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Well Water Pressure Fluctuates

Does Your Well Water Pressure Fluctuates? (9 Reasons Why)

The main reason well water pressure fluctuates is a waterlogged pressure tank allowing the air to escape.

Fixing up the leak and adding air to your tank using an air compressor would solve the problem. However, you must ensure that your tank’s pressure is lower than the well pump’s low point by 2 to 3 PSI, as too much air inside the tank will burst the air bladder and worsen the problem. 

Continue reading for all nine reasons behind well water pressure fluctuating with practical troubleshooting for each. 

⚙️Why Does My Water Pressure Fluctuate? [Solved]

ReasonSteps To Solve (In Brief)
Waterlogged pressure tankRepair the air leakage area of the pressure tank or replace the ruptured rubber and use an air compressor to add air inside the tank 
Well pump malfunctioning Check pressure settings, pump operation, and pressure switch and make necessary repairs.
Corrosion in plumbing fixtures Clean your corroded fixtures with vinegar/citric acid to remove iron deposits.
Wrong setting of the pressure switchIncrease water pressure carefully by adjusting your pressure switch.
Faulty check valve Clean the valves if they have turned faulty due to clogging or replace them.
Water pressure regulator malfunctioning Call a professional and replace the old water pressure regulator with a new one.
Air trapped in pipes Allow water to drain from your taps for some time and then close the taps.
Clogged water filter cartridges Check if the well water filter cartridges are blocked and if yes, change them.
Abnormally high water usage Curb your water usage or upgrade your well water system.
Also Read: How Do I Adjust The Pressure Settings Of My Well Tank? 

💧Waterlogged Pressure Tank

Waterlogged pressure tank

The pressure tank of a well gets waterlogged when there is a leakage in it or when the tank’s rubber ruptures.  

How Does It Cause Fluctuation?

The leakage in the air bladder or rubber of your well’s pressure tank leads to the loss of a significant amount of air from the tank.

As a result, the pump turns unstable and starts short-cycling by switching on and off. It leads to low water pressure and a decreased water flow from the faucet. 

Steps to Solve:

  • Open your tap and empty your tank’s water, allowing the cold water to run.
  • Attach a functional pressure gauge to your tank’s pressure valve while your well pump switches on and off.
  • Ensure that the pressure is between 35 to 60 psi. 
  • Now, try to locate the air leakage area of the tank.
  • If you don’t find any leakage area in the tank, unscrew a faucet aerator screen and see if it comprises any tiny rubber pieces of the ruptured air bladder.
  • Repair the tank and the air bladder’s leaked or ruptured area.
  • Ensure that no more air is leaking after the repair
  • Use an air compressor and pump the lost air within the tank.
  • Ensure that the well pump is now working correctly. 

Tips/Warnings:

  • While inspecting the leakage area of the water pressure tank, always ensure its stem part first and then proceed towards checking its other components (for example, rubber). 
  • A damaged or waterlogged tank always needs immediate replacement. Using the same waterlogged pressure tank may further damage your pump and make your repair costs high. 

⚒️Well Pump Malfunctioning

A malfunctioned water pump is another reason that causes a well’s low water pressure or pressure fluctuation. 

How Does It Cause Fluctuation?

A well pump usually malfunctions due to overheating or normal wear and tear. If any of the two occurs, the well pump fails to pull water consistently, leading to your well’s water pressure fluctuation. 

Steps to Solve:

  • Check out your well’s pressure pump settings with the help of an expert.
  • If the pressure settings are okay, try to detect whether the problem is in the pump’s functioning or the pressure switch. 
  • Fix the detected problem by taking the professional’s help. 

Tips/Warnings:

  • Once you detect the pump malfunctioning, repair or replace it as soon as possible; otherwise, it may damage the pump further and make the situation uncontrollable. 

🪸 Corrosion in Plumbing Fixtures

Corrosion in plumbing fixtures

Sometimes, clogged fixtures of residential plumbing systems resulting from the deposition of hard water minerals also cause well water pressure fluctuation. 

How Does It Cause Fluctuation?

Well water can comprise minerals like iron and manganese that, when coming in contact with the plumbing fixtures, bathtubs, faucets, etc., leave white scales on them.

These white scales block the fixtures and the other plumbing appliances from the inside and cause pressure fluctuation. Because of it, you may find pressure drop problems at any particular point of use when the other faucet points are generating normal pressure. 

Steps to Solve:

  • Check out various plumbing fixtures, bathing tubs, faucets, and showerheads (if you don’t have a water softener in your house) to see if there are any white patches or mineral deposits within them. 
  • If you notice any mineral deposits within them, clean them up immediately using citric acid/vinegar.
  • You may also replace the old corroded plumbing fixtures with new ones 
  • Now, check the pressure of the well water to see if the low water pressure problem or water pressure fluctuation problem is solved. 
  • In case the problem persists, call a professional for help.

Tips/Warnings:

  • Check out all the plumbing fixtures and appliances carefully, so no mineral deposit is missed. 

🔧 Wrong Setting of Pressure Switch

Well water pressure fluctuation, in some cases, also happens due to the wrong setting of the pressure switch and a bad pressure switch. 

How Does It Cause Fluctuation?

Pressure switches, whose pressure settings remain pre-set, are responsible for switching on and off your well pump. The normal air pressure within the tank remains set at 2 to 3 psi lower than the pressure switch’s cut-on value.

When these settings somehow get wrong or become incompatible, it leads to pressure fluctuation and low water pressure in the well. The problem also arises when the pressure switch gets damaged.

Steps to Solve:

  • Check out if the setting of your pressure switch is okay or has gone wrong. Also, see if the pressure switch is damaged. 
  • If the setting is inappropriate and the pressure is lower than the required value, increase water pressure by lifting up or adjusting your pump’s pressure switch.
  • Call a professional to repair the pressure switch or change it if the problem is due to the damaged pressure switch.  

Tips/Warnings:

  • Lifting pressure or adjusting pressure through your pump’s pressure switch must be done with caution, as the process might reduce the quantity of the pressure tank’s drawdown.
  • Adjusting the switch’s pressure higher than the pump’s pressure holding capacity may lead to the non-functioning of the pump. 
  • Clean your pump’s pressure switches periodically with a professional’s help to ensure they are free from dirt, ants, and other insects. 

🔗Faulty Check Valve

Faulty check valve

Check valves, also known as gate valves or ball valves, may occasionally turn faulty, causing pressure fluctuation. 

How Does It Cause Fluctuation?

A Check valve of your well water pumping system works by opening and closing periodically. However, sludge or other dust clogs the valve’s mouth either partially or fully.

Conclusion:

As a result, the check valve cannot function normally, resulting in pressure fluctuation. This problem usually arises if the check valve has remained non-functional for a long time. 

Steps to Solve:

  • Inspect if the check valve has gotten stuck due to sludge accumulation. 
  • If the sludge has made the check valve partially clogged, clean it immediately. 
  • If the problem persists or the check valve has become entirely blocked, go for its replacement. 

Tips/Warnings:

  • If you need to replace any valve (including the check valve and air valve), don’t try it yourself.
  • Also, don’t attempt checking or cleaning the valves all alone.
  • Take a professional’s help, as live wires inside the machine can be dangerous for an amateur to handle.

⚠️ Water Pressure Regulator Malfunctioning

Does none of the above reasons explain your problem? Then, your low water pressure or well water pressure fluctuations may be due to the malfunctioning water pressure regulator. 

How Does It Cause Fluctuation?

Most well water systems comprise water pressure regulators placed on their system’s main pipes (the pipes that carry water to your house). Over time, these pressure regulators either go faulty or get filled with rust and sediment, resulting in low or fluctuation in water pressure.

Steps to Solve:

  • Call a professional to check the pressure of your well water and the effectiveness of the water pressure regulator. 
  • If he finds the regulator faulty or corroded with rust, ask him to clean and repair it. If the regulator repair isn’t possible, go for its replacement. 

Tips/Warnings:

  • Don’t try to check, clean, or replace the water pressure regulators on your own, as the live wires inside them may be life-endangering for you. Instead, call a professional and ask him for help.

🌬️Air Trapped in Pipes

Air trapped in pipes

Air trapped in pipes is another reason behind the fluctuation of your well water pressure. 

How Does It Cause Fluctuation?

When the air gets trapped inside the well water pipes because of the low water table, it causes the pressure to decrease. It results in fluctuating water pressure of the well. 

Steps to Solve:

  • Open the taps of your houses.
  • Drain water from faucets for 5 to 10 minutes so the trapped air gets out of the pipes.
  • Close the faucet.
  • Now, check out if the problem of fluctuation is resolved or not.

If the issue doesn’t get resolved, call a professional for assistance. 

🙅‍♂️Clogged Water Filter Cartridges

Fluctuation in your well water pressure may also happen due to clogged water filter cartridges and other problems in water treatment systems. 

How Does It Cause Fluctuation?

When the water demand of your well is high, and the filter is small, or when the cartridge gets clogged due to the deposits of iron, sediments, or other minerals, it results in a constant pressure drop. The deposits usually happen if your house lacks a water softener. 

Steps to Solve:

  • Monitor the filter-based pressure drop problems of your well water using a pressure gauge.
  • If you find a low water pressure problem or experience fluctuations, check out if the issue is with the filter or the cartridge. 
  • If the filter is too small to fulfill water demand, you need to replace it with a big one.
  • If any water filter cartridge is found clogged after inspection, exchange it with a new one. 

Tips/Warnings:

  • Before solving the problem and after your problem is solved, remember to check the system’s pressure to see if the system is now getting the required constant pressure.
  • If you detect any pressure loss from the system, ensure that it is restored within the system.

🪛 Abnormally High Water Usage

Abnormally high water usage

Sometimes, temporary fluctuations in your well water pressure may happen due to abnormally high water usage. 

How Does It Cause Fluctuation?

Every well’s pressure tank or filtration system has a water handling capacity. Excessive water usage at a given time frame creates tension in your well water system, resulting in a temporary fluctuation of its pressure.  

Steps to Solve:

  • Adapt to the quantity of water your well water system can provide and only go for fetching water at a time.
  • If you need more water than the system can provide, call a professional to upgrade it to your water needs. 

💡Well Water Pressure Fluctuates: FAQs

Why is my well water pressure pulsating?

Low water pressure in a well water system or pulsating of water pressure usually happens because of the following reasons: 

1. Rupture in the internal air bladder of the well water tank.
2. Wearing out of the external electrical switch. 

When either of the above occurs, it results in low water pressure in the well’s tank instead of constant pressure and a slow water flow rate. 

How do you fix water pressure surging from the well?

To troubleshoot the constant rising pressure of water in your well, do the following-

1. Turn your water pump system’s electrical power off.
2. Now, drain both the pump system’s and pressure tank’s water away.  
3. Look out for the tire-lookalike air bladder valve of the system.
4. Measure the tank’s air pressure by freeing the valve and putting a pressure gauge within it.

Why is my well not keeping pressure?

Low water pressure in your well may happen due to the following reasons-

1. Your well’s sediment filter is clogged.
2. The pump is not suitable for your well.
3. The pressure switch of your pump is faulty.
4. Under-inflated air bladder of the tank that needs a recharge.

What controls water pressure in a house with a well?

The municipal water system regulates the constant water pressure in a house with a well. Nevertheless, you can control your private well water’s constant pressure with your well pump’s controllable settings.

Does a higher flow rate mean better water pressure?

Your pipes’ diameter in a well water system decides if you will have a low flow of water or a high one. If your system has larger pipes, the water flow rate will be high and vice versa. 

Besides, a system’s water flow also depends on the type of its water pressure- high and constant or low. Therefore, the water flow rate of the system remains high if the constant pressure inside the tank is high and vice versa.

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