Plumbing in the Home/Irritated with wells


QUESTION: I am on well water...the pump is located above ground.  There is a blue tank beside the pump but (with my lack of pump knowledge), I'm not sure what it is for.  Last night I lost water pressure.  I turned the pump off at the breaker, removed the pressure gauge as instructed and filled the pump with water.  I turned the pump back on and had no problems for the rest of the night (about 3 hours til sleep).  Woke up this morning with the pump running but 0 water pressure. I was told to check the contact points on the pressure switch for burning.  There was only minimum discolor.  I moved the switch open and closed several times to ensure it would turn on and did as it was supposed to.  40/60 psi pump. 30/50 psi pressure switch.  This is the 5th or 6th time of pressure loss in the last month.  I'm at a loss as to what to do.  Please help with 3 kids in the house.

ANSWER: You said you have a 40/60 pump.  That tells me it's a Sears Craftsman "Plastic" pump.  I don't know of any others who brag about their pressure capabilities.  Even though it's standard.

Since when you re-prime the pump it works good for a while, it sounds like the pump isn't turning on when it should at 30psi.  Once it goes to zero, you lost prime again probably cause of a leaky foot valve. They can hold pressure under pressure, but can leak at zero pressure.

Is it possible your losing power when this happens?  Can you tell me if you have a deep well or shallow well hook up?  Shallow well hookups have only one pipe going to the well.  Deep well have two.  

The blue thing is your storage tank.  It should be very light and should be easy to rock to one side.  It should also have around 28psi of pressure in it when there is no water pressure in the system.

Check those things and get back to me.  We will try to talk you through this.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: We have no issues with power in regards to the water pump.  Directly below the pump is a pipe going straight into the is one single pipe, so I assume it would be a shallow well.
The storage tank is very there some way to check and make sure that there is about 28psi of pressure in it?
Also..there is one small line going from the electric pressure switch down to some kind of valve...I was informed there was a steady drip.  But, We don't remember if the tiny leak is coming from the top of the line connected to the electric switch or from the bottom connected to the valve in the line.

Since the tank is blue, it must be a bladder tank.  There should be a schrader valve on it near or on the top where you can use a tire gauge to check the air pressure.  It's just like the valve stem on your car.

The pump you described and the way it hooks up is a deep well jet pump.  It's bolted directly to the casing and you can't see the inside pipe.  Sometimes turning the backpressure up a little will cure your problem.  The valve you described which the switch's tube goes to should have a bolt sticking out somewhere.  When the pump is running and your using a steady stream of water you don't want the pressure to go any lower than 30 lbs or so.  This is what the back pressure control does.  Try turning the bolt clockwise and that pressure should go higher.  Try to raise it 5 to 10 pounds higher and see if that cures the problem.

For a lot more info and more people to talk to, you can visit my Website at:

Plumbing in the Home

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Bob Tabor


I am a Water Well Driller and Water Pump technician. I own a business in Riverview, Fl. We repair motors and pumps in shop and in the field. We repair and replace submersible and jet pumps, galvanized and bladder tanks, and their controls. Water filtration is another one of our specialties.


I started drilling and repairing wells and pumps with my dad in 1958 at the age of 13 years. I worked with him on weekends and in the summer when not in school. After graduating high school, I worked for my Dad until going into the Army in 1968. I spent three years in the Army then went back into the Well Drilling/Repair field.

Many Forums including my own.

High school and a few courses after getting out of the Army. They were offered on the GI Bill.

©2016 All rights reserved.