How To Increase Water Pressure From A Well

Getting your water pressure right is more important than it would seem. If you are using a well water system a good measure of your water pressure will be around 50psi. That is 50 pounds per square inch.

Any higher and the water pressure can cause excessive wear and tear on your pipework and fittings. Any lower, and you will not be able to have a satisfactory flow for showers, kitchen faucets, etc…

How To Increase Water Pressure From A Well

 If you have the latter problem we will take a look at how to increase your water pressure from a well.

How Does A Well Work?

Homes in towns and cities will be supplied with water from municipal services. However, in the countryside it is highly likely that water supplies will come from a property’s own well. This is a hole that is drilled into the ground until it reaches the water table. 

To extract water from a well a pipeline and a pump are used. A filter is used to screen out particles from the water before it enters the property. The type of well is determined by the material that is drilled to access the water. 

A bored or shallow well is drilled into an unconfined water source found at around 100 feet. Consolidated or rock wells are bored into natural rock formations with no soil typically at about 250 feet.

Unconsolidated or sand wells are drilled into clay, gravel, sand or soil. 

The well consists of a pipe casing which is sealed with a concrete or clay sealant to protect against contamination.

A well pump moves the water through this casing and into a pipe connected to a pressure pump in your home. This pump sends the water to your outlets. 

How Do You Know If Your Water Pressure Is Low?

If your water pressure becomes too low then you will notice a drop in flow especially when two appliances are used simultaneously. This could mean that the shower flows slower if someone turns on the dishwasher at the same time. 

Sometimes the water pressure from a well can fluctuate and this can be a sign that the water pressure is too low. However, there is a difference between water pressure, flow rate and volume.  

Water pressure is the force exerted within the system and out of the fixtures, it is measured in pounds per square inch. Flow rate is the speed and amount of water that the system supplies to the house.

It is measured in gallons per minute. 

Finally, volume is the amount of water contained within the aquifer or groundwater source that feeds the well. The volume depends on the size of the aquifer, the rate at which water is pumped out and how quickly groundwater is recovered from the surface. 

What Causes Low Water Pressure From A Well?

There are several causes of low water pressure from a well. 

Pressure Tank & Well Pump Problems

For a well to perform properly there needs to be a good relationship between the well pump, pressure tank and the pressure switch. If one of these components fails then there will be a drop in water pressure. 

Blocked Or Narrow Pipes

A build-up of hard water deposits on pipes can result in low water pressure. Similarly, if too narrow pipes are installed it can reduce the water pressure in the system. 

Calcified Shower Heads Or Faucet Aerators

Calcium deposits on shower heads and faucet aerators will reduce water pressure at these exit points. This however is not a water pressure problem but a reduction in flow rate.  

Greater Demand Versus Flow Rate

The more demand there is for water the greater the flow rate needs to be to keep up. If the demand exceeds the flow rate there will be a resulting drop in the strength of water exiting showers or faucets.  

Groundwater Depletion

Sometimes the amount of water in the aquifer will reduce and cause a drop in water pressure. Groundwater sources are not infinite and can deplete over time. 

Increasing The Water Pressure From A Well

Check Tank Pressure

First check that the pressure tank is functioning correctly and take note of the current pressure settings. If necessary increase the pressure setting on the pressure switch. This switch turns the pump on and off. A higher pressure setting should increase water pressure. 

Meeting Demand

If demand exceeds supply then consider installing an additional or a bigger pressure tank. Fluctuations in water pressure can also be caused by the pump short cycling, i.e. constantly turning on and off to meet demand.

How To Increase Water Pressure From A Well

A constant pressure valve will correct this problem. 

Sometimes there is a large distance between the well pump and the property. To compensate for this you can install water pressure booster pumps, this can help increase the water pressure on upper stories. 

For fluctuating water pressure installing a constant pressure system will mean that supply will meet demand. The constant pressure system recognizes how much water pressure is required at any given time and will supply it at the correct pressure. 

Check Pipes & Other Appliances

Well water contains lots of natural minerals that can deposit on your water pipes and in appliances and fixtures around the home.

While in itself this does not create a water pressure problem it does reduce the strength of the water exiting faucets and showers.

Appliances such as iron filters and water softeners can become clogged with deposits so check the filters and cartridges and replace frequently. Also ensure that appliances are sized correctly and not too large for the system. 

Final Thoughts

Having your own well gives you more financial control over your water supply, but it can come with its own problems and expenses. Low water pressure can be a frustrating issue, but there are solutions available for most causes except for aquifer depletion. 

We hope this guide has answered some of your questions about low water pressure from a well and how to solve this problem.  

Mike Noren