Answering Your Water Pump Questions
with RPS Engineer Mike
Is it difficult to change a well pump?
For most wells up to 300 feet deep and under, it's actually quite easy for the typical well owner to change out their well pump. This is because you can handle the weight of the pump, wire and pipe by hand - perfect for any DIYer. Any deeper than 300 feet and the task becomes slightly more challenging, as you’ll most likely need to hire a professional with a truck that can easily handle the weight of dropping a pump deeper into a well.
The actual process of swapping out the pump is straightforward. Most well owners are able to re-use the piping, wiring and plumbing they already have in place, which saves them money! We always recommend checking for signs of wear on the pipe and wire, as any nicks or cracking can lead to an issue (and that means pulling the pump again in the short term to replace those parts). If you know that the pump you have in the well is currently older, or has been inside the well for a long time, checking for fault areas in the rest of the equipment is even more crucial!
- Check the pipe. Examine the pipe for any cracks or holes where water may be leaking out
- Check the wire. Examine the wire for areas of wear, nicks, scrapes, cracking. Electrical issues will pop up if water seeps into any of the interior copper wiring, and you’ll need to replace the wire.
- Check connections. If you were struggling with low water pressure, there may be a loose or cracked plumbing connection that's allowing water to leak out, which could be contributing to a lower water pressure.
Tools you’ll need for changing out a well pump:
- Teflon Tape
- Electrical Tape
- Pressure Switch (if using pressure tank or pressure system)
- Wire Strippers
- Flat and Phillips Screwdriver
- Lighter or heatgun for heatshrinks, heating poly pipe for tighter hose clamps
The general overview steps of changing out a well pump are as follows…
Pull the pump out of the well. If you’re using the same pipe, wire etc, then just unscrew the old pump from the plumbing. Screw on the new pump, using teflon tape on the threaded connections. Lower back down the well and you’re done!
If you plan on using new pipe and wire, splice the new wire onto the pigtail of wire from the pump.
From here there are a bunch of different instructions depending on whether you’re suing poly pipe (Easiest) , PVC (harder), or steel galvanized (hardest). Basically put your pipe and plumbing connections together, re-attach the pump to the pipe and lower down the well.
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