Are you pouring money down your well?


While it may seem a bit ridiculous to walk out to your well and drop a $50 or $100 bill hundreds of feet into the ground every month, many people are doing exactly that! Today we will explore the situations that result in homeowners throwing money away every month on electricity wasted by problems with their submersible well pump.

Water Leak

The amount of electricity used to pump leaked water can add up very quickly. In some cases where a water leak went undetected for several weeks, the owner will get a water bill that is several thousand dollars! If you have old rusty piping, or areas of shifting/unstable ground that your pipe runs through, check your water piping regularly for leaks.

One simple way to check for leaks is to make sure no water is being used, most easily done when nobody is around. Make sure all irrigation is turned off. Now, shut the electricity off to the well pump for 1-2 hours, and don’t use any water during that time. After 1-2 hours, turn on the faucet for a few seconds then turn it off. If there is good water pressure you don’t have any large leaks. If there is no water, then it is likely that something is leaking. Don’t forget to turn the power back on to the well pump when you’re finished our you won’t have water. Small leaks can be difficult to detect and companies like American Leak Detectors can help you locate water leaks in difficult areas. If you suspect that your well pump equipment is running when it should not be, please contact Oakville Pump Service (707)944-2471.

The wrong equipment is in your well

Just because water comes out of your faucet, doesn’t mean that the proper equipment is installed several hundred feet underground! If the wrong well pump was installed, it may be designed for a deeper or larger well then you have and be very inefficient at meeting your demands. Some pump contractors only have a few pumps on their truck and, in lieu of stopping to verify the engineering requirements and obtaining the appropriate submersible well pump, they just take one they think is “close enough” and put it in your well. On many occasions we have encountered very large well pumps installed in wells that produce only a small amount of water. The installer of the oversized pump then puts a valve on the pump discharge to slow the water down so the well isn’t over pumped. Not only is this a huge waste of money installing the wrong equipment, it is a huge waste of electricity since it is the equivalent of driving with your foot on the gas and the brake at the same time. Please check out our post Choosing the Right Submersible Well Pump for more information about the process for selecting the correct submersible well pump. Oakville Pump Service verifies the submersible well pump selection for each installation and ensure the correct and most efficient pump is installed, every time.

The correct wire size should also be selected and chosen for the submersible well pump installed in your well. Wire that is too small for the pump/distance from the electrical meter results in significant amounts of electrical resistance, or heat, dissipated in the wire. This dissipated heat equates to wasted electricity and low voltage supply to the pump hundreds of feet in the ground. Wasted electricity cost you money and low voltage supplied to the pump results in premature pump motor failure, which, as you might have guessed, costs you money!

The correct pipe is just as important as having the right wire and pump in your well. Metal pipe can corrode and leak, thus wasting water and your money and possibly even damaging the actual well casing. If pipe has been installed that is too small for the flow rates from the pump, then this restricts the flow of water, and you guessed it, wastes energy in unnecessary friction losses in the pipeline. For example, if 1.25” pipe was installed and the pump is designed for a flow rate of 50 GPM, the pipe is slowing the water flow and the friction between the wall of the pipe and the flowing water is essentially wasting energy, energy that you pay for on your utility bill! A qualified well pump contractor will look at the water flow rates, water velocities and friction losses and select pipe that will keep the friction loss acceptably low.

To ensure you get the right equipment for your application that is properly specified to meet your demands in a reliable, efficient manner, call Oakville Pump Service today at (707)944-2471!

The equipment in your well is defective or worn out.

It is the nature of the machines that mankind creates to succumb to the wear & tear we place on them. Submersible well pumps are no different as they work on a daily basis to provide water to many homeowners, businesses and farms worldwide. These pump operate in extremely demanding environments, hundreds of feet underground often under immense water pressures. The water often contains fine sand that can abraid the internal pump mechanisms or minerals that can deposit or plug up the pump mechanisms over time. Well water can often have low pH and can cause corrosion to metal components.

Over time, submersible well pump efficiency decreases. While water may be coming out and you don’t notice anything at the faucet or shower, the pump is using more and more electricity to perform the same job today than it did 5 or 10 years ago! In some cases people only notice this when the equipment is no longer able to provide enough pressure or volume to meet their water demands. This type of problem can be the most difficult both to identify and correct because it only shows itself slowly over time. While replacing your submersible well pump can cost several thousand dollars, the high cost of wasted electricity may not be worth the extra few months or years you get out of the poorly performing pump.

If you have unexplained high power bills, or suspect your well pump equipment is a bit long in the tooth, give Oakville Pump Service a call at (707)944-2471 and we’ll help you get to the bottom of any problems with your well.