pressure from a well is between 40-60 PSI. A slow pressure of the water makes it difficult to work with it or utilize it for any purpose like washing dishes, bathing, gardening, or any other water-related work. High pressure results in water wastage and it can also hurt your appliances like dishwasher and washing machines.
- You may also be interested in knowing about the flow rate of water from your well. It is measured in gallons per minute, GPM, and may be influenced by other factors such as pipe size and inside/outside diameters. A flow rate of 5 GPM means that 5 gallons of water will flow from your taps in one minute.
- The pressure you get from your well also depends upon the volume of water in the well. The volume depends upon factors like aquifer size, the power of the pump (the rate at which water is being pumped), and the recovery rate.
Reasons behind Slow Water Pressure
There is a huge likelihood that you will be suffering from one of the reasons mentioned below. Let’s look at them in detail.
Pump and Pressure Tank Issues – Well pump, pressure tank, and switch pump are the primary functioning parts of a well system. If any of these components has a problem, the water pressure decreases and may get to zero if they stop working totally. You may be suffering from a faulty pump that keeps on turning off and on and fails to maintain a constant supply of water to your home. A leaking or damaged pressure tank can also be the reason behind poor water pressure.
Blocked or Narrow Pipes – Your pipes may get blocked over time due to mineral buildup. It usually happens when your well has sediment or high concentration of minerals. The well components may be working fine and producing enough pressure, but the pipes may reduce water flow.
Clogged Showerheads and Aerators – Minerals and sediment in water block showerheads and aerators. Calcium and magnesium also form a scale on your plumbing fixtures. So, if you see a white scale on your faucets and reduced water flow, understand that they are blocked and require cleaning.
Hard Water Problem – Well water is rich in minerals and this makes it hard. Hard water is harmful to your skin, crockery, plumbing, and appliances. It can also lead to decreased water pressure.
Geological Problems – Low pressure may be due to geological problems. If the aquifer has a low pressure due to excessive pumping, seasonal drought and less rainfall, you will be facing low-pressure problems.
High Demand/Low Supply – Low pressure may happen due to high demand and low supply. Your well’s replenishment rate may have decreased overtime or your consumption has increased. You may experience low pressure temporarily if all the members in the family are using water simultaneously.
Fixing Low-Pressure Problem for Well Water
To increase your water pressure, you need to apply a two-fold strategy. First of all, you need to get rid of all the problems mentioned earlier.
Troubleshooting Guide to Increase Water Pressure
It is critical to check your well water system and plumbing before installing a new machine or calling an professional.
Checking and Servicing the Pressure Tank – Check that the pressure tank is working in mint condition to ensure proper water pressure. You can do this with the help of the following steps
- Switch off the electric supply to the pump and drain all the water in the pressure tank. Do not waste the water, store it in a bucket or drum; you can use it later for gardening or washing your vehicles.
- Check for leakages in the pressure tank, if there are leakages in the pressure tank, you need a new tank, or you need to get it repaired.
- Attach a pressure gauge to monitor air pressure in your tank. The air pressure should be 2-3 PSI below the low setting on your pressure switch. If pressure switch is set to 40/60 PSI, the air pressure in pressure tank must be 38 PSI.
Check Plumbing, Showerheads, and Aerators – You must check all the plumbing fixtures and water pipes leading to your home from the well. Mineral deposits are often the reason behind a decreased flow rate at your taps. Make sure they are clean; you can hire a professional service to get it done. Blocked showerheads and aerators are also a reason behind the slow flow rate. You can clean them with a paste of baking soda and vinegar to get rid of mineral deposits.
Check Water Filters, Softeners, and other Appliances – Water pressure may reduce due to faulty or clogged water filters. Check water pressure by bypassing the filter to see the difference. You may need to replace the cartridge to restore the pressure.
Increasing the Water Pressure
You can go for following remedies if the above solutions don’t work.
Adjust Pressure Setting – Check the pressure setting on pressure switch and increase it to allow more water inside the pressure tank. It as an instant solution to fix water pressure. Make sure you check that pressure tank and well pump can sustain the pressure settings and adjust the air pressure in pressure tank accordingly.
Install Additional or Large Pressure Tank – You can get rid of the low-pressure problem for good by installing a large pressure tank or adding another pressure tank to your system. It will also reduce the number of pump cycling and hence limit fluctuations in water pressure.
Install a Constant Pressure Valve – A constant pressure valve reduces the number of pump cycles and eliminates fluctuation from your well system. It has two benefits; it reduces the wear and tear on the pump by reducing the number of cycles. It bypasses the pressure tank during extreme usage hours and stops the pump from turning on and off.
Secondly, it has the ability to maintain a constant stream of pressure without fluctuations. It is a general rule of water pressure that if the pressure is high, you will experience more fluctuations, and even a tiny drop in pressure will feel like a big dip.
Get yourself a Water Pressure Booster Pump – As the name indicates, it is used to boost water pressure from your well. Boosters are frequently used in multistory buildings to supply water at the top story. It is also used by people who have a well located far away from their residential unit. If you experience a drop in pressure in the upper stories of your home, you can use a pressure booster pump and get significant results.
A pressure booster does not interfere with the working of your well. Rather it supplies the already pumped water at upper stories and distant places from well. The boosters are installed after pressure tanks.
The Most Powerful Solution: Install a Constant Pressure System – A constant pressure system is the best and the last resort to get the pressure problem sorted out. It is a costly solution, and that is why it must be preferred as the last way to get rid of this problem. It comes with a variable speed pump that adjusts the pressure according to the usage at your home and delivers water at constant pre-set pressure.
A constant pressure system detects the pressure needed and supplies constant stream of water at all faucets at your home. Your shower’s flow rate won’t be disturbed if your partner turns on dishwasher in the kitchen.
How to Increase Water Pressure in Shower with Well Water
Despite trying all of the above, you may still face a low-pressure problem with showers. The above remedies will increase water pressure for your whole house. If you notice a difference in shower flow rate and other taps, there is some problem with your showerheads. You can employ the following techniques to get better water pressure while showering.
Check for Water-Saving Shower Heads – Some showerheads are built with a flow-restricting mechanism due to obligations from The National Energy Act. It helps in reducing water bills for tap water users and saving water. Make sure that your showerheads do not have such a valve. If they do, turn it off.
Check for Bends in Water Pipes – This trick comes in handy for the showers with flexible lines. The shower pipes may have kinks that are preventing the water flow at high speed. Make sure the water pipes are not twisted for the handheld showers.
Water Leakages – Water leakages can also lead to shower flow rate. It is possible that plumbing fixtures leading to your shower have a leakage. Check for any possible leakage by tracing the plumbing pipe backward to the main supply line.
Shower Filter Issues – A clogged or expired shower filter cartridge may be causing all the fuss. Open shower filter and inspect if it is blocked; backwash it if your mineral deposits. Replace the cartridge if it has expired.
Clean the Shower Heads – Shower heads get clogged over time due to sediment and mineral deposits. You should clean your shower heads every 3-4 months to remove the sediment. It will increase the water flow rate and provide you with clean water for taking a bath.
You can use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to wipe off the attached sediment. If the showerhead can’t be removed, you will need a sandwich bag or a balloon along with a rubber band to clean the shower. Fill the balloon with vinegar and attach it to the showerhead. It will remove the sediment and help increase the water flow rate.
Confirm that the Valve is Open – If you have had some recent plumbing work or closed the main supply valve, there is a high chance that it is not fully open. Plumbers forget to open the valve fully, and you have to suffer from a low water pressure problem.
Check Water Heater Valve and Flush it – If the slow water pressure problem is limited to only hot water taps, the water heater’s valve is not fully open. Check the shut-off valve and open it. If the problem persists, there is sediment buildup in tank and pipes. It happens more frequently in heaters with a tank as compared to tankless water heaters. Get the tank and lines flushed. It will result in a pressure increase.
Shower at off-peak Hours – If you want to enjoy showering with a high flow rate, try to take a shower when no one else is using water, like early in the morning or late in the night. If everyone else is using water simultaneously, the supply to your washroom will be slow, and you will not get the desired water pressure.
Switch off the Other Appliances – Another remedy to deal with slow water pressure while bathing is to turn off other appliances using water.
Get a New Shower Head – Buying a new shower head for your washroom is also a great strategy to increase water pressure. Recent models come with specific designs that augment water pressure from a low incoming water feed.
Shower Pumps – You can also use a shower pump to increase the water pressure. Water pressure pumps work like a small water pump that brings water first to your shower and then to other taps. You can imagine it like an individual water pump for your shower. The water pump uses boosters to increase the flow rate of water from the shower, and you get high-speed water for bathing.
Final Word – What to do