Well Manager FAQs
Our Well Manager FAQs are meant to provide answers to some of the common questions we receive in relation to our products. If, after browsing these, you do not find the answers to your questions, please get in touch with us.
What do the terms “well yield” and “low yield well” mean?
A simple definition of well yield is the rate at which water flows into your well from the surrounding aquifer. Yield is expressed in gallons per minute (gpm). Whether or not your well will be adequate to operate your home, farm, church, or other property will depend on the gpm requirement of that use.
A low yield well is any well that cannot maintain proper levels with the connected use without over-pumping. Over-pumping occurs when water is withdrawn from the well faster than it is coming in; it is the number one reason for premature well failure. Low yield is a term that is relative to the relationship between the amount of water required for use in your home and the well production on average. For example, a 5 gpm well is usually sufficient for a 2 ½ bath ranch house with standard plumbing, but it would be a low yield well for an eight-thousand square foot house with several bathrooms and a 20 gpm master bath and shower.
This does not mean that the well you have will not supply what you hope to build, it just means that it will not do the job while operating under a standard well system. Well Manager® systems will work for a very large house with an irrigation system using a 5 gpm well, as well as a substantial home without irrigation on a well with a yield of only 1 gpm. A standard 2 ½ bath ranch house with 4 occupants would not be sufficiently supplied by a quart per minute well using a standard well system but could provide excellent service using a Well Manager® System operating the same well.
Find more on our patented Well Manager® additional information page.
What is so different about Well Manager® and why does it cost more than other systems?
Question: I have seen other tank systems advertised on the web for less money. I do not understand what is so different about Well Manager® or why they cost more.
Answer: Many of our other customers have the same question, but in response, we propose another question: Why do you think there are so many personal testimonials on our website when other vendors boast about past accomplishments with little to no customer testimonials?
Well Manager® customers are so excited about the change in their lives that our product has brought them, and they are happy to share with the world that their money was invested properly. Reading through our testimonials you will find that it isn’t just new customers that recommend Well Manager®, but the owners who have waited two, three or more years before putting their feelings on paper are still thoroughly satisfied with the system.
When considering options for your low yield well, please be aware that atmospheric tank water storage systems are both tried and true. This type of system dates back to the Roman Empire and is still widely used across the globe today. Atmospheric tank water storage systems have a pretty poor reputation in the United States because of previous problems with contaminated water. A more detailed explanation can be found on this topic Well Manager® additional information page.
If Well Manager® were just another tank system, then the United States and Canadian governments would not have issued patents for the technology. It cannot be found elsewhere for half the price. Well Manager® is protected by two patents in America and one in Canada because it is so effective that it can replace a tank system that has 8-10 times more storage, and because it can provide a more reliable water supply even while using a lower quality water source; in fact, many of our customers have switched from those other tank or cistern systems to our Well Manager® system for just that reason. Feel free to read what Ron Keisler of Weston, Colorado had to say by following the link.
A Well Manager® costs more because you get more. Most of the time all our customers need is either a properly sized, installed, and set up Well Manager® system or our less expensive MuniBoost / ConstaBoost™. If we feel that your well or piping needs repair or drilling before the installation of our system, we will notify you during an initial evaluation.
We will interpret your well records, review the symptoms and history you report, examine the equipment installed in your home (using customer-supplied digital pictures if you desire to provide them), and make a transparent recommendation at no additional charge. If you buy one of our systems, you will receive a 50-page manual with pictures explaining what each part is and what it does. The manual includes helpful illustrations, as well as start-up and troubleshooting information. The entire manual is written in easy-to-understand English.
Well Manager® controls are UL listed, so you will have no problems with the electrical inspection when you install our system in a new home (or on any other job that requires a permit). Other systems have controls that might lead you to believe that they, too, are UL listed; however, upon close inspection, it can be found that only a power cord or other small component is UL listed, which will not fool your electrical inspector.
We provide telephone assistance for technical questions, to set up the timing for your well, and to instruct you further on how to interpret the information your Well Manager® is providing about your well water levels and the aquifer to which it is connected. Our phone service allows you to detect changes due to drought or heavy rainfall and adjust to them. If there are problems with equipment, then help is as close as your phone or computer during and after the warranty period (even on weekends). The Well Manager® control panel is designed so that we can tell you what is wrong over the phone; in most cases, we will be able to remotely inform you on how to recover your water quickly.
When you buy a Well Manager® system you will get a system that is ready to run, with everything it needs to run having been previously installed (as opposed to a kit that requires you to build the system following their direction manual). There is no pump or float switch to buy or install. The Well Manager® Manual teaches you about your well, well pump, and the components of the Well Manager® System. It includes everything you will need to know for running our Well Manager® successfully with an aquifer that has failed to supply you using conventional systems thus far. You will learn that it is not the size of the tank, but how you operate the well that determines how much water is available for your family. In most cases, timing is set up at installation and requires no further adjustment (except for in very low yield situations). You may speak with us a few times per week for two or three weeks, so we can better help you with minor timing adjustments before we arrive at exactly the right settings for your well.
Though we speak a great deal about timing, you will soon find out that a Well Manager® system is much more than a simple well timer. It combines a number of measurable parameters like flow, pressure, and time in a way that puts you in control of a seemingly uncontrollable situation while protecting your pump in the event that your timing set up becomes inappropriate no matter what the reason.
Well Manager® Controls are made to last forever. There is no printed circuit board that can fail and make the system inoperative until it is replaced. Our controls are hard-wired, relay logic, and have readily available digital components that plug in. Everything in the control can be replaced for easier repair. In most component failures there is a way to make the system function while you wait for parts; our technicians can help you with that and parts are always in stock for immediate shipment. If need be, replacement parts can be found in the marketplace locally or on the internet.
In short, a Well Manager® system is a patented, readily serviceable appliance with a UL listed control that sets in place, connects to the well and water pipes, and can automatically manage your well. It also protects your pumps so that you have the water you need when you need it. Thousands of people across North America and elsewhere are happy with their Well Manager® systems, and we can ensure that you will be too!
What is the difference between a Well Manager® system and a Pumptec control?
Question: I have been researching the web trying to decide what to do about my low yield well. What is the difference between a Well Manager® and a Pumptec control?
Answer: A Pumptec control is a device that monitors motor load and electrical connections to protect single-phase motors against low voltage, rapid cycling, low yield wells, air or gas locked pumps, drops in water levels, a clogged well screen, broken shaft or couplings, and worn pump parts.
More simply put, Pumptec is a motor protector that shuts the pump motor off for a selected period of time if the well is pumped all the way down, or when one of the other listed hazards occurs. Well Manager® is a time-based tool designed to maximize the output of your well, manage the delivery system, protect the well and delivery pumps against certain occurrences, and protect your well against damage caused by over pumping.
When used on a low yield well, a Pumptec turns the well pump off to protect the motor if the well has been pumped all the way down, and it will not allow the pump to come back on until the user’s selected time interval has expired.
If there isn’t enough water at the end of the set time to satisfy demand, the pump will remove all of the remaining water from your well to recycle again. Eventually, it will have enough to fill the tank or raise the pressure to cut it off. To protect your low yield well’s pump in such a situation, the well must be pumped empty. Pumptec is used on systems that store water in pressure or atmospheric tanks.
Operating a well like this is called over-pumping, and it can severely damage your well over time. SEE: The Environmental Impact of the Well Manager® System for a more detailed explanation.
Well Manager® works to keep your well as full as possible and collects only the production (or a portion of it) to keep the well producing more water. Well Manager® is designed for use with atmospheric storage systems and can be set to collect the entire production of a well or limit the amount to be withdrawn.
Pumptec is a protective device, and Well Manager® is a management tool. Each is good at what it does, but they do different things. If you have a low yield well, our Well Manager® system can bring in more water without burning up the pump.
Is 1 ½ gallons per minute enough water to supply my home?
Yes it is. A 1 ½ gpm well can provide 2,160 gallons per day. With a Well Manager® system, this is plenty of water to supply even the most elaborate home if irrigation is not a consideration. This may not be the only consideration, though. Some municipalities have an ordinance which says you must have a certain minimum gallon per minute yield for each specific size household. To get approval for a larger bedroom home, you may have to go to the local Board of Health and ask for an exception for the use of an engineered system to meet the peak demand requirement.
There are several differences between this type of system and a Well Manager®
- Because of time-based pumping, a Well Manager® uses a much smaller tank so that the entire system will fit in the corner of an average basement, utility room, or even a crawl space. The job-site built system requires a lot of space
- The large tank system cannot automatically compensate for a drought as well as a Well Manager® can. With the job-site built units, if there isn’t enough water in the well to replace the 150 gallons needed to turn off the pump damage can result. If on the other hand, a Well Manager® is not pumping water during an on-cycle, it will turn off immediately and try again later.
- A Well Manager® pump controller has status lights that tell you what is going on; they indicate when the power is on, when the well pump should be running, when the pressure pump should be on, when there is flow from the well, when the tank is full, and when the tank is too low. The job-site built system usually has none of those things.
- The job-site system will be built with whatever parts are available at the time, but a Well Manager® control panel is built with the same readily available parts and is UL listed (which is an important feature when you need a certificate of occupancy and are trying to get the wiring approved by your local electrical inspector).
- A Well Manager® is a packaged and tested system that can be installed in one day.
Our dream home isn’t much good without enough water; what are our options?
Question: My wife and I just finished building our dream house. We have been extremely fortunate and were able to afford most of the things we wanted. The house has six bedrooms, five full and two half baths, a laundry, a magnificent kitchen and a mother-in-law apartment. It is everything we hoped it would be, with one exception. The first well we drilled was under a half gallon per minute and over 450 feet deep. The second was 2 1/2 gallons per minute and 400 feet deep. It didn’t make much sense to do anything with well number 1 so we didn’t even put a pump in it, and the second well just doesn’t provide enough pressure to use even two of our bathrooms at the same time. My wife gave up trying to use our master bath shower with the two heads and body sprays. Our dream isn’t much good without enough water. Is there anything we can do?
Answer: From the sound of this story there isn’t much point in drilling another well; sometimes we have to do the best we can with the wells that we have. If you haven’t yet hydraulically fractured your first well in such a situation, you should get a price estimate on doing so. Hydrofracturing is a process which uses water pressure to open up existing fractures in your well and even create new ones. Often this can increase the yield of your well. If you have elaborate landscaping, you will need all the water you can get to keep your flora alive during a drought.
The Well Manager® system can be designed to supply the proper flow rate for you to functionally operate even your dream shower.
The single 2 1/2 gpm well will supply up to 3,600 gallons per day. Well Manager® systems are available for one or two wells, so you may want to consider combining your wells to get 4,320 gallons per day or more if the hydrofracking was successful.
Why is the water pressure from my well poorer than it was when we built the house?
Question: We had a 700 foot deep, 3 gallon per minute well that filled up to within 20 feet of the top when we built our home ten years ago. As more houses were built around us, there were times when we would run out of water if I sprinkled the lawn. Now, with the drought, it seems that the pressure in the house is getting poorer as time goes on even though I no longer water the lawn. There are times when the pressure won’t climb much above 20 pounds, but I still get some water when I open the faucet on the first floor. What does this mean?
Answer: If the water level in the well has dropped considerably, as it may in a drought, the pump is working harder and will deliver less water than it used to. If the pump installer sized the pump to run out of lift before it comes out of the water, you would get the symptoms you are reporting as the well level drops. The pump is still pumping water, but it doesn’t have enough lift once the pressure builds to 20 lbs.
To test this theory, turn the pump off for a couple of hours and then turn it back on. If the pump tank fills up and shuts off, it’s a pretty safe bet that we were correct. A Well Manager® can help cure this problem because the storage tank is not pressurized, so the pump has very little back pressure to work against. Therefore it can deliver water from farther down the well. This means that in a drought, the water will have to drop much lower before you run out.
How can I maintain system pressure with my irrigation sprinkler system turned on?
Question: I have a well that works fine. But I had a sprinkler system installed and it drains the tank so fast that when it is running, after about 5 minutes, it will only hold at 20-25 psi until the sprinkler shuts off. What do I need to do?
Answer: This is a common question. When your water pressure is terrible, but you don’t run out of water, then you are probably trying to retrieve more water from the well than the pump can deliver. The pump does not have enough power to feed water to all of the outlets you are asking it to supply.
There are three possible reasons for this:
- There is a problem with the well pump (possibly a clogged intake screen or shaft bearings that are seriously worn).
- There is a problem with a stuck check valve in the pump discharge line.
- There is nothing wrong with the pump or a check valve. The real reason is the well is a Low Yield well.
Here is a little background, so you understand why #3 is a real possibility:
A well is simply a hole dug or drilled into the ground into which water pours, runs, leaks or dribbles, depending on local geology. The rate at which water runs into the well is its Yield. You cannot remove water from the well faster than it comes in for any length of time, without pumping it empty which will result in NO WATER coming from the sprinkler or anywhere else.
If you are the original homeowner or if you have lived here for several years and there has been no noticeable change (degradation) in plumbing performance then I’d bet the yield of this well is inadequate to directly supply your sprinkler system. If you are new to the home, then any one of the three are a possibility.
Why not just throw a bigger pump in the well? Because, if this is a low yield well, you will change the complaint from “I have poor pressure” to “I run out of water!”
When a well is constructed for a home, the hope is that it will provide enough water to feed all of the plumbing and possibly a landscape irrigation system. The well driller has done everything he can to make that happen, but in the end, he can only provide what nature has to offer. So what does one do when the well nature provides has a 2 gpm yield but the house presents an 8 – 15 gpm need? If a pump large enough to feed the home were installed the family would run out of water, and if the pump were sized for the well yield (2 gallons per minute), then you’d have a hard time taking a 3 gpm shower. The pump installer will most often choose a pump that will supply one bathroom ( maybe a 5 gpm pump) and rely on the water stored in the well to make up the difference between what you are using, and what the well is producing.
Example: If you have a two gallon per minute well and a 5 gpm pump, then the pump will provide a decent shower if you don’t use more than one bathroom at a time. For every minute you shower you use 1 more gallon than the well is producing. A 6” well contains 1.5 gallons of stored water for each foot of water in it, therefore, every minute you shower the well level goes down two-thirds of a foot. A 10-minute shower might draw the well down 6.66 feet. If other plumbing is also being used, then the well level will fall a little faster. You are not likely to run out of water because the pump won’t provide enough pressure to use enough plumbing outlets for that to happen (which is also why the sprinkler isn’t running the well dry).
If you have lived there long enough to know that plumbing performance has always been the same (indicating the likelihood that this well is inadequate for this use), then you have 3 choices: cease using the irrigation system, drill another well (if the odds are good that you will find a yield adequate for your sprinkler system), or install a Well Manager® which offers a guaranteed result.
How do you decide what to do? Try this: Have you ever discussed water with your neighbors? Are there other homes in the neighborhood that have sprinkler systems? Do any of them have weak pressure? Can they run two showers at the same time or turn on the washing machine while someone is in the shower? Have they been told by someone that there isn’t enough water in their well to run a sprinkler system? Did they have difficulty finding an adequate well when their home was built? Asking around can reveal a lot of beneficial information!
Knowing how many zones are in your system, how many heads are in each zone, and the discharge rates of each head (usually marked as a decimal number on most of the heads) will enable you to calculate the amount of water required each day to operate the system, the pump size needed to properly run it, and the well yield required to directly supply it. The well yield requirement, along with the information you find asking around, can give you an idea as to the odds of being successful drilling a new well with a yield adequate to directly supply your system.
The information on the irrigation system would allow us to tell you the minimum well yield required to run the system with a Well Manager® system. A simple well yield test will tell you whether your well is adequate. The yield required by a Well Manager® is only a fraction of that required to supply an irrigation system directly from the well, so the odds are that this will work. In any case, we can tell you up-front whether or not we can solve your problem and exactly what performance you can expect before you pay a dime.
Wouldn’t it be great to run your irrigation system and shower at the same time? A Well Manager® can provide enough water to do just that!
Should we drill a new well or install a Well Manager® and buried tank system?
Question: When we built our house, the well we drilled was really inadequate. We have been living with it since then because we just didn’t have the money to do anything about it. Now that our financial situation is changed we are wondering if we should drill a new well or consider installing a Well Manager® on our existing well.
Answer: If it is uncommon where you live for a well to be this poor, then I would consult a well driller and get his input. If, on the other hand, poor wells are common in your area it may pay to think about a Well Manager® system instead.
The first step in making the decision should be a test to see how much water your well is producing. If it is making 3/4 of a gallon per minute you will have over a thousand gallons of water per day. If the well is producing less than that, the choice depends on the odds of a new well being better. It is possible to live with a one quart per minute well, but only if you have a Well Manager®. A 1/2 gallon per minute well can be fairly comfortable if you do not expect to water outdoor plants.
MuniBoost / ConstaBoost™ FAQs
If I have low water pressure in my well, can I use MuniBoost / ConstaBoost™ to boost the pressure?
Question: I have a well and my water pressure is low. Can I use a wall-mounted ConstaBoost™ to boost the pressure? It would be really great to have constant pressure!
Answer: There are a number of reasons that pressure may be poor in a plumbing system supplied by a well. If your pressure was pretty good and it is poor now, then there are a few possibilities:
- The well screen is clogging: ask your driller if your well has a well screen.
- There is a problem with the pump: it is old and bearing or impeller wear is reducing its ability to deliver.
- The pump intake screen is clogged from mineral or biological build-up.
- There is a check valve in the drop pipe or by the pressure tank that is jammed part way open.
- Newly installed treatment equipment or filters may be undersized or clogged.
- There may be a hole in the pipe down the well.
If you have a well and your water pressure has always been poor, the chances are that the well yield is not adequate to supply your plumbing system. Well drillers will usually put the largest pump that they feel comfortable within the well because they know you value performance, and that the last thing you want is to run out of water. If your well has a low yield and the well pump is too large, it will remove water from the well faster than water is coming into the well. If an over-sized pump runs for any length of time, the well may be pumped empty and you will run out of water.
If you install the wall mounted ConstaBoost™ and connect it directly to the well line, it will boost the performance of your system because it will work in conjunction with your well pump to remove water from the well faster (and provide more pressure). The result will be the same as putting too large a pump in the well: high performance for a short time, and then NO WATER.
If the water pressure on your well system has always been poor or has become so as the result of drought, install a Well Manager® or a ConstaBoost™ Static Storage System and you will get the constant pressure and ample supply you’re looking for.
When the temperature is hot my water pressure is low, but when it is cold the pressure is okay. Can I set the MuniBoost / ConstaBoost™ on a hot-water-only setting?
Question: My water pressure on the cold-water side is pretty good but on the hot side it is terrible. I can’t turn on any other hot water faucet in the house when I’m in the shower. Can I put a wall-mounted MuniBoost / ConstaBoost™ on the hot water only?
Answer: This sounds like a problem in the plumbing. Rather than install a booster, you need to find the source of the problem. Check to see that all of the valves in the hot water line are all the way open, including the slotted screwdriver stop that may be behind the trim plate of your shower valve. If your hot water comes from a tank type water heater there may be a problem with the dip tube. Some of these are designed with a closed end and slots in the side to distribute the cold water. If you have this type, they can become clogged with sand, well grit, manganese or calcium deposits.
If your hot water comes from a heat exchange coil in your heating boiler, it is also susceptible to clogging caused by minerals in the water. Keep in mind that these coils have a design flow rate, which means that they are intended to heat the water “instantaneously” as it flows through the coil. Up to the design flow rate, the coil will produce hot water. If you try to push water through it faster to improve pressure at the shower, then you will exceed the design flow rate and water will come out cooler and cooler the faster you push it through.
Flow rates for coils found in home heating boilers range from 3 ½ to 5 gallons per minute. The flow rate can often be found stamped on the face of the coil mounting plate. If you have a coil, check to see that water is going through at the designed flow rate. If you have a 5 gpm coil and are getting a lot less flow, then your coil probably needs to be cleaned. If you are getting design flow rate through the coil and are not happy with the plumbing performance, you need to look into another way to make hot water. Call your local plumbing professional and discuss the matter with them.
Is there anything I can do to boost the pressure in a single home that runs on a community well?
Question: Is there anything I can do to boost the pressure in one home on a community well? Let me explain; I am on a community well that feeds ten houses. My house is the last house on the system. If I use water any time after about 9:00 AM, I get pretty good pressure but between 5:30 AM and 7:30 or 8:00 AM my pressure is terrible. Our homeowners association is responsible for upkeep of the common areas including the water system. I have complained at several meetings but no one else seems to want to spend the money to correct the problem. There is a pump house at the other side of the development that has several blue pressure tanks in it. The well pump feeds the tanks and then leaves the building through a single pipe. There is a Tee in the pipe in front of each house where the water for that house connects. We have consulted several contractors. Some want to increase the size of the well pump and one of the contractors we contacted is suggesting that the water main is undersized for the length of the run and number of users. I am tired of putting up with this. Is there anything I can do to inside my house that will fix my problem?
Answer: Yes, a ConstaBoost™ Static Storage System can deal with this situation.
First, let’s talk about the problems this type of community system can pose. This is a closed system, meaning that it is a pump-pressurized system that is not open to the atmosphere. Open systems are those that depend on water towers to produce system pressure. Water towers are not pressurized but elevated atmospheric storage tanks which rely on gravity to generate system pressure.
In your closed system, it is the well pump that supplies pressure. If you connect a WS model ConstaBoost™ directly to your water service it will create suction on the water service and associated main when it is running. This would take care of your problem but could have the effect of lowering the pressure in the main, thus reducing the pressure in some (or all) of the other homes connected to it.
You need one of the SSPB ConstaBoost™ systems. This will turn the closed system into an open system at your house only.
The SSPB ConstaBoost™ works like this:
- There is an atmospheric water storage tank, like those used with Well Manager®. The tank has a fill solenoid valve controlled by an electric float in the tank; it is a means to control the rate at which the tank fills and serves as a water meter to adjust the fill rate and monitor water use. The water service connects to the tank fill and water flows into the tank until the electric float shuts off the solenoid valve as water rises to the full mark.
- There is little pressure required to fill the tank, and since there is now no backpressure on the water service, there is an increase in the rate at which water flows into your house. Regulating the fill rate prevents your system from taking too much water from the community system at any one time, and collecting water whenever your tank is not full will produce more water over the course of the day. The storage tank has a PumpChamber™ that includes a pump (which has been sized to get the performance you want) and a Constant Pressure Module to deliver service that would rival any city water system. The result, is: you get more water, better pressure, and the community system is relieved of the strain you were adding at peak demand time.
- There is one benefit no one else on the system will have: if there are equipment problems in the main system you will have enough water in your home to go about your business for many hours while everyone else is out of water.
Will a MuniBoost / ConstaBoost™ Static Storage System help to improve my water pressure, even after changing the pump?
Question: I live in Florida. My well is a piece of pipe 1 ½” in diameter protruding from the ground with a Jet pump and pressure tank connected to it. I have a 4-bathroom house with a landscape irrigation system. Over the years my water pressure has gone from good to poor to terrible. Changing the pump didn’t help much. Will a MuniBoost / ConstaBoost™ Static Storage System help? As long as I’m asking, is there anything that can be done with the terrible smelling water? Everyone around here has that problem.
Answer: It sounds like you have an older driven well. Essentially these are a length of pipe with a unique end (drive point) driven into the ground. Some of these are only 20 feet deep, while others are much deeper. Twenty to thirty years ago the water level in Florida was so high that it was very near the surface. The great weather has attracted a lot of people since then, so there are a lot more wells than there were and it’s a little further down to the water now.
Pumps have a finite amount of energy (horsepower) with which to accomplish their task. The more energy that goes into lifting the water, the less energy is available with which to build pressure. Most shallow-well jet pumps run out of lift entirely when the water table falls to 22’. At that depth they can no longer deliver water at all. Each year, as the water table receded, your pump has had to spend more energy lifting the water from deeper in the ground and has had less left with which to build pressure. The result is that your plumbing performance has gotten worse and worse with time.
There are three possible solutions to your pressure problem:
- Drill a new 4” or 6” diameter well and install a submersible well pump. This type of pump can deliver water from very deep wells.
- Install a MuniBoost / ConstaBoost™ Static Storage System after your existing pressure tank, and lower the cut-in and cut-out settings on your pressure switch. With the system functioning at lower pressures the pump will be able to lift the water further. It will require much less pressure to fill an atmospheric storage tank than a pressure tank serving the plumbing system. The pump in the MuniBoost / ConstaBoost™ tank will supply great pressure to the house. If the water table drops lower, you can convert the MuniBoost / ConstaBoost™ into a Well Manager® system which can operate on 3-5 PSI pressure (because it won’t need your pressure tank at all).
- Install a Well Manager® and do away with the pressure tank now if you think you may eventually be forced to do that anyway.
To address the odor problem:
If you drill a new well you will need to buy a separate system to take care of the odor problem. Since both the MuniBoost / ConstaBoost™ and Well Manager® systems include an atmospheric (non-pressurized) storage tank, you can adapt the tank fill to a spray boom and gas off the odors (which is an additional benefit with very minimal cost). With the proper pump in the tank, you will be able to run the irrigation system, your plumbing will perform better than it did when your well was new, you will get consistent pressure, and odors will be nearly (if not completely) eliminated.
Well Troubleshooting – Well Manager FAQs
How does a well pressure tank operate and how can I tell if it is working correctly?
A bladder pressure tank contains water and pressurized air that is separated by a membrane, which is also called a bladder. A bladder pressure tank is precharged at the factory to last anywhere between five and seven years. It works through water pressure changes; as the pressure rises and decreases the volume of air in the tank expands and contracts. If the air is too low, the tank will need to be recharged periodically. The downside of a bladder pressure tank is that they do not provide useful water storage in any capacity.
Bladder pressure tanks maintain your desired water pressure range within the distribution system itself. It minimizes pump-cycling, which prevents frequent switching off and on, protecting it from damage. They also protect against the water hammer.
To troubleshoot, first take the following steps:
- Check the air charge on your bladder pressure tank.
- Disconnect the pump from its power source.
- Open the nearest faucet and drain the tank.
- Check your tank’s pressure; place a tire gauge on the air charging valve located at the top of the tank.
- If there is more than two psi below the lowest pressure in the range, add air pressure to the tank using a tire pump or air compressor.
- If the pressure is two psi above the pump cut-in pressure, release some of the air pressure.
- Use a soap solution to see if the air charging valve has any leaks.
- Re-start the pump and run through a normal cycle to verify the setting.
*Note: If the pressure drops in your tank, the bladder may have a tear or hole in it!
If your tank is filled with water and cannot run properly, it may be waterlogged. A waterlogged bladder pressure tank can cause the pump motor to turn on and off too frequently, which can shorten the lifespan of your pump. It can also cause your water to taste or smell off if your tank contains stagnant water due to the bacteria that forms when the water settles. If a tank remains waterlogged for too long, the inside walls can weaken from corrosion and cause tank failure.
Some of the potential causes for your tank to become waterlogged include:
- Sediments (like iron and manganese) that coat the surface of a bladder may cause it to harden and become less flexible. They can plug the fill or draw line, preventing the tank from filling and emptying regularly.
- High levels of chlorine can cause your tank’s bladder to become brittle and less flexible.
- Tanks sitting directly on the ground often rust and lose structural integrity.
- Chlorinators give off corrosive vapors that cause the tank to rust.
- When working with bladder pressure tanks, it is important to read and follow the Manufacturer’s Safety Warnings!
What are the differences between a Jet Pump System and a Submersible Well Pump System?
A jet pump is an older style of technology that draws water from the well to the pump. One-line jet pumps have a single water line that generates about 50 psi at average water levels. Two-line jet pumps have two water lines to facilitate the simultaneous drawing of water and returning of a portion of the water back to the well. This style allows for more lift from greater depths than a single line jet pump.
A submersible pump pushes the water as opposed to sucking it up to the surface. Those who already have a two-line jet pump system are able to hook up an electric source to power the modern submersible pump. This style of pump allows for the extraction of water from up to 400-foot depths, which is over three times deeper than a dual-line jet pump.
What causes well yield decline?
Well yield can be affected by many different problems, including biofouling, mineral incrustation, and over-pumping.
The following are some of the most prevalent issues that our customers run into and some solutions we recommend:
- Mineral Incrustation: Mineral incrustation occurs in shallower water table aquifers that have high quantities of dissolved minerals like calcium, iron, and magnesium. Changes in pressure and temperature occur as water is pumped from the well, creating the ideal environment for these minerals to precipitate and cause casing, liner, and screen damage. Mineral incrustation is an issue that is manageable through preventative and routine maintenance practices. When you reduce the water pumping rates and include longer pumping intervals, you can also reduce the effects of mineral incrustation.
- Biofouling: A number of nutrients (including oxygen) in your well and its surrounding aquifer will increase during the installation and pumping processes. Iron bacteria (and other kinds) can populate quickly in such conditions, forming a gel-like biofilm. Biofouling is typical where biofilm accumulates enough to reduce water flow, in turn, leading to low yield and water quality. To eradicate your biofouling issue, you can use a shock method of introducing chlorination to reduce the biofilm buildup.
- Corrosion: The metal casing surrounding your well can be corroded quite easily by chemical substances commonly found in water. A drilling contractor will need to choose a casing material for your well that is suitable for your water supply. In situations where water is corrosive, plastic casing liners and stainless steel well screens are often the best solutions.
- Aquifers: The formation of a well can be a source of its issues. The aquifer your well uses to retrieve water from may have sulfate-reducing bacteria that causes tank corrosion. Like with other bacteria, a shock treatment will help. A decline in water level can affect your well yield due to lack of recharge. Rain and melted snow are what supplies aquifers with water, and when it is low to much water can be withdrawn. You should always maintain your well by checking its water level to identify water level trends in your area and to spot problems with aquifer depletion before it damages your well system.
- Over-pumping: When water is withdrawn faster than an aquifer can supply, then you are over-pumping. When water is used faster than your well was designed for, it is also considered over-pumping. Over-pumping is by far the most common well-related issue leading to early well failure. Not only does it deplete the aquifer, but it also contributes to corrosion, biofouling, and mineral incrustation. It can increase the rate at which sedimentation enters the well, clogging the water’s entrance to the well and restrict (or even block) its flow. Well management that prevents over-pumping can do a great deal to mitigate these problems. For more information, please refer to our blog post, How Over Pumping Can Result in Well Contamination and Yield Decline
How do I disinfect my well water?
To disinfect a well and water system, you can use ordinary liquid laundry bleach for shock chlorination.
The following steps will walk you through the process:
- Use a chart or table showing how much bleach to use for each diameter and depth of well to determine how much bleach you will need; we recommend an initial concentration of about 50 to 100 ppm.
- Create an opening to pour the chlorine solution into your well (usually at the top of the well there will be a well cap to remove).
- Pour the bleach into the well and allow it to circulate throughout the entire water distribution system, being careful not to get the chlorine on your clothes or skin (as it is an irritant). Do not use the water for several hours while it is being disinfected.
- After 6-12 hours of the chlorine working on your well water, you will need to flush the chlorinated water out of your well and pipes. Make sure that the well water is chlorinated first, by checking that the water smells like chlorine. To remove the chlorinated water from your well and pipes, run a hose outdoors to a proper drainage area until the chlorinated smell completely dissipates.
- Retesting after about three days will ensure the results you desire. Do not consume the water until the test reads “clean.”
How can I tell what is causing low pressure from my well system?
If you are having low-pressure problems from a well pressure tank system, there are a few tests you can try to narrow down possibilities.
Try these tests to find the source of your low-pressure problem:
- Treatment equipment and filters that are undersized or poorly maintained can result in low water pressure.
- Over-pumping or a drought can also cause your static water level to drop and lead to poor water pressure in the home. A lower static level in the well increases the distance that the well pump must lift the water, so it could be that your pump is reaching the limit of its lifting capability; it may not be able to produce enough flow to operate multiple fixtures at a time.
- It could also be that there is something wrong with the pump itself.
- If the well pump can satisfy the pressure switch in a reasonable amount of time and your pressure in the house is poor (even when the pressure tank is full), then the problem is the treatment equipment, a filter with a clogged cartridge, or a valve/other restriction between the pressure tank and the faucet.
- If there is a bypass valve on your treatment system, then you can disregard the treatment equipment and remove the cartridge from any filter housing present to see if there is a pressure difference. If so, one of the bypassed items or filters is the problem. To determine which item is causing the problem put them back online one at a time testing the flow each time you do so.
- To test the well pump’s ability to deliver, run a tub faucet or two and watch the pressure tank gage. If the pressure on the gage is reasonable but poor at the outlets, then this is another indication that the problem is between the gage and the outlet. To be certain that you are not being fooled, you will need to verify that the pressure gage works by turning off the well pump to see if the pressure on the gage falls off and then picks back up when the pump is restarted. Change the gage if it does not seem to be reacting properly.
- If you get decent water pressure when the pressure tank is full but it becomes poorer the longer the water runs you may have a problem with the pump, a check valve, a leaking pipe, or the well itself may be damaged.
Will Well Manager® help solve my low pressure well?
A modern water system consists of a well, a pump and a storage tank. In most systems, a switch that is activated by water pressure controls the pump, and as water from the storage tank is used the pressure declines. As the pressure drops to a preset cut-in point, the switch will activate you well pump to replace the tank water used. The pump will turn off once the tank pressure rises to a cut-out point.
While system pressures can be set higher, most set-ups start the pump when the pressure drops to 20 lbs and turn it off when it rises to 40 lbs.
Homes that have a bladder-type pressure tank will store anywhere between 5 and 46 gallons of water depending on its size before it is low enough that the well pump will turn on to refill it. Whether you experience a low yield or an adequate yield will depend on how many gallons per minute (gpm) your well can provide, and how many gpm your pump can deliver.
If you have a low yield well and low-pressure water, you may have trouble with your water stopping after long showers or frequent use. A Well Manager® can effectively prevent you from running out of useful hot water, as well as other low-pressure associated problems.
To read more information on low-yield wells and how Well Manager® increases well yields, please refer to our blog post, How Over Pumping Can Result in Well Contamination and Yield Decline.
Does Well Manager® provide well repair?
If you have been experiencing low pressure or shortages in your property’s well water, then you may be wondering what you can do to solve the problem. Knowing whether you need to repair your well, drill a new well, or install a Well Manager® system to fix the poor performance of your current well is something that is best left to a professional.
Here are a few guidelines to follow in making your decision:
- If other wells in your area do not encounter the same problems, then you should consult a well driller to have an evaluation done. The driller will be able to inform you if you need a well repair, or if a new well needs to be drilled.
- If it is common for local wells to operate poorly, then you might want to consider investing in a Well Manager® instead. You should first investigate how much water your well is producing.
- Around three-quarters of a gallon per minute provides over a thousand gallons of water a day. If your well isn’t producing that much, you will need to choose between having a new well put in and getting a Well Manager® system. With Well Manager®, you can even live on a one quart per minute well.
Our priority is your ability to achieve higher quality well water in the quantities you need to operate your household efficiently. A properly sized and set up Well Manager® (or even our less expensive ConstaBoost™) can resolve well yield and pressure issues in cases that do not require the installation of a new well.
Well Manager, LLC. can help you to interpret your well records and reported symptom history. When you call us out to your home or office, we will examine the equipment present to offer you transparent advice. You can also send us digital photographs online for us to evaluate at no charge.
If you choose to have one of our products installed, you will receive a manual with informational text and graphics explaining each part and process in detail. The manual supplies our customers with everything you need to know to start running your system, as well as a section dedicated to troubleshooting. We made sure that our manuals are easy to read and come in standard English.
Why is a Well Manager® System installation better than a well pump repair?
When you experience low water pressure, dirty water, or no water at all you will be confronted with the decision of repairing your well, drilling a new one, or making your well more efficient with a Well Manager® system or our less expensive ConstaBoost™ solution.
Limited water pressure and a failing water supply are usually caused by the following reasons:
- Your well pump could be broken: A well pump repair might be needed to achieve more water and greater water pressure. Shaft bearings wear over time and are a common cause for repairs.
- Your well pump could be clogged: The pump’s intake screen or may have gotten clogged with debris, sedimentation, or bacteria and could need to be properly cleaned.
- Your check valve may be stuck: There is a check valve in your well’s pump discharge line that could have gotten stuck.
- Your well is a low yield well: Often low yield wells are mistaken for other well problems, when they just need the right equipment to run right.
A Well Manager® system installation can be better than a well pump repair because it is cheaper, just as effective, and doesn’t require the invasive drilling of a new well. Over-pumping of low yield wells causes well failure, and Well Manager® prevents over-pumping while providing the right amount of water for your home. It is the only system that works in tandem with the natural hydraulic cycle to flexibly deal with well yield variations. By collecting smaller amounts of water at regularly timed intervals, Well Manager® can withdraw just the right amount of well water for your use.
For more information, you can read more about low yield wells on our website. Customers can call us and speak to a Well Manager, LLC. technician at 800-211-8070 in the United States and at 1-609-466-4347 anywhere else worldwide.
Does Well Manager® help with well water problems?
It is more typical than you might expect to have well water problems with low yield wells, especially in geographic locations that do not receive much rainfall. To solve well water issues, property owners turn to larger storage tank systems without knowing that a Well Manager® can provide a less expensive and more efficient solution.
Storage tank systems over-pump your well, leaving your water source depleted and your pump exhausted. It leads to an ever declining well yield and no water. When there is water in a large tank that cannot turn over quickly enough to avoid warming, algae and bacteria growth can rapidly develop.
Well Manager® can save both your pump and your well from potentially being rendered useless. Please refer to the above questions and answers for more information on how Well Manager® increases low yield well production.
You can also visit the Well Manager® Case Studies page to see how Well Manager® has resolved many unique well water problems for homeowners all over the United States.
Still Have Questions After Reading Well Managers FAQs?
Our experts are ready to answer any questions you have about our well management systems. Get in touch and let us know how we can help:
or use our Get Water Help Form
A representative from Well Manager will respond in a timely manner.