How to Increase Water Pressure from a Well
Most experts recommend a water pressure of around 50 PSI, which should allow standard fixtures and fittings to function normally without putting unneeded stress on your plumbing.
While those on city water rarely struggle with meeting this pressure threshold, domestic well owners often have trouble achieving sufficient water pressure to make showers and faucets run correctly.
Why is the water pressure from my well so low?
Some wells (often artesian wells) are naturally pressurized. They produce drinking water that freely runs from the ground in the form of natural springs.
However, the vast majority of drilled wells don’t produce a high-enough natural pressure to feed home plumbing without the use of a well pump and pressure tank.
If either of these components encounters issues, you may experience low water pressure.
Well system issues
Well pumps contain electric motors that push water up from a well into a home. If well water contains high amounts of sediment, well pumps can become clogged, leading to a reduced flow of water into the home. If this is the case, you’ll want to clean the sand out from your well water.
To increase the pressure of pumped water, well systems also usually contain pressure tanks. Most pressure tanks use compressed air to force water through outlets at a pre-programmed rate. Adjusting the settings on a pressure tank may lead to improved pressure.
Other common reasons for pressure tank issues include air leakages, which result in tanks not being able to maintain adequate internal pressure to pressurize your plumbing system.
Hard water issues
Sometimes, low well water pressure doesn’t result from equipment problems, but a build-up of contamination inside your home’s plumbing.
Materials initially dissolved into the water supply can deposit inside pipes and appliances, especially in places where water is heated. The most common type of contaminant build-up is calcium carbonate—a mineral typically found in hard water.
When calcium carbonate deposits become significant, they can restrict the flow of water throughout your home. For example, a build-up of scale in the outlet of a water heater may affect the pressure of showers and hot-water faucets. If this is the case, look for a well water softening system to reduce the scale and increase the water pressure.
5 things to look at when increasing well water pressure
1. Check the well pump for clogging
To check if the well pump is clogged with sediment or mud, disassemble any easily removable components and submerge them in a solution of water and bleach or detergent. Replace any removable screens.
Some wells also have backwashing programs that can flush through any trapped dirt.
Once the well pump has been cleaned and reinstalled, add a well water sediment filter to your filtration system to help reduce the effects of dirt, rust, and sand on the rest of your plumbing system.
2. Change the settings on a pressure tank
The pressure switch on your pressure tank can be easily adjusted to raise the pressure in your well. At the switch, you can set the point at which the tank will start and stop adding pressure to the water supply.
Connecting a tire pressure gauge to the air fill valve will allow you to check the water pressure in your tank. Most tank switches are operated by two spring-loaded nuts—the larger nut controls the tank pressure range. Tightening this nut increases the pressure range.
3. Check for air compression issues with the pressure tank
Signs that there’s a deeper issue with a pressure tank include strange clicking, hissing, or banging sounds, inconsistent water pressure, or a quickly worsening water pressure.
4. Service your water heater
Many of the minerals and metals commonly found in well water can cause chemical reactions with the magnesium rods in water heaters, causing scale deposits that quickly restrict water flow.
A professional water heater service should involve deep cleaning and descaling of the heating tank, inputs, and outputs. A qualified professional can also install heating rods that complement the mineral profile of a home’s water supply.
5. Install a water softener
If you do have a hard water problem, installing a whole house water softener is an effective way to reduce issues with clogging, flow rate, staining, and water pressure.