Rural homes often receive water from a private well rather than a city- or town-run water supply system. A mechanical well pump takes the water out of the well and pushes it into the home for convenient usage. If your area has a high water table—meaning, you find water pretty close to the surface when you dig – the well pump is likely a jet pump.
If you have started to experience problems with your jet pump running but not delivering any water, there are a few potential causes.
Pump Needs Primed
The need to be primed is one of the most common causes of a jet pump failing to provide water. Pump's are supposed to keep the pipes filled with water ahead of the next pumping cycle to provide suction required to get the water through the pump and into your home.
Sometimes a pump fails to fill the pipe before a cycle begins and the dry run then fails to deliver water inside your home. If this has only happened recently, you can try to prime the pump yourself and see if that fixes the problem.
Consult your owner's manual for specific directions tailored to your well pump. But, in general, you need to introduce water to the pipe via a garden hose or large amounts of jugged water.
Turn off all electricity to your unit before working. Remove the primer plug before pouring in the water and make sure not to overfill the pipe. Replace the primer plug before turning on the electricity and testing the pump for functionality.
Still not delivering water inside? Call in a well pump technician from a company like Watson Plumbing for assistance.
Pump Pipes Aren't Airtight
Pump pipes can come apart at the junctions just enough to allow air into the pipes. The incoming air destroys the vacuum needed for the suction-based priming. If your pump pipes are regularly running dry, you might have pump pipe leaks.
You can check to see if this is the problem by wrapping each pipe junction with plumber's tape and then priming the pipes and checking for functionality. Or you can skip ahead and call a residential plumbing company in to perform the test and replace any pipes, where necessary.
Installation mistakes can also cause the jet pump's failure to deliver water inside. The installation mistakes can start at the pump itself being improperly sized for the depth of the well hole. Check your owner's manual for the depth specifications for your unit and make sure they match up and if they don't, call in a plumber to install a new well pump.
The pump can be the right size and still not work properly because a valve is installed too close to the inlet – or the valve is installed upside down. The valve can also be stuck open. Other potential installation problems include improperly positioned or blocked suction pipes.
Due to the sheer number of installation mistakes that can cause the same problem, you should call in a professional for a diagnosis.