Way OT

Anybody know what symptoms Water well gives before it drys up? Besides no water. I have a well that serves my house, it’s a shallow well jet pump, and lately it’s not putting out enough pressure to kick off the pressure switch. I backed the pressure down and it is cutting off now, however I like being able to take a shower and do laundry at the same time. Anyway I am well versed, no pun intended into the theory and application of jet pumps and water systems in general as I used to run a small municipal system. Basically I am thinking one or two things may be wrong. One my impeller is worn out. Or the water level in my well has dropped below the “jet” level so the pump in not working as a “jet pump” or perhaps the Jet is clogged. The pump is not surging and or sucking or spitting air, its just not working at its rated pressure, and has a tough time even reaching 30PSi. back when I installed it years ago, if I isolated the pump from the house it would build up to 60 PSI in a split second, now if I do that it takes a few minutes to build up to just 30 PSI… Also I am not getting any tell tale signs of dirt sand ect being sucked into the system. Also has any body ever replaced the impeller and diffuser on an above ground pump before, It doesn’t seem difficult, I was just wondering if I need any special tools. I am going with the cheap fix first. Oh yeah the motor itself is spinning at its rated RPM. Just wondering if I missed anything, as the wife will be pissed if she has to go elsewhere to take a shower, so I want to make sure I have all the bases covered before I start taking apart the pump. I also don’t want to FIX something that doesn’t need fixing.

Depending on
where you live, it may just be that the aquifer level has dropped and the well needs to be deepened. If thats the case your neighbors should be experiencing similar issues. When I lived in Maryland, everyone in my development who had their houses built at about the same time had to have their wells deepened.

It could also be clogged or worn out equipment. Either way a local well driller can tell you quickly.


Wild guess
The impeller blade may have been damaged and there may be some “bypass” as a result. In other words, not creating the suction that it’s supposed to. You mention it can’t maintain 60 PSI but does maintain 30 PSI. It may be as simple as replacing some seals.

Pull it out and do a visual check first.

good luck!


Dry up here too Swedge, but I
haven’t heard of any wells going dry.

If the motor amps out
correctly I think I would want to check the impeller next. Also, you could have a small leak between the foot valve and the pump that is causing it to loose its prime. Or as Andy said, check your seal. How deep is it? Can you pull the pipe and drop in a sounding tape with water-finder paste on it to check your water level? Do you have a strainer in the system that may be clogged? I would check that first if you have one.

Pressure tank
Is the bladder in your pressure tank ok?

Welcome to the club or in other words,
you have my sympathy.

I am guessing, (only guessing mind you) that your water table has dropped.

We are also in a very bad drought situation, and I have gravity water that is down to a trickle from what used to be a bold spring.

I thought it was going to dry up last summer when two of my neighbors with the same had theirs dry up, but fortunately it didn’t.

We were supposed to get rain today, but it never happened, and there is none in the forcast.

I have a feeling before long we’ll be drinking bottled water, and I’ll be hauling water from the trout stream in the front yard for showers and toilet flushing.



thanks for the info.

– Last Updated: Aug-14-08 7:24 AM EST –

I talked with a well driller, he seems to think its the impeller, i don't lose my prime, so i don't think the foot valve is bad, besides the foot valve doesn't really have anything to do with building pressure up, maintaining pressure yes. but i may go ahead and pull the pipe out and replace it as a preventative measure. The pressure tank is good, but even if it wasn't that wouldnt have anything to do with the pressure, it would simply short cycle, unless the Air pressure on the dry side of the bladder was set too high, and i haven't messed with it, and for years it was fine, and if it were set too high i would still be getting good water pressure & volume, the pump however would not be cutting off. however my isolation valve is between the pump and the tank, and like i said in the past if i closed it off, the pump would build pressure rapidly to 60 and shut off. Now it doesn't. Also jack, we are not in as severe drought as you all are, last year it was much worst, this year we are almost normal, of course it could just take awhile. but normally when a well starts to go dry, from what i have heard it spits, losses prime, sucks in dirt & grit ect. I haven't had any of those problems yet. also none of my neighbors have had any problems, and the local ponds in my "Hood" are all at normal levels. The ponds ARE the top of the water table as they are spring fed. (For the most part) last year the ponds were almost dry.